"Pokémon the First Movie" Review Thread

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Thread: "Pokémon the First Movie" Review Thread

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    ロケット団よ永遠 Dogasu's Avatar Retired Staff
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    Japanese Movie One: "Mewtwo Strikes Back"
    American Movie One: "Mewtwo Strikes Back"





    Myuutwo, a clone of the 151st pokemon Myuu, has declared his counterattack against the humans who brought it into this world against its will. Now, Satoshi, along with three other trainrs, must travel to New Island to face off against the super pokemon and its army of clones. Will the original pokemon perservere, or will the clones be victorious? And will hearing "Brother, My Brother" make Cartoon Network's audience go beserk?

    This is the review thread for "Pokémon The First Movie," airing tonight, November 7th, at 8:00pm ET on Cartoon Network. It is the first of three Pokémon movies being aired by the network this month, so those of you who never got to see it on theatres or on HBO are in luck. I realize that many of you have already seen this movie before, but since this is the basic cable premiere of these movies (and since I'm sure a number of us haven't seen it in a while) I decided to create this review thread.

    Next week: Pokémon the Movie 2000.
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    A black and white world Blackjack Gabbiani's Avatar
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    Oh man, what to say...

    The first five minutes, up until the opening credits, were easily the coolest thing ever on Pokémon. The destruction of the lab, Giovanni's manipulation, and the fire. Oh god, the fire...

    But then Ash had to get involved. And it all went downhill from there.

    So many things left unresolved. How could Mewtwo manipulate the weather? Sure he's psychic, but I don't think that goes along with it.
    How did the tears revive Ash? In the Japanese version they never mentioned this at *all* in the harbor lady's speech. The dub says it happened before, but it still doesn't say *why* it happened, or *how*...
    And another near-death escape--we all know Giovanni escaped the HQ. But how? How did he get out unharmed? And why did he tell Mewtwo he was just using it in the first place?
    What was the point of having the three other trainers there? It's not like they did anything.
    And how does putting Togepi in a backpack protect it from those weird black pokeballs? Can they not see through fabric?

    The whole movie is full of deus ex machina. The dubbers made it worse, but you have to admit, it was there to begin with.

  3. #3
    Unseen Watcher Murgatroyd's Avatar
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    The movie: Good, if a bit weak plotwise.
    The dub: Bad.
    The dub music: Unforgivable. (For those of you who don't know, here's what was replaced by that *************** "Brother my Brother" song.)
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    Registered User The Mysterious Blue Hiker's Avatar
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    Okay, since I don't live in America, I didn't just watch the movie, but I will take this opportunity to express my opinion on it.

    As for the movie in general, it's okay, I guess. The plot's pretty flimsy, but overall I think they pulled it off fairly well. It was good to see it a bit darker than the series. I'd probably give it 3 out of 5.

    Now for the fun part. The English version.

    The script is... not too great, to put it lightly. I didn't notice it so much on my first viewing of the movie (maybe it had something to do with the fact that I was 11 years old, and -- oh my -- I was watching Pokémon in a movie theater!), but I really notice it now. It's awkward and embarrassing to listen to.

    I disagree with Murgatroyd that the dub music is that awful. I've only seen about half of the Japanese version, but it seems that a lot of the time, the original movie just recycled music from the series, which makes the dub's unique, somewhat epic score superior in many cases.

    There are, of course, exceptions to this rule -- one in particular which really stands out is the scene where all the clones and originals are fighting. In the Japanese version, it's a poignant piece of music with a haunting vocal track (no words, just humming). In the dub, it's just "Brother, My Brother", followed by your average orchestral piece. (By the way, using "Brother, My Brother" was actually an afterthought -- they did record an instrumental piece which can be found on the score CD.) I don't know if this is the same scene Murgatroyd was referring to (I haven't downloaded the MP3 yet) but it's certainly one I remember.
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  5. #5
    LOVED IchibanCon Trainer Lisa's Avatar
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    Hey....the beginning of that song sounds familiar.

