Pokemon Shorties! (4) Pikachu’s Pikaboo

Pikachu's Pikaboo

Rating: 5/10

Plot: Some of Ash and Misty’s Pokemon are left alone on a beach I can only assume because they’re irresponsible and they go to a mansion and meet some Pokemon who live there. They decide to play Hide and Seek, but the game is interrupted by a psychotic lawnmower.

Breakdown: I only watched this short like once or twice before on my DVD because the disk messed up on the short for some reason and everytime I tried to play it afterward I’d get that stuttering effect. I really don’t remember this short very much…..except for the theme song. The theme song is yet another ear worm that 4Kids forged, but I’ll get to that in a minute.

Before we start though….Pikachu’s Pika-boo? First of all, that is an awful pun. Just awful. Second, I don’t think there’s any worse word you could’ve used to basically toddler-fy this series. Third….they’re not playing peek-a-boo. I know the phrase is sometimes used in games with hiding, but peek-a-boo is technically an entirely different ‘game’ than what they’re playing, which is hide and seek. I don’t expect people playing hide and seek to pop out from where they’re hiding to yell ‘peek-a-boo!’

With that out of the way, let’s play hide and seek!

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We start out at some unidentified beach where the gang’s Pokemon, at least some of them because screw the others, are playing in the water. Totodile, Bulbasaur, Bayleef, Cyndaquil and Pikachu are present from Ash’s team….no idea why Noctowl isn’t there. I can usually make up an excuse, but for once I have no clue.

From Misty’s team, Togepi and Psyduck are out because they’re always the ones who get let out despite the fact that they’re at a damn beach and Misty’s Pokemon would have the most fun there, but nope. Go to hell Staryu, Poliwhirl, Goldeen and maybe Corsola.

From Brock’s team…..Not a single one. Friggin’ nice, guys. He usually at least chucks Vulpix into the mix, but nope.

Togepi nearly drowns itself because Togepi just likes putting his life in peril, but a passing Wailmer saves it and shoots it up to a passing Yanma who flies it back to the beach.

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Eat him, Wailmer! Do the world a favor! No one has to know!

And no it’s never explained as to where Ash and the others are this time nor why they let their Pokemon roam without supervision again. These shorts are turning into Rugrats.

The narrator finally realizes the short has started and we learn that there’s a nearby mansion with a beautiful garden near the beach. The owner, who is never seen (in fact no humans appear in this short at all), has three Pokemon who guard it; a Larvitar, a Kecleon and a Granbull, with Larvitar acting as an anal retentive leader.

Pikachu and the others decide to trespass because why not, and while Granbull and Kecleon welcome them, Larvitar becomes annoyed by the group’s intrusion. Granbull calls the other Pokemon on the property, Sunflora, Azurill, Donphan, Sandshrew and Oddish to meet the group. Pikachu tries to call Larvitar over to play, but he just snubs them and walks off. Granbull then suggests that they play Hide and Seek, Pikachu agrees and grabs a stick to select who will be ‘it’.

He throws it into the air as everyone stands in a circle. Gee I wonder if it’ll land on Pika—Yes, of course it lands on Pikachu. Why would it land on anyone else?

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WHOO!! WE’RE WAY TOO EXCITED FOR THIS! ALRIGHT! YEAH!

We get the aforementioned ear worm theme song “Everybody Hide, ‘Cause Pikachu’s Comin’” I just found this song funny because of one line. “But not just any place, you have to find a space that fits your color and your size!” I’m just imagining little kids singing or playing this song while playing Hide and Seek and looking for places to hide that match their skin color. I can imagine some awkward calls to other parents happening.

The Pokemon start hiding while Pikachu counts. Sunflora tries to find a field of flowers suitable to camouflage in, Kecleon basically cheats by using its camouflaging ability to hide in front of a bird bath…I mean, I know it leaves behind a little zig zag stripe so it’s not like he’s completely invisible but that’s still cheating to me. Bulbasaur also hides in the soil of a garden as a plant and Oddish does the same. Cyndaquil tries to hide between two large pieces of furniture, but Granbull tries to get in too, prompting Cyndaquil to ditch the spot.

I always hated that in Hide and Seek. You find a great spot and then some asshole likes your idea so he tries to muscle in on your spot and forces you to go somewhere else. Pfft.

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Azurill hides underwater in one of the bird baths and we end on everyone else trying to hide before we finally get our title screen.

Pikachu finishes counting and goes off to find everyone, but Larvitar is not amused.

Cut to Meowth and Wobbuffet who have taken a job at the mansion doing landscaping work….uhh, okay. Why are so many people okay with hiring a talking Meowth to do menial chores? Their lawnmower breaks down and Meowth takes that as a cue to stop working in the garden.

Back with Pikachu, he’s looking through a garden for the Pokemon and finds Sunflora acting as a regular flower.

Pikachu gets to a yellow brick wall and we see that Sandshrew was actually pretty clever in using its design to camouflage in with the wall. Pikachu catches him anyway, though. Damn ability to see in three dimensions!

He reaches a fountain and spots a weird water spout coming out of the water. He dips his head underwater and sees that Totodile is using Water Gun to make it seem like it’s a spout in the fountain even though there are no other spouts in the fountain. Pikachu shoves his hands on Totodile’s Water Gun which is kinda dickish and calls him out when he emerges.

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“Haha! Nearly murdered you!” “Haha! Must not get upset at this for fear of the repercussions of conflicting with Messiahchu’s wishes!”

We see Larvitar again who spots Donphan rolled up near a pile of tires (again, actually pretty clever) and when he spots Pikachu at the bottom of the hill, he rolls Donphan down to hit Pikachu….Wow, what an asshole. Pikachu gets out of the way and calls out Donphan, which sucks because he didn’t technically get found.

Narrator: “Now Pikachu’s going for a look inside the mansion!” Wow, thanks Narrator for telling us that thing that we will see happen in literally seconds. Are you just bored and looking for stuff to say at this point?

Pikachu looks around the mansion and spots Togepi on the couch who only has a suitable hiding spot because, for some reason, the owner has incredibly tacky blankets or pillows that have the exact same color and design scheme as Togepi’s shell.

Next, they find Cyndaquil in the fireplace acting as a fire, which is also kinda clever.

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Back with Larvitar, who is still salty from….I guess just not liking the other Pokemon or fun. He kicks a small rock angrily and it bounces off Meowth and Wobbuffet’s lawnmower, which suddenly causes it not only start back up again, but also to go on on out of control rampage.

It actually seems to be sentient as it purposely pursues the Pokemon and changes direction when prompted by other Pokemon. Oh yeah….that’s not contrived or anything. I get it, a plot consisting of nothing but Hide and Seek, even for one of the shorts, is pretty damn boring and hard to fill up 22 minutes, but really you couldn’t come up with some other huge crisis besides this ball of stupidity?

The Pokemon all run away from the lawnmower, revealing Bulbasaur and Oddish underground while it causes havoc. I’m glad they got out of there, or this short would have a much higher content rating. Bulbasaur tries to stop it with its Razor Leaf to no avail, Donphan tries to destroy it with Rollout but it doesn’t even dent it. Wow, where did the owner buy that thing? My dad’s lawnmower is usually defeated by damp soil.

Pikachu decides enough is enough and uses Thunderbolt on it, which actually seems to stop it for a bit, but then it starts back up again. Oh, but it doesn’t just start back up again. It activates two hidden CHAINSAW ATTACHMENTS! What the unholy hell!? This was contrived enough as it was, but two chainsaws that pop out of the sides? How would that even be useful, let alone safe for landscaping? And why was this little turn of events even needed? Was the lawnmower not scary enough with the razor sharp blades underneath it? Did someone hire Leatherface to do landscaping work? Come on!

