Pokémon Series and Film Adaptations ⭕ Release Date, Cast, Plot, Review, Opinions

Pokémon Series and Movies

Most of you have played at least one Pokémon game. The Pokémon video game series has been around for 25 years. It has had over 20 installments and is considered one of the most successful video game series ever.

The series is still developed by Game Freak and published by Nintendo. 

Apart from being a video game giant, Pokémon has had its fair share of TV shows and movies, some of which have consistently topped the charts. However, Pokémon movies have critics and viewers split.

Let’s take a look at every Pokémon TV show and movie adaptation. 

 

 

Everything About Pokémon TV Show (1997 – )

Pokémon TV Show (1997 -)
Source: Pokémon USA and 4 Kids Entertainment

 

 

Production, Release Date, and Reception

Pokémon (also known as Pocket Monsters), and currently known as Pokémon the Series, is a Japanese cartoon that started airing in April 1997.

The series has had over 1000 episodes, spanning seven seasons under the video game series generations.

The series is considered the pinnacle of Pokémon adaptations and currently airs in 169 countries. It’s also available on Netflix.

 

Cast & Characters

  • Ikue Ôtani (Pikachu)
 
  • Rica Matsumoto (Satoshi)
 
  • Rodger Parsons (Narrator)
 
  • Shin’ichirô Miki (Kojiro)
 
  • Megumi Hayashibara (Musashi)
 
  • Inuko Inuyama (Nyarth) 
 
  • Kayzie Rogers (Wobbuffet)
 
  • Unshô Ishizuka (Narrator)
 
  • Sarah Natochenny (Ash Ketchum)
 
  • James Carter Cathcart (James)
 
  • Yûji Ueda (Takeshi)
 
  • Christopher Collet (Steven Stone)
 
  • Michele Knotz (Jessie)
 
  • Erica Schroeder (Wobbuffet)
 
  • Marc Thompson (Pokédex)
 
  • Rachael Lillis (Jessie)
 
  • Bill Rogers (Brock)
 
  • Eric Stuart (James)
 
  • Veronica Taylor (Ash Ketchum)
 
  • Madeleine Blaustein (Meowth)
 
  • Katsuyuki Konishi (Sabonea)
 
  • Emily Bauer (Dawn)
 
  • Alyson Leigh Rosenfeld (Bonnie)
 
  • Chinami Nishimura (Junsa)
 
  • Lisa Ortiz (Oshawott)
 
  • Eileen Stevens (Iris)
 
  • Mayumi Izuka (Kasumi)
 
  • Tom Wayland (Excadrill)
 
  • Mike Liscio (Clemont)
 
  • Kôichi Sakaguchi (Arbok)
 
  • Satomi Kôrogi (Togepi)
 
  • Tara Sands (Bulbasaur)
 
  • Rikako Aikawa (Zenigame)
 
  • Etsuko Kozakura (Pochama)
 
  • Megumi Toyoguchi (Hikari)
 
  • Kaori (Haruka)
 
  • Haven Paschall (Serena) 
 
  • Jason Griffith (Cilan) 
 
  • Kyôko Yamada (Masato)
 
  • Ted Lewis (Giovanni) 
 
  • Suzy Myers Jackson (Pokédex) 
 
  • Chie Satô (Habunake) 
 
  • Sean Kenin (Professor Rowan) 
 
  • Rebecca Soler (Mallow) 
 
  • Laurie Hymes (Lillie)
 
  • Amy Birnbaum (Max) 
 
  • Dan Green (Treecko) 
 
  • Mike Pollock (Narrator) 
 
  • Mika Kanai (Chikorita) 
 
  • Michael Haigney (Psyduck) 
 
  • Miyako Ito (Aipom) 
 
  • Yûki Kaji (Citron)  
 
  • Mayuki Makiguchi (Serena) 
 
  • Abe Goldfarb (Professor Kukui) 
 
  • Marc Swint (Kiawe) 
 
  • Roger Callagy (Rotom Pokédex) 
 
  • Kiyotaka Furushima (Buizel) 
 
  • Mariya Ise (Eureka) 
 
  • Lindsey Warner (Cacnea) 
 
  • Daisuke Sakaguchi (Muskippa) 
 
  • Michael Sinterniklaas (Seviper) 
 
  • Rosie Reyes (Lana) 
 
  • Yuriko Yamaguchi (Joi)
 
  • Darren Dunstan (Grovyle) 
 
  • Megan Hollingshead (Nurse Joy)
 
 

Plot/Synopsis

The Pokémon TV show follows the adventures of 10-year-old Ash Ketchum, an aspiring Pokémon trainer. Along with his friends and his Pokémon, Pikachu, Ash explores the world for new Pokémon and fights Team Rocket or any other enemies that face him.

 

Review and Opinions

It’s safe to say that anyone who’s a fan of the video game series will love the cartoon. While it isn’t the best cartoon in the world, the nostalgia that it offers is more than enough to watch a few episodes of the series.

Kevin McFarland: “A kids program that emphasizes the value of hard work, the importance of family and close friendship, and the ideals of love, trust, and honor. But it’s also a largely silly show with slapstick comedy and colorful battle sequences, making Ash’s Sisyphean task to become the world’s best Pokémon trainer continually entertaining.”

Sarra Sedghi: “To the joy of ’90s kids everywhere, Pokémon helped solidify anime (and, hopefully, good punnery) in the West. Pokémon may not be high artistry (because, you know, it’s for children), but the show’s pervasiveness is a testament to the power of nostalgia.”

 

 

Everything About Pokémon: The First Movie (1998)

Pokémon The First Movie (1998)
Source: OLM, Inc.

