An Absurdly Deep Dive into the History of 4Kids | Part 3: 4Kids 2000 (2000)

Before I start, I’d like to note something funny I found in the 1999 financial report for 1998. 4Kids stated one of their concerns for operating in the year 2000 was Y2K. There’s an entire section outlining the issues they think they might have to deal with in regards to their systems rolling over into the year 2000. They even said that they might not be able to license certain things in that year because their clients and licensees might not be “year 2000 compliant,” and, yes, they include a note about the biggest concerns being “disruption of television broadcast signals, including satellite distribution and commercial integration vendors as a result of the general failure of systems and necessary infrastructure such as electrical supply.”

I know Y2K was a big concern back then – it was an issue no one had any frame of reference for since this was a unique situation – and it’s not like 4Kids was the lone paranoid one since the entire world for the most part was losing their shit, but looking back it’s kinda funny to stumble upon such significant concerns about what wound up being pretty much nothing. Although some people say the reason it wound up being mostly nothing was because of intense Y2K preparedness, some countries that did little to no Y2K preparedness basically experienced the same minimal effects, so yeah.

Getting back on topic….

It’s the year 2000, when absolutely no one could resist the siren call of giving literally every title of everything that was released in that year the suffix of ‘2000.’ In comes what 4Kids would title Pokemon the Movie 2000. Or, if you’re actually watching the movie’s title screen – Pokemon: The Power of One.

As 4Kids was working through the second season of Pokemon, also known as the Orange League, the first sequel in what was going to become a seemingly never ending Pokemon movie franchise was released in Japan on July 17, 1999 – Pocket Monsters the Movie: The Phantom Pokemon – Lugia’s Explosive Birth, and, almost immediately after, it was handed to 4Kids to be dubbed, localized and released in English.

Pokemon the Movie 2000 had a very similar and even bigger marketing campaign as the first movie including nearly the same Burger King toy tie-ins, which had now been made safer to avoid suffocation hazards (Such as the previously mentioned warnings as well as poking an air hole in the plastic) and included new toys, and giving away Wizards Black Star promotional cards in theaters – this time of Moltres, Articuno or Zapdos. However, the most notable promotional change to the second movie was introducing an entirely new and incredibly unique Pokemon card – the Ancient Mew card.

Only those who attended showings of the movie in the first week of release and at participating theaters obtained an Ancient Mew card with their ticket purchase. I was one of those people, and the Ancient Mew card has remained one of my absolute favorite cards over the years. The card technically had the same information as normal Pokemon cards, but the color of the card was changed to make it look like a holographic/rainbow-ish almost stone slab, and the text was written in medieval Futhark Runic and Gothenburg Runic.

The Ancient Mew card was carried over from the same marketing campaign in the original Japanese release of the movie, but unlike in the States where they were given away for free with the movie ticket, the Japanese versions were sold inside of a movie pamphlet explaining some background and plot details of the second movie, including quite literally any information on the main villain of the movie because they didn’t bother actually including that in the movie. American audiences were not offered any such pamphlet, so they were left largely in the dark about anything involving him.

Making the Ancient Mew card a part of the promotional campaign in both the US and Japan (as well as several other countries) worked like a charm, but it was quite confusing. Mew never appears in the movie at all, and the Ancient Mew card Lawrence III has gets absolutely so explanation. It randomly appears in the ending in the rubble of Lawrence’s ship. He claims this card was the start of his collection, and that he’ll restart his collection with that same card, and that’s it. Whether that’s meant harmlessly or not is never made clear.

Apparently, the card was going to play a bigger part in the movie, somehow, but those aspects of the film never made it beyond the earliest stages, leaving only brief glimpses of the card, rather randomly. Takeshi Shudo, who wrote the screenplay, took responsibility for the card being left in the film at all as he intended to have it entirely cut from the film if the rest couldn’t be included, but somehow that shot still wound up in the final cut.

I’d like to know what the card even is, because it’s not like they based this card on a stone slab or something – it’s still a normal card in the movie. How did ancient people make a Pokemon card and why?

While the movie was still incredibly popular and even did slightly better with critics, Pokemon the Movie 2000 didn’t do quite as well as the first Pokemon movie, earning $9,250,000 at the box office in its premiere, $1mil less than the first movie, only reached third place at the box office, two spots below the first movie’s coveted first place spot, and ended its US run with $43,758,684 in total domestic returns, $42mil less than its predecessor. It was still a big success, but not quite the same level of success that the first movie garnered.

Additionally, the film still wound up getting nominated for Stinkers Bad Movie Awards, being nominated for Worst Achievement in Animation and The Remake or Sequel Nobody Was Clamoring For. It lost the first award to Digimon the Movie, and the second it lost as well, but wasn’t even a direct nomination because it was lumped together in the “All Films with “2000” in the Title” group. I’m really starting to understand why these awards ended. It actually seems like it’s somehow less fair and worse than the Razzies.

Pokemon the Movie 2000 managed to get away with not being as mangled as the first movie. More or less all of the original scenes are intact, and the story is essentially the same, but 4Kids changed the tone or message of the movie to be more towards the power of one person rather that the power of individuals working together, leaned more into ship tease between Ash and Misty, and, of course, changed the entire soundtrack so they could sell their own pop music heavy soundtrack as well as their separate orchestral soundtrack.

You can find the full breakdown of the changes 4Kids made to the movie on Dogasu’s Backpack here.

Like before, the movie came accompanied with a short, this time titled Pikachu’s Rescue Adventure. And again, like before, the dub’s version of the short had the same changes in that it removed the credits, changed the entire score and messed with the narration. Except where Pikachu’s Vacation changed the narrator, the dub short just removed the narrator entirely and let audiences try to follow the story by themselves. And no movie-related dub would be complete without a misidentification, this time incorrectly identifying a Poliwrath as a Poliwhirl.

One more note about 2000, however, is the Brock and Tracey…..let’s call it a controversy.

When Ash and Misty entered the Orange Islands, Brock left the series to be with Professor Ivy and learn about Pokemon with her. In came Pokemon Watcher, Tracey Sketchit, winner of the most on-the-nose last name award, to replace him as Ash’s second companion. According to Pokemon anime director and storyboard artist Masamitsu Hidaka, the reason Tracey, known as Kenji in the Japanese version, was created was because they realized Pokemon was taking off globally and were worried Brock, known as Takeshi in the Japanese version, would be viewed too much like a Japanese stereotype given his eye design, even though no one had complained about it in any region. Kenji/Tracey was created explicitly to look “tall, white and Anglo-looking” for the sake of preventing any stereotypes.

……*lip smack* Really is kinda funny looking back considering that they’ve gotten in trouble more than once for instances of perceptions of blackface with Jynx and even Ash himself way later in Sun and Moon, and needed backlash to realize the issues there, but with Brock they almost immediately pulled him entirely with basically no backlash to prompt it. I should be clear, though, that Hidaka’s the only person who has said this and, as far as I know, this claim hasn’t been backed up by anyone else, but it is very difficult to dispute. Even without that statement, it’s how Tracey’s character came off to so many people.

Brock would return a season later when Johto came around because people missed Brock and they realized that people didn’t care how he was designed, they just liked him as a character. Brock would remain as Ash’s companion for several years, being one of the longest running regular characters on the show, until Black and White when he would finally retire fully from being Ash’s companion in order to study to be a Pokemon Doctor.