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MUAHAH! YOUR WATER GUN CANNOT EXTINGUISH THE FIRES OF HELL THAT ARE COURSING THROUGHOUT MY IGNITION SYSTEM!

Totodile tries it hand at stopping it with Water Gun, but it doesn’t work. Cyndaquil tries stopping it with Flamethrower, but, get this, it continuously dodges Cyndaquil’s attacks on purpose and even manages to get behind him to get the edge. Yeah, sure. Crazy sentient lawnmower now knows basic battle strategies. I’ll believe anything at this point.

Cut back to Meowth and Wobbuffet who just got done sweeping the chimney when Pikachu and the others cross their path. Meowth and Wobbuffet are now being pursued by the lawnmower that can apparently hop across stone slabs now too. They try to fight it with the little chimney brooms, because that’ll work right? However, the chainsaws destroy the brooms and the lawnmower knocks both Meowth and Wobbuffet into the air and down the chimney of the mansion. In the process, I guess the lawnmower also breaks off the chainsaw attachments, making those additions even more pointless.

The lawnmower chases the group through a hedge maze for some time before Larvitar helps them out and kicks the lawnmower into one of the walls, supposedly stopping it from continuing its rampage…..uh, I’d try to disable it before walking aw–

The gang then walks away thinking that they’re safe, but then we see the lawnmower break through the hedges…..with BUZZSAW ATTACHMENTS!

Further questions

I mean, really what the hell!? At least chainsaws might be used for some landscaping, even if their existence on the lawnmower is incredibly inefficient and dangerous, but buzz saws aren’t used in landscaping! What purpose do those possibly have on that thing!? Next you’re going to tell me there’s a flamethrower and a BFG on it!

Also, am I the only one freaked out by the fact that we went from our main short issues being, in order, Charizard being stuck in a pipe, making it through a thunderstorm, Pikachu finding its way back to Ash to a murderous sentient lawnmower with chainsaw and buzzsaw attachments? Especially on a short called ‘Pikachu’s Pikaboo’? Just seems like a B-movie horror plot is all.

They keep running from the lawnmower and try to hide up a tree, but the lawnmower just saws it down and keeps chasing after them. They reach the beach and trick the lawnmower to fly off a dock and into the water, seemingly stopping its rampage yet again. Larvitar and Pikachu take a sigh of relief for a second but then realize that horror movie villains always come back from the dead, and it rips the dock up with its saws and continues chasing them.

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I told them not to build this place so close to Crystal Lake.

The other Pokemon gather some logs to make a track for the lawnmower to follow to lead it away from them, even though I don’t see how that would work considering that it sawed through a huge tree in less than two seconds and reduced a dock to toothpicks a second ago, but whatever. However, Psyduck trips and screws it up, causing it to continue the rampage.

Bayleef, who has been napping this whole time, comes into play by Vine Whipping the handle and throwing the lawnmower back into the track….Why Bulbasaur hasn’t done that this entire time is beyond me.

They continue the track and lead it into some shed, shutting the door behind it. The shed bounces around in a barfy CGI effect that gives us a nice preview to the also awful CGI effects coming in our feature presentation, and the bouncing suddenly stops. The door opens and reveals that the lawnmower is now basically destroyed…..…

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Curses….my one weakness….poor writing.

Really?….That’s our climax? The ultimate weapon against that thing….was a shed? It was subject to Razor Leafs, Rollouts, Thunderbolts, Water Guns and being completely submerged in water with little to no issue….yet a track of small logs and a shed defeat Satan’s lawnmower? What a rip off.

The gang cleans up the yard and Bayleef and Bulbasaur Razor Leaf a design of the Pichu Bros into the hedges…..for…some….reason, and we see that Meowth and Wobbuffet finally made it out of the chimney.

Larvitar picks up the stick from earlier and wants to play Hide and Seek with them this time. They all agree and he throws the stick into the air. Since we see Pikachu actively trying to blow the leaf/indicator on the stick now and Larvitar’s not in the frame, it obviously lands on him this time and he smiles. They go off to hide again as the sun sets and Ash and Misty never see their Pokemon again.

The End.

I should mention that this is the first time that the short has ever had its credits kept intact. In the other movies, they were always put with the ending credits of the movie to keep people from thinking the movie was the short and had already ended. However, I suppose because this is the first movie that was released on DVD instead of VHS, the magic of DVDs granted them the ability to keep the credits with the short.

I have no clue if it remained this way in theaters because to the best of my knowledge it never showed in any theaters near me. This was the first Pokemon movie that I wasn’t able to see in theaters. I don’t have many theaters near me to begin with, but none of them ever showed 4ever and beyond to the best of my knowledge. Some people have told me that they still play Pokemon movies in theaters, but if that’s true I must just live in an area that never gets them.

Bottomline: This short was boring. Cute, and sometimes made me smile with the way that the Pokemon hid themselves, but boring. And even with the INCREDIBLY INSANE AND CONTRIVED lawnmower chase scene, it was still boring mostly because the chase got really old and repetitive even with the craziness of that serial killer lawnmower. In fact, it really just seems like that whole plot point was shoved in there because they realized Hide and Seek couldn’t fill even half the running time without getting boring. It’s worth one watch just because of how crazy the lawnmower is, but has really no rewatch value.

Recommended Audience: Keep away from children who have completely reasonable and healthy fears of sentient lawnmowers that have several saw attachments and a thirst for blood. But it’s okay for everyone else.

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Pokemon Shorties (3)! Pikachu and Pichu

Rating: 7/10

Plot: Ash, Misty and Brock have arrived at nonspecific oddly American looking big city. Pikachu and all of the other Pokemon are let out of their Pokeballs to have some fun on the roof of some building while Ash and the others plan a big surprise. However, when Pikachu gets made fun of by a Pichu in a building across the street, he ends up falling from the roof and landing on the other building with the Pichu Bros. Can Pikachu make it back in time before Ash returns?

Breakdown: And now for the short that accompanied Movie 03, Pikachu and Pichu, otherwise known as “That one with the Pichu Bros.” and…..I really don’t remember jack about this short. I remember it taking place in a city and the Pichu bros., of course, I remember there being a Smeargle….that’s about it.

Oh and I remember the ending being the cause of much discussion seeing as how many people take this as proof that at least one year has gone by since the start of the series, which I don’t really believe given how much has gone on between then and now. Also, it’s hard to take that as canon when the series keeps insisting that Ash is and always will be 10 years old.

As for Pichu….I don’t particularly care for it. Its existence makes me think they wanted a ‘chibi’ Pikachu that they could market even harder than Pikachu. Lest we forget the pointless novelty of spike-eared Pichu and even Ukelele Pichu (proudly following in the footsteps of surfing Pikachu….Where are the damn novelty Raichu? What a rip off. Raichu>>>>>>>>everything) Pichu’s existence never made full sense to me, either. That means Ash got an evolved Pokemon as his starter Pokemon, and Pikachu was a huge brat when we first met it which makes it hard for me to believe that Pikachu evolved from a full happiness Pichu.

I do remember the music being a snappy new change, so there’s that. Well, let’s start, shall we?

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Ash and the others are in some unspecified city. They let out all of their Pokemon on the top of some random building/hotel(?) because they have stuff to do. However, even this doesn’t make much sense to me. It makes sense that Ash wouldn’t want Pikachu around to keep from spoiling the surprise, but why let out all of the other Pokemon, which they hardly ever do? Just to keep Pikachu company? It is a nice thing to do, but it’s also rare. They say they’ll be back at six o’clock and leave.