 

 

Production, Release Date, and Reception

The first Pokémon movie, also known as Pokémon: Mewtwo Strikes Back, was released in 1998. It’s directed by Kunihiko Yuyama.

The film received negative reviews from critics, many of which stated that “Audiences other than children will find very little to entertain them”.

Pokémon: The First Movie (1998) Trailer

On Rotten Tomatoes, Pokémon: The First Movie has a 3.57/10 approval rating, while on Metacritic the movie has a score of 35/100.

 

Cast & Characters

  • Ash Ketchum (Rika Matsumoto / Veronica Taylor)
 
  • Pikachu (Ikue Ōtani)
 
  • Misty (Mayumi Iizuka / Rachael Lillis)
 
  • Brock (Yūji Ueda / Eric Stuart)
 
  • Narrator (Unshō Ishizuka / Rodger Parsons)
 
  • Togepi (Satomi Kōrogi)
 
  • Jessie (Megumi Hayashibara / Rachael Lillis)
 
  • James (Shinichiro Miki / Eric Stuart)
 
  • Meowth (Inuko Inuyama / Maddie Blaustein)
 
  • Bulbasaur (Megumi Hayashibara / Tara Jayne)
 
  • Charizard (Shinichiro Miki)
 
  • Squirtle (Rikako Aikawa / Eric Stuart)
 
  • Fergus (Wataru Takagi / Jimmy Zoppi)
 
  • Corey (Tōru Furuya / Ed Paul)
 
  • Neesha (Aiko Satō / Lisa Ortiz)
 
  • Miranda (Sachiko Kobayashi / Lisa Ortiz)
 
  • Pirate Trainer (Raymond Johnson / Maddie Blaustein)
 
  • Mewtwo (Masachika Ichimura, Fujiko Takimoto (young; radio drama), Showtaro Morikubo (young; anime), Philip Bartlett)
 
  • Mew voiced (Kōichi Yamadera)
 
  • Giovanni (Hirotaka Suzuoki / Ed Paul)
 
  • Officer Jenny (Chinami Nishimura / Lee Quick)
 
  • Nurse Joy (Ayako Shiraishi / Megan Hollingshead)
 
  • Doctor Fuji (Yōsuke Akimoto / Philip Bartlett)
 
  • Ambertwo (Kyōko Hikami / Kerry Williams)
 

Plot/Synopsis

The film sees the introduction of a mythical Pokémon, Mewtwo. Mewtwo has escaped the lab where it was created, luring many trainers to catch it, including Ash and his team.

Their excitement, however, soon turns to anger, as they learn of Mewtwo’s evil plan for world domination.

 

Review and Opinions

Despite what critics had to say, this movie is great. Considering that it’s the first Pokémon movie adaptation, the movie had good voice actors and a pretty good script. But, one thing that we can agree on is that non-fans of the games will find it hard to enjoy the movie.

Peter Bradshaw: “This film is humourless, boring, impenetrable and with animation of such staggeringly low quality that it constitutes an insult to cinemagoers of all ages.”

Paul Tatara:  “Pokémon: The First Movie is a dose of extremely low-budget “Japanimation” that — were it only more proficiently executed — would rival “Scooby Doo” as the most astounding work of art in the 20th century.”

 

 

Everything About Pokémon The Movie 2000 (1999)

Pokémon The Movie 2000 (1999)
Source: Nintendo and Warner Bros. Pictures

 

Production, Release Date, and Reception

Pokémon The Movie 2000: The Power of One is the second installment in Pokémon’s film adaptations. The movie is directed by Kunihiko Yuyama, just like the first one.

The Power of One includes two parts, a 20-minute introduction (which we mention right below) and the main film.

The movie premiered on July 17, 1999, in Japan. It was released in the US one year later.

Pokémon: 2: 2000 (1999) Trailer

The US adaptation received negative reviews, as seen on Rotten Tomatoes and Metacritic. The former has a 19% approval rating while the latter rates the film a 28/100.

 

Cast & Characters

  • Ash Ketchum (Rica Matsumoto / Veronica Taylor)
 
  • Pikachu (Ikue Ōtani)
 
  • Misty (Mayumi Iizuka / Rachael Lillis)
 
  • Togepi (Satomi Kōrogi)
 
  • Tracey Sketchit (Tomokazu Seki / Ted Lewis)
 
  • Jessie (Megumi Hayashibara / Rachael Lillis)
 
  • James (Shin-ichiro Miki / Eric Stuart)
 
  • Meowth (Inuko Inuyama / Maddie Blaustein)
 
  • Narrator (Unshō Ishizuka / Roger Parsons)
 
  • Delia Ketchum (Masami Toyoshima / Veronica Taylor)
 
  • Professor Samuel Oak (Unshō Ishizuka / Stuart Zagnit)
 
  • Professor Ivy (Keiko Han / Kayzie Rogers)
 
  • Bulbasaur (Megumi Hayashibara / Tara Jayne)
 
  • Charizard (Shin-ichiro Miki)
 
  • Squirtle (Rikako Aikawa / Eric Stuart)
 
  • Lapras (Rikako Aikawa)
 
  • Snorlax (Katsuyuki Konishi / Michael Haigney)
 
  • Goldeen (Ikue Ōtani / Rachael Lillis)
 
  • Staryu (Shin-ichiro Miki)
 
  • Psyduck (Rikako Aikawa / Michael Haigney)
 
  • Venonat (Rikako Aikawa / Rachael Lillis)
 
  • Marill (Mika Kanai / Kayzie Rogers)
 