2000 was another great year for 4Kids. Their stocks were up, their consolidated net revenue was up 45% – $87,997,468 compared to $60,482,369 in 1999. Again, this was almost entirely credited to Pokemon, but many of their other licensed properties were also doing well. While their spending was up slightly as a result of their new licensing and dubbing practices, they still netted $38,772,580 in income at the end of the year compared to $23,638,426 in 1999.

Over in lawsuit land, we have Morrison v. Nintendo (and 4Kids) – Sued for supposedly infringing on their trademark for Monster in my Pocket. In 2001, the suit was dismissed, but the plaintiff filed an appeal. In February of 2003, the appeal was denied and the dismissal was upheld.

Then we have EM.TV and Merchandising AG v. Nintendo (and 4Kids) – Sued for breaching some contract agreement for Pokemon television broadcasts? It’s really unclear. The matter was settled a year later with no damages awarded, but some undisclosed amount paid as an amount owed.

Next – Part 4: Entering Unown Territory

Previous – Part 2: Pokemon – I License You!

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Pokemon Extravaganza! Pokemon Movie 02 – Revelation Lugia (Sub) Review


Plot: Satoshi and the others are heading to their next Orange Island destination when a sudden storm beaches them on the Earthia Island. The villagers are holding a legend festival, and Satoshi is chosen to be the ‘great controller’ from the legend. He’s tasked with retrieving three spheres from three neighboring islands and returning them to Earthia to stop the destruction of the world through an imbalance in nature. However, he soon discovers that the legend is coming true.

Breakdown: The good news is that they seem to have gotten better at making movie posters. The bad news is, it’s still a pretty bad poster.

Lugia looks fantastic, which is the main thing, the three Legendary Birds don’t look too small, but Satoshi/Ash is oddly placed. I find it weird that he’s even making that pose. It just seems like everyone’s picture is clipart that they pasted onto the cool Lugia and Legendary Birds poster. What is Okido/Oak even doing there?

Just to solidify something without a doubt, I want you all to take notice of something. Who is oddly missing from this poster?…..That’s right, Kenji/Tracey. Proving just how useless he is in the movie and the series as a whole. Less than Okido, less than Yadoking/Slowking. That is just sad.

Now, since this movie doesn’t appear to be anywhere as drastically changed as Movie 01, I won’t bother doing a complete run though of the entire movie. Instead, like I have done in the past with other review projects, I will break this movie up into chunks (of ten minute segments) and give my notes of each segment of the movie. Let’s begin!


Ten Minute Mark

As expected, Fire, Freezer and Lightning (Moltres, Articuno and Zapdos, respectively) are called the gods of fire, ice and lightning as opposed to titans. Lugia is also called the ocean god.

Shamuti Island is called Earthia, and it wasn’t until they said this that I noticed his computer labels the island in green. Then it hit me. Earthia corresponds with Flame, Ice and Lightning as representing life and the balance of nature – earth as a whole. That also explains why the light at the end of the movie is green.

I know 4Kids changes the names of practically everything, but Earthia actually seems to have a clear point in its name, so it’s disappointing that they changed it. Plus, like the comparison says, it seems odd that 4Kids would purposely change its name to something more foreign-sounding.

The title is, of course, different, but something I found odd is that the Japanese version only uses fire effects during its title whereas the dub utilizes fire, ice and lightning to represent the birds. Gotta give 4Kids props for actually being more thorough. I do miss the awesome electric guitar, too.

The original’s theme song is still pretty good, being another rendition of ‘Mezaze Pokemon Master.’ I don’t know why it still has a Lizardon’s/Charizards roar and Pikachu sounds on it though. Without visuals to match that, it just seems random.

I’m just now realizing how much I miss Strike/Scyther. It was the only one of Kenji’s Pokemon that got both a backstory and a personality, and it was pretty interesting too. It was just the shot where it’s trying to protect Kongpang/Venonat for a minute, but that did spring to mind.

Twenty Minute Mark

Ohhh THAT’S why they specifically needed a Pokemon Trainer. The original’s legend states that a ‘great controller’ will calm the anger of the gods. They’re equating a Trainer to a controller to fit the legend.

Also, that is what equates to ‘the chosen one’ in the original. In my opinion, it sounds better and doesn’t insinuate that Ash was destined at birth to do this. One could say that since the dub legend says the chosen one will ‘tame the beast of the sea’ that that may also be poking at that, but I think that’s more of a stretch.

The song is obviously different, but it’s surprisingly not all that different to my ears, really. The original one has higher pitches and some different tones, but it seems to follow roughly the same melody.


Get it?

Because Melody’s a….character. Don’t blind yourselves on the glare from my comedy gold.

Again, applause with no moving hands. What the hell?

Furura/Melody doesn’t seem to be quite as upfront with her flirting as the dub would insinuate.


Thirty Minute Mark

MistyxTracey fans may be sad to note that the one hint of that pairing (Tracey wondering if the girls are talking about him when they discuss Misty liking Ash) is not present in the original. He just says ‘I’m going too!’ If it makes you guys feel any better, the original line makes the scene much funnier.

Musashi/Jessie actually asks why they’re bothering talking about Kasumi/Misty and Satoshi’s love-hate relationship since they’re ten years too young to be caught up in that stuff. Kojirou/James chimes in and says even they don’t talk about it much. Nyarth’s/Meowth’s line is kept the same. I know I keep delving into sub/dub comparison stuff, but the Bulbagarden comparison doesn’t cover much of what I’m talking about, probably because it’s not really important, but I thought I’d note it anyway.

Forty Minute Mark

I love how Kasumi’s line to Jirarudan/Lawrence (who, by the way, hasn’t been named yet (if ever) in the original either) makes it seem even worse than the dub line. She yells at him to put the Legendary Birds in monster balls because trapping them this way is a waste.

Yes, it’s awful that he’s forcing Pokemon into small technologically advanced cages to look at them when he could be forcing Pokemon into much smaller technologically advanced cages and making them fight. Shame!

I just realized, when we cut to the Water Pokemon traveling by sea to get to Earthia Island, we see Arbo/Ekans in the water traveling this way too….I know some snakes can swim and some even slither on top of water, but I never knew they traveled by water too. Kinda makes you think maybe Team Rocket could’ve used Arbok in Movie 01.

Hanako/Delia actually solidifies that she has no clue where Satoshi is, just that he’s somewhere in the Orange Islands. Considering how vast and wide the Orange Islands seem to extend, that is an incredibly flimsy reason to be out there.

Hey, I can fix this in one sentence. Watch. Ahem…. ”Satoshi/Ash just contacted me from Earthia/Shamuti Island earlier!” …..Boom! Was that so hard? You can send me money now, writers. I have a Paypal.


Fifty Minute Mark

We’re at that cut scene with Kenji talking about the explosion made to free Fire. He’s saying how the electricity affects the water separating the H2 and O. That coupled with Flamethrower equals boom. I think it’s going a bit far to say that’s instructions for essentially making a bomb – it’s moreso just explaining the chemical reaction going on and the explosion that proceeds it, but I guess 4Kids has removed scenes for lesser reasons.

