Pokemon Shorties! (6) Gotta Dance!

Plot: Team Rocket has made a new base in a canyon, and they are throwing a party there for Giovanni to impress him. Jessie and James leave Meowth in charge while they go invite Giovanni. Meowth uses this time to rehearse his music and dance number with three captive maraca-playing Whismur. He forces them and the Team Rocket alum to dance using a magic baton…..In a world with sentient serial killer lawnmowers, please refrain from laughing.

Pikachu and some of the other Pokemon stumble upon this and try to save Whismur, but the power of dance is too much to resist.

Breakdown: Ladies and gentlemen, the last short to accompany a Pokemon movie….for a long while anyway. I think they might have started doing it again, I’m not certain.

They continued to make shorts throughout the years, but this was the last short to be included with a Pokemon movie. I don’t know why they ended this trend as I thought it was pretty nice to have these shorts alongside the movies, but what can you do?

Like the last one, I have no prior knowledge or experience involving this short. Pokemon Movie 06 was the first Pokemon movie that I only just caught on TV when it played on Cartoon Network. This was probably due to the fact that the movie came out right at that moment in time when I really didn’t care much for Pokemon anymore because it was the post-Misty days. I was more into Digimon, Yu-Gi-Oh and whatever I could get my hands on with Toonami and Adult Swim.

While I did keep watching Pokemon off and on, I was bitter because Misty was gone, and I didn’t take to May much. I especially didn’t like Max, which may make the rewatch of the movie annoying….But I digress. What awaits us in this short? Hopefully a DDR contest.

As always, the link to Dogasu’s Backpack’s comparison can be found here.

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Lotad, Pikachu, Torchic, Mudkip and Treecko are playing around in a tree as Meowth narrates over them. He muses over their frivolity and says he wishes he could be that way, but music recently ruined his life.

I still have no idea why A) These Pokemon are wandering around in the woods alone with no sign of their Trainers and B) why it’s only these five Pokemon. I don’t know their rosters at this point well enough to list off everyone who’s missing, but considering there’s only five here, they’re likely missing a lot. Ash’s Pokemon are Pikachu and Treecko, Brock’s are Lotad and Mudkip, while May’s is merely Torchic.

The Pokemon all get flung through the air by springing on the awful CGI tree branch because we’re really vying for ‘Pokemon flinging’ to be an Olympic sport.

I love how Treecko won’t get out of his laid back pose as they’re flung through the air. Such a bad ass.

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They continue falling after the ground breaks below them and they all slam into a boulder. No worries, though, because they slam through it and leave marks behind in the exact shape of their bodies like Looney Tunes.

The horrendous CGI rock falls apart – seriously guys, just draw it. It’s a rock.

They look up and see some fort embedded into the cliffside. It’s decorated to look like dice for whatever reason.

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Narration from Meowth says it’s Team Rocket’s new headquarters and they were about to show it off to Giovanni when his story began. A base? What the hell do you guys need a base for? You travel all the time because you follow DumbAsh and the superfriends to get Pikachu. More importantly, why would Giovanni be happy that you’re wasting funds on building a clubhouse?

They’re preparing a big party for their boss at the base, complete with an ice sculpture of Giovanni. Jessie and James, who remain mostly out of frame in line with the usual ‘no humans’ law of the shorts, depart to retrieve Giovanni and leave Meowth in charge. He takes this opportunity to rehearse with the band, a trio of Whismur that play maracas.

He leads them with some stick that he says can control all Pokemon, forcing them to dance easil–WAIT…you guys have a stick that controls Pokemon…..and you think it’s more impressive to show Giovanni…..a fort painted like dice…….It’s really no wonder how much you guys fail.

We get our opener which is really forgettable and not really the most dancey or catchy song ever. There’s a noticeable lack of….well, music, and Meowth is the one singing….

One interesting aspect is, it’s almost like they knew this was going to be the last movie short because they show the Pokemon dancing in the main locations of all of the previous shorts. We get the Pokemon sign from the park in Pikachu’s Summer Vacation, the giant tree from Pikachu’s Rescue Adventure, the tire fort from Pikachu and Pichu, the mansion from Pikachu’s Pikaboo, and the train from Camp Pikachu.