  • Scyther (Unshō Ishizuka / Eric Stuart)
 
  • Arbok (Kōichi Sakaguchi)
 
  • Weezing (Unshō Ishizuka / Eric Stuart)
 
  • Mr. Mime (Yūji Ueda / Kayzie Rogers)
 
  • Lugia (Kōichi Yamadera / Eric Rath)
 
  • Moltres (Rikako Aikawa)
 
  • Articuno (Yumi Tōma)
 
  • Zapdos (Katsuyuki Konishi)
 
  • Melody (Akiko Hiramatsu / Amy Birnbaum)
 
  • Slowking (Masatoshi Hamada / Nathan Price)
 
  • Lawrence III (Takeshi Kaga / Neil Stewart)
 
  • The Computer (Emi Shinohara / Megan Hollingshead)
 
  • Carol (Aya Hisakawa / Michelle Goguen)
 
  • Tobias (Chikao Ōtsuka / Norman Altman)
 
  • Maren (Kotono Mitsuishi / Tara Jayne)
 
 

Plot/Synopsis

Ash and the gang are on a trip to Orange Islands. Despite being a quiet chain of islands, it has its many secrets. There are a total of four legendary Pokémon there: Zapdos, Articuno, Moltres, and Lugia.

Ash, being unaware of that, gets excited once again, and proceeds to try and catch all four legendary Pokémon.

 

Review and Opinions

Again, this film isn’t bad. Critics have criticized the film negatively from everything, ranging from its script to its animations. But, the soundtrack is great, the animations are amazing and it’s a must-watch if you ask us.

Gene Seymour: “This freshly baked and frosted big-screen “Pokémon” goes down with a sweetness that charms without talking down to its audience.”

Robert Koehler: “A much more intense action vehicle for hero Ash Ketchum and his band of pocket monster trainers than its leaden, sometimes claustrophobic predecessor.”

 

 

Everything About Pikachu’s Rescue Adventure (1999)

Pikachu's Rescue Adventure (1999)
Source: Nintendo

 

Production, Release Date, and Reception

Pikachu’s Rescue Adventure is the fourth of many of Pikachu’s short films. The film comes along with The Power of One, so it was directed by the same person (Kunihiko Yuyama), and released on the same day ( July 17, 1999 (Japan) / July 21, 2000 (United States)).

Pikachu’s Rescue Adventure (1999) Short Film

 

Cast & Characters

  • Ikue Ōtani (Pikachu)
 
  • Rikako Aikawa (Zenigame / Koduck (voice)
 
  • Madeleine Blaustein (Meowth / Magikarp (voice)
 
  • Michael Haigney (Psyduck / Machop / Snorlax (voice)
 
  • Megumi Hayashibara (Fushigidane (voice)
 
  • Inuko Inuyama (Nyasu (voice))
 
  • Mayumi Izuka (Kasumi (voice))
 
  • Mika Kanai (Mariru (voice))
 
  • Katsuyuki Konishi (Paras (voice))
 
  • Etsuko Kozakura (Madatsubomi (voice))
 
  • Satomi Kôrogi (Togepi (voice))
 
  • Ted Lewis (Tracey Sketchit (voice))
 
  • Rachael Lillis (Misty / Venonat / Chansey / Vulpix / Jigglypuff / Wigglytuff / Goldeen / Poliwag (voice))
 
  • Rica Matsumoto (Satoshi (voice))
 
  • Shin’ichirô Miki (Tama-Tama (voice))
 
  • Masako Nozawa (Elekid (voice))
 
  • Kayzie Rogers (Marill / Bellossom / Vileplume / Eevee / Bellsprout (voice))
 
  • Tara Sands (Bulbasaur / Clefairy / Oddish (voice))
 
  • Tamao Satô (Narrator (voice))
 
  • Tomokazu Seki (Kenji (voice))
 
  • Eric Stuart (Squirtle / Weepinbell / Voltorb / Poliwhirl / Tentacool / Slowpoke / Exeggutor (voice)
 
  • Veronica Taylor (Ash Ketchum (voice))
 
  • Yumi Tôma (Iivi (voice))
 
  • Yûji Ueda (Ho-Ho (voice))
 
  • Kappei Yamaguchi (Parasect (voice))
 
 

Plot/Synopsis

As with the first Pikachu short film, we don’t see any of the main human characters from the films. However, we see many Pokémon, including Bulbasaur, Squirtle, PSyduck, Togepi, and many more. The Pokémon are searching for an Exeggcute egg in the woods.

 

Review and Opinions

The plot of this short film is nice, which is great since the animations are superb. If you’ve got a spare 20 minutes, you should watch this.

 

 

Everything About Pikachu and Pichu (2000)

Pikachu and Pichu (2000)
Source: Nintendo

 

Production, Release Date, and Reception

Pikachu and Pichu (codenamed PK07 by the Pokémon community), is the seventh installment in Pikachu’s short film series. It was directed by Kunihiko Yuyama.

Pikachu and Pichu (2000) Short Film

The film premiered on July 8, 2000, in Japan, and on April 6, 2001, in the United States.