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A smiling Vulpix with sparkles around it. Enjoy your free warmfuzzies.

The copy I’m using for screenshots is the Japanese video spliced in with the English audio track (Since my copy is VHS and I have no way to transfer that to my computer). The Japanese version has an entire theme song here, but they completely amputate it from the short in the dub. They skip the entire theme song animations just to splice in their own opening which is just the title card translated to English, Pikachu meeting with the Pichu bros. and having the city background appear for a second before a dual page transition goes back to the short.

The English theme is a jazzy track that was made for this short. The Japanese theme is okay, but pretty forgettable.

As the Pokemon are playing, Pikachu comes across two Pichu, one of which starts mocking Pikachu from a building across the street. Pikachu makes faces back and Pichu climbs out on a ledge. Pichu’s brother, let’s call him Tuffed-Hair Pichu, tries to keep him from going out on the ledge and getting hurt while Pikachu climbs out onto a flag pole to warn him as well, which just furthers the question of why the hell did they let out all of their Pokemon to play ON THE TOP OF A BUILDING!?

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I get it, it’s all fancified meaning that people can hang out on the roof without issue, but there are no guardrails and it can’t be all that safe if Pikachu can perch itself on a nearby flagpole on the side of the building with no problem. Imagine what would happen if dopey Psyduck got turned around up there.

Pikachu looks down to realize where he is and wow, cars! Lots of ’em! I keep feeling like they’re in some American city from the way they keep portraying it. The buildings, atmosphere, music etc. just give the feeling like they’re in America somewhere. It definitely doesn’t give the same vibe as other cities seen earlier in Pokemon. Even Celadon city felt a lot different than this.

Not only does Pikachu freak out because of this, but a few Murkrow also come out and peck at him since he’s on their perch. He falls, but grabs onto the always handy rope that is always below in these situations.

The Murkrow aren’t deterred, however, as they also peck at the rope to make Pikachu fall. So, in conclusion, Murkrow are murderers….which makes sense because a flock of crows is called a murder. Next time on Law and Order: Johto Unit.

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We pan down to Meowth who is washing windows sans Jessie and James, but this time they actually give a reason for this that makes a lot of sense. They tricked him into a window washing job so they could get extra money. Since it has been shown several times in the series that Jessie, James and Meowth do get jobs sometimes and many of those jobs tend to be separate from each other, this makes perfect sense.

Murkrow starts untying the rope when a breeze carries a bunch of Hoppip into the Murkrow’s face, making him drop the rope and Pikachu. The rope somehow swings up which allows Pikachu to fly up and bounce on all of the Hoppip. However, when he gets to the last of them, he falls onto Meowth’s washing platform, which causes a see-saw effect and sends Meowth flying into a nearby billboard.

Pikachu climbs up to meet the Pichu bros. but is upset when he finds out that none of the other Pokemon can hear him and help him get back to the other building. So that means that, unlike the other shorts where we got small groups of the Pokemon mostly made up of Ash’s with some of Misty’s, Tracey’s and Brock’s…..this short just releases them for a few seconds and puts the entire focus on Pikachu and Pichu until the very end where they all reunite. I get it, it’s the title of the short, but come on. The other Pokemon get such little screen time. It’s almost mocking to let them all out to hang out and play but give them absolutely nothing to do.

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The Pichu Bros. offer to take Pikachu back to the other building. They make their way out, but land on a bus, which only leads them further away. The Pichu Bros don’t seem to care (jerks) and the bus takes a sudden turn which causes the three to fly off of the bus and into a nearby river.

Everything seems okay for a bit until a ferry in the shape of a Lapras shows up and is about to run them over. Pikachu and Pichu try to get away, but they succumb to Prometheus syndrome with not realizing that there are directions beyond straight. Luckily, a Gyarados suddenly shows up and sends the three flying again….Pokemon shorts really do involve a lot of Pokemon being flung around like ragdolls. Also, this is a manmade river, why the hell is a Gyarados in there? Do you love scaring the crap out of the people on the ferry boat and putting them in danger for no reason?

The three fall into some alleyway onto a Houndour who starts chasing them around. He corners them, but the wonder twins use their electric powers to shock Houndour. However, “Too bad Pichu can’t use electric attacks without shocking themselves!” Pichu sucks.

The Pichu Bros end up knocking themselves out due to the electricity, and to make matters worse, Houndour’s not affected that badly and starts chasing them again, this time with Pikachu carrying the Pichu Bros. Pikachu bounces off of a random Snorlax’s belly yet again. For the love of God, he’s not a trampoline or an air bag! Stop making this a theme in the shorts!

Houndour tries to follow, but Snorlax moves when he tries to jump on him, causing Houndour to land on the ground instead and get squashed when Snorlax moves back. Well, he’s dead. A moment of silence for Houndour.

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They arrive at some fort made of tires and pipes and we discover that this is actually a little hideout for the Pichu Bros and their friends, a whole bunch of other Pokemon with many of them being new pre-evos. Oh and we get another Pokemon misidentification. This time a Voltorb says ‘Electrode’. I’m going to give 4Kids a slight pass here since, like Poliwhirl/Wrath, they look very similar, but 4Kids should really know better by now or at least know to double check this crap.

They screw around with all of the Pokemon to eat up two minutes of screentime. When they’re done, the other Pokemon leave and they realize that it’s getting awfully late. Pikachu has to be back before Ash returns so he asks the Pichu Bros to lead him there. They start to leave but AH ZOMBIE!!

Oh, I guess Houndour lived through that. Houndour arrives and starts chasing them around again, causing the big tire fort to fall over, burying Houndour in huge heavy tires. Well, I guess he’s dead again. A moment of silence for twice dead Houndour.

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Also, why is Pikachu not attacking Houndour? It’s shocked people and Pokemon for lesser reasons.

Anyway, Houndour’s not dead again, instead he’s mildly stuck I think maybe. Pikachu and the Pichu Bros help him out and they’re instant friends I guess. Another part of the fort starts falling over and Houndour and Pikachu try to save it, but they’re slipping fast. The Pichu Bros then call their friends back to help out…where were they going anyway? Do they have owners? Where else would they be living besides that fort?

The Pokemon band together to save the fort, even Cubone, the Pokemon who cares only about itself. Sorry – some leftover bitterness.

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Pictured: A selfish fuck.

And, really, guys, hire a licensed contractor next time. The design of that thing? No wonder it fell so easily.

So the fort is saved, hip hip hooray! That’s also a recurring theme in these shorts – a bunch of random Pokemon coming together to solve a problem and fix stuff.

Pikachu realizes what time it is and he and the Pichu Bros help him get back to the building by rolling in a tire. And on the way they run over Meowth….I would complain about his completely pointless part in this short, but this short is already basically Togepi-free, so there’s a bonus. However, the Pichu Bros kinda act like Togepi a few times.

Pikachu returns, the Pichu Bros leave and Ash and the others return to show their big surprise to the Pokemon (mostly Pikachu).

The owner of this place has no qualms with a giant snake made of rocks being in what looks like a very nice dining room? Okay.

Ash reveals his surprise is a big party in honor of it being the anniversary of the first day he became friends with Pikachu. Geez, look at that setup.

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So much food and decorations and reserving a beautiful room too? For god’s sake, I’ve never had a birthday anywhere near this nice. And this is a friendship anniversary for a mouse! Where the hell did Ash and the others get the money for this? They can usually just barely afford to feed themselves. Did they plan the fireworks too? Because I can’t see any other reason for that.

