Pokemon Extravaganza: Movie 04 (Sub) Celebi: A Timeless Encounter Review

Rating: 6.5/10

Plot: Yukinari/Sam is a young boy who was whisked through time by a Celebi 40 years ago after the legendary Pokemon barely escaped from a Pokemon hunter. He meets Satoshi/Ash and the others after his trip ends and wishes to help the Celebi who sent him through time since he fears he could be injured. After healing his wounds, a new threat shows up by the name of Lord Vicious the Mask/The Iron-Masked Marauder who wishes to capture Celebi, make him evil and use his powers to take over the world!

Breakdown: I actually don’t have much to say on the poster this time. Celebi looks decent, everyone’s placement is spot-on for a change. Except Pikachu – he seems way too big, especially when Satoshi and Yukinari are so damn small. And holy crap, she’s a pointless character to begin with but they made Miku/Diane so small I completely overlooked that she was there on the first few viewings. Why even include her if she’s going to take up a penny’s worth of space?

Like usual, I will be breaking up the movie into chunks instead of giving another play by play to save space. I decided on fifteen minute chunks for this one since I’ll have to be addressing some removed scenes.

15 Minute Mark

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I find it odd that the Pokemon of the forest never helped Celebi when it was being pursued by the Pokemon hunter. Later, they all gather to bring Celebi back to the lake to heal itself and then later to capture Vicious/IMM (Yes, IMM’s Japanese name is Vicious. Much better name and possible Cowboy Bebop reference….yet 4Kids gives us the Iron Masked Marauder…..*sigh*), but they all run away from the Pokemon hunter instead of trying to help….

The old woman is named Towa. She keeps her name between the two versions, but I cannot confirm that because most sources discussing the English version just call her ‘the old woman’ and 4Kids never puts the roles of the voice actors next to their names in the credits.

Just to crack this out before we even see him, Deckhand is named Mr. White. What a weird name. Even weirder considering that he’s pretty young and most characters that young aren’t usually called ‘Mr.’ in the series. I have no clue if this is his dub name, but we’ll have to assume he was just never given one and that the dub adopted the Japanese one as an excuse.

I have to wonder, how did Vicious know that Celebi would be stopping in this time? Or did he not and just got insanely lucky? Celebi could’ve gone literally anywhen in time, past or future, and leaves no indication as to what era it’s heading to.

The Japanese title screen is so much better than the dub’s. And 4Kids was doing so well in that department in the past few movies.

In the opposite extreme in terms of names, Dundee apparently gets no original version name.

Wow, how many times can they remake the same Mezase Pokemon Master theme song in the original? This version is actually pretty cool, but when do they change it?

Here we are at the scene that was replaced before.

We cut to the kids talking to Okido Hakase/Professor Oak on the video phone. He holds up a drawing from a book portraying Suicune and asks them if that was the Pokemon they saw. Satoshi confirms, and Okido says it could’ve have been a Suicune. He’s not smiling as he was in the original, he’s not adamant about it being Suicune and Kenji/Tracey is in this shot smiling in the background as Okido’s on the phone.

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They ask what a Suicune is, but Okido doesn’t know much about it besides the fact that it’s a legendary Pokemon. Several people from the background are removed (and the angle is changed a bit), Mr. White is behind them as they’re on the phone as well in the original but is not there in the dub.

We keep it relatively the same for a bit, explaining Suicune’s powers and how he’s called the North Wind (I find it weird that a Water Pokemon’s the North Wind….shouldn’t that be a Flying type?) As he’s exaggerating some stuff about Suicune to seem cooler with Kenji looking embarrassed in the background, Betbeton/Muk hugs Okido. Because of this, Okido is the one who bids them goodbye and Kenji bids farewell as well.

If anything, seeing the scene that was cut makes me even madder at 4Kids’ decision…Why? Because it was basically the exact same friggin’ scene as the dub version, in terms of visuals anyway. They changed Okido to be smiling during this scene, got rid of Kenji for whatever reason, painted away the other people in town and Mr. White from the scene, and put in another picture of Suicune from the book, I guess to illustrate what he meant by water purifying powers.