 

Cast & Characters

  • Veronica Taylor (Ash Ketchum (voice))
 
  • Rachael Lillis (Misty / Jessie (voice))
 
  • Eric Stuart (Brock / James / Pokédex (voice))
 
  • Madeleine Blaustein (Meowth (voice))
 
  • Rodger Parsons (Narrator (voice))
 
  • Hilde de Mildt (Jessie)
 
  • Megumi Hayashibara (Musashi (voice))
 
  • Inuko Inuyama (Nyarth (voice))
 
  • Unshô Ishizuka (Narrator (voice))
 
  • Mayumi Izuka (Kasumi (voice))
 
  • Jeroen Keers (Narrator)
 
  • Satomi Kôrogi (Togepi (voice))
 
  • Christa Lips (Ash Ketchum)
 
  • Rica Matsumoto (Satoshi (voice))
 
  • Fred Meijer (Brock)
 
  • Shin’ichirô Miki (Kojiro (voice))
 
  • Jan Nonhof (Meowth)
 
  • Fumiko Orikasa (Anju (voice))
 
  • Lisa Ortiz (Charmaine (voice))
 
  • Kayzie Rogers (Wobbuffet (voice))
 
  • Marlies Somers (Misty)
 
  • Yûji Ueda (Takeshi (voice))
 
  • Ikue Ôtani (Pikachu (voice))
 
 

Plot/Synopsis

The movie follows Pikachu’s adventures with Pichu Little and Pichu Big. Most of Pikachu’s on-screen time involves saving Pichu Little from injuring itself.

 

Review and Opinions

We’d never thought we’d say that a movie about Pokémon going around solving random problems would be more exciting than a Pokémon battle. This is exactly why you should watch this short film.

 

 

Everything About Pokémon 3 – Spell of the Unown: Entei (2000)

Pokémon 3 Spell of the Unown Entei (2000)
Source: OLM, Inc. and Toho

 

Production, Release Date, and Reception

The third installment in the Pokémon films is Pokémon: Spell of the Unown: Entei. The film premiered on July 8, 2000 (Japan), becoming the third highest-grossing film in the country for 2000.

The film was directed by Kunihiko Yuyama and came along with Pikachu and Pichu.

Pokémon 3: Spell of the Unown: Entei (2000) Trailer

Critics once again hated the film, with only 21% of them posting a positive review on Rotten Tomatoes. 

 

Cast & Characters

  • Ash Ketchum (Rica Matsumoto / Veronica Taylor)
 
  • Pikachu (Ikue Otani)
 
  • Misty (Mayumi Iizuka / Rachael Lillis)
 
  • Brock (Yuuji Ueda / Eric Stuart)
 
  • Narrator (Ishizuka / Ken Gates)
 
  • Togepi (Satomi Korogi)
 
  • Jessie (Megumi Hayashibara / Rachael Lillis)
 
  • James (Shin-ichiroh Miki / Eric Stuart)
 
  • Meowth (Inuko Inuyama / Maddie Blaustein)
 
  • Entei (Naoto Takenaka / Dan Green)
 
  • Spencer Hale (Naoto Takenaka / Dan Green)
 
  • Molly Hale (Akiko Yajima / Amy Birnbaum)
 
  • Lisa (Ai Katoh / Lisa Ortiz)
 
  • Schuyler (Hirohide Yakumaru / Ted Lewis)
 
  • Delia Ketchum (Masami Toyoshima / Veronica Taylor)
 
  • Professor Samuel Oak (Unshō Ishizuka / Stuart Zagnit)
 
  • Tracey Sketchit (Tomokazu Seki / Ted Lewis)
 
  • Officer Jenny (Chinami Nishimura / Lee Quick)
 
  • David (Kōichi Yamadera / Peter R. Bird)
 
 

Plot/Synopsis

The film takes place in a destroyed Greenfield. Ash and his friends need to find out how to fix up the city. That’s until Ash’s mother gets kidnapped by the legendary Pokémon, Entei. Ash needs to find a way to get his mom back.

 

Review and Opinions

As critics have said, the third movie feels different. It’s a definite improvement from its predecessors. The animation is great, and the fighting scenes are action-packed. You should worst-ratedgive it a watch.

Robert Koehler: “The animation doesn’t display the kind of artistic advances that would compensate for the underdeveloped story.”

Nell Minow: “So-so, violent movie for series fans only.”

 

 

Everything About Pokémon: Mewtwo Returns (2000)

Pokémon Mewtwo Returns (2000)
Source: OLM, Inc. and TV Tokyo

 

Production, Release Date, and Reception

Pokémon: Mewtwo Returns premiered on December 30, 2000, in Japan. It was released in the United States on December 4, 2001.

Pokémon: Mewtwo Returns (2000) Trailer

Pokémon: Mewtwo Returns is a special episode of the Pokémon cartoon, which lasted one hour.

 

Cast & Characters

  • Ash Ketchum (Rica Matsumoto / Veronica Taylor)
 
  • Pikachu (kue Ōtani)
 
  • Misty (Mayumi Iizuka / Rachael Lillis)
 
  • Brock (Yūji Ueda / Eric Stuart)
 
  • Togepi (Satomi Koorogi)
 
  • Narrator (Unshō Ishizuka / Ken Gates)
 
  • Jessie (Megumi Hayashibara / Rachael Lillis)
 
  • James (Shinichiro Miki / Eric Stuart)
 
  • Meowth (Inuko Inuyama / Maddie Blaustein)
 
  • Mewtwo (Masachika Ichimura / Dan Green)
 
  • Giovanni (Hirotaka Suzuoki / Ed Paul)
 
  • Domino (Kotono Mitsuishi / Kerry Williams)
 
  • Officer Jenny (Chinami Nishimura / Lee Quick)
 
  • Luna Carson (Aya Hisakawa / Amy Birnbaum)
 
  • Cullen Calix (Rikiya Koyama / Scottie Ray)
 
  • Luka Carson (Yumi Tōma / Megan Hollingshead)
 
 

Plot/Synopsis

The episode serves as a sequel to the first Pokémon movie. Ash and his friends are on a trip to Johto. They end up fighting Team Rocket to save Pikachu. While searching around the island, they find Mewtwo’s haven for the Pokémon clones from the first movie.