They honestly just could’ve said “Water…plus electricity…and fire….?!” And really, that’s the only thing Kenji’s noted as doing in this movie? He truly is a boring worthless character.

Also, I guess Fushigidane/Bulbasaur really didn’t have any role in that. He was just there whippin’ away.

Hour Mark

Nothing to note here, to be honest. However, the reason he’s stuck with being the one who has to do this is really that he was chosen by the villagers, started collecting the spheres and has to finish it, not that he’s destined to do it.


Hour and Ten Minute Mark

Despite also making a pun or two (“Pikachu, we’re gonna get ‘chu.”?) Team Rocket has a funny line when they let go of Lugia.

Team Rocket – “You’re the main character!” See, that’s how you break the fourth wall, 4Kids.

Also –

Satoshi: “Amazing! Are those really Pokemon?”

Lugia: “Yes, every Pokemon living on the planet.”…….Are you sure about that? Hm? Not missing like hundreds that should technically exist?

You know, if anything, the original movie has the opposite message from the dub. It seems like the original has more of a message of ‘it’s not what one person does, it’s everyone doing their part towards a specific goal that is powerful.’ whereas the dub is very clearly ‘the power of one.’ Lugia cements this further by saying everyone’s doing their part to try to help – the Pokemon, Lugia and Satoshi.

While he doesn’t mention it, even Team Rocket and Furura have been helping along the way. In the dub, Lugia outright says that the one with the power to actually make a difference is just Ash. I’m not saying the dub’s message is a particularly bad one. Many people succumb to the belief that just one person alone can’t do anything to make significant change, but it’s worth mentioning.


While I still really like the original song…I dunno, the dubbed version of the final legend song seems more impacting and epic to me.

Hanako actually says she saw Satoshi do…something dangerous. I’m assuming she saw him riding Lugia or something. She also doesn’t say anything about her constantly missing him – just that if he were to die, she’d lose her whole world. You can guess why 4Kids changed that.

Her final words are asking Satoshi what he really wants in life. Satoshi says he wants to be a Pokemon Master. Hanako replies saying if that’s really his dream then he can’t overdo it. I like the original version better. It explains a little why she was so angry and it doesn’t give us the slightly cheesy stuff about him always being her hero.

Surprisingly we don’t get ANY extra bits from Jirarudan stating what he plans to do now. He just picks up his ancient Mew card and smiles. According to his Wiki page, it’s supposed to imply that he intends to restart his collection, but in a much more modest way. Whatever that means, I don’t know.

Team Rocket and Yadoking don’t break the fourth wall at the end. They also rarely bring up the stuff about them being temporary good guys.

The song for the credits in the original is okay, but the song starts out with really irritating sing-talking. It also gets a bit repetitive, but at least it doesn’t bludgeon you with a sudden polka.


I see no real reason to rate the original version that much higher than the dub. While I prefer it to the dub mostly because I like the original score, voices and dialogue better, 4Kids didn’t change all that much.

It’s odd, while 4Kids seemed to get better and better at dubbing the movies (I find Movie 03 to be their best work ever, though I’ve only gotten to Movie 06 as of this writing) they got progressively worse, in my opinion, with the series. Not saying everything was perfect after this movie-wise (there are definitely some stinkers and major issues) but they seemed to make more of an effort in the movies. Maybe they never wanted to suffer another backlash from fans and critics as they did after Movie 01.

Recommended Audience: E for everyone….Unless your kid is smart enough to build a bomb by learning a bit of simple chemistry and has intentions of doing so once he/she acquires the knowledge, in which case SV for Super Villain.

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Pokemon Extravaganza! Movie 02 (Dub) Pokemon the Movie 2000/The Power of One


Plot: Set sometime during the Orange League, Ash and the others are traveling to the next Gym when they get caught up in a storm. The storm lands their boat on the nearby Shamuti Island where the locals are holding their annual legend festival.

The legend states that the harmony caused by the three legendary birds, Articuno, Zapdos and Moltres, will be disturbed and cause all of nature to fall out of whack. Only the chosen one can bring together the three spheres of fire, ice and lightning to restore harmony back to the world with the help of the legendary Lugia.

If you didn’t catch that, don’t worry, you’ll be reminded about it a lot. Ash is selected as the chosen one this year because he’s a Pokemon Trainer, but as he’s going off to find the spheres for the sake of the festival, he finds that the legend is actually coming true.

Breakdown: Ah, Pokemon the Movie 2000. Even you couldn’t resist the allure of naming yourself ‘2000’ in the year 2000. One of the most annoying things ever. Luckily, that was doomed to die within a year, so yay.

I don’t have as much nostalgic love for this movie. Don’t get me wrong, I do hold nostalgic love for it. I saw it in theaters with my friends when it first came out, I got excited for the release and I enjoyed the movie fine.

My problem with this movie is that it is just so damn cliché. Ash being ‘the chosen one’ is one of the most cliché plot threads ever.

The whole aspect of collecting element themed jewels might as well have ‘property of Final Fantasy and a crapton of other video games’ labeled on it.

Tampering with the gentle balance of nature by the will of an eeeevil human is also not very original (someone call Captain Planet).

The Legendary Pokemon here don’t really do much besides Lugia and even it’s kinda moot. I do love Lugia and the Legendary Birds. Articuno is my favorite followed by Moltres then Zapdos. I just wish they had done more in the movie.

Our main baddie is also completely forgettable in my opinion. I don’t even remember his name, which, for the record is Lawrence III. To be fair, though, I don’t think the dub ever gives his name. He suffers the same fate as the three Trainers from Movie 01. But it’s much more forgivable for them to be nameless. They were forgettable side characters, even though it would’ve been crazy easy to just add in an introduction line for each of them. This is the main villain of the movie.

Pokemon movie 02 screen 2

I remember he likes collecting legendary things and had an ancient Mew card that he started his collection with (I remember getting one when I saw this movie. Still have it. 🙂 ) other than that, he’s just boring.

Notice how I wrote an entire synopsis for this movie without even mentioning this guy once? And you know what? That was in no way intentional. I completely forgot about him until I had already started writing the actual review. I wish I was lying.

On the Japanese release of this movie, the audience members were given a booklet which contained background information on the character…..Which I find a tiny bit dumb. I mean, it’s nice to have your own little booklet of information, but shouldn’t that information be…ya know….in the movie?

The plot is way too obvious giving us really no room for surprises. This is made even worse with the recited legend which literally lays out the entire story nearly beat for beat, and made increasingly worse since the legend is the first thing stated in the movie and is frequently being repeated.

Apparently, the original doesn’t explain as much, but the dub’s version explains the entire movie. How can you have any tension when the entire movie’s story is laid out on a plate for you right when the movie begins and it’s constantly being relayed to you throughout?

Pokemon movie 02 screen 1

It’s definitely not all bad, but it has its flaws.

For the Bulbagarden comparison of this movie, see here.


Our movie starts out with a shot of the three islands; Fire, Ice and Lightning, and a sneak peak at Slowking. I’ll get him out of the way right now, I do not understand Slowking. We have two really entertaining Pokemon in Slowpoke and Slowbro then we get….a talking sage-like unfunny Slowking…..for no reason. What does this thing do during the movie besides stand there and tell us things we already know? I have nothing really against the Pokemon, but why does his character exist?

