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Site created 12/15/97.

review added: 11/16/00

Pokémon: The Movie 2000
2000 (2000) - Warner Bros.

review by Brad Pilcher of The Digital Bits

Pokemon 2000 - The Movie Film Rating: C+

Disc Ratings (Video/Audio/Extras): B-/B-/B-

Specs and Features

102 mins, G, full frame (1.33:1), single-sided, single-layered, Snapper case packaging, short film Pikachu's Rescue Adventure, music video gallery (includes Dream Street's They Don't Understand, Alysha Antonio's Story Of and Youngstown's Pokémon World), theatrical trailers (for Pokémon: The Movie 2000 and Pokémon 3), film-themed menu screens, scene access (Pikachu's Rescue Adventure has 8 chapters, Pokémon The Movie 2000 has 20 chapters), languages: English and French (DD 5.1), subtitles: English and French, Closed Captioned

"One person can make all the difference."

Yes, Father... I have sinned. How do I know this? Well... I know this because, as punishment, I have been required (forced by Todd and Bill, actually) to review all things Pokémon. I did the first movie, and now I've been handed Pokémon: The Movie 2000. Ugh!

And this time, the "Ugh" is actually justified. I'll grant you Pokémaniacs this - the first film was mildly satisfying and was something I think I'd even had to recommend to parents. The story was inane, but it's the sort of inanity that goes over well with kiddies. Don't get me wrong - it was Pokémon and deserved every "WHADAFRIK!" I gave it. But I still couldn't unilaterally pan it. Hey - the actual DVD presentation was even good. But this sequel! Don't get me started on it. Oh wait, I have to get started on it. Well, this isn't going to be pretty. Consider yourself warned.

I popped in the disc ever so reluctantly, like I was handling nuclear waste, and I told my machine to play the movie. The first thing it sent to my TV screen was the short film Pikachu's Rescue Adventure. Oh dear lord, what is this? For half an hour, I was subjected to little cream puff Pokémon, not to mention SMILING EGGS dancing around my screen, uttering incoherent squeaks and apparently having conversation. I physically got a headache, and I can't imagine any child being heavily entertained by this unless they are four-years-old or younger - seriously.

Then we get to the actual film. The plot goes like this - some villain, whose name I didn't get, has this really big flying ship that he's the only occupant of. His mission in life is to capture these three Pokémon birds from the Islands of Ice, Fire and Lightning. By doing this, he'll somehow upset the balance of nature and send the Earth's ecosystem crashing down. So of course, ace Pokémon trainer Ash Ketchum and his gang of Poké-bangers get caught up in trying to save the world. Hey - don't look at me. I didn't make this up.

To say the film is lacking a decent story would be an understatement. To say the dialogue is a shambles would be to insult the intelligence of any adult. To say the characters are shallow, with little to no development, would be akin to saying, "The President of the United States lies." This is just horrible and I don't know where to begin to explain it. It's just bad. Bad. Bad. Bad. Pika-bad!

Instead of bashing the story, I'll instead rip on the animation. To all animators: let's either learn how to integrate CGI into a seamless and beautiful whole, or stop using it altogether. So often in this film, the CGI elements just clashed so horribly with the rest of the animation, or were just so plain bad themselves, that they actually detracted from the look of the film. The reason a film like The Prince of Egypt looked so good, was because the computer-generated elements were as seamless as you could get (and they looked really good to begin with).

This film was cropped to fit the whole screen and, for the target audience, I can understand. However, an incredibly large amount of framing was lost by doing so. As a result, you'll often see characters hanging half on the screen and half off, because they've been cropped. The original animators obviously were thinking cinema, while the marketing team was thinking of home video. The video presentation suffers because of it. There's some grain evident, but color balances are on and it's not a terrible piece of video. The audio is a bland mixture of effects and cheesy dialogue. Spatial effects are not really taken advantage of, and so this Dolby Digital 5.1 track gets no more than an average rating.

The DVD extras are a mixed bag too. Warner must have been reeling from all the reviews (and wondering why they did such a full-on special edition for the first Poké-film), because this DVD is much, much lighter than the first disc. This time, there are no commentary tracks (thankfully) present here. The only extras include a trailer for this movie and for the third installment (coming in the spring of 2001 - gasp!). There's also a gallery of music videos from some televised Pokémon concert/event/I don't know what. The music pretty much sucks and the performers are all unknowns, except for Weird Al Yankovic and Donna Summer. And even for those two, this isn't their best work. The DVD-ROM material is basically your usual web links and isn't even worth mentioning. Oh yeah... the disc comes with a Pokémon collector's card and some sort of Pokémon coin thingie that kids will probably go nuts for.

OK, I'm done. Thankfully, I have survived my Poké-punishment until the third movie hits DVD. For parents, if your kids like Pokémon, this is a disc you can safely buy them. For everybody else, take a sledgehammer to your nearest store and attack the aisle with this disc. Just kidding.

Brad Pilcher
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