This movie’s villain, Giovanni, wants to capture Mewtwo and continue his evil scheme, but Ash defeats him and his sidekicks.

 

Review and Opinions

The episode (or film) is a great sequel to the first one. Focusing purely on the story, the delivery is great from the voice actors, giving us a greater look at Mewtwo. We’d recommend you watch it.

Sebastian Zavala Kahn: “A sequel to the first movie on the purest level: narratively, thematically, and stylistically.”

Steve Rhodes: “The movie easily produces the same trance-like effect on young kids that an electronic baby swing does on infants.”

 

 

Everything About Pokémon: 4Ever (2001)

Pokémon 4Ever (2001)
Source: OLM, Inc. and Toho

 

Production, Release Date, and Reception

Pokémon: 4Ever is the fourth installment of the Pokémon film franchise. Once again, it’s directed by Kunihiko Yuyama. It was released on July 7, 2001 (Japan), and October 11, 2002 (United States).

Pokémon: 4Ever (2001) Commercial Trailer

The film received negative reviews from critics, many of which called it “disappointing”. It’s one of the worst rated Pokémon films.

 

Cast & Characters

  • Ash Ketchum (Rika Matsumoto / Veronica Taylor)
 
  • Pikachu (Ikue Ōtani)
 
  • Misty (Mayumi Iizuka / Rachael Lillis)
 
  • Brock (Yuuji Ueda / Eric Stuart)
 
  • Togepi (Satomi Kōrogi)
 
  • Jessie (Megumi Hayashibara / Rachael Lillis)
 
  • James (Shinichirou Miki / Eric Stuart)
 
  • Meowth (Inuko Inuyama / Maddie Blaustein)
 
  • Bayleef (Mika Kanai)
 
  • Sammy (Keiko Toda / Tara Sands)
 
  • Diana (Anne Suzuki / Roxanne Beck)
 
  • Towa (Mami Koyama / Veronica Taylor / Kerry Williams (young))
 
  • Iron Masked Marauder (Shirō Sano / Dan Green)
 
  • Scizor (Katsuyuki Konishi / Eric Stuart)
 
  • Sneasel (Yumi Tōma / Kayzie Rogers)
 
  • Celebi (Kazuko Sugiyama)
 
  • Suicune (Masahiko Tanaka)
 
  • White (Takashi Fujii / Marc Thompson)
 
  • Hunter (Kouichi Yamadera / Eric Stuart)
 
  • Hunter’s Scyther (Koichi Sakaguchi)
 
  • Hunter’s Houndoom (Tomoyuki Kōno)
 
  • Hunter’s Ursaring (Hisao Egawa)
 
  • Hunter’s Furret (Akiko Suzuki)
 
  • Hunter’s Teddiursa (Ryouka Yuzuki / Tara Jayne)
 
  • Hunter’s Stantler (Shinichi Namiki)
 
  • Hunter’s Oddish (Kaori Tsuji / Kayzie Rogers)
 
  • Croconaw (Masaru Motegi / Eric Stuart)
 
  • Professor Oak (Unshō Ishizuka / Stuart Zagnit)
 
  • Tracey Sketchit (Tomokazu Seki / Ted Lewis)
 
  • Narrator (Unshō Ishizuka / Rodger Parsons)
 
 

Plot/Synopsis

Ash and his friends are once again on a journey to catch a rare Pokémon. The gang is chasing the legendary Pokémon Celebi in a forest. However, they aren’t the only ones who want to capture Celebi.

The Iron Masked Marauder has Dark Balls in his possession. With these, he aims to capture Celebi and make it obey him. Can Ash and his friends save Celebi?

 

Review and Opinions

The movie is the best installment so far when it comes to its environment. It also contains good animations and a few funny moments. 

Megan Turner: “A rote exercise in both animation and storytelling.”

Sebastian Zavala Kahn: “Fun for the youngest in the crowd, especially if they’re fans of the anime or games; the rest will have a better time playing Pokémon Gold or Silver.”

 

 

Everything About Pikachu’s PikaBoo (2001)

Pikachu's PikaBoo (2001)
Source: OLM, Inc.

 

Production, Release Date, and Reception

Pikachu’s PikaBoo is the tenth of Pikachu’s short films. It aired along with the fourth Pokémon movie (Pokémon 4Ever).

 

 

Pikachu’s PikaBoo (2001) Short Film

 

Cast & Characters

  • Ikue Ôtani (Pikachu (voice))
 
  • Satomi Kôrogi (Togepi (voice))
 
  • Mika Kanai (Bayleef (voice))
 
  • Yûji Ueda (Hinoarashi / Sonans (voice))
 
  • Chinami Nishimura (Waninoko (voice))
 
  • Megumi Hayashibara (Fushigidane (voice))
 
  • Rikako Aikawa (Koduck / Yanyamma (voice))
 
  • Inuko Inuyama (Nyâth (voice))
 
  • Mayumi Tanaka (Yôgiras (voice))
 
  • Yasuhiro Takato (Kakuleon / Kecleon (voice))
 
  • Naoki Tatsuta (Granbull (voice))
 
  • Taeko Kawata (Ruriri (voice))
 
  • Yumi Tôma (Kimawari (voice))
 
  • Etsuko Kozakura (Nazonokusa (voice))
 
  • Tomoyuki Shimura (Donphan (voice))
 
  • Takahiro Sakurai (Sand (voice))
 
  • Kumiko Endô (Narrator (voice))
 
  • Madeleine Blaustein (Meowth (voice))
 
  • Michael Haigney (Psyduck (voice))
 
  • Eric Stuart (Sandshrew / Wailmer (voice))
 
  • Tara Sands (Bulbasaur / Larvitar / Oddish (voice))
 
  • Veronica Taylor (Sunkern (voice))
 
  • Kayzie Rogers (Cyndaquil / Totodile / Wobbuffet / Azurill / Sunflora / Corsola (voice))
 
  • Amy Birnbaum (Additional Voices (voice))
 
  • Rodger Parsons (Narrator (voice))
 
 

Plot/Synopsis

As the name suggests, Pikachu and his friends organize a game of hide-and-seek.