Lawrence III is in his flying base thing while his computer explains that the three titans of the elements fire, ice and lightning are Moltres, Articuno and Zapdos respectively. The islands containing said Pokemon are on islands adjacent to Shamuti Island and goes to capture them for his collection with Moltres being first on his list.

I would question the mechanics of that entire ship, but this is a world where a small ball can shrink and capture huge monsters.

Wait, was he already at the island? Because it’s like he didn’t travel far at all. If he was, why was that information about the birds even given? Wouldn’t he have known all that before now?

At Fire Island (considering Moltres’ Japanese name is Fire, this island doesn’t seem like such a secret location of Moltres…) Lawrence starts attacking the island with ice bombs, which prompts Moltres to come out. When Moltres emerges, Lawrence uses his super rings of technology to trap Moltres and capture it in his ship…..And that was Moltres ladies and gentlemen! Give it a round of applause!


He says he’s going to go after Zapdos next, then Articuno and finally draw out Lugia before we get our title card.

Man, 4Kids was really feeling the electric guitar in this opening sting. Kudos on matching the drum beats with the lights on the word ‘One’. That reminds me; seeing as how this movie was not in any way advertised as Pokemon: The Power of One (at least no where around where I lived, and my VHS copy says Pokemon the Movie 2000) I was confused by this title when I first saw it. It doesn’t even say Pokemon the Movie 2000: The Power of One it’s just Pokemon: The Power of One.

We fade in to Ash, Misty and Not-Brock on a boat heading to their next Orange Island destination that is never given, but I’ll assume is a Gym. Not-Brock suggests that they should let their Pokemon out for some fresh air and that prompts our movie theme which is okay. Just seems like a more pop-ish sounding version of the Orange League theme.

Unlike Movie 01, 4Kids actually doesn’t give a crap that there’s no background audio from the Pokeballs, Pokemon or humans during the song despite the fact that you can see that the video prompts sound.


Surprisingly, all of the Pokemon in the current group make an appearance. Charizard isn’t left out because it’s still out of control, I suppose, and Snorlax doesn’t stay out because he’s too heavy for the boat.

We also see that Team Rocket’s following them in their signature Magikarp sub.

Pikachu’s acting oddly, as if it senses something, but none of the other Pokemon are being disturbed. Is it just because Zapdos is the next target or is Pikachu secretly a Psychic type? Or is this this an hidden power of the almighty Messiahchu?

A storm comes about because I guess the Pokemon movies love storms. (We just had one in the short)

The captain, Maron, says they’re at Shamuti Island, which is very far from their intended course. Luckily, she used to live on that island. What a coinkydink.

Team Rocket, in their wake, makes a bunch of puns and crashes into a cliff.

Cut to Pallet Town where we see Delia Ketchum tending to her garden and her Mr. Mime sweeping the grass.…….Why is he sweeping the grass?


Professor Oak comes up to chat and we get this line:

Professor Oak: “Well this is the time of year when the sun shines every day!”……..What time of year is that? I assume summer, but the sun shines in every season. There are rainy/cloudy days in summer too. Is this an actual saying?

The weather takes its cue and starts to get really crappy. It rains heavily for about five seconds, stops then starts snowing, and we see that an aurora has appeared in the sky. All sorts of Pokemon start going nuts in response to the weird weather.

Professor Oak says that, since Pokemon, like animals in real life, are more in tune with nature than humans, they can sense when something’s wrong. Since the Pokemon are acting so weird it must mean something’s very wrong.

Yeah, this would’ve had more weight if not for the random five second downpour, snow storm and sudden aurora lights that came and went in ten seconds preceding said Pokemon freakouts. Pretty sure we could gauge from that that something was horribly wrong.


Back on Shamuti Island, Ash and the others have arrived at the shore and are met with natives wearing traditional garb and odd masks. They scare Ash and the others for a bit until they realize that one of the villagers actually knows their boat captain, Maron. The villager woman, named Carol, explains that they’re preparing for their annual legend festival. She’s too old to be the maiden of the festival, so her snarky brat of a little sister named Melody will be taking her place.

Maron introduces Ash to the group and explains that he’s a Pokemon Trainer. Before she can introduce the others, the villagers go nuts because he’s a Pokemon Trainer and apparently that means he’s the chosen one from the legend. Well, wait, Misty’s a Pokemon Trainer too. A Gym Leader at that. Why can she not do it? Was it just because Ash was introduced first?

Melody says he’ll do as the chosen one for the festival and gives him a welcome kiss on the cheek, which makes Misty visibly perturbed. This is our first indication that this movie will have a pro-AAML (Ash and Misty Love) slant.

Don’t get me wrong, I fully support AAML. My problem with this part of the movie, as with any AAML I see now, is the fact that now I know this pairing will likely never ever happen, especially since the show essentially got rebooted and Misty hardly ever makes appearances anymore.

And there’s the frustration that is the weird TraceyxMisty BS they apparently have in later seasons. Made even worse by the fact that I think Tracey’s supposed to be around 15 and Misty’s 10……Now watching AAML just makes me sad.…


Melody asks if Misty’s his little sister, Misty says no. Then Melody asks if she’s his girlfriend, which she is appalled by and says is gross, but Melody says she doesn’t think so.

She invites them to the legend banquet and tells Misty not to get jealous, which just pisses her off even further. You know what’s annoying me? I can’t find Melody’s age anywhere. She looks like she’s at least a couple years older than Ash and Misty, though she may be the same age as Tracey which may or may not make this situation slightly icky.

The festival starts and we cut to the banquet where we hear this…

Maron: “So she said ‘No, but I have Krabbies!’ Ahahahaha!”…..What the hell was the start of that joke?! That seriously sounds like a play on words to implicate someone having crabs. Am I looking too much into this? Because I never noticed that until now.

Misty’s still stewing over Melody’s comment about being Ash’s girlfriend, and we see Melody come out in her purty festival garb playing the legendary song, AKA the theme of this movie, on her little seashell ocarina.


Tracey and Ash are enamored by her, but Misty calls her a show off…..well…considering she’s putting on a show….yeah. Also, she’s just dancing a little bit while playing the song, it’s not like she’s got a pyrotechnic display set up.

We hear applause afterward but no one in the audience is visibly clapping so I dunno.

Melody explains Ash’s part in the legend as the chosen one – he’s tasked with bringing back three glass spheres from Fire, Ice and Lightning Islands to the shrine to ‘restore peace’ back to the world through the guardian’s song. The way she explains it….I’m assuming they do this every year with a different ‘chosen one’ who all get the glass balls and return them to the shrine, right? And then one of the villagers returns the spheres to the islands after the ceremony’s over?

….So…Is Ash really a ‘chosen one’ or is that all BS? Because if there really was a ‘chosen one,’ you’d think only they would be able to remove the spheres from the island and/or place the spheres on the shrine and make the ceremony work.

What would happen if Misty were called the chosen one when she really wasn’t? If she retrieved the spheres, would she have to return them to the islands and then have Ash give it a try or would him just picking them up and setting them back down make it work?

And boy it sure is a coincidence that the one person on the face of the planet with the power to do this just happens upon this island in the middle of this disaster. Then again, the fates might have forced him there to fulfill the prophecy.