After that, we get bad CGI dice (what is with the dice? Am I missing something?) and our title screen.

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The song soon ends, and Meowth gushes over his baton, imagining that Giovanni will be really impressed with it. I would say this makes my earlier poke moot, but he says he’ll be impressed with how it can make Pokemon dance, not how it would help……take over the world and everything. At least easily steal every Pokemon you see.

They continue to rehearse while we cut to the main group heading towards Duke Devlin’s wet dream.

Meowth and the others lock up the Whismur in a cage and Meowth says this:

Meowth: “You three wisenheimers….” Wisenheimers?! Wisenheimers?! My great-grandpa wouldn’t even use that in serious conversation. How old are you?

Pikachu and the others spy on Meowth and the Team Rocket Pokemon in the base as they walk away from the cage to get something to eat. They fall through the window after they leave because I guess Lotad’s another comic relief clumsy Pokemon.

They discover that the Whismur have been taken captive by Team Rocket, and they use Pikachu’s lightning, Torchic’s fire and Mudkip’s water to blow the lock off the cage………..which is entirely unnecessary seeing as how the only lock on that cage is an easily accessible lever that one of them would just need to push…..but why do that when you can make explosions while trying to perform a covert operation?

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The Pokemon hide as Meowth and the others investigate the noise. They discover the Whismur are missing and Meowth commands the others to find them. In the process, they knock Meowth over, causing him to drop his magic baton thing, sending it flying to the barrel that Treecko is hiding in and suddenly activates.

It plays music, and all of the Pokemon dance uncontrollably…wait….so…that stick really is only good for making Pokemon dance? What a dumb invention. I would take back my earlier comment, but if it can control these Pokemon to a degree, surely it can be reprogrammed to control them in other ways. But whatever, it will likely see the fate of the Dark Balls in ‘just forget it exists-land.’

I do love that Treecko’s doing everything in his power to not dance. I forgot how much I love that little guy.

During the dance, a Loudred that has been sleeping outside shows up to do some disco moves. Well thank god. Now someone do the macarena.

Treecko, in his efforts to avoid dancing, falls over, causing the baton to shut off.

Everyone stops dancing, and Meowth notices Pikachu and the others. They attack, but Pikachu and the others knock them all down with the barrels. And when that’s over they play a version of

Not even kidding.

A chase ensues, and the Team Rocket gang chases the Pika gang to the balcony. Pikachu tries to Thunderbolt them, but Wobbuffet Reflects it back, nearly knocking Mudkip off the tower. Treecko uses the baton to try and save Mudkip, and, in the process, it accidentally activates the stick, making everyone dance.

Mudkip is saved and joins the dancing. Their dancing, however, is causing the balcony to collapse and even makes the horrible CGI tower do a terribly animated fall into the river below. Well, at least we’re destroying most of this eye abusive CGI….

They’re about to dance off of the balcony and suddenly switch to a tango, making them walk onto a more sturdy part of the building while the barfy CGI balcony also breaks and falls.

They deactivate the stick again and start the chase back up.

They run into the party room and destroy it with the final blow being Cacnea using Pin Missile all over the room. This results in him destroying three pinata/party balls which revealed three banners with poorly drawn pictures of Giovanni on them…..Okay you got me, that was funny.

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So they’re destroying the base when Giovanni’s supposed to show up for a party eh? I smell sitcom-level shenanigans!

Meowth gets up and accidentally hits the baton again. He hits a button which changes it to hula mode, causing everyone to hula while covered in flowers.

It’s deactivated again rather quickly since one of the pinata/party balls falls on Meowth. They run off again, and I’m gonna take a moment to mention that whenever they end these dance sequences, they focus on the Loudred for a bit. Just long enough to be awkward, because much of the time he’s just staring with his giant mouth agape or he’s quietly saying his name. It’s unsettling.

You can see where this is going. They get chased, Meowth gets flung in the air, the baton falls on Wobbuffet’s head and they start dancing again.

The baton gets flung up again and gets stuck in some sand, for some reason causing it to short out. They make three quick cuts to Treecko, who’s still doing his damnedest to not dance, and I guess since the stick shorted out, he can’t take it anymore and goes dance crazy.