Ultimately, what was changed was the dialogue, which was ‘Oh yeah, that’s Suicune. He’s totally real! I saw him once! And you were there and you were there and you were there….because spoiler alert, I am Sam.’ (Funny thing – Sam’s Wiki page makes no mention at all of him being Professor Oak. I honestly hope they didn’t miss that fact while watching the dub because I only have so much faith in humanity left.)

So, in essence, 4Kids honestly didn’t need to drop a damn dime on this scene….They didn’t need to do anything to begin with, but now they really didn’t need to.

Be creative with the clips you have and make dialogue changes. You practically changed the entire script of Movie 01 and yet you didn’t pay the original animators a dime to make special scenes for that! Doesn’t your toilet clog a lot with how much money you flush?

If you really needed that smile, why not Mew Mew Power his ass and flip his frown upside down? It’d still be insanely dumb, but it would save a ton of money and manpower.

Half Hour Mark

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So I’m guessing that it’s a thing in the original that Misty introduces herself as a ‘beauty’ or something like that. Every time Misty introduces herself in the dub she always says either she wants to be the best Water Pokemon Trainer or that she loves Water Pokemon etc.

I find it dumb that the only Pokemon we see Satoshi use in this movie are Bayleaf/Bayleef (Another instance of the English name just being the Japanese name misspelled.) and Pikachu….Considering this is the first Pokemon movie to have a legit human Pokemon trainer villain, it’s pretty disappointing.

45 Minute Mark

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Oh so Takeshi is just as obvious about the lake thing as Brock was….Okay. Sorry, 4Kids. Really, why would you dip him in the lake in the first place if you didn’t think the water would heal him?

Satoshi doesn’t explain what a Pokedex (Poke Guide/Zukan) is, nor do they start talking about how much Satoshi knows about the future. His tactless comment about being ‘sure glad (he’s) not stuck in it like (Yukinari) is’ is also not present.

Satoshi does say that the sketchbook is like a self-illustrated Poke Zukan, but he doesn’t take the time out to explain what it is. In addition, the conversation afterward is Satoshi asking Yukinari if he’s aspiring to be a Pokemon Trainer. Yukinari says he hasn’t decided and was actually traveling to help him decide when, and then he trails off.

There’s a short period of silence before Satoshi finishes Yukinari’s sentence and says ‘….you woke up in the future…’ Which is far less severe of a line than basically telling him ‘sucks to be you!’ Also, I’m nearly certain that the extra line about the Pokedex in the dub was to further poke at Professor Oak.

Ash’s goofy pun with the ‘Butterfree-Hope you’ll be free’ line is not present. Satoshi just says he knows he’ll get back to his own time.

It always feels weird to me watching the original version of a 4Kids production knowing they left the original score in. I can’t really explain why, but after making so many SDC’s and getting used to constant noise and poppy bullcrap, it’s just odd. I know they still inserted their own theme song and end credits song, but still.

This movie broke the tradition of Satoshi tackling and/or punching something incredibly powerful that would obviously kick his ass or hurt him. Closest he gets is climbing the giant robot spider to wrestle the Dark Ball from Vicious. Darn, I really wanted to make that a tradition. Oh well, I can only hope it’s in Movie 05.

Sure is necessary to make all that wheat CGI. Seriously, you’d think they just discovered CGI when they made this movie. Use it sparingly, it has a better impact that way. Either that or make the whole movie CGI.

Hour Mark

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ONIX used GENTLE NUDGE WITH NOSE it’s SUPER EFFECTIVE and BADASS

I do appreciate that neither Celebi nor Suicune speak in this movie. I’ve never had much of a qualm against any of the legendaries speaking, except slightly with Lugia, but it’s a welcome change.

I still don’t understand how or why Celebi gets dark lightning powers when it’s evil….

Oh come on, not even the original gives an explanation as to why Celebi’s dying?

End

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Hm, I wonder. Is this the first time we’ve ever seen a dead Pokemon on the show? I mean….it’s very unclear in both versions whether Celebi’s dead or just near death.

That reminds me, Kasumi didn’t cry a drop in the first movie when she thought Satoshi was dead, but she sees Celebi dead/dying and out come the waterworks.

Now Takeshi’s crying too. A boy you’ve been friends with for over a year dying and you barely react. A Pokemon you’ve barely known for a day dying and everyone evolves into a sprinkler.