Eh, I’m probably thinking about this too much.


Melody flirts with Ash some more, and Ash gets ready and raring for his role in the festival. He’s also being a pushy douche about it like he doesn’t realize that it’s all in good fun and that the world doesn’t seriously rest on his shoulders (but it does end up on his shoulders, because then we wouldn’t have a movie.)

Ash and Maron head out on her boat. Ash asks if Misty’s coming, but she replies like this:

Misty: “No thanks! If you want someone to do whatever you want whenever you want, you should find yourself a girlfriend!”…..Is that your view on what a girlfriend should be, Misty? Because that’s kinda dumb. Just because you’re someone’s girlfriend doesn’t mean you’re obligated to do whatever the boyfriend wants at their whim or vice versa.

Pikachu steals Ash’s hat and drags him to the boat because….I don’t know why. I know Pikachu’s all upset at the imbalance in nature, but Ash was already going to the boat….that very moment….Why did Pikachu have a need to steal Ash’s hat to get him to the boat he was already planning on heading toward?

While heading to the first island, the boat runs into Team Rocket while they’re on their ruined submarine.

Cut back to Slowking who just recites part of legend and sighs. Such an important character.


I know Maron’s all like ‘I like your spirit, Ash!’ but she didn’t find it in the least bit dumb to head out on the water during a terrible storm? That same storm that beached them mere hours ago? Just for the sake of a festival that is done for fun? It wasn’t raining when they left, but the sky looked awful, there was a huge storm earlier and they were close enough to shore when the storm started to turn back.

Melody gets worried since they’re out in a huge storm for the sake of a stupid festival. (Seriously, it’s not like he even gets a reward or anything. Melody clearly stated that he brings back the spheres, she plays a song and it’s over.) She says she wants to go out on Carol’s boat to go find them and bring them back.

Misty and Tracey come along, and Melody asks Misty “Why are YOU coming?”….Because she’s been Ash’s friend a hell of a lot longer than you have? I know these two hate each other, but that’s a stupid question.

Misty goes on a tangent about denying that it’s because she secretly likes him, because she doesn’t, and Melody calls out Misty for being touchy about the subject. They leave to find Ash and Maron with Team Rocket stowing away on their boat under a tarp.


Despite the storm ending, the sea only gets worse, and Ash and Maron ‘crash’ the boat on the shore of one of the Islands. Pikachu runs off the instant they hit shore, and Ash immediately follows.

Cut to Melody and the others who are continuing their journey to Ash and Maron. Melody rides a huge wave sideways to the island, and along the way flips the boat but somehow it manages to land rightside up. They lose Team Rocket along the way, but they use the tarp as a parachute to ride the wind to the island. They also crash on the island and meet with Maron who stayed behind with the boat to make some tea.

She tells them that Ash is at the shrine place to get the sphere, and we get more unbelievableness when Melody suddenly transforms the boat into a sailboat and uses the wind to fly to Ash……………..Oh and along the way the bottom of the boat is being scraped to hell by the stone stairs beneath them yet doesn’t seem to be causing any damage.


We then get Melody, who I guess is starting to warm up to Misty, saying that Ash’s girlfriend is here. Misty denies it again, but Melody uses Misty’s words from before to validate it. (She’s a girl and his friend, thus she’s not technically wrong in saying ‘girlfriend.’)

Cut back to Ash who follows Pikachu to the shrine where the Fire Sphere is. Wow, thanks Pikachu. Without your help, Ash never would’ve known that that he needed to climb the steps to the shrine and grab the sphere – that thing he came here to do.

They go back to the boat, but on their way they come across Team Rocket who break the fourth wall by saying:

Jessie: “Prepare for more trouble than you’ve ever seen.”

James: “And make it double, we’re on the big screen!”

And even Ash gets in on this:

Ash: “I’ll have to catch this on video!”

Video, yeah….that won’t be dated to say in another…..two maybe three years, 4Kids.

Melody and the others crash in on the scene right when Jessie says their ship has come in (which would actually be somewhat funny if that were a ship and not a motor/sailboat.) And of course there’s not a damn scratch on that boat that should be in ribbons by now. Boats are typically made of fiberglass, aluminum or wood, not adamantium.

I really love this shot for some reason.

Melody and Misty have more banter about her being Ash’s girlfriend, this time stating that they’re going to get married some day. Jessie chimes in on the subject and says dealing with the opposite sex is nothing but trouble – and yes she actually said ‘sex.’ I know in this context it’s innocent, but that is still high on a list of words I thought would never be uttered in a 4Kids production.

James says he stays out of that stuff (which is likely a very tiny poke to his ex-fiancee back home, but maybe I’m giving them too much credit to think they’d reference that) and Meowth wants to bring in the Rocket-shippers by saying they don’t need the opposite sex (they said it again!) because they have each other.

This gets Jessie and James angry at Meowth because I guess the only person in the Pokemon universe who can talk about these things comfortably is Brock. Granted, Misty and Ash get a bit of a pass since they’re so young but aren’t Jessie and James in their late teens or early twenties or something?

Zapdos appears and Pikachu tries to communicate with it by using Electric attacks. He asks why it’s on Fire Island and where Moltres is, and Zapdos responds by saying Moltres is gone so he’s running things on both Fire and Lightning Islands now.


Zapdos shows off it’s electricity and we see that his lightning bolts are being absorbed by Lawrence’s ship. Drained of its power, it’s an easy target for him to capture. But this time’s different because the rings are square now. OooOOOhhh.

Also, for some reason, the rings also pick up Ash and the others. I’d say those were horribly programmed, but it’s probably just a lazy way to get them onto the ship to confront Lawrence.

Ash and the others meet Lawrence who talks about his legendary bird collection.

Misty: “That’s disgusting! The way you talk, you act like Pokemon are things to collect, like dolls or stamps!”

……….I’m going to go ahead and say ‘hypocrite’ again. Pokemon is not only about battles, it’s about collecting all of the Pokemon in existence. You know how your tag line is ‘Gotta catch ’em all!’ and how Pokemon Masters are supposedly people who have caught all species of Pokemon known to man?

I get it, you’re saying that Pokemon shouldn’t be viewed as objects in a collection and need to be treated as living beings, but you’re specifically saying Pokemon aren’t meant to be collected at all.

Even if you truly love your Pokemon, it’s insanely difficult if not impossible to give love and affection to all of the Pokemon that you have if you have the amount that anyone would have at the end of their game. Even if you just have roughly what you can carry with you it’s still a matter of favoritism most of the time.

Look at Ash’s Pokemon. He favors one over all and keeps several Pokemon with Professor Oak who hardly ever see their Trainer unless he’s going into a League match. Misty herself does the same thing – she babies Togepi for eons even though the damn thing should’ve been kept in a Pokeball or used for battle purposes at least a year after it was born. Wasn’t Ash using Phanpy and Larvitar soon after they were born? Eh I’m getting off track.


Imagine if Ash really were actually good at catching Pokemon and caught more than a handful every year. His other Pokemon really would just amount to being marks in his Pokedex since he obviously dislikes switching out his main team.

