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The Arceus Gap-a Space in the Pokémon DVD Release Schedule

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by , 23rd January 2013 at 09:57 PM (3011 Views)
Note: This article is not intended to blame any company, group of people, or individual for the “Arceus Gap”, as I do not have the necessary information or desire to do so.

I wanted to take a moment to go over a series of events that occurred in the Pokémon anime a few years back. It starts in April of 2009, when Warner Bros. released a two-disc set of the first three Pokémon movies on DVD. Now, there’s nothing really special about these discs-they’re actually just represses of the original DVDs that were released in 2000 and 2001, but keep that date in mind for the rest of this article.

When we fast forward to the fall of 2009, volume 5 and 6 of Pokémon Battle Dimension are released on October 27th, then in early November, something interesting happens-remember that three movie set from earlier in the year? This is going off my memory, but what I recall happening is that there was a sudden shift in availability on Amazon.com-Amazon stopped selling it directly, and it was only available from third-party resellers from then on.

In any case, a few weeks later on November 20th, “Arceus and the Jewel of Life” debuts on Cartoon Network. Usually a DVD release follows a few months later, but that’s not what happens here in the US. In fact, those Battle Dimension DVDs from October end up being the last new Pokémon DVDs in America for quite some time-leading to what I’ve termed the “Arceus Gap”.

2010 is where things start to really get interesting. While the only DVDs being released are more entries in the “Pokémon Elements” series, in May 2010 “Pokémon the Movie 2000” shows up on the iTunes store. This wasn’t a complete surprise-the third movie was placed on iTunes in January of 2009, so it seemed like a logical progression. Just over two months later, however, “2000” mysteriously vanishes from the service. This reveals a pattern: The three-movie DVD set changed availability just before the tenth anniversary of “The First Movie”’s US theatrical debut, and 2000 was similarly pulled right before its ten-year anniversary. The theory here is that Warner Bros. rights to distribute these movies was expiring during this period, and the gap in new releases was caused by a prolonged series of negotiations, but we’ll probably never know for sure.

Finally, in November 2010, a light emerged-“Arceus and the Jewel of Life” was given a US DVD release date of February 1st, 2011. TV DVDs would resume in March 2011 with the release of the first volumes of Galactic Battles, nearly two years after that season debuted on Cartoon Network.

While the Arceus gap may be over, there are still some lasting effects. Much like the first and second movies, the third Pokémon movie vanished from the US iTunes store right around its ten-year mark. All three of those movies are now out of print in the US. Also, while the movie gap has improved with movies 13 and 14, the TV gap remains about the same-volume one of Black and was released on DVD in November of 2012, still nearly two years from when that season started.

Sources:

Amazon:
Pokemon: Battle Frontier Vol. 1 Box Set (2009)
Pokemon: Battle Frontier Vol. 2 Box Set (2009)
Pokemon: Diamond and Pearl - Set One, Vols. 1-2 (2009)
Pokemon: Diamond and Pearl - Set Two, Vols. 3-4 (2009)
Pokemon: Diamond and Pearl - Set Three, Vols. 5-6 (2009)
Pokemon: Giratina & The Sky Warrior
Pokemon: The First Three Movies (2009)
Pokemon: Diamond and Pearl Battle Dimension, Vols. 1 & 2 (2009)
Pokemon: Diamond and Pearl Battle Dimension, Vols. 3 & 4 (2009)
Pokemon: Diamond and Pearl Battle Dimension, Box 3 (2009)
Pokemon: Arceus & The Jewel of Life (2011)
Pokemon: Diamond & Pearl Galactic Battles 1 (2011)
Pokemon: Diamond & Pearl Galactic Battles Gift 2 (2011)
Pokemon Dp Galactic Battles 5-6 (2011)
Pokemon - Zoroark: Master of Illusions (2011)
Pokemon Dp Galactic Battles 7-8 (2011)
Pokémon DP: Sinnoh League Victors - Set One (2012)
Pokemon Movie: Black - Victini / White - Victini (2012)
Pokemon DP: Sinnoh League Victors - Set Two (2012)
Pokemon DP: Sinnoh League Victors Set 3 (2012)
Pokemon Black & White Set 1 (2012)
Bulbanews:
'Pokémon 3: The Movie' now available on iTunes
Pokémon.com updates with movie information
'Pokémon The Movie 2000' now available on iTunes
Movie 12 to finally be released on DVD
TPCi not happy about Cartoon Network movie cut
More action-packed episodes coming to DVD
Dub of 'Black Hero,' 'White Hero' to be released this December
Bulbapedia:
Pokémon Elements
Pokémon All-Stars
Pokémon: Diamond and Pearl
Pokémon Diamond & Pearl: Battle Dimension
Pokémon Diamond & Pearl: Galactic Battles
DP105
Pokémon Diamond & Pearl: Sinnoh League Victors
Pokémon: Black & White
IMDB:
Pokémon: The First Movie - Mewtwo Strikes Back
Pokémon: The Movie 2000
Pokémon 3: The Movie
PokePress Twitter Feed:
7/20/2012

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