This I find to be even more blatant favoritism considering he never does the same thing for any of his other Pokemon. Then again, he’d actually have to have his Pokemon for over a year to do that…But Squirtle and Bulbasaur are still around at this point, which means it shouldn’t be far off from their one year anniversary, but nope, no party for them. They should’ve just said they wanted to make a sort of annual Pokemon appreciation party instead. But why do that and have Pikachu share the attention, which is, of course, blasphemous?

And thus our short ends….in the English version anyway. The Japanese version stays true to their ending credits sequences with fan art a and song behind it. While the fan art is nice…did the kids who sent in the pictures get like a template to color in? Because all of the pictures in the start have the exact same pose and drawing quality. Unless this is just crudely drawn official art.

Whoever made the picture with Pidgeotto despite the fact that it was long gone before this short, my hat’s off to you good sir or madam.

Art and Animation: The art is crisp and the animation was actually quite a bit better than normal. Some scenes were shaky, particularly the last shot you see of Pineco, but nothing that bad.

Music: I really enjoyed the jazzy soundtrack. It’s a welcome change from the average Pokemon music we’re used to.

Bottomline: I can’t bring myself to say I’m crazy about this short. By all intents and purposes, it’s completely harmless fun, but then again it is just a lot of hijinks with not a lot of story, and any message is one we’ve already heard before in previous shorts; teamwork basically.

Also, the stuff with Houndour was resolved so quickly and easily it’s almost like it was a non-plot point. That being said, it does have the best art and animation quality of any of the shorts so far. The city looks very nice, many shots look great, the Pichu Bros didn’t get annoying and there were never lulls in the fun like the second short. It’s a pretty good short, but it is disappointing that none of the other Pokemon get to do anything.

Recommended Audience: E for eggplants! And everyone. Eggplants are people too!

Pokemon Shorties (2)! Pikachu’s Rescue Adventure

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Rating: 2.5/10

Plot: While napping in the woods one day, Togepi wanders off and falls down a tunnel. It’s up to Pikachu and the others to save Togepi while finding some new friends along the way.

Breakdown: Ah, Pikachu’s Rescue Adventure……..I remember like nothing about this short except the opening. I know there’s an Elekid and some other ‘new’ Pokemon and a storm…..and Togepi gets lost….That’s about it.

…….Well, let’s start, shall we?

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We start off with Ash, Misty and Not-Brock deciding to take a nap on a tree. They let out SOME of their Pokemon to nap too (Scyther, Staryu, Snorlax and Charizard are noticeably absent. It’s understandable that Lapras and Goldeen aren’t there since they’d need to be in water (even though there’s a suitable body of water mere feet away), but why not Staryu, Snorlax, Charizard and Scyther? Are they not ‘cute’ enough for the short? The short and movie do supposedly take place after Charizard starts behaving so there’s no real excuse for him.) Togepi wakes up and sees some Ledyba flying by and tries to follow them, but ends up tripping and rolling down a huge hill.

While falling, it knocks Meowth over who seems to be traveling by himself because Pokemon short law says he has to be alone and they both fall into a nearby hole that leads into an incredibly long and fairly clear tunnel that leads into a gigantic tree that is so huge it’s basically its own forest. Now that I’ve wrote that out it seems incredibly convoluted…

Pikachu and the others reach the hole and try to call for Togepi, but a crazed Psyduck crashes into them while trying to catch up and they all fall into the hole and through the tunnel.

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It’s here where we get our short’s theme song “Comin’ to the Rescue” by O-town. Remember O-Town? Yeah, no one else does either. I actually really like this song and as with “I Need a Vacation” it’s an ear worm that sometimes gets stuck in my head randomly.

They tumble down the long tunnel and land on a passing swarm of Ledyba who bring them into their tree home. I think this is the first sighting of Ledyba in the series. The Pokemon then meet an Elekid, who was actually teased in one of the Orange League episodes through one of Not-Brock’s sketches. They fear that the Elekid wants to fight, but Pikachu makes nice with an Electric Pokemon ET finger touch.

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After they become friends, the other Pokemon in the forest feel comfortable to come out and damn, if you really wanted to become a Pokemon Master, just go to this forest. It’s like there’s nearly every Pokemon in existence, Kanto-wise, in this forest.

We cut to Meowth who is stuck on a limb overhanging a waterfall…..which would indicate that Togepi died because that’s a nasty drop and Meowth and Togepi fell at the same time, but of course we know the little egg’s not scrambled.

Pikachu asks if Elekid knows where Togepi is and Elekid leads them someplace.

Dear God, the animation is horrible; and it’s in this scene with the Pokemon in the trees that you really start noticing. We just get like 15 seconds of seeing Pokemon in trees standing completely still while making Pokemon calls as we move through them…..and they’re all paper cutout ‘animations’. Not deliberately like how Kare Kano sometimes used crayon drawings and cutout animation to be funny; this is just really, really, really lazy animation. Most of what you see behind the trees is either pure black or more trees, which just adds to the laziness.

Elekid leads them across a vine bridge and we actually learn something about one of the Pokemon; Squirtle’s really afraid of heights. Not scared enough to not do it, but he’s holding onto the vine with his ‘hands’ and feet instead of just walking across like everyone else did.

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Elekid leads them to the section of the giant tree world with nests of Exeggcute eggs, and we see that Togepi is perfectly fine in one of the nests……..how he got there….or what the unholy hell Exeggcute are doing in tree branches like bird eggs is beyond me, but there it is.

Exeggcute don’t ‘hatch’ or evolve into birds….why are they in nests on tree branches? Why are they in nests period? They’re not Pokemon eggs. They’re egg Pokemon. There’s a difference. We already know at this point that Pokemon come from eggs anyway. Hence the Togepi. So why not just make up some random Pokemon eggs and put them in the nests? It would make more sense and it’s not that hard.

Pikachu and the others try to retrieve Togepi, but the Exeggcute in the nest won’t let him go. They’re missing one of the their eggs so they’ve adopted Togepi as one of their own. Pikachu and the others then embark on a journey to find the missing Exeggcute egg to get Togepi back.

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They arrive at some oasis and some debuting Bellosom along with every other Pokemon in the oasis start doing a random dance number out of nowhere. Because….padding? I mean….I have no problem with this little number….except we get ANOTHER Pokemon misidentification since 4Kids makes a Poliwhirl repeatedly say ‘PoliWRATH’ and it’s just pointless.

They run into a cave because Pikachu senses a disturbance in the force and finds a bunch of Clefairy hopping around like fleas. He freaks out because he knows they’re doing Metronome and if Togepi’s taught us anything, that move nearly always results in Explosion.

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So the cave explodes and sends the group + Elekid flying off, and they land on a bunch of insanely convenient leaf-springs….I’m not kidding, they’re leaves with huge springs on the bottom that I guess just grow that way. Huh, I had no idea Tigger had a green thumb.

Pikachu and Elekid hop all over the springs and – goddamn this short is so boring. I am well aware that these shorts are aimed at an even younger audience than the TV show – as in the kinds of fans who just want to see the Pokemon being cute instead of being interested in battles or plot, but damn this is some boring short. Nothing’s happening. Just a bunch of random nothing. Random dance numbers, random leaf springs, random Meowth appearance, random explosions, random random.

At least the last short was interesting due to the rivalry between the main group and the bullies. It made for some funny and memorable moments. This is just harmless boredom in a can. You know what I thought was the most boring and vapid part of the first short? Taking care of Togepi. So now we’ve based our main plot on that boring side plot. It’s already resolved too. Sure, Exeggcute are keeping it hostage, but Pikachu and the others have already found Togepi and have more than enough muscle to just take it away. The only reason this short is continuing is because Pikachu and the others are too nice to take Togepi away from the Exeggcute.