They keep dancing and dancing and dancing….I actually think they repeat animation shots a few times with the excuse that it goes with the music, roughly. They also speed up a shot.

They have to keep switching from speeding up to slowing down and we crescendo as the baton explodes.

Everyone stops dancing, but now Loudred is going nuts and attacking the Pokemon with a pipe. He corners them in a room, Seviper tries to attack, but is interrupted by Loudred’s pipe which breaks an important column in the base. The base rumbles and seems like it’s going to fall, but doesn’t. However, Lotad, a Pokemon I don’t remember being quite this irritating, sneezes, causing the whole place to come crumbling down.

Well, they’re dead.

Nah, of course they’re not. They’re just riding such a terrible looking CGI wooden platform that made my sides hurt from laughing at it.

This is just insanely crappy CGI, and it’s horribly integrated with the traditional animation. I don’t know why the CGI integration just keeps getting worse.

Their platform breaks in two, sending Pikachu and the others flying one way and Meowth and the others in another. Pikachu and friends are about to crash into a cliffside when Lotad decides not to be annoying for a change and Water Guns them away from it, allowing them to land safely.

Meowth and the others end up back in the now destroyed base and as it crumbles even further. We get another

It wasn’t funny the first time, stop it.

The end!

….Hey wait, what about Giovanni? That was a great set up for more sad trombone-y goodness.

Granted, I can’t imagine Giovanni would’ve bothered humoring these idiots anyway.

Also, that Loudred seriously wasn’t related to those Whismur? Why was it there then?

The credits again include those cute little fan art drawings of Pokemon. They also have Pikachu doing his impressions of the featured Pokemon, which I admittedly think is really funny. Then we have the Pokemon just doing random things.

Bottom Line: Well that was….something. What a random short. Pikachu and the others save some Whismur from Team Rocket and we get what is essentially a 20 minute long chase scene with really long dance sequences intertwined and then they destroy the place and fly away. That’s it.

The art and animation, like always, get a bump up in this short, except for the awful CGI integration.

The music, shockingly, is pretty poor for a short centered around dancing. The main song is completely forgettable and definitely not up to the catchy ear worm standards of 4Kids. I would dance to a lot of 4Kids songs and this is one I wouldn’t tap a toe to.

While I will admit that the short had its entertaining moments, such as Pikachu’s impressions, Treecko’s desire to avoid dancing as much as possible and some of the dances, there’s a lot wrong with it.

There’s so much padding. It’s almost like this short is nothing but padding, which, admittedly, is what most of these shorts are by default. The chase is padding, and the dancing, while being the focal part of the short, is basically just padding. It’s pointless dancing for the sake of ‘oh how funny! Pokemon dancing!’ It is entertaining a few times, and it made me smile once or twice, but it really gets old.

The sequences with Loudred were also pointless. They were causing enough destruction as it was, he didn’t need to be here. And those times when they lingered on him after a dance were just awkward.

Some of the ‘jokes’ like Lotad’s sneeze have poor timing, and I am forever perplexed as to how and why Meowth had a magic ‘force Pokemon to dance’ stick.

It’s probably the funniest short since the first one, but it’s too long for this non-existent story, very repetitive and, to be honest, poorly directed.

Well, we end the movie shorts on a mediocre note, but there’s still more shorts to cover! I just have to pick them out by my own discretion now. What will come for Movie 07?! Find out when it happens!

Recommended Audience: You need to ask? E for everyone!

Final notes:

………WHAT WAS UP WITH THE DICE!?

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WHAT DID DICE HAVE TO DO WITH ANYTHING? I DON’T GET IT!…….DICE!

Short 7: Pikachu’s Summer Festival


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Pokemon Shorties! (5) Camp Pikachu

Plot: It’s the return of the Pichu Bros., and they need help from Pikachu and the gang. They got knocked off of a train that was supposed to be taking them back to their home town, and they have to find their way back.

Breakdown: Well, now we’re treading into completely unfamiliar territory. Despite the fact that I’ve seen Pokemon Heroes a few times, I’ve never seen the accompanying short, Camp Pikachu.