And need I remind everyone that the Pokemon games are commonly seen as being more about collecting and getting new Pokemon than battling? Sure, we love the stories, we like fighting Gym Leaders etc. but in the end what keeps us coming back is usually the desire to catch more Pokemon and complete our Pokedexes.

That’s also the reason why more and more Pokemon get released through the years. In fact, isn’t that Red’s mission in the manga? To fill the Pokedex? Doesn’t that mean his main mission is collecting? I just think this line should’ve been worded a lot better to avoid seeming, like the last movie, hypocritical.

Lawrence’s computer detects Articuno approaching and he goes off to capture it next.

I guess another thing that bugs me about this movie is the fact that the balance of nature just keeps going out of whack because the legendary birds…..are dicks.

“Oh Moltres is gone! I, Zapdos, will now take over its territory and show off like a colossal douche!”

“Oh Moltres and Zapdos are gone! I, Articuno, will now take over all of the territories and show off like a colossal douche!”


The only one I can’t really call a dick right now is Moltres because it was captured first, but seeing as how they all show basically the same mindset and personality, I can’t imagine it would’ve been all innocent if either Zapdos or Articuno went before it.

Cut to the news reports where they’re showing extremely odd and severe weather conditions are occurring all over the globe, and every Pokemon in existence is heading to Shamuti Island to help if they can. Professor Oak, Professor Ivy and Mrs. Ketchum are also heading towards Shamuti Island in a helicopter.

Here we get Professor Oak’s science dump as he explains that the balance of nature occuring in the epicenter of Shamuti, Fire, Ice and Lightning Islands actually makes some sense considering that life and, in turn, the balance of nature and the water currents in the sea of the Orange Islands gets created when you mix fire, ice and lightning. When any one of these factors is gone (and the others turn out to be assholes), the currents and balance of nature get thrown off which causes worldwide disturbances somehow.


But enough of what passes for science in the Pokemon world, we need another scene with Slowking!

Slowking:…….*sigh* “I need pants.”

And that was Slowking, everybody! Give him a round of ‘Why are you in this movie?’

We see Articuno freezing everything and starting perpetual winter before we cut back to Ash and the others. Melody, seeing that Lawrence has a stone tablet with the legend written on it, believes the legend may be coming true. They state that, if it is indeed coming true, they have to set Moltres and Zapdos free to restore the balance.

Ash decides to try to free Moltres by running into its cage like an idiot because he’s an idiot. Oh yes, that cage keeping that Legendary Pokemon captive is no match for me, a ten year old boy. Come to think of it, he also tried punching Mewtwo in the first movie. Does Ash have delusions of being a Super Legendary Pokemon or something?


Lawrence proceeds with trying to capture Articuno by using fireballs while Ash tries to break Moltres’ cage. I guess this takes place at least after Ash tames Charizard because he obeys him when he lets him out—wait that directly contradicts the scene with the theme song….I’m confused again…

He uses Pikachu and Charizard to try to break the cage, but it’s not working. Team Rocket tries to use Arbok and Weezing to free Zapdos, but obviously that won’t work either.

Ash realizes he has more Pokemon and calls out Squirtle and Bulbasaur to help. Their combined attacks somehow make an explosion that frees Moltres….I guess if fire, ice and lightning can make water currents, life and the balance of nature, fire, water, lightning and vine whips can make a bomb.


Moltres frees Zapdos with its fire and they break out of the ship, blasting the ship with fire and lightning in revenge and to stop Lawrence’s actions once and for all……Yeah, you do realize that the kids who freed you are on that ship—nah, nah, let it crash. I’m sure they won’t die horribly or anything. We’ve established that you’re all douchebags now so have at it.

They manage to escape the ship after it crashes, and Ash stumbles (literally) upon the sphere of lightning as the shrine that housed it gets crushed by the ship. Seeing as how these are supposed to be glass spheres, that thing should be glitter by now, but okay.

The three Legendary Birds are fighting each other for some reason. (Did they really get drunk on the power they had over three uninhabited islands that they reigned over for a few hours each?)

The group heads back to Carol’s boat which must’ve been made on Krypton, 4Kids makes a poop joke (classy), and the boat ends up getting flung all over the place due to the chaos. They fall off of a cliff and get caught by a water cyclone with the best timing ever. Team Rocket gets in a life raft before the boat is chucked on the shrine on Shamuti Island.

The group meets Slowking who tells Ash to take the spheres and put them on the shrine. Because God knows he wasn’t intending on doing that all along.


He places the spheres in front of the views of their respective islands on the shrine, but he’s still missing the sphere of ice.

We see the birds fighting some more, and the water cyclone returns again to push them away from each other. The water disperses! What’s that in the sky!? It’s a bird! It’s a plane! Its—Nope, it’s a bird. Nevermind.

Actually, I’ll give the movie credit. While Moltres, Zapdos and Articuno don’t do much besides get captured and fight like children, Lugia does get some pretty good buildup and a nice reveal. I especially like the shot where we get a view from inside the water cyclone and see a silhouette of Lugia.

Though Tracey kinda ruins this shot with his doofy crossed eyes.

Lugia tries to quell the fighting, but now they’re all teaming up against Lugia because….they’re dicks. I really can’t determine any other explanation besides that.

The birds all fight, and it’s actually a pretty cool battle…..if it weren’t for the fact that the legend outright tells us the outcome…..

Lugia falls from the attacks and gets sealed under the sea.

Cut back to the helicopter where Ivy, Oak and Delia just basically reinforce the plot for us. I really have to ask what their purpose is in this movie too. Oak and Ivy kinda make sense because they want to see if they can help, but the only reason that Delia’s here is….I honestly don’t know.

She’s worried about Ash, sure, but A) She only knows Ash is in the Orange Islands. There’s no way she knows Ash is on Shamuti Island since even he didn’t know he’d be going there that day. B) Bad weather is no reason to trek halfway across the country in a helicopter without even a rescue team or anyone qualified to do something if he was in danger.

Speaking of rescue teams, is there no military or coast guard or any damn thing in the Pokemon world? There’s a news chopper heading to Shamuti Island with two professors and a worried mother on board but no official rescue crews or any other investigators or teams.


All of the Pokemon, even the ones who can’t fly or swim and are using the ice that Articuno made to travel, arrive at Shamuti and….stand there. Great job, guys! Keep it up and you’ll almost be as useful as Slowking!

They talk about what they can do to stop this and say that the legend only says ‘Alone its song will fail and thus the earth shall turn to ash.’ But wait, that can be a play on words! Don’t we know someone named Ash?……*Gasp* ASH FROM EVIL DEAD! 😀


…..Oh it’s just Pokemon Ash. Dammit. That’s not groovy at all…..

Ash suddenly becomes very unnerved by the idea of being the ‘chosen one’ now that he knows the world’s fate rests on his shoulders….Dude, you already got two spheres that you were only collecting for the sake of a dumb festival. I think you can manage one more for the sake of the world.

I am really getting fed up with this ‘chosen one’ crap. My beefs with Ash aside, it really is one of the most cliché things you could ever write. I think it would’ve been more interesting if either it was just a case of anyone bringing the spheres back or if they decided that Misty, Tracey and Ash needed to go to one of the islands each to get their spheres. Make Misty go to Ice Island for the Ice Sphere because it’s related to water, Ash can go to Lightning Island because his trademark Pokemon is Pikachu and have Tracey go to Fire Island because that’s the one that’s left.

