Pokemon Movies Retrospective: A Nostalgia-Free Introduction


Greetings all! My name’s Andrew Kim. I’m a student attending the College of William & Mary. Over Winter Break, we college students take the time to relax after two hard weeks of final exams.

Students take advantage of these four weeks in various different ways. Some try to get a leg up and hit the books in anticipation of classes for the following semester. Some go on vacation with their families or friends to far away exotic places. Some catch up on their backlog of books, or TV shows, or Steam games.

Me? I decided to do something a little bit different. I decided to go and watch through all the Pokemon films that have released to date.

When I was a kid, I watched a lot of the early films, but I only recalled them through the murky veil of nostalgia. To make sure I wasn’t unfairly treating any of the films, I watched the entire set of movies from the very first film, Mewtwo Strikes Back released in 1998, all the way through to the most recent film, Genesect and the Legend Awakened released in July 2013. In addition, I watched through each film with its original Japanese audio just to make sure that I didn’t miss anything in translation.

After each movie, I immediately jumped on Facebook to post my thoughts about each of the films, but as we all know, Facebook is a pretty terrible place to put out lengthy reviews or thoughts on anything.

Fortunately, I have the opportunity to put out a series of articles for the Pokemon films as a whole here on Earn This as part of this nostalgia-free article series. This 16-entry long article series will cover each Pokemon film, each with its own article talking about the basic premise of the film, the history surrounding the franchise at the time of the film’s release, differences I noted between the English translated dubbing and the original Japanese dub, and my thoughts and impressions on the film as a whole.

We will go through all the films in chronological order from the first all the way through to the sixteenth as part of a weekly serialization. Below is a rundown of each of the films we will be watching listed with their original year of release along with the English title of the film in parentheses.

“Original” Series of Films

  • 1998 Mewtwo Strikes Back (Pokemon – The First Movie – Mewtwo Strikes Back)
  • 1999 Revelation-Lugia (Pokemon the Movie 2000 – The Power of One)
  • 2000 Entei: Lord of the Unknown Tower (Pokemon the Movie 3 – Spell of the Unown)
  • 2001 Celebi: A Timeless Encounter (Pokemon 4Ever – Celebi: Voice of the Forest)
  • 2002 Latias and Latios: The Guardians of Alto Mare (Pokemon Heroes – Latios & Latias)

“Advanced Generation” Series of Films

  • 2003 Jirachi: Wishing Star of the Seven Nights (Jirachi: Wish Maker)
  • 2004 Deoxys the Visitor (Destiny Deoxys)
  • 2005 Mew and the Hero of the Wave: Lucario (Lucario and the Mystery of Mew)
  • 2006 The Pokemon Ranger and the Prince of the Sea (Pokemon Ranger and the Temple of the Sea)

“Diamond and Pearl” Series of Films

  • 2007 Dialga VS Palkia VS Darkrai (The Rise of Darkrai)
  • 2008 Giratina and the Sky’s Bouquet: Shaymin (Giratina and the Sky Warrior)
  • 2009 Arceus: To a Conquering Space-Time (Arceus and the Jewel of Life)
  • 2010 Ruler of Illusions: Zoroark (Zoroark: Master of Illusions)

“Best Wishes” Series of Films

  • 2011 Victini and the Black/White Hero: Zekrom/Reshiram (White/Black: Victini and Reshiram/Zekrom)
  • 2012 Kyurem VS The Sacred Swordsman: Keldeo (Kyurem VS The Sword of Justice)
  • 2013 Extreme Speed Genesect: Mewtwo Awakens (Genesect and the Legend Awakened)

For everyone who has seen these films, I hope that you all will enjoy reading my thoughts on these films. For those who haven’t, I hope my reviews can act as a guide through each of these movies. I hope you all enjoy reading these as much as I did when writing them!

Dan and Brian from Earn This now have a film review site and podcast:

The Goods: Film Reviews

The Goods: A Film Podcast

Available on Apple Podcast, Spotify, Stitcher, and more.

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