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Nov. 19, 1999, edition 1 /
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Pokemon: The First Movie Review
The feature is like The Joy Luck Club without the sexy chicks. The natural
Pokemon are inclined to fight with the cloned Pokemon, symbolizing the
cross-generation cultural gap between foreign bom mother and native bom
daughter. In the end, everyone cries, decides not to fight anymore and has their
memories obliterated. This prevents children fi-om leaving the movie with the crazy
notion that Pokemon aren't bred to fight each other.
The best part of the movie is when the black Phantasm pokeballs chase and
steal everyone's Pokemon. This is unfortunate, because the best part is supposed to
be the battle between #150 and #151.
In the final fight scene, Mewtwo takes away every Pokemon's special
abilities and they slap and gnaw each other into exhaustion. Mewtwo and Mew
cover themselves in laser shields and bounce inefiFectively against the other. It's
pointed out, about 15 gazillion times, in the backgroimd music, in the exposition,
in English and in Pokemon, that Pokemon are not meant to fight this way. That's
right, they're supposed to fight with their magic powers.
In the end, Mewtwo gives a lecture on the importance of not fighting.
Before he teleports everyone home, he erases their memories so they don't leam
anything. [Obligatory comment about the audience wishing their memories could
be wiped too.] Fade to Team Rocket.
The movie is radically different fi'om the cartoon. It lacks wacky escapades,
the show's focus on its characters and the insipid love songs over the credits. It has
no cheese value after the opening title and no place in the episode continuity. Most
important, there is only a split second of hot, pink Jigglypuff. It's not worth the
fi-ee promotional cards that were already sold out opening night.
Pokemon: The First movie, is rated G for "GOD, NO!" It stars Team
Rocket, so prepare for trouble.
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