Make each journey a really cool one that you can mesh together to make the bulk of the movie. Make Ash’s the more ‘epic’ one if it’s that important. But come on. Ash is really the only one doing things, besides maybe Melody, over the course of this entire movie. Everyone else has been relatively useless. It makes it both cliché and boring – and when you already have a boring villain who is barely even there, plus the plot laid out in convenient legend form, that makes a big problem to me.

Melody says Lugia sounds just like the legend song that she plays on her flute thing. As she plays it, Lugia starts to glow and gets rejuvenated by the song. Then…..*sigh* Lugia talks.


I have no qualms against Legendary Pokemon talking, and it’s not like Lugia has a bad voice because he doesn’t. Not as good Mewtwo’s voice, but still good. I just feel like….we could’ve done without Lugia talking. Its lines are almost entirely to tell us what we already know and what the kids could’ve easily figured out for themselves in a few minutes.

Mewtwo had a point with it talking. It had an entire storyline all its own. In fact, the movie is basically about Mewtwo with Ash and the others just being a part of it.

Entei was also a very focal part of the third movie, and thus it was very understandable that it talked, but I can see no real reason why Lugia needs to talk here. We have quite literally everything laid out for us in the legend already.

Lugia, despite being awesome, doesn’t really have a story about it, just moreso around it, so I see no reason why it needs to talk. It only has like ten or so lines, too. It makes Lugia seem….less awesome to me is all.

Lugia explains, as I said, what we already know ten times over, and Lugia explains why Ash is the only one who can place the spheres….because they only glow around the chosen one and they need to glow to work…..Still doesn’t explain why someone else can’t retrieve the spheres and have Ash just place them where they need to go, but it’s something…..a really tiny still confusing something.


Ash is still unsure, but Pikachu and his other Pokemon just pop out of their Pokeballs to tell Ash he can do it (except Lapras because…*shrug*). Ash starts crying his eyes out, which, while being understandable, seems out of character to me. Ash has cried before, but crying in the face of a challenge just seems weird for him.

Melody and Misty say they believe he can do it too. He instantly perks back up and says he can do it because he’s the chosen one afterall. There’s our headstrong egotistical annoying Ash!

We cut to Ash walking to Ice Island and, right after we cut away from him saying ‘Afterall, I’m the chosen one!’ he says ‘right now I feel more like the FROZEN one!’ HAHAHAHAH! Oh 4Kids, your sense of humor never ceases to make me roll my eyes.

Also, considering everything is mostly still frozen, it makes me believe Articuno is winning this fight.

Ash finds Carol’s finally broken boat (it survived all that crap but gets destroyed from falling like 100 feet.) and takes a piece of it to use as a sled while Charizard, Squirtle and Bulbasaur pull it….Pikachu’s not pulling it, because that type of menial work is beneath Messiahchu.


He races to Ice Island with Lugia behind him. I would ask why he’s not riding Lugia, but Lugia needs to keep the other Legendary Birds at bay because they’re still dicks who have taken to attacking Ash for no reason. He’s trying to pacify you and prevent the end of the world – stop being mean!

Back on Shamuti, Team Rocket watches as Ash goes off to be the hero again and they express a desire to be heroes for a change. As they say that, the news helicopter crashes right next to them (everyone on board is perfectly fine) and they get an idea.

Despite their best efforts, the birds destroy Ash’s sled and nearly make him plunge into the water. Ash recalls Charizard because…I don’t know. I guess they didn’t want Charizard to be right next to him when he says he’ll never find a way to get to Ice Island now….Because, ya know….Charizard is big enough to ride and can fly.

Quick! Before they see the plot hole!

(Note: I’m aware that Ash recalling Charizard right here could be to protect Charizard’s tail flame from the water, but none of them ever get wet and there’s no reason why he couldn’t have let Charizard back out once the wave from the crash had settled.)

Team Rocket shows up having turned the life raft into an airboat by using the propeller from the helicopter. I would also question this, but it’s Team Rocket. They state that they want to be good guys for a change and help out.

I much prefer Team Rocket when they’re being good guys. I would say I’d like them to be good guys all the time, but I think I’d lose my appreciation for those rare moments when they are if they did. Having them being crappy villains who sometimes show their nicer side actually makes them more interesting characters to me.

Lugia holds off the birds while Ash and Team Rocket make it to Ice Island. Ash gets the sphere, but the birds return to cause trouble. They destroy the airboat, block their only exit and even fell Articuno in the process.

They manage to climb their way out, and Lugia stops by to pick up Ash to return him to the Island….but wait, that means the excuse I gave before for Lugia not giving Ash a ride is void now. Moltres and Zapdos are still causing trouble – why does Lugia find it safe to give him a ride now if that was the reason for not giving him one beforehand?

Not that it matters, because we’ll soon see that it really wasn’t safe.

Team Rocket manage to grab onto Lugia’s leg and they head toward the island. The birds keep attacking, and Team Rocket realizes that they’re too heavy and are slowing Lugia down. Team Rocket decides to let go to lighten Lugia’s load and we get one of my favorite lines from Team Rocket.

Jessie: “Let’s not say goodbye!”

James: “Let’s just say…”

Meowth: “We’re gonna die!”

Not only is that legitimately (somewhat morbidly) funny, but it’s also a very rare instance where 4Kids actually says ‘die’.


But of course they’re not going to die. Despite falling like a thousand feet and crashing into the iced over and freezing cold waters below, they’re perfectly fine. Water: Way better than parachutes and safe even when frozen.

Ash asks why all of those Pokemon are gathering at the islands, and Lugia replies it’s because they know something’s wrong and they want to be there just in case they can do something to help. We get the moral of this movie ‘the power of one’ and all that.

Lugia says they’re not sure what they can do to help, but even if only one of them could be of service, it would be worth the journey for thousands of them. However, the one with the power to help the situation now is Ash…..So…yeah, the Pokemon being there is pointless, really, besides to drive home the moral. I don’t particularly mind them there as it adds to the weight of the ordeal, but there’s no actual point in them being here.


Lugia and Ash are close to the island, but Lugia is suddenly ensnared by Lawrence’ rings! Oh right, there’s a villain in this movie! Also, these rings are triangles now. So….were Articuno’s going to be pentagons or what went on there?

Lugia blasts through the rings and Lawrence’ ship with Aeroblasts, but is so drained from the encounter than he falls into the water.

Melody wants to go after Ash after seeing them fall, but Misty says she’ll go get him because we need some more AAML with this line.

Misty: “And Ash is never really alone because he has….me.”

Awwwwwwwwwwwwwwww. The Orange League really had a thing about AAML now that I think about it. First Danny then Rudy now the second movie. Weird how the Johto League didn’t follow up much.

So now I guess Melody and Misty are friends, and Misty goes off to save Ash.


….Ya know, seeing as how Ash’s Pokemon have already shown once in this movie that they’re not against letting themselves out of their Pokeballs for the sake of helping Ash with this, even if it’s just a pep talk, why wouldn’t Lapras think now’s a good time to pop out and save Ash from drowning? Or even Squirtle? Hell, Pikachu could let them out if it wanted to, it’s done it before. Oh well, the rescue scene is pretty good, so I can’t complain much.