Cut back to Meowth who is still stuck in the tree. However, Pikachu and Elekid fly out of the trees and crash into Meowth, knocking him off the branch and into the waters way way way way below…..but don’t worry. It’s water. And we all learned in every movie ever, including Pokemon movie 01, that landing in any body of water from any height means the fall is survivable.

They also somehow grab onto a Gyarados who tries to climb up the waterfall. Meowth tries to kick Pikachu away for whatever reason and this prompts Pikachu to use Thundershock. Since Gyarados sucks due to it’s 4x weakness to electricity, the shock causes them all to fall/fly off, which makes them land in a Snorlax’s belly (did they just rip off the first short?) and Snorlax slingshots them out of his fat and makes Meowth ‘blast off’.

I’m just now realizing, there’s a crapton of the Pokemon just being flung around random places in this short.

Immediately afterward, a bunch of insanely dark storm clouds charge into the sky when no indication of bad weather has appeared in the slightest until now. I swear, it comes on so suddenly that it’s almost like Mewtwo was back to his old tricks again…In fact….I’d say this storm actually comes on faster than Mewtwo’s, which is just baffling.

The resulting wind causes the Exeggcute nests to start flying around, and the Pokemon try to save them. Geez, the bad animation is really highlighted during the storm. That tree is just awful. Fade animation and hastily painted stills? That’s the best we can do, huh?

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More Pokemon come to help, and I find it funny that one of the Pokemon that arrives in the nick of time to help is a Slowpoke. I have nothing against Slowpoke, it’s one of the more entertaining Pokemon (though Slowking can bite me…Eh, I’ll save that for the feature presentation) but I just find it weird that one of the Pokemon who rushed to the scene to help in a clinch was a SLOWpoke.

I also find it funny that a Wigglytuff is helping Pikachu. Yes, I’m so sure the BALLOON POKEMON would be a great asset in a wind storm.

Snorlax tries to block the wind with his body, but the lightning becomes a problem as it strikes the tree and causes a branch to nearly fall on the Pokemon.

In an effort to repel the lightning, Elekid and Pikachu match the lightning bolt for bolt, but they miss a particularly powerful one that causes the tree to catch fire. Fear not, though, Marill and Squirtle are here to save the day.

Once the fire’s out, the wind picks up some more and the nest with Exeggcute and Togepi starts flying away. All of the group’s Pokemon plus a few others from the forest, including Snorlax who keeps getting the focus set to him for some reason even though he has no character (Cubone syndrome I guess. It’s not even like this is Ash’s Snorlax, it’s a wild one). He tries to hold on, but gets distracted by apples flying by and lets go of the Pokemon. Pikachu tries to hang on, but can’t. However, Snorlax comes back to save the day. Yay, the reason we were about to die in the first place has saved us, yay!

Snorlax reels them all in and, I’m just now realizing that considering the fact that this short has made a point of saying that you can be flung thousands of feet through the air and always land without harm, it seems kinda stupid to have this ‘keep Togepi and Exeggcute from being flung thousands of feet through the air’ plotline.

The instant that Togepi and the others are safe, the sky clears up. Because there’s nothing else to do with this storm plot. Geez, look at how quickly those clouds went away. Were they late for an appointment?

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Pretty rainbow and sudden Dragonair flying by indicate that all is well. Pikachu and the others reunite with Togepi who still won’t get left alone by Exeggcute. A Chansey comes by and reveals that the egg it had in its pouch was the missing Exeggcute egg….Well, where’s Chansey’s egg? Why was it in there to begin with? Did it sneak in there without Chansey’s knowledge? Did Chansey steal it? What just happened?

The Exeggcute reunite and hop happily on a leaf stone, turning them into Exeggcutor. I would say this was completely random, but earlier there was a shot where Psyduck gets hit in the head with a rock and you can see for a second that it’s a leaf stone. Still fairly random, but they did foreshadow it, I suppose.

Pikachu and the others bid farewell to the other Pokemon and head back to Ash, Misty and Not-Brock. Cut back to Meowth who did nothing whatsoever during this entire short. He’s floating down a stream and he tells us that he never wants to go to camp again. Oh that’s why he was alone I guess. Wait, what camp? There was a camp in there? Or did he mean ‘camping’? Ah, who cares?

Cut back to Ash, Misty and Not-Brock who are waking up from their nap….It’s nearing night time now….they slept all day? Also, how far away were Pikachu and the others? They couldn’t have been that far considering they went there, did all of that stuff and then came back before Ash and Co. woke up, yet they didn’t seem to weather that huge friggin’ storm or even hear it off in the distance? They must be deaf in addition to blind.

They see the Pokemon playing in the water and assume they must’ve been playing the entire time. Pikachu hops up in the air with the group and they freeze frame like we’re in a cheesy 80’s movie. The End.

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Bottomline: That….was boring. Even the stuff with the storm wasn’t all that exciting. I laughed several times in Pikachu’s Summer Vacation yet it seems like they weren’t even trying to be entertaining in this short. What a waste of time. No wonder I don’t remember it. I guess if you have really little kids this would hold their attention through a couple of playthroughs just because the Pokemon are doing cute things, but for anyone else it’s incredibly boring.

Recommended Audience: E for everyone! Or Exeggcute. Whatever.

Pokemon Episode 22 Analysis: Abra and the Psychic Showdown

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Gym Leader: Sabrina – ‘Blessed’ with intense psychic powers from birth, Sabrina’s been obsessed with honing her powers since she was very young, even pushing her parents away to reach more power. Her true personality has split in two; a stoic and cold woman who loves playing with her opponents, and a happy little child who loves ‘playing’ with her opponents. Despite the ‘real’ Sabrina seeming ruthless and almost inhuman, deep down, she truly just desires to make a connection with a real friend.

Reappear?: Yes, due to this being a failed Gym attempt. She makes an appearance in the episode after the next in the rematch.

Pokemon: Abra. It quickly evolves into a Kadabra. Later, she obtains a Haunter, technically.

Badge:

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Ash has a failed Gym Attempt this episode and does not get the Marsh badge.

CotD(s): Sabrina’s father – Never given a proper name, Sabrina’s father is where Sabrina got her psychic abilities. His psychic abilities, however, are not nearly as powerful as Sabrina’s. He wishes for Sabrina to go back to being the happy little girl he knows she is, so he tries to help Ash both defeat her and bring out her smile.

Plot: Ash, Misty and Brock are lost in the woods, again, on their way to Saffron City. In the dead of night, a little girl appears and runs away. Ash tries to follow her to get directions, but finds himself falling off of a cliff. He quickly saves himself with Bulbasaur, and before the group can find out where the little girl went, they spot Saffron City in the distance.

As they enter the city, they’re met with noisemakers and two people dressed in Hawaiian outfits claiming they’ve won prizes as the Millionth visitors to Saffron City. As they’re lead into a building, the duo reveals themselves to be Team Rocket and snatches Pikachu away from them. As they try to get him back, Jessie pushes the three onto a warp tile which teleports them into an enclosed room.

As they gloat to Ash and the others through a TV feed, Team Rocket finds themselves facing the same little girl from earlier. She seems to freeze the duo and takes Pikachu back, returning him to his friend. Revealing herself to be more than meets the eye, the girl teleports the group outside of the room and right in front of the Saffron City Gym.

A mysterious man points out where they are and tells Ash to skip this Gym if he really wants to make it into the Pokemon League before disappearing just as soon as he appeared.

Not deterred, Ash confidently goes into the Gym and finds that it also houses some strange psychic training center. A mildly psychic man leads them into the arena and the group is slightly frightened when Sabrina scolds him with a psychic assault.