I’ve only ever seen Pokemon Heroes On Demand, and for some reason the short that went with the movie was never included or offered separately. I never bought the movie on DVD, so Camp Pikachu became an unknown feature to me.

Should be interesting to tackle something I have no knowledge about thusfar, so let’s dive right in!

As always, you can find the Dogasu comparison to this short here.

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We start off with the Pichu Bros., apparently they’re becoming a recurring thing in the shorts now, riding on top of a train. The narrator tells us that they’re taking the train back to their hometown, but they hit some…hanging bag or something and end up flying back into the forest.

They fly into a tree branch that has a Wynaut on it and they all get flung into another direction—again with the flinging Pokemon. Why is this a weird running gag in Pokemon shorts?

We cut to Pikachu, Togepi, Psyduck, Corsola, Cyndaquil, Totodile and Phanpy playing by themselves in the forest. No idea where Ash, Misty and Brock are. Again. I also have no clue where all of the other Pokemon are, nor why none of Brock’s Pokemon are present here. Again. They just seem to pick and choose who gets to be in the shorts sometimes.

The Pichu Bros. and Wynaut land on Psyduck’s head, have a quick reunion with their old pal Pikachu and explain what happened. They need to get to the train station to find another train back to their hometown and we get our blech-y CGI wood title screen.

Be glad you didn’t get an animated gif version.

The gang starts their journey, and, if you ever wanted Pokemon to have a hoedown song, your dream’s about to come true!

I seriously can’t make heads to tails of this choice….Why a hoedown song? Did they immediately think ‘redneck’ when they thought of camping? I haven’t even seen any camping so far – they’re just walking through the woods.

I would almost say this song sequence is trippy. It’s just…it doesn’t seem like something Pokemon would have….ever…The singer saying the word ‘Pikachu’ in itself is so odd to me. Plus the banjo….I just…I feel weird.

Cut to Meowth and Wobbuffet who seem to be legit camping and are currently on a nature walk. I find it funny that the times when Team Rocket chooses to go on vacation or just not be around are during times when it would be insanely easy to catch Pikachu. They roll down a steep hill together, end scene.

Back with the Pokemon, they play around in a river for a bit with Totodile’s Water Gun, we cut to sunset when the Pokemon play with their shadows, and then we cut to night time when they have a nice campfire courtesy of Cyndaquil.

One of the Pichu Bros. spots something behind them and goes to investigate with Wynaut to find that it’s a Duskull. It scares Pichu for a minute until Wynaut reveals that it’s friends with Duskull.

Back at camp, a stick pokes the Tuffed-Haired Pichu Bro and he goes off to investigate only to be spooked and chased by Duskull. He chases Pichu into the camp, and the other Pichu and Wynaut pop up laughing to reveal it was all a joke. Those silly little rapscallions. Everyone else laughs along with them and we cut to later that night.

It starts downpouring, and they’re soon approached by a Volbeat who tells them how to stay out of the rain – by using big leaves as umbrellas.

Volbeat leads them to a water mill for a dry place to spend the night.

Meowth and Wobbuffet are also stuck in the rain, and they’re spooked by Duskull as well, causing them to tumble down a hill and into the water wheel. They take shelter in the water mill, which they believe is empty, but the other Pokemon are sleeping upstairs.

Meowth and Wobbuffet accidentally activate the water mill causing all sorts of hijinks and slapstick. During the chaos, Meowth and Wobbuffet get flung out of the water mill, into the water and flung off into the woods.

After more hijinks, Pikachu and Volbeat find the lever and shut off the mill.

The next morning, everyone wakes up, bids farewell to Volbeat and heads off for the train station.

Back with Meowth and Wobbuffet, they take out one cookie as their final food for the trip (Team Rocket is just awful at managing their food supply) and a Skarmory that appeared earlier grabs the cookie from them. However, Wobbuffet and Meowth grab onto it to get the cookie back and end up flying away on the Skarmory.

The group finds their way to the train station, but the train is already heading out. They toboggan down the hill on giant leaves and grab a handcar. Wynaut calls a bunch of its Wynaut friends out of nowhere to help them push the car.