 

Review and Opinions

This movie is pretty short. Compared to the other Pikachu short films, this one isn’t as interesting, but it does feature really cute moments with Pikachu and his buddies.

 

 

Everything About Pokémon: The Legend of Thunder! (2001)

Pokémon The Legend of Thunder! (2001)
Source: Nintendo and Anime World Osaka

 

Production, Release Date, and Reception

Pokémon: The Legend of Thunder is a three-part anime movie that premiered on December 30, 2001, in Japan. It’s notable because it took four years for it to be released in the West.

 

Cast & Characters

  • Sebastian Arcelus (Vincent)
 
  • Madeleine Blaustein (Skarmory)
 
  • Susumu Chiba (Typhlosion)
 
  • Dan Green (Eugene)
 
  • Katsuyuki Konishi (Meganium)
 
  • Caren Manuel (Marina)
 
  • Mike Pollock (Narrator)
 
  • Kayzie Rogers (Little Miss)
 
  • Sean Schemmel (Jimmy)
 
  • Veronica Taylor (Hun)
 
  • Marc Thompson (Attila)
 
  • Darren Dunstan (Wani-Wani)
 
  • Michael Haigney (Muk)
 
  • Unshô Ishizuka (Steelix)
 
  • Corey James (Kudo)
 
  • Rachael Lillis (Chansey)
 
  • Shin’ichirô Miki (Beedrill)
 
  • Erica Schroeder (Nurse Joy)
 
  • Yûji Ueda (Hoothoot)
 
  • Rikako Aikawa (Lapras)
 
  • Paul Liberti (Professor Elm)
 
  • Lee Quick (Officer Jenny)
 
  • Andrew Rannells (Shinji)
 
  • Eric Stuart (Magnemite)
 
  • Akiko Suzuki (Raichu)
 
  • Kelly Davis (Marina)
 
  • Toshikazu Fukawa (Kudo)
 
  • Nobuyuki Hiyama (Buson)
 
  • Kazuhiko Inoue (Narration)
 
  • Shinji Kawada (Minaki)
 
  • Yuka Komatsu (Ladyba)
 
  • Toshiyuki Morikawa (Bashou)
 
  • Kazusa Murai (Marina)
 
  • Daiki Nakamura (Scientist)
 
  • Hidetoshi Nakamura (Dr. Shiranui)
 
  • Chinami Nishimura (Junsa)
 
  • Kenji Nojima (Kenta)
 
  • Daisuke Sakaguchi (Junichi)
 
  • Ayako Shiraishi (Joy)
 
  • Yumi Tôma (Purin)
 
  • Ryôka Yuzuki (Mauma)
 
 

Plot/Synopsis

The movie focuses on Jimmy. Jimmy is a young trainer, who meets up with an old friend of his, Marina. The duo teams up with another Trainer, Vincent. They try to stop Raikou’s capture by Atilla and Hun.

 

Review and Opinions

This film was interesting. It’s definitely an entertaining one. And not seeing Ash and his friends was refreshing, yet it felt wrong. Still, you should give The Legend of Thunder a watch.

 

 

Everything About Pokémon: Heroes (2002)

Pokémon Heroes (2002)
Source: OLM, Inc.

 

Production, Release Date, and Reception

Pokémon: Heroes is the 5th film in the series. It was released in 2002 in Japan and on May 16, 2003, in the United States. The film is directed by Kunihiko Yuyama, just like every other Pokémon film so far.

Pokémon: Heroes (2002) Trailer

Pokémon: Heroes got a negative reception from critics, saying that it’s “even a bad movie for children”.

 

Cast & Characters

  • Ash Ketchum (Rica Matsumoto / Veronica Taylor)
 
  • Misty (Mayumi Iizuka / Rachael Lillis)
 
  • Brock (Yuuji Ueda / Eric Stuart)
 
  • Pikachu (Ikue Ōtani)
 
  • Togepi (Satomi Kōrogi)
 
  • Latias ( Megumi Hayashibara, Megumi Hayashibara (speaking voice); Madoka Kimura (singing voice))
 
  • Latios (Masashi Ebara / Megumi Hayashibara)
 
  • Jessie (Megumi Hayashibara / Rachael Lillis)
 
  • James (Shinichirou Miki / Eric Stuart)
 
  • Annie v(Uno Kanda / Megan Hollingshead)
 
  • Oakley (Yumiko Shaku / Lisa Ortiz)
 
  • Ross (Kouichi Yamadera / Michael Sinterniklaas)
 
  • Lorenzo (Gutch Yuzou / Wayne Grayson)
 
  • Bianca (Fumiko Orikasa / Tara Sands)
 
  • Older Pichu Brother (Yumi Touma)
 
  • Younger Pichu Brother (Satomi Kōrogi)
 
  • Meowth (Inuko Inuyama / Maddie Blaustein)
 
  • Wobbuffet (Yuuji Ueda / Kayzie Rogers)
 
  • Narrator (Unshō Ishizuka / Rodger Parsons)
 
 

Plot/Synopsis

Ash and the gang are on a journey to Alto Mare. There, they get to see the two legendary Pokémon Latios and Latias, which are disguised as two women. After a machine malfunction, Alto Mare and the two legendary Pokémon are put at risk.

