03 May

Pokémon: The First Movie



POKÉMON is having a hell of a year, with new games coming out on the NINTENDO SWITCH, and not one but two new movies coming out: Detective PIKACHU and POKÉMON the Movie: MEWTWO Strikes Back Evolution. We decided to revisit the movie that started it all: POKÉMON: The First Movie (what an audacious title for a movie, right?).

We went back and forth on whether we wanted to cook POKÉMON or not. As we all know, there is a rich history of humans eating POKÉMON: for instance, FARFETCH’D was so tasty when cooked with his leek that he became an endangered species[1]. We were ultimately uncomfortable eating these seemingly sentient little creatures, despite how tasty some of them sound. However, after a little bit of research, we learned about sustainable, ethical ways of eating POKÉMON.

Let’s start with CHANSEY. You know the EGG that CHANSEY keeps in her lil’ pouch? That is actually one of the several EGGS that CHANSEY lays daily, and it has amazing healing powers[2]. On top of that, it is extremely nutritious, and can bring good luck and happiness. CHANSEY will willingly share her EGGS with injured people and POKÉMON, but over-harvesting of these EGGS has made CHANSEY extremely rare. Fleeing from those seeking its EGGS has made it an extremely fast runner. We got our hand one one of these tasty morsels, SOFTBOILED it, and cured it in a sweet and salty soy sauce bath. It was not only exquisite, but also left us feeling well nourished.

I’m sure we all remember the $1,000,000 SLOWPOKE TAIL that a man on ROUTE 32 offered us in Gold/Silver[3]. What we were surprised to find out is that typical SLOWPOKE tails naturally break off, and a new one grows back. Based off how common SLOWPOKE are, we think it is fair to say he is price gouging. We whipped up a little SLOWPOKE TAIL quiche, like those served in megamarts in POKÉMON Sun and Moon. We threw SWISSCHEESE and PARMESEAN in too, along with SPINACH and SLOWPOKE TAILS. The result was good. Not $1,000,000 good, but still pretty good.

Finally, we closed out with RARE CANDY. Normally, RARE CANDY is reserved for speed-leveling POKÉMON. You might even be saying to yourself, “But RARE CANDY are only for POKÉMON!” Well, did you know that POKÉMON and HUMANS were once considered the same and even intermarried, suggesting they had a common ancestor[4]? You learn something new every day! We made our own RARE CANDY by grinding freeze-dried BLUEBERRIES and mixing them in with some melted WHITE CHOCOLATE, then chilling them in the fridge. We didn’t notice any immediate change in our base DEF, ATK, SP ATK, SP DEF, or SPEED, so we don’t think we actually leveled up. We must be missing some secret ingredient.

For the drink, we made a MINTY BLOWFISH, using the most exotic fruit we could find in Uwajimaiya, the KIWANO MELON, which looks like a yellow version of the COLBUR BERRY [5], a very specific berry which reduces damage taken from super effective Dark-type attacks. The juice of the KIWANO MELON was mixed in with lemon juice, mint, gin, and champagne, basically making it a French 75, especially considering that the KIWANO MELON did not have a strong flavor.

With our bellies full, we sat down to watch the 75-minute POKÉMON: The First Movie, which originally came out in the U.S. in 1999. This was not a good movie. The animation felt cheap, and the plot was lacking. GIOVANNI, the gym leader, funds DR FUJI’s mission to clone MEW. They make this second MEW, lazily named MEWTWO, even more powerful than the first. MEWTWO does think and speak in full sentences, setting the precedent for PIKACHU to do so in Detective PIKACHU. He also lures the most powerful trainers (which are basically all kids, which is weird) to an island so he can clone their POKÉMON and… Take over the world? His motives were never that clear. Then, there were a bunch of mirror matches between clones and originals, which are the most boring POKÉMON battles to watch because they have the same moves and are inevitable not very effective against each other. All in all, not a very interesting movie to watch. We learned a lot more in prepping for our meals than we did watching the movie.

The Reviews:

André: 1/151. This was a real bad one, folks. I forgot how grating the voice actors’ voices were, how bad the jokes were, and how thin the plot was. In retrospect, it is really clear that this movie was a total cash-grab. How did I ever love this movie? Oh right, I was 8.

Leanna: This movie was “masterfully” bad. There were many problems with this film, but ultimately I couldn’t get behind MEWTWO as a villain. I never fully bought his motivation, and as the primary driver of the plot, that’s not a good look. Also, I will never forgive this movie for making me watch two PIKACHU slap each other in the face repeatedly.

Ben: 20%. Nostalgia can resurrect a lot of a properties, locations, and experiences, but it could not revive Pokemon: The First Movie for me. The film unveils itself at a glacial pace, with the quality of a weekly animated show, which really shows its ugly head with a certain lack of artistry and grand vision that can come along with a full-length film. It is perhaps not until the final ten minutes that the film actually find something emotional and meaningful to hang its hat on. But the film has spent the previous 50 minutes or so trying to completely numb all of your senses that it never really lands. The only saving grace of this film is that it is short.