Pokemon 3: The Movie is actually one of the better
films I've seen this year.
As usual the short, this time entitled "Pikachu and Pichu", is a
throwaway. Pikachu goes exploring the "big city" and meets up
with the Pichu brothers (cute little Pokemon who resemble
Pikachu). Together they have a series of misadventures, mostly
running from a large dog Pokemon named Hounddower. This
short serves only to introduce new Pokemon for the kids to get
excited over. What makes it worse is that the "short's" running
time clocks in at a lengthy 22 minutes. However, if you can survive
that, you are in for a treat.
The feature, entitled The Spell Of The Unown, begins with a young
girl named Molly and her father reading a bedtime story. We can
see that the girl loves her father very much. We soon learn that the
father is a famous Pokemon researcher who is investigating the
ancient Pokemon call "Unown". While escavating a temple, where
the remains of the Unown were found, he mysteriously vanishes.
Molly learns about her fathers disappearance, she sinks
into a deep depression feeling that she is truely alone (her Mother
had also disappeared several years earlier). Molly happens upon
the remains of the Unown (which resemble letters of the alphabet)
in her father's study. She spells out the names "Mama" and
"Papa" with the Unown and begins to cry. The Unown come to life
and give Molly the power to create her own dreamworld where she
can have anything she wants. She brings to life an ancient
Pokemon called "Entei" to be her surrogate father and promptly
begins to turn her house and the rest of the countryside into a
magnificent crystal palace. Enter Ash, Misty, Brock, Team Rocket,
all those cute little Pokemon, and some old friends and you have
the beginnings to a great movie.
This movie has a lot going for it. The animation is well done, the
colors are exceptionally vibrant, and even the American added CGI
effects look much better in this as compared to the first two
movies. The story line in Pokemon 3, which borrows liberally from
Star Trek, Alice in Wonderland and The Neverending Story, has a
much more dark tone than the first two and feels more like an
actual movie rather than an extended episode of the TV series. It
deals with such adult oriented issues as loss, loneliness, and
depression. However, it is still perfectly suited for kids as there is
no language and very minor cartoon violence.
All in all Pokemon 3 is a great movie to take your kids to, or just to
take yourself to if your in the mood for a great action/fantasy anime
movie. I give it an 8/10.