 

Review and Opinions

The film features a great script, with Ash building an amazing bond with the two Pokémon. The animation is great, and the artwork is much better on this one.

Tasha Robinson: “Pokémon Heroes features fewer gratuitous pokéfights than its precursors, and also lacks a dutifully over-repeated moral, but it doesn’t replace these Pokémon staples with anything substantive.”

Sebastian Zavala Kahn: “It’s a pity, since more could be done with the core concept of Pokémon: something more emotional and interesting, and less childish.”

 

 

Everything About Lucario and The Mystery of Mew (2005)

Lucario and The Mystery of Mew (2005)
Source: OLM, Inc.

 

Production, Release Date, and Reception

Pokémon: Lucario and The Mystery of Mew, premiered on July 16, 2005, in Japan. It’s the eighth Pokémon film, meaning that it’s directed by Kunihiko Yuyama. The film was later released in the United States on September 19, 2006.

Lucario and The Mystery of Mew (2005) Trailer

 

Cast & Characters

  • Ash Ketchum (Rika Matsumoto / Veronica Taylor)
 
  • May (Kaori / Veronica Taylor)
 
  • Max (Fushigi Yamada / Amy Birnbaum)
 
  • Brock (Yūji Ueda / Eric Stuart)
 
  • Pikachu (Ikue Otani)
 
  • Lucario (Daisuke Namikawa / Sean Schemmel)
 
  • Grovyle (Yuji Ueda / Darren Dunstan)
 
  • Combusken (Chinami Nishimura / Darren Dunstan)
 
  • Munchlax (Chie Satō / Darren Dunstan)
 
  • James (Shin-ichiro Miki / Eric Stuart)
 
  • Jessie (Megumi Hayashibara / Rachael Lillis)
 
  • Meowth (Inuko Inuyama / Maddie Blaustein)
 
  • Mew (Satomi Korogi)
 
  • Kidd Summers (Becky / Rebecca Soler)
 
  • Lt. Banks (Takeshi Aono / Pete Zarustica)
 
  • Aaron (Kōichi Yamadera / Jason Griffith)
 
  • Rin (Momoko Kikuchi / Bella Hudson)
 
  • Eileen (Momoko Kikuchi / Bella Hudson)
 
  • Narrator (Unshou Ishizuka / Mike Pollock)
 
 

Plot/Synopsis

A yearly Pokémon competition is held at Camaron Palace, which Ash and his friends attend. There, a legendary Pokémon named Lucario appears. The only thing that it remembers is that its owner betrayed it.

Lucario has to trust humans once again, in order to save Pikachu and Meowth, both of which have been kidnapped by Mew.

 

Review and Opinions

The movie was amazing. The plot is really entertaining, and along with a good job on the animation side, the film becomes a must-watch for Pokémon fans.

Sebastian Zavala Kahn: “It manages to expand the Pokémon world in surprisingly interesting ways.”

Carlos Santos: “Lucario and the Mystery of Mew isn’t out to change the face of animation forever, but it’s set to entertain, which it does with its fantasy flavor and strong back-story. Kids will get to see their favorite characters, while anyone who’s babysitting them will get to see a fairly decent adventure”

 

 

Everything About Pokémon: Origins (2013)

Pokémon Origins (2013)
Source: OLM, Inc.

 

Production, Release Date, and Reception

Pokémon Origins is a miniseries that initially aired in Japan on October 2, 2013. It later became available worldwide from November 15 to December 2, 2013, through Pokémon TV.

Pokémon: Origins (2013) Trailer

The miniseries served as a marketing ploy for Pokémon X and Pokémon Y. The series later became available for free on Youtube but was removed in 2017.

 

Cast & Characters

  • Red (Junko Takeuchi / Bryce Papenbrook)
 
  • Green (Takuya Eguchi)
 
  • Dr. Okido (Katsuji Mori / Kyle Hebert)
 
  • Takeshi (Tomokazu Sugita / Johnny Yong Bosch)
 
  • Sakaki (Rikiya Koyama / Taylor Henry)
 
  • Reina (Yui Ishikawa)
 
  • Wataru (Tokuyoshi Kawashima / Steve Heiser)
 
  • Elder Fuji (Minoru Inaba / Kirk Thornton)
 
 

Plot/Synopsis

The miniseries is based on Pokémon Red and Blue. Red, a young Trainer, is tasked with capturing every single Pokémon while fighting Team Rocket and his rival Blue.

 

Review and Opinions

Pokémon: Origins has to be the best adaptation out there. The voice actors are good, the animations are beautiful and so is the artwork. And, we didn’t even talk about the nostalgia brought by watching Red on the big screen.

 

 

Everything About Detective Pikachu (2019)

Detective Pikachu (2019)
Source: The Pokémon Company / Legendary Pictures / Warner Bros. Pictures

 

Production, Release Date, and Reception

After a long time with no adaptation, Detective Pikachu was announced in July 2016. The film was directed by Rob Letterman. The filming lasted five months in 2018 and the movie premiered on May 9, 2019 (Japan) and one day later in the United States.

Detective Pikachu (2019) Trailer

Detective Pikachu is the first Pokémon film that received good reviews from critics, with an average score of 6/10 on websites like Metacritic and Rotten Tomatoes.