Since 4Kids kept the soundtrack that means….more lalalalaalaaaaaaaalalala.

We get a scene that was cut in the dub to put the second call with Oak in there. Yukinari wakes up in front of the shrine back in his time, Towa finds him and asks if he’s alright and he just says he had a wonderful dream.

I don’t get why this was removed. In comparison to the scene that was inserted, this is incredibly short to justify cutting it unless they had a serious time limit for some reason and they couldn’t manage it with their super shiny new scenes.

The ending theme is very gentle and nice to listen to – A drastic contrast to the dub’s, and much more fitting. A movie mostly about friendship and the forest and whatnot, so have a big party song at the end with a bunch of record scratches. Makes sense. It’s even weirder considering that the last three movies, which were far more action-y and fast paced, had mostly gentle and slow songs at the end of those in the dub.

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You may notice something odd. I didn’t raise my rating on this movie at all. You’d think without the inserted scenes and with the actual footage that I’d be happier and give this a better rating…Well, you see there’s a tiny problem in this little project of mine. Sometimes, when I rewatch the movie in the subbed version….my opinion lowers on the overall movie.

By all intents and purposes, and I honestly hate saying this, barring the inserted scenes and scene removals, 4Kids did a damn near perfect job on this movie….Perfect by 4Kids standards anyway.

They kept the original score (though put in their own OP and ED and the ED does get teethscrapingly grating…) and most of the script barring some minor stuff was kept exactly the same. Like I said, the only thing 4Kids did in terms of changes was get off to their own bank accounts and beat kids in the head with something they honestly didn’t even need to know….plus added in a Team Rocket scene which could’ve been cut to keep the scene with Yukinari—The point is, it’s still basically the same movie.

The problem is that, when I rewatch the movie and there’s not that many changes….I start noticing bigger flaws in the movie or the flaws I barely took note of before gain more weight.

The Yukinari/Satoshi friendship is still very nice. The villain is still an actual villain, but he’s still generic. There’s no real reason given as to why he’s pursuing Celebi nor how he knew Celebi would be in this time period. While I do give props for showing death, of a Pokemon no less (because according to our crying index, Pokemon are more important than people) there’s no real reason given as to why it’s dying.

The main problems I have are with the plot outside of the time travel. That really is the better plot in the movie. It’s rarer to see someone time travel to your own time and have to deal with that. It’s more common for the main characters to time travel themselves. There’s quite a bit that they could’ve done with that, but it’s sidetracked by the stuff with Celebi.

Did you get that? I just said that the side plot was better than the main plot and that the main plot gets in the way of the side plot. If that’s not a huge problem, I don’t know what is.

The stuff with Celebi isn’t that bad, but it’s ultimately the reason why I believe I found this movie so forgettable. I did say it’s because it wasn’t as epic of a movie as the others, but this is the part of the movie that is supposed to be epic so there ya go.

I actually remembered the parts with Sam just fine, it was the plot with Celebi that fled my mind. It was predictable and made incredibly silly by the ugly CGI monster and spiky wheatball of doom. And there’s the fact that the solution was literally the power of friendship.

Though neither version was really preachy about it, the whole thing about the forest being destroyed did stink of an environmentalist message, especially as Celebi’s dying. I already talked about how the forest really was the only thing in immediate danger and that was only because Vicious wanted to show off.

It is sometimes welcome to take a break from the world being in immediate danger, but you can still have an epic feeling without resorting to ‘go green!’ The plot was so flimsy they had the villain do that lame reprise when they come out of nowhere to grab the powerful item/creature again and try to merely run away, which is even more predictable because do you really think any movie would end with the villain getting away that stupidly?

In addition, it felt like this movie should’ve been Yukinari’s but Satoshi kept taking the reigns. I know it is his series, but you can’t tell me Satoshi was really the forefront of movie 03 or 01, so it can be done.

While I will scold 4Kids three ways from Sunday for those dumb scenes until the end of time, and I, in all honesty, don’t want to change the rating on the dub one from what I honestly gave it before. The rating stays as is. That was a roller coaster of an opinion ride that I haven’t felt in a while. It’s still an enjoyable movie, but there are very significant problems.

But the burning question still remains…..Who did Yukinari grow up to be?!

Recommended Audience: Still talking about death 50+!

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