Ash is surprised to see the little girl from before on the Gym Leader seat, and is even more surprised to find that the little girl is with a beautiful woman who bears a striking resemblance to the little girl. They agree to a match on one condition; if Ash loses, they have to be Sabrina’s friends and play with her. Ash, thinking it’s a silly harmless promise, agrees.

Sabrina lets out her Abra and Ash sends out Pikachu. Despite Abra being asleep, it can use its Psychic abilities and teleports away from Pikachu’s attacks. In the middle of the match, Abra evolves into Kadabra and psychically pummels Pikachu, even sending its own attacks against it.

Seeing Pikachu being utterly steamrolled, Ash calls off the match. Having lost, the little girl says they have to hold up their end of the bargain now and teleports them to a strange deserted town. As they look around they realize that the food is fake and the few people they are able to find are dolls. They come to the conclusion that Sabrina has shrunken them and put them into a play town filled with dollhouses.

The normal sized Sabrina starts to try to grab at them, and the little girl walks into the town with her ball and nearly squashes them with it. However, the mysterious man from before suddenly teleports into the town and teleports them back to Saffron City, turning them back to normal size as well.

The man again warns Ash and the others not to challenge Sabrina or else they will be lost to her toy box forever. Ash refuses to give up, but the man humiliates Ash by using his abilities to force Ash to dance with his pants down. He states that his psychic powers are in no comparison to Sabrina, and if Ash can’t beat him what hope does he have against Sabrina? Despite this, Ash continues to beg the man for help in beating Sabrina, and the man continues a psychic assault on Ash to get him to realize the weight of the situation and just go home.

Despite the pain, Ash is determined to beat Sabrina and continues to beg the man for help. Impressed by his resolve, the man lets up and gives Ash a word of advice; the only Pokemon strong against Psychic types, besides other Psychic types, are Ghost Pokemon, and he should obtain one from Lavender Town.

Accepting his advice, the man leaves and Ash sets out for Lavender Town to get a new Ghost Pokemon who will hopefully help beat Sabrina and earn him a Marsh Badge.

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– Lisa Ortiz voices Sabrina here. Now, she’s not making my ears bleed as adult Sabrina, but she is as that little girl. Especially when she does that horrible giggle. Even worse because the little girl needs a higher pitched voice. I still have criticism on her selection as the VA for adult Sabrina, however, because she does not sound right sometimes. I know adult Sabrina is supposed to be cold and emotionless, and Lisa Ortiz has these moments where she confuses cold and emotionless for bored.

Though, I will concede and say Ms. Ortiz does a pretty good job with her. I wish she’d used a much more toned down voice more often…

– It’s now in canon that James has kissed Ash. Get to work yaoi fanfiction writers!

– I give Ash props for finally being skeptical of sudden odd things that seem like scams, and then I take them away for falling for it anyway.

– Hey a warp tile! Neat.

– I might be able to forgive Ash for still thinking that he was a prize winner after he was warped away if not for the fact that 1) his Pikachu was stolen by the people who told them about the prize, 2) they were obviously Team Rocket and 3) He’s a dumbass.

– Heheheh, Ash acknowledges that Jessie and James kissed him.

– Hehehehe, Ash didn’t realize until they got out of those costumes that they were Team Rocket…..wait that’s not funny. That’s sad.

– Hah! Alright, they made up for it with the gag of them drinking tea as Team Rocket does their motto.

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– This is just more Team Rocket Stupidity They successfully caught Pikachu and trapped Ash and Co. to keep them from following for at least a very long time. So what do they do? Do they run? Hide? Go to Giovanni? Nope. They gloat to the group through a TV feed and even reveal that they could potentially get out of that room through the warp tile they came in on….

– Masked Psychic Guy: “You can’t control a Psychic Pokemon without telekinesis.” That is not true. At all. In the slightest.

– I agree with Misty and Brock, that display of ‘strength’ by Ash (struggling to physically bend a spoon) was just embarrassing.

– The random bar codes in the Pokedex return.

– And again on Kadabra.

– Man this is the second time Ash has had to stop a match because Pikachu was just being beaten way too badly. The Indigo days were rough.

– Brock: “She must’ve used her telekinesis to shrink us!” Actually, Brock, telekinesis only allows you to move items with your mind. To transform something into another through psychic powers is transmutation.

– Nice technical nudity by the doll in the bathtub. How’d that escape 4Kids’ censors?

– And we see Ash in his undies? Asleep at the editing wheel, guys?

– Okay, this ending, and subsequently the next episode and rematch are rife with technical problems. First of all, this whole ‘must get a Ghost type to beat Sabrina’ thing is fueled by several factors. The first of which being that Ash cannot, supposedly, catch and use a Psychic type Pokemon because they state that Psychic types can only be tamed by people with Psychic powers, which is not true and will continue to prove to be untrue throughout the series.

Second, Ghosts are not, in fact, strong against Psychic types in this Generation – they actually have no effect on Psychic type Pokemon in this Generation. This isn’t really so much the writers’ faults as it is just a mess of problems involving the game. In the game, it was originally slated for Ghost types to be strong against Psychic types, but a problem in the coding instead made them immune to Ghosts. I guess they just never played the games and went off of some notes from the original programming team or something.

Like originally planned, Ghosts were made strong against Psychic types in Generation II and onward, but the writers didn’t even get the right memo there because they decide to stick to what the first Generation sent out and later made an episode in Johto, Girafarig’s debut, where they think they ‘fix’ their initial mistake by having the town’s whole schtick being Psychic types always beating Ghost types as almost a duty in doing so. Oops.

Third, there is another Pokemon, one that is way easier to obtain, that is strong against Psychic types……Bug types. Sure, there are few Bug type moves in Gen I, but it’s still a viable and much easier option.

To be honest, one of Ash’s best Pokemon for this battle chose a really horrible time to get laid. Butterfree is both a Bug type and can use Psychic moves if taught.

Finally, why does Ash not ask how Gary and the other three Pallet trainers made it through Sabrina? We know they came through here and that they must’ve beaten her without using Psychic types since none of them are, supposedly, psychic.

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I’ve always really liked this episode, and I still do. The main glaring weakness is Team Rocket’s part (what a shock) but mostly because that took up so much of the first half. I guess it wasn’t a total waste since it showed little Sabrina helping them, giving a glimpse into Sabrina’s kinder side.

But I love the Psychic battle, Sabrina’s an awesome and intimidating trainer, the plot with her family is interesting and left as an intentional cliffhanger to be resolved in the redux of this battle, Sabrina’s personality splitting into two beings is very interesting, and the dollhouse thing was an awesome way of showing Sabrina’s power and her odd yet sad desire to merely have some friends to play with. Her habit of turning her failed opponents into dolls is both sadistic yet a legitimate effort to quell her loneliness. I do have to wonder why the dollhouse is so empty, though. Does she just not get many opponents or does her dad save them all?

It’s nice to finally have a failed Gym attempt where the rematch is not in the same episode, though I’ve always been very uneasy about how he actually ends up winning the Marsh Badge.

But enough about that, it’s time for Ash to friggin’ die! Next episode is the Tower of Terror where Ash visits the most depressing town in the game to enter the most depressing building in the game where the most depressing and memorable story of the game is conveyed….or he could screw off with a bunch of Ghosts for 20 minutes. That’s fine too.

Pokemon Shorties: Pikachu’s Summer Vacation Review

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Rating: 7/10

Plot: Pikachu and all of Ash, Misty and Brock’s Pokemon are on vacation in a local park designed for Pokemon only. Pikachu is tasked with watching Togepi, but while he tries to keep Togepi from crying, a group of rowdy and rude Pokemon start making trouble with him Squirtle and Bulbasaur.