Tuffed-Haired Pichu makes it onto the train, but the handcar starts losing speed and the other Pichu can’t make it on. They try to go faster, and Cyndaquil decides to use his Flamethrower off the back of the handcar to make them go faster. I’m pretty sure that doesn’t work that way. If it did, Cyndaquil would fly off whenever it would use that attack. At the very least, it’d fly off the handcar.

They start catching up, but Psyduck gets flung off the car and into the track switcher, which causes the handcar to go up a mountainside that still seems to roughly follow the train’s original tracks. While they’re on a bridge overlooking the train, Phanpy throws Pichu off towards the train, but all of the Pokemon end up flying off it as well. Totodile realizes that Pichu won’t quite make it, so he Water Guns him further towards the train.

Pichu reaches the train and reunites with his brother, the other Pokemon fall into a conveniently placed pile of hay, Meowth and Wobbuffet also land on the train, which I guess they needed to do, and the Pichu Bros wave goodbye to the gang.

Bottom Line: Well, that certainly was….boring. It’s not awful or even stupid….it’s just boring. I kinda regret writing out the whole synopsis because I barely had a note to say about it the entire time. The Pichu Bros. need to get on a train, so they go to the train and get on….that’s about it. It seems like these shorts are just increasingly becoming more and more of ‘watch cute Pokemon be cute, but do nothing.’

Is anyone else a little pissed that this short is called ‘Camp Pikachu’ and yet all of a minute and a half involve anything camping related? They had a campfire that they didn’t even really do anything at because the Pichu Bros. were too busy with Duskull. And….that’s it.

Even Pikachu didn’t do much in the short, which baffled me. He turned off the water mill with Volbeat, and that’s about it. Wynaut knew the way to the train station, Cyndaquil made them a fire, Volbeat gave them Leaf-brellas and shelter, Wynaut got its friends to help move the handcar, Cyndaquil made it go faster, Totodile launched Pichu at the end and Pikachu amounted to nothing for a change. Don’t get me wrong, that’s actually a breath of fresh air, but it’s weird.

Camp Pikachu has a severe lack of CAMP and PIKACHU.

We still never found out where Ash and the others are. Pikachu and the others have to be fairly far away from where they were left at this point since it took them over a day to get to the station, and they stayed overnight during the journey. Ash and the others are probably basket cases by now.

There wasn’t even a big conflict in this one. The first one had Charizard stuck in a pipe, the second one had the storm, the third had the tire fort thing, the fourth had the psychopathic lawnmower from hell and this one has….nothing. There are mini-conflicts but ultimately nothing.

There wasn’t even any funny parts except maybe Wynaut and Wobbuffet going back and forth like Psyduck and Slowpoke did back in the day.

The art and animation, at least for the Pokemon, was a step up, as it usually is, but the backgrounds and CGI suffer for it. The backgrounds look scratchy as hell, like a kid made them most of the time, and the CGI is just ick. Either it looks fake as hell or it looks overly realistic.

The music was weird, too. The concept of a Pokemon Hoedown still baffles me and the execution is awkward. The BG music and end credit music are forgettable.

Overall, like other shorts, this is probably good for a little kid to watch just to enjoy the cute Pokemon flying everywhere and doing cute things, but everyone else can pass.

Recommended Audience: If you’re not conceived yet, you can probably still watch this.

Short 6: Gotta Dance!


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Pokemon Shorties! (4) Pikachu’s Pikaboo

Pikachu's Pikaboo

Plot: Some of Ash and Misty’s Pokemon are left alone on a beach, I can only assume because their Trainers are irresponsible. 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. Every time I tried to play it afterward I’d get a 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 Pikaboo? 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!

(For Dogasu’s comparison on this short, click here.)

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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. FNice, guys. He usually at least chucks Vulpix into the mix, but nope.

Togepi nearly drowns itself because Togepi just likes putting its 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. I keep telling you, they’re turning these shorts 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, as per usual), 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 found this song funny because of this 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 know it leaves behind a little zig zag stripe so it’s not like it’s completely invisible, but that’s still cheating to me. Bulbasaur 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 the 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 pretty clever in using its design to camouflage 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 little 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, 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 an out of control rampage.