 

Cast & Characters

  • Ryan Reynolds (Detective Pikachu and Harry Goodman / Ikue Ōtani)
 
  • Justice Smith (Tim Goodman)
    • Max Fincham (Young Tim Goodman)
 
  • Kathryn Newton (Lucy Stevens)
 
  • Suki Waterhouse (Ms. Norman/Ditto)
 
  • Omar Chaparro (Sebastian)
 
  • Chris Geere (Roger Clifford)
 
  • Ken Watanabe (Detective Hideo Yoshida)
 
  • Bill Nighy (Howard Clifford)
 
  • Rita Ora (Dr. Ann Laurent)
 
  • Karan Soni (Jack)
 
  • Josette Simon (“Grams”)
 
  • Rina Hoshino / Kotaro Watanabe (Mewtwo)
 
  • Rachael Lillis (Jigglypuff)
 
  • Diplo (Himself)
 
  • Rob Delaney (Tim’s co-worker)
 
 

Plot/Synopsis

The story starts with Tim Goodman searching for his dad, detective Harry Goodman. Harry’s Pokémon, Detective Pikachu, assists Tim in his journey. While Pikachu can’t speak with most people, he can communicate with Tim. The duo goes on a hunt, searching for any clues in Ryme City.

 

Review and Opinions

This has to be the first Pokémon film that critics and fans loved. Animations? Check. Beautiful script? Check. Ryan Reynolds being the best person to play Pikachu? Big Check!

Clarisse Loughrey: “It’s a delight for fans to see how immersive this world actually feels.”

Roxana Hadadi: “The central mystery of Detective Pikachu is lackluster-and sends a slightly problematic message about people with disabilities-but the production design is an impressive achievement.”

 

 

Everything About Pokémon: Twilight Wings (2020)

Pokémon Twilight Wings (2020)
Source: Studio Colorido

 

Production, Release Date, and Reception

Pokémon: Twilight Wings is a Japanese anime that premiered on January 15, 2020. A total of seven episodes aired, with each lasting six minutes. The last episode aired on August 6, 2020.

Pokémon: Twilight Wings (2020) Trailer

The series is available on YouTube and was produced by Studio Colorido. The film served as a promotion for Pokémon’s upcoming games Sword and Shield.

 

Cast & Characters

  • John (Julia McIlvaine / Aoi Yūki)
 
  • Oleana (Julia McIlvaine / Ayumi Nagao)
 
  • Chairman Rose (Keith Silverstein / Kazuhiro Yamaji)
 
  • Tommy (Morgan Berry / Kei Shindō)
 
  • Bea (Laura Stahl / Eri Kitamura)
 
  • Hop (Griffin Puatu / Yūko Sanpei)
 
  • Milo (Zach Aguilar / Tarusuke Shingaki)
 
  • Leon (Kai Jordan / Takahiro Sakurai)
 
  • Sonia (Allegra Clark)
 
  • Nessa (Anairis Quinones / Sora Amamiya)
 
  • Allister (Casey Mongillo / Ryō Hirohashi)
 
  • Raihan (Nazeeh Tarsha / Kohsuke Toriumi)
 
  • Cabbie (Edward Bosco / Seiro Ogino)
 
  • Mustard (SungWon Cho)
 
  • Nurse (Yuna Ogata)
 
  • Corviknight (Kiyotaka Furushima)
 
  • Charizard (Kiyotaka Furushima / Edward Bosco)
 
  • Machop (Kiyotaka Furushima / Laura Post)
 
  • Machoke (Tsuguo Mogami)
 
  • Machamp (Masaaki Ihara)
 
  • Wooloo/Dubwool (Erica Mendez / Rikako Aikawa)
 
  • Yamper (Laura Post / Rikako Aikawa)
 
  • Advertising staff (Allegra Clark / Miyari Nemoto)
 
  • Gastly (Kai Jordan / Kiyotaka Furushima)
 
  • Haunter (Casey Mongillo / Kiyotaka Furushima)
 
  • Gengar (Kiyotaka Furushima)
 
  • Opal (Laura Post)
 
  • Melony (Laura Post)
 
  • Piers (Edward Bosco / Kisho Taniyama)
 
  • Goodra (Allegra Clark)
 
  • Wingull (Dawn Bennett)
 
  • Avery (Christopher Hackney)
 
  • Klara (Erica Mendez / Yui Ishikawa)
 
  • Amoonguss (Amber Lee Connors)
 
  • Krookodile (Amber Lee Connors)
 
  • Lycanroc (Christopher Hackney)
 
  • Honey (Amber Lee Connors)
 
  • Bede (Brandon Winckler)
 
  • Marnie (Dawn Bennett / Yui Ishikawa)
 
  • Morpeko (Allegra Clark)
 
  • Grimmsnarl (Christopher Hackney)
 
  • Peonia (Heather Gonzalez)
 
  • Peony (Nazeeh Tarsha)
 
  • Arctozolt (Dawn Bennett)
 
 

Plot/Synopsis

The anime takes place in Galar. There, Pokémon battles are considered a cultural sensation. We see Galar’s residents facing their personal challenges and conflicts.

 

Review and Opinions

The series does its job (promoting Sword and Shield) perfectly. The best thing about the anime is its artwork, which is beautiful. That alone is worth your time.

Megan Peters: “Pokémon Twilight Wings is one of the best animated shorts I’ve ever seen. The stories while small lead are amazing when put all together in the 7 episodes and the animation is absolutely gorgeous. Highly recommended giving it a watch when you can.”