Misty saves Ash, who gets revived merely by gently shaking him, and he weakly goes to place the ice sphere on the shrine.

Slowking tells Ash to place the ice sphere on the shrine because this movie really loves to constantly repeat what the characters need to do.

Ash does so and the three spheres glow together to make green light….Pretty sure that’s not the color you’d get with red, blue and yellow. I know you’d get green with blue and yellow, but the red would make it brown, right? Well, that probably wouldn’t be as appealing of a color.


Green water also pours out of the shrine and surrounds it, covering the pillars in the water and crystallizing them. Melody plays her song, and I’m not going to lie, I really love this part of the movie. The song, both regular flute and orchestral, are great, the visuals match up with the song very well, and it just seems like an epic part of the movie.

The green water spreads out across the ocean to the various islands and the song awakens Articuno, Zapdos and Moltres….I don’t know when Moltres and Zapdos fell, but they did. The birds start flying around, this time in a happy manner, and Lugia makes its grand reentrance.

Lugia takes Ash for a ride around the islands as the weather clears and they celebrate their triumph. A giant CGI water cyclone pops out because….I don’t really know. I guess that’s the water current that got out of whack when the birds got captured, but I can’t be entirely sure. Only reason I’m uncertain is because the current is extending in the sky above everyone like a rainbow instead of just being underwater.


The birds return to their respective islands, and we see that the worldwide weather disturbances have ceased.

Fast forward a couple of hours because sunset light makes everything look awesome. Lugia praises Ash for a job well done and takes his leave.

Delia and the professors happen upon the scene. She’s angry with Ash at first for….being in a place that just suffered from horrible weather conditions….It’s not like she saw footage of Ash doing dangerous stuff during any of this, she only knows that he was in the Orange Islands at the time that this happened. She then admits that she was just worried about him and that she constantly misses him while he’s away. She tells Ash that he’s always her hero. Awww.

Professor Oak and Ivy leave for their labs to tell the other Pokemon Researchers about what they witnessed instead of asking any questions to the people who were in the center of it all or doing any investigating or doing anything they were supposedly here to do.

Cut back to Lawrence and his now completely destroyed ship. He sees his ancient Mew card and says “Where it all began….and where I’ll begin…again.” The line is said in a gentle tone, but it also has a severely negative implication. He’s going to do this all over again in the future. What else could this line mean? They make off like this experience changed him when we have no evidence to support that beyond the gentle music in the background prompting us to think that way.


Even after his ship was destroyed the first time and he saw the destruction that was going on around him, he still gladly tried to ensnare Lugia in his trap for his collection. We saw no moment of clarity or sudden change of heart due to something he was witnessing, his ship just blew up after Lugia attacked and now we’re suddenly supposed to just believe he’s turned good now.

This villain is so forgettable and bland that I’m 90% sure they just up and forgot to write a legitimate story for him and just used him as a plot device to get the legend started.

In our final scene, Team Rocket climbs out of the water and says how great it was that they were good for a change, but it’s a shame no one was around to see it. Come to think of it, Ash didn’t want to go back and help them out of the water? Because it looks like it took them all night to get out. What an ass. They helped him save the world and almost died for his cause yet he won’t even take Lapras out to give them a lift.

Slowking says people did see the good that they did and breaks the fourth wall by saying those same people are still watching right now. That cheers Team Rocket up and they banter about how they’ll deal with being good guys now. It’s fairly funny, actually. And the movie ends.


In regards to our credits, like the first movie, I really like the visuals that accompany the music as it kinda wraps up some things. One thing I don’t get is Maron leaving on her own. We see her leave Shamuti Island and then cut to Ash and the others having a campfire in some mountain. It seems like her character was only useful for providing a second boat, because Ash almost always travels on Lapras.

The first song is ‘The Power of One’ and while it’s a fairly nice song, it’s also our dose of preachiness for the movie. I commend them for waiting until the very ending to shove their message down our throats, but it’s still there.

One of the shots focuses on Tracey drawing a passing boat that we don’t see. And that’s about as much as he does the entire movie. Whoo!

Hey, let’s ruin this fairly relaxing song with shoving a sudden polka song, ‘Polkamon’ by Weird Al, in our faces.

Don’t get me wrong, I love Weird Al, but that is one of the most jarring musical transitions I’ve ever heard. “~~The poweerrr….of ooooooonnnnneeee.…~~~.” “DNANANANANANANA-NANANA KRABBY SNUBBULL VENONAT! MANKEY CHANSEY AND ZUBAT! SLOWKING DITTO BUTTERFREE! LUGIA AND CATERPIE! ONIX POLIWAG GOLDEEN! ELEKID AND NIDOQUEEN! VICTREEBEL AND MAGNETON! EVERYBODY POLKAMON!”

It’s weird, though, I have memorized that song far more than the Pokerap.

Also, this song is kinda wasted on Weird Al since there are no jokes in it. He’s just listing off the names of various Pokemon.

Then we transition back just as jarringly with ‘Flying Without Wings’ by Westlife and I really love this song. It’s also kinda corny, but I really like it.


Art and Animation: Cleaner and more fluid than the TV series, obviously. It’s actually quite nice for the most part. You’ll notice several instances of CGI throughout the film, but they’re really quite good about integrating it well with the cel shaded art.

Music: Pretty damn good. Some of the vocal soundtrack’s a bit cheesy, but it’s still good to me. The legend song in particular, especially the orchestral version, is awesome to listen to.

Bottom Line: I have to say that, while it’s not nearly as much of a cheese-fest to sit through as the dubbed first movie….this movie is just not all that good. The plot is constantly being thrown in your face either by the legend tablet, the characters, Slowking or Pikachu, and it eventually gets to the point where it’s like Dora the Explorer. “Hey now we have the ice sphere! What do we do next?! *clicks shrine* You’re right!”

Not to mention the plot itself is cliché in nearly every aspect. The ‘villain’ really amounts to nothing but a plot device to make the balance go out of whack. He’s boring, completely forgettable, and it even seems like the movie forgets he exists at several points.

Many characters do absolutely nothing to further the plot. Delia, Tracey, Slowking and the professors may as well have not been in the movie period they were so pointless. Misty saved Ash once and we got various AAML fan-pandering and a slight love triangle with the guy being completely oblivious, but other than that she did nothing. Melody and Team Rocket (surprisingly) were the only other side characters who actually did anything useful during the entire movie.

I love the three Legendary Birds, and Lugia is really cool in this movie. I will stand by what I said about not needing to hear it talking, but it’s not that big of a deal.

Overall……Ehhhhh. Like I said, this movie’s not a huge chore to sit through, and there are several parts that are awesome, but it’s definitely not that great.

Recommended Audience: Nothing offensive, really. E for everyone!

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Pokemon Shorties (2)! Pikachu’s Rescue Adventure


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!


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.

Pokemon short 2 screen 5.png

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.

Pokemon short 2 screen 1

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.

Pokemon short 2 screen 6

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.

Pokemon short 2 screen 2

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.

Pokemon short 2 screen 7

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?

Pokemon short 2 screen 3

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?

Pokemon short 2 screen 8

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.

Pokemon short 2 screen 4

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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