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Pokemon: The First Movie

movie reviewmovie review out of 4 Movie Review: Pokemon: The First Movie

Starring: Ikue Ootani, Veronica Taylor
Director: Kunihiko Yuyama
Rated: G
RunTime: 90 Minutes
Release Date: November 1999
Genres: Animation, Kids

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1.  Susan Granger review follows movie reviewmovie review
2.  UK Critic read the review movie reviewmovie review

Review by Susan Granger
2 stars out of 4

Pokemon is more of a worldwide phenomenon than a movie. Its name is short for "pocket monsters." These creatures are stored in spheres carried by human trainers who free them for friendly combat whenever they're challenged by trainers of other Pokemon. The merchandising madness began in 1996 as a Nintendo video game in Japan and became an animated TV cartoon. There was a quick bout with infamy when its editing techniques were said to prompt seizures in children but that problem has been corrected. Pokemon next appeared in card form, the collectable, swapable baseball variety, featuring more than 150 characters. Card trading so distracted children that many schools have banned it; as a consequences, its popularity has soared. Pokemon: The First Movie begins with a 22-minute short called "Pikachu's Vacation." Then comes "Mew Strikes Back." Mew is a tiny, adorable Pokemon but then comes Mew/Two, a bio-engineered mutation, who escapes from the lab where he was created, bitterly vowing to take revenge on the human scientists who enslaved him. He heads a super race of Pokemons who have declared war against the original Pokemons and their human friends. There's non-stop fighting until, finally, the human hero, named Ash Ketchum, sacrifices himself to save Pikachu, his chubby yellow Pokemon, a gesture that causes Mew/Two to re-think his assertion that humans and Pokemons cannot exist in harmony. Written by Takeshi Shudo, based on characters by Satoshi Tajiri, and directed by Kunihiko Yuyama, Pokemon is contradictory in that it preaches the futility of fighting while presenting non-stop violence. On the Granger Movie Gauge of 1 to 10, Pokemon is a frenzied 5 - but kids love it. Don't underestimate the tsunami of Pokemon Power.

Copyright 2000 Susan Granger

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