It actually seems to be sentient as it purposely pursues the Pokemon and changes direction when prompted by other Pokemon. Because that makes perfect sense. 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 a randomly rampaging lawnmower?

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 BUZZ SAW 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 buzz saw 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 into flying 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. 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. Maybe it’s too light to control it.

They continue the track and lead it into some shed, shutting the door behind it. The shed bounces around in a terrible CGI effect that gives us a nice preview to the also awful CGI effects coming in our feature presentation. 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?

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, the short’s credits were always put with the ending credits of the movie to keep people from thinking the short was the movie 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.

Bottom Line: 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.

Short 5: Camp Pikachu


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Pokemon Shorties (3)! Pikachu and Pichu

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 a 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: The short that accompanied Movie 03, Pikachu and Pichu, otherwise known as “That one with the Pichu Bros.”….is one I don’t really remember all that well. 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 ten 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 novelty Raichu? What a rip off.)

Pichu’s existence never made full sense to me, either. That means Ash got an evolved Pokemon as his starter Pokemon. Not to mention that 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?

(For Dogasu’s comparison on this short, click here.)

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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 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 hanging out on a building across the street, one of which starts mocking Pikachu. He 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 it 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 catapult 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. 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 other than 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 they love scaring the crap out of the people on the ferry boat and putting them in danger for no reason?

The three fall into an alleyway onto a Houndour who starts chasing them around. It 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 it tries to jump on it, causing Houndour to land on the ground instead and get squashed when Snorlax moves back. Well, it’s dead. A moment of silence for Houndour.

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They arrive at some fort made of tires and pipes. This is 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 again 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 it’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 it’s mildly stuck I think maybe. Pikachu and the Pichu Bros. help it out and they’re instant friends I guess. Saving Pokemon from being trapped – making jerk Pokemon nice since Short 01. 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 prick.

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

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. head off to get back to the building by rolling in a tire. 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?

Thus our short ends….in the English version anyway. The Japanese version stays true to their ending credits sequences with fan art and a 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.

Bottom Line: 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!

Short 4: Pikachu’s Pikaboo


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Pokemon Shorties (2)! Pikachu’s Rescue Adventure

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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 almost 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.

For Dogasu’s comparison, click here.

And now let’s get on with the show!

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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?) 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. 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.

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 for everything that isn’t the main cast. 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 the camera moves 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. Normally, I would attribute it to low budget, but this is Pokemon. Maybe they were under time crunch pressure.

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 a oasis and some debuting Bellossom 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 quite pointless.

They run into a cave, because Pikachu senses a disturbance in the force, and find 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. 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 x4 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 ton of 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?

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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, 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 lightning 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, start flying away. Snorlax 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 tells us that he never wants to go to camp again. Oh that’s why he was alone. 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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Bottom Line: 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.

Short 3: Pikachu and Pichu


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Pokemon Shorties: Pikachu’s Summer Vacation Review

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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 has since stopped, 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 very thorough. That being said, the two main changes between the dubbed version and the subbed seems 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.

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.

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. It may be lame, but it’s a bop.

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?

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 retrieve 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. This is an absolutely adorable scene, and definitely one of the more memorable moments in the short.

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? The others are breathing a sigh of relief that Togepi’s fine now, but 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. This only 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!? That raises so many questions and possibly creates a lot of continuity issues.

Whatever. Togepi starts to wander off. It’s 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 too. 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 while drawing out the ‘Slow’ part, but it’s my favorite transition of the short. There’s just something about it that’s really entertaining to me.

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. He 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.

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 its signature microphone. It’s not announcing anything, but it’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 it 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? 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 his tail, which causes him to chase after the two. When they start taking the lead, Charizard starts treating it like a race. Charizard runs out in front, cheers and flaps his 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, 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. He’s rewarded by Charizard Flamethrowering in the pipe, which is redirected 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 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 its baby 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 he only a little brat when Ash is around? I mean, the only time he’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. That’s pretty cute.

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.

Pikachu reunites with Ash and the short ends.

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Bottom Line: 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.

Short 2: Pikachu’s Rescue Adventure


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