Breakdown: The movies had a tradition of putting a short film, starring Pikachu and usually not including the human characters for the most part, before each theatrical movie. This tradition doesn’t exist today and seems to have stopped around movie 06, but there are many Pokemon shorts out there still being made to this day either for no reason or special occasions.

I’ve always been kinda blasé about the shorts. They’re usually cute and harmless, but they’re not particularly interesting. Sometimes, the shorts are used to introduce new Pokemon from the next gen as teasers. For example, Marill and Snubbull being in this short, Elekid and Bellossom being in the second etc. Once you’re introduced to that generation, though, there’s really no hook anymore. These shorts are usually enjoyable, I just can’t say I’m particularly in love with any of them.

I won’t do a sub/dub comparison of the short because the one on Dogasu’s Backpack is already pretty thorough. That being said, the two main changes between the dubbed version and the subbed seem to be the change in narrator and the lack of end credits, which were removed because 4Kids didn’t want people walking out of the theater thinking the movie was over. Though that may seem dumb, apparently it actually was an issue with parents even without the credits, and their children had to tell them that the movie was just coming up after the short…wow.

Another reason I won’t compare these shorts is mostly because, well, I can’t. Many of them aren’t readily available in both subbed (or just raw Japanese) and dubbed versions. Heck, on a good handful I had to deal with them being in Spanish and I think one’s in Russian. Also, there’s not entirely much point. These shorts consist of 99% Pokemon antics while the humans are away for nearly all of the short. Unless you’re noting music changes, which I tend not to bother with, there’s usually not much there to compare anyway. You can pretty much guess what they’re saying in the scenes with the humans if the short isn’t in English.

Bulbagarden’s comparison can be found here http://dogasu.bulbagarden.net/comparisons/movies/mini_vacation.html

Without further ado, the short that accompanied Pokemon Movie 01, Pikachu’s (Summer) Vacation! As a note; I am working off of the English dubbed version of this short.

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Ash, Misty and Brock are dropping off their Pokemon at some Pokemon park for the day to have a short break while they go off and do whatever.

We quickly get the title screen and our opening song “I Need a Vacation,” which is a fairly lame song, but I’d be lying if I didn’t say that, despite going years between viewings of this short, I still get this song stuck in my head randomly.

The whole opening is just them letting out their Pokemon and the Pokemon walking into the park. Charizard is looking creepily happy through the whole thing, too. It’s just so odd to see him smiling so much.

We hear our narrator and, no, it’s not our regular TV series narrator….It’s Dexter.

I wish. I mean Dexter, the Pokedex….How is this even working? Ash LEFT. How is the Pokedex recording and studying Pikachu and the others if it’s not there?

According to the comparison, the original had a nice motherly lady narrator. Quite the drastic change.

The Pokemon rush off to have fun while Pikachu, Squirtle, Bulbasaur and Togepi stay behind…..because no one….likes…Pidgeotto. Pidgeotto does appear in this short, in the opening and later when they’re trying to help Charizard. That’s it. It does nothing besides that. What do the writers have against poor Pidgeotto?

Anyway, Togepi’s hungry so it starts crying. Pikachu cheers it up a bit by making funny faces. Squirtle pushes Pikachu out of the way and tries to help by making faces too, but it just upsets Togepi. Pikachu goes back to making more faces, but to no avail this time.

Squirtle, defeated, goes off and spots an apple in a tree. They get Bulbasaur to cut it down using its Razor Leaf, but before they can grab it, Psyduck grabs it and eats it in one bite……Holy crap. Psyduck doesn’t even have teeth!

Togepi continues to cry and Bulbasaur decides to cheer it up by grabbing it with its Vine Whip and singing to Togepi as it rocks it back and forth. It quickly cheers Togepi up, and I do have to say this is an adorable scene. Togepi kinda annoys me (useless, annoying, deus ex machina) but this is still a cute scene.

Oh yeah, in this short anyway we get these somewhat odd transitions that showcase certain Pokemon going across the screen…..The first is this trippy Bellsprout one where we get mirror images of a Bellsprout and odd earthy music as it slowly comes into frame and says its name over and over…..It’s….weird.

Cut to Togepi sleeping on a…rock-chair? As we see the others are breathing a sigh of relief that Togepi’s fine now….It’s still hungry. You’re never going to find a way to feed it? What piss poor Pokemon park where Pokemon are meant to be by themselves the entire time doesn’t have any food source around?

However, the silence is disturbed by four unfamiliar Pokemon; a Cubone, a Marill, a Snubbull and a Raichu, also known as “far superior Pikachu.”

The laughter and whatnot is causing Togepi to stir in its sleep, so Pikachu tries to tell them to please keep it down. But this upsets the unruly Pokemon. As they get louder, Togepi wakes up, which draws Squirtle and Bulbasaur to face off against the group.

Pikachu doesn’t want to fight and Dexter says that Pikachu’s saying “We should set a good example for the baby!”…..Wait, what!? Dexter knows how to translate Pokemon speech?! How!? And doesn’t that create a big plothole for that stupid Sunflora episode where they needed Meowth to translate what was wrong with the Sunflora? Doesn’t that create a big plothole period?

Whatever. Togepi starts to wander off and we see it about to crawl across a log bridge and Pikachu takes chase.

We get another weird transition where we see all of the Water Pokemon underwater, not moving, as they just pan upwards. Magikarp then blows bubbles in our faces and it’s the next scene.

Well, technically it’s the same scene because we just cut back to Pikachu chasing Togepi on the log.

While chasing down Togepi on the log, the log starts to roll. Pikachu starts freaking out, but Togepi just finds it fun. Pikachu falls into the river below and watches the log roll and fall into the water also. No worries, though, Togepi…magically jumped off the log and made it safely to the other side of the river off-camera.

We then get the awesome Slowpoke transition. It’s just Slowpoke saying its name but drawing out the ‘Slow’ part but it’s my favorite transition of the short. There’s just something about it.

Meanwhile, Squirtle and Snubbull have a ‘see how far we can puff our chests out for no reason’ contest, but Squirtle loses and the other Pokemon laugh at him.

Bulbasaur then squares off against Snubbull by instigating a staring contest but wins by making Snubbull dizzy by spinning its eyes round and round…..it’s a little freaky now that I think about it.

Things start getting out of hand again, and Marill and Squirtle face off as Pikachu and Togepi return.

We get a Primeape transition, which is pretty okay. It’s just a bunch of grunting to rhythmic music, but it’s catchy.

Cut to a big pool where Marill and Squirtle are prepping to have a race. It’s here where Dexter starts getting irritating. I can tell what’s going on from watching. It’s not complicated, and I don’t need to know these insipid tidbits about Pokemon that are also obvious. Shut up!

The race is about to start, using an Electrode’s explosion as the starting gun. Love how happy Electrode seems afterward. Like ‘Heheh, guys did you see that? Awesome.’

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Accompanying the race is a pop song ‘Catch Me if You Can.’ Again, lame pop-ish song, but it’s still a bit of an earworm.

I find this race to be the best part of this short. There are all sorts of funny moments.

Marill and Squirtle are neck and neck at first, but Marill gets a bit of a lead by diving underwater. However, this leads him to bump into a Starmie who Water Guns him back into a wall. Squirtle gains the lead as his friends cheer behind him. I love this shot.

From Raichu’s expression to the fact that they somehow have a Squirtle flag, this shot is just awesome.

Squirtle gains the lead, but is suddenly sent backwards as a Goldeen swims under him….I’m not sure if this is Misty’s Goldeen, but I like to think so. “This is what you get for eating up all the Water-Pokemon screentime, you ass!”

Squirtle tries its hardest to regain his lead, but when he reaches the wall, Marill has not only already won, he got up on top of the wall to celebrate with the others. This is weird, because like half a second before he hits the wall, you can see Bulbasaur and the others still cheering and smiling. Why would they be doing that if it lost so badly that Marill actually had time to climb up onto the wall and start celebrating?

And HEY LOOK A TANGELA! I love Tangela! Too bad it gets featured in the show about as much as Porygon.

You’ll also notice, on the balloon is Jigglypuff and his signature microphone. He’s not announcing anything, but he’s there as an unnoticeable cameo.

We then get an Exeggutor and Oddish transition that is boring.

Cut back to the two groups still harboring extremely harsh tensions. Raichu tries intimidation by making sparks come out of his cheeks, but this scares Togepi and makes him start to cry. Pikachu tries to pacify Togepi, but Raichu shocks him and Togepi while they all laugh….Why is Raichu always made out to be a prick? First Lt. Surge’s Raichu now this. Raichu doesn’t show up much in the show, yet it seems like he’s consistently made out to be an ass in every appearance.

This pisses Pikachu off, so he challenges Raichu. They stick their cheeks together while making sparks and….somehow get stuck-ish or something, I don’t know, magnetism or something? And they start running together at high speeds while not caring about who or what they’re plowing into in the process.

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We get a Diglett/Dugtrio transition that’s less boring than the last one, but still not entertaining.

Cut to somewhere else in the park where Meowth, Arbok and Weezing are also on vacation….Wow, how convenient. I’d say they were taking a note from Ash and the others, but if they knew Ash and the others just let out their Pokemon in some open area and LEFT FOR HOURS, you’d think they’d see this as a huge opportunity to steal Pikachu as well as the rest of their Pokemon. Hell this park as a whole seems unmonitored by humans. Team Rocket may actually have a shot of stealing stuff here.

Also, where are Lickitung and Victreebel? Do they get no vacation?

Raichu and Pikachu plow through them and continue running when we get a Farfetch’d transition. They plow through a Hitmonlee and Hitmonchan who are training before we get a Chansey transition.

Cut to Charizard who is napping. Raichu and Pikachu run over its tail, which causes it to chase after the two. When they start taking the lead, Charizard starts treating it like a race. When it runs out in front, it cheers and flaps its wings, which causes Raichu and Pikachu to be knocked off the cliff. They fall into the belly of a Snorlax and land on the ground, only to have Snorlax roll over and crush them. They get out, but quickly fall over as they’re too exhausted to go on.

However, Charizard’s hopped up and starts causing chaos. He flies a few inches above the group to pick on them, but doesn’t watch where he’s going and crashes into some of the nearby play…things and gets his head stuck in a pipe.

Charizard’s roaring in panic, and Meowth, who has moved with Arbok and Weezing to a cliff directly above the pipe, tells Charizard to be quiet. But he’s rewarded by Charizard Flamethrowering in the pipe, which is redirect upwards through another pipe, burning Meowth’s face.

We then get a weird Magnemite transition that is constantly fading to black while adding more Magnemite to the picture.

We finally see the rest of Ash, Misty’s and Brock’s Pokemon show up with a rope to try to pull Charizard free. They try their hardest, but Charizard stomps his foot down and causes the other to fall down.

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Aww, look at Vulpix helping! ❤

The other group laughs at them and Charizard starts crying…Not magical tears, mind you. Just regular ones.

Pikachu pleads with the other group for help and hey this might actually be one situation where a translation would’ve been somewhat helpful, but Dexter’s been asleep at the wheel since the swimming race. Maybe I hurt its feelings.

Raichu, Snubbull and Marill discuss if they should help them and they say yes, but Cubone refuses.

They give it another shot while Cubone watches. They try in vain to get Charizard out and Dexter decides to chime in again saying “Cubone has earned its classification as the ‘Lonely Pokemon’ by caring only about itself.”

…..Uhh….Noooooooooooo. Every damn Pokedex entry for Cubone states that it’s called the ‘Lonely Pokemon’ because its mother was killed by Team Rocket or simply died shortly after it was born. In its sorrow, it wears the skull of its mother on its head. There’s also several depressing notes such as the skull having stains on it due to Cubone’s tears and crying as it sees the likeness of its mother in the moon. Don’t BS a different explanation as to why he’s the ‘Lonely Pokemon’ just because….because…I actually have no idea why. 4Kids is just a prick.

Cubone eventually decides to help and they manage to get Charizard unstuck….I still don’t get this. Cubone hasn’t done anything but laugh and cheer this entire short but suddenly the fate of Charizard rests on its shoulders? Also, I love how a Cubone makes the difference here. Cubone barely has hands. An Onix…..AN ONIX is helping them, yet a Cubone makes all the difference in getting Charizard free.

Getting Charizard unstuck causes Pikachu and the others to fly backwards while Charizard and Psyduck (who keeps making everything more funny) go off in an entirely different direction for some reason….How would that work?

Meowth gets angry at the noise again and this time he wants to shut them up with a bomb or I guess it would be a ‘blaster ball’. However, Charizard and Psyduck land on Meowth, causing the bomb to blow up on Meowth instead.

The other Pokemon cheer that they got Charizard unstuck and decided to fix what’s left of the park together.

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Dexter says his analysis concludes that Pokemon are kind creatures by nature and prefer cooperation to confrontation….Okay, look, you can’t say ALL Pokemon are kind by nature. That’s just not true. And they LEARNED that cooperation is better after working together towards a common goal and putting their differences aside. Plenty of Pokemon love to fight and compete and some are actually assholes.

Also, Charizard is again happily helping the others with a big smile….Is it only a little brat when Ash is around? I mean, the only time it’s been mean here is when Pikachu and Raichu stepped on his tail and that’s understandable. Does Charizard just choose to be an ass when Ash is around because he dislikes him for one of the many reasons Ash is awful?

We get a pretty cute Jigglypuff transition before cutting back to the Pokemon having fun in the park. We see Charizard again happily playing with the others by letting them try to seesaw with him by jumping on one end of the board while he smiles and lays there.

Dexter’s final note is that “despite former uncertainties, Pokemon vacations are highly recommended.” What uncertainties? Just the fact that they ran into some douchey Pokemon? Welcome to life, Dexter.

Dexter deactivates, and we cut to all of the Pokemon watching the sunset. Ash calls out for Pikachu (and only Pikachu, of course) to come back because it’s time to leave. Misty calls out Goldeen, Staryu and Psyduck….and oddly enough she doesn’t call for Togepi….what the hell? Brock calls out for ALL of his Pokemon because I guess he’s the only one who cares. As the others leave, Pikachu stops and turns back to say farewell to the other group. He shakes Snubbull’s paw, which is weird. Shouldn’t he have shaken Raichu’s paw? Raichu was Pikachu’s main rival here, and he’s seemingly the leader of this group. Snubbull was Bulbasaur’s rival and Marill was Squirtle’s.

Oh whatever, Pikachu reunites with Ash and the short ends.

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Bottomline: Despite Dexter being somewhat intrusive, this is a really good start to the Pokemon shorts. I wish we had gotten to see more of the Pokemon we just don’t get to see very often like Goldeen, Zubat, Geodude and Pidgeotto, but they have to make the main ones the frontrunners….

Recommended Audience: It’s Pokemon. The most offensive we get here……I can’t even make a comparison joke, it’s that tame. The shorts always seem to be aimed at an even younger audience than usual anyway.