    Haven't they used the beginning part of it in the dub before?

    Anyway, I love Pokemon The First Movie, and seeing it on TV was a real treat for me!

    And I also disagree that the dub music was bad. Especially not some of the background music like "The Birth Of Mewtwo", "Dragonite Takes Flight", "Mew's Theme", and of couse "Tears Of Life". I love those songs. And I want the CD they're on. Next time I see it somewhere, I'll get it! ^_^

    And speaking of "Tears Of Life", when that song was playing in the scene with all the Pokemon crying for Ash, I cried a little bit too since I hadn't seen this movie for a long time. Come to think of it, I also cried when I first saw the movie in the theatre. It's such a sad scene....


    And that reminds me of when I watched the audio commentary on the Pokemon The First Movie DVD. During that "Tears Of Life" scene, the dubbers were talking about how that song wasn't in the Japanese version, and they also said that when their Japanese counterparts were watching this part of the dub movie, they actually cried, having already known the story and all, and it was because of the music. And I think the dubbers said that their Japanese counterparts really loved that song! Isn't that cool?

    Oh, and I know this is going off-topic, but also mentioned on the commentary were the 3 (or was it 4?) bloopers/mistakes. I only remember 2 of them though. One was made when all the trainers were using their Pokemon to get to the island. This guy gets on a Frearow, but they don't show him any more after that. He's not there where the trainers meet. Isn't that weird? I wonder what happened to that guy....could he have died in Mewtwo's storm or something? And another one, which is sort of a blooper/mistake, was made when Team Rocket said "Who's That Pokemon?" and started naming the Pokemon shadows. They showed Scyther and Team Rocket said, "Alakazam". The dubbers said that when they were making the movie, someone actually caught that mistake. And they were gonna change it, but one of them said, "Would Team Rocket really be able to name all the Pokemon?" And, they left it in so it could be kind of a joke. Hah, I guess they wanted to add another funny part in the movie....

    That was a good audio commentary. If you haven't seen it, you should rent the DVD like I did. It expains a lot of things, such as why they added the stuff that the Harbor lady said about the Pokemon tears, near the beginning of the movie. And the reason they did that was because they didn't just wanna leave everyone wondering how the Pokemon tears brought Ash back to life, which wouldn't make any sense to people watching the dub version, so they had her tell that story.

    Now that I've said that, going back to Pokemon The First Movie, I'd say that overall it was very good!
    Last edited by Trainer Lisa; 8th November 2003 at 12:29 AM.

  6. #6
    Registered User Dagoth Ur's Avatar
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    Originally posted by PokemonTrainerLisa
    Oh, and I know this is going off-topic, but also mentioned on the commentary were the 3 (or was it 4?) bloopers/mistakes. I only remember 2 of them though. One was made when all the trainers were using their Pokemon to get to the island. This guy gets on a Frearow, but they don't show him any more after that. He's not there where the trainers meet. Isn't that weird? I wonder what happened to that guy....could he have died in Mewtwo's storm or something? And another one, which is sort of a blooper/mistake, was made when Team Rocket said "Who's That Pokemon?" and started naming the Pokemon shadows. They showed Scyther and Team Rocket said, "Alakazam". The dubbers said that when they were making the movie, someone actually caught that mistake. And they were gonna change it, but one of them said, "Would Team Rocket really be able to name all the Pokemon?" And, they left it in so it could be kind of a joke. Hah, I guess they wanted to add another funny part in the movie....

    That was a good audio commentary. If you haven't seen it, you should rent the DVD like I did. It expains a lot of things, such as why they added the stuff that the Harbor lady said about the Pokemon tears, near the beginning of the movie. And the reason they did that was because they didn't just wanna leave everyone wondering how the Pokemon tears brought Ash back to life, which wouldn't make any sense to people watching the dub version, so they had her tell that story.
    The guy on the Fearow was shown later. He's the guy who was with the Pidgeot (which the dub misidentified as a Pidgeotto). I think that the Fearow/Pidgeot mixup was a real production mistake from Japan.

    That Team Rocket mistake was idiotic, and it just shows the dubbers' laziness in not fixing it.

    As for changing the harbor lady's words, I have to admit that the changes are better than the Japanese dialogue, which I heard was simply her trying to convince the crowd of trainers that the storm was dangerous.
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    Unseen Watcher Murgatroyd's Avatar
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    Originally posted by tedisbest
    The guy on the Fearow was shown later. He's the guy who was with the Pidgeot (which the dub misidentified as a Pidgeotto). I think that the Fearow/Pidgeot mixup was a real production mistake from Japan.
    No, actually, she wasn't. Here's the full list of trainers seen departing the docks, in order:
    Boy on Pidgeot
    Girl on Fearow
    Boy on Gyarados
    Girl on Dewgong
    Ash

    Here are a couple of pictures:
    Fearow leaving
    Another shot of the girl in question
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    Starbuck Temptress GeneralStar's Avatar
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    I remembered the movie was coming on tonight, and I wanted to watch it, but unfortunately the goddamned cable provider in the area I live cuts Cartoon Network programming off after 5PM and replaces it with Fox Sports 2. So, I didn't get to see it.

    I have, of course, seen it before though. Just a couple thoughts:

    How did the tears revive Ash? In the Japanese version they never mentioned this at *all* in the harbor lady's speech. The dub says it happened before, but it still doesn't say *why* it happened, or *how*...
    True, but (correct me if I'm wrong here, since I've only seen it once and in very bad quality at that) wasn't something about this mentioned in the Birth of Mewtwo scenes that were added to the Mewtwo Returns DVD? I thought I remembered Amber saying something to baby Mewtwo about a story she was told before, where pokémon tears contained the power of life. Or, something like that anyway (ne?). *doesn't remember*

    In any case, I too have seen the Japanese version of the movie and thought it vastly superior in many ways. However (and maybe just because I saw the English dub first and am more familiar with it) I'll agree with Lisa in that I do like some of the dub's background music quite a bit. Mew's theme, for example, I find to be very fitting to the scene with Mew on the windmill blades, and so on.

    The first five minutes, up until the opening credits, were easily the coolest thing ever on Pokémon. The destruction of the lab, Giovanni's manipulation, and the fire. Oh god, the fire...
    Ohh yeah (*blasts Messiah 21st Century Jesus' Thunderdome track and revels in the pumped-up Creator/Destroyer voice*). Just look at the first of the three screenshots that Dogasu posted there... is it just me, or is anyone else just seeing "Sephiroth" all over that?
    Last edited by GeneralStar; 8th November 2003 at 02:52 AM.
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    A black and white world Blackjack Gabbiani's Avatar
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    Strangely enough, another of my favorite scenes also involves a high-ranking Rocket and a lot of fire, and that's when Bishasu blows up the Hunter's compound in movie 4.

    But it ranks below this one. Why? I've only seen movie 4 in Japanese, and Bishasu's voice actor cannot pull off a maniacal laugh to save his life.

    EDIT--say, speaking of Mewtwo=Seph, didn't you also do that picture for me? The "Only an experiment, now is my destiny" one?
    Last edited by Blackjack Gabbiani; 8th November 2003 at 03:36 AM.

  10. #10
    φιλομαθής Zhen Lin's Avatar Vice-Webmaster
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    Originally posted by Blackjack Gabbiani
    So many things left unresolved. How could Mewtwo manipulate the weather? Sure he's psychic, but I don't think that goes along with it.
    Somewhere, I read a retcon that stated he did that by manipulating the appropriate Pokemon - that is to say, Articuno, Zapdos and Moltres...

    How did the tears revive Ash? In the Japanese version they never mentioned this at *all* in the harbor lady's speech. The dub says it happened before, but it still doesn't say *why* it happened, or *how*...
    Same reason why they put in the extra scenes in Movie 4... To drill the things into the kid's heads.

    And how does putting Togepi in a backpack protect it from those weird black pokeballs? Can they not see through fabric?
    Probably can - but also, consider - Pokeballs can't and don't capture non-Pokemon, do they? (I only remember something about Ash and Mankey)

    The whole movie is full of deus ex machina. The dubbers made it worse, but you have to admit, it was there to begin with.
    Now, this, I don't get. I hardly see a god from machine here - clearly, he was created with those powers in mind already... But then again, I probably horribly misunderstand the term...

    As for the track Murgatroyd put up - parts of it sounds like the Flygon track... And the vocals are scary... But - even without the actual imagery, I can't say that it really suits the battle - the music rises and falls - but the battle just continually declines...

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    ロケット団よ永遠 Dogasu's Avatar Retired Staff
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    The whole movie is full of deus ex machina. The dubbers made it worse, but you have to admit, it was there to begin with.

    Now, this, I don't get. I hardly see a god from machine here - clearly, he was created with those powers in mind already... But then again, I probably horribly misunderstand the term...
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    Date: 1697
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    ロケット団よ永遠 Dogasu's Avatar Retired Staff
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    So they apparently aired the mini-movie during the Cartoon Theater airing?
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    Local Philo-Semite Shiksa ♥'s Avatar
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    Yes, they aired Pikachu's Vacation. The movie was also on today (Saturday) at 5 PM EST.

    I feel really stupid because I *like* this movie a lot. In fact, it has one of my favourite soundtracks of any movie. I have the single that has "Don't Say You Love Me" and "Mewtwo Strikes Back Suite" on it. I made up a very elaborate interpretive dance to "Strikes Back" that is actually meant for two people, but I usually end up somehow doing both parts. ^^; I like the "Brother, My Brother" song! I think my fav though is "If Only Tears Could Bring You Back to Me," which I thought for sure they played during the tear revival seen. Oh well. I just trying to say I freakin love the music in the dub.

    The tear scene I found kinda corny in the theatre, but I really liked it the second time around. The movie as a whole was better than I remember it.

    Another dub error is that when TR is watching the clones plop into their tubes, they say, "Sandshrew" when it was really a Sandslash.

    Murg, you are amazing. I have to wonder where you have all these resources. I think the Fearow girl probably just thought the storm was too dangerous and turned back, or else she got blown off course or something of the like.

    Me like the Habour Lady's accent!

    The animation in Pikachu's Vacation is mediocre compared to the "new" animation that came around late in MQ...hah I didn't see the weird way they actually were in the threatre! I hate how in PV they had those little "interludes" with random Pokémon doing weird things and making strange noises.

    Once again, I feel really stupid for liking this movie so much.

    It was Columbus instead.

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    A black and white world Blackjack Gabbiani's Avatar
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    I don't think those trainers died, or even close. Aren't they all there in the end, back at the harbor?

  15. #15
    SOOOOONANSU!!
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    Sugoi!!! Someone else who likes the dub music! YAY!!!.

    The Mewtwo movie is probably my second favorite, just for the nostalgia. I was so excited about it when I first saw it in the theaters. Everytime I watch it I get shivers down my spine ^^. The animation was really cool and Ash's sacrifice was really sad and cool. I also had cool battles and probably the best ending out of all the movies. I LOVE that scene where they are on the dock and Ash sees Mew fly by in the distance. It was cool how they connected it to the first episode.

    I think everyone complains too much about the dub of this movie. Having seen both the dub and the japanese version I didn't notice any major changes in the plot. Its definitly not as bad as the dub of the 5th movie, which cut out the entire background story and just made something up, as well as being totally lazy with the opening and ending songs. I LOVE the dub music of Mewtwo Strikes Back, its my favorite out of all the dubs. "Don't Say You Love Me" is my most favorite song OF ALL TIME!!!, I thought "brother my brother" really fit the scene and made it more poignant and emotional, "We're a Miracle" still sends shivers up my spine every time I hear it, and "If Only Tears Could Bring You Back" Is an awesome, sad, shippy song that rocks!! ^^
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