"Pokémon The First Movie" on DVD
by Jim Bray
First Movie" is an unfortunate title. It clearly indicates the makers
are planning more of these things in the future, which is a shame.
Okay, that isn't really
a fair shot. Pokémon isn't aimed at middle aged males like me;
it's a kiddie flick, and as such it must work very well or the concept
wouldn't be such a pop culture hit.
DVD actually offers more than just "Pokémon the first movie." It
also inflicts upon you a featurette called "Pikachu's Vacation" and some
bonus footage showing the origin of Mewtwo's character (Mewtwo is a clone
of Mew, "the rarest of all Pokémon").
The main feature's
story revolves around Mewtwo, who wants to show the rest of the cast (and
the viewing audience) that it's superior to the mere Mew from which it
sprang. This leads to the "ultimate showdown" between the "superclones"
and the "garden variety Pokémon," and the future of the world is
in danger if the wrong side loses.
Some of the Pokémon
characters remind me of characters from Nintendo's "Super Mario" series
of games; that's just an observation - there's nothing necessarily wrong
Still, it's all pretty
lame stuff, from an adult point of view, and the Japanese anime-style
animation is also pretty lame.
The DVD's picture,
which is in Pan&Scan, is first rate, however - and the audio quality
is nothing short of spectacular!
I kid you not. Pokémon's
soundtrack is rich and dynamic, and makes wonderful use of Dolby Digital
surround. It's so good it's worth sitting through this disc just for the
aural experience (but keep the picture on your TV shut off!).
Extras, besides the
other "mini features" mentioned above, include a sneak preview of the
second Pokémon movie (which can serve as a warning!), and a feature
length audio commentary by the producer and director of Pokémon's
There's also M2M's
"Don't Say You Love Me" music video, the trailer, production notes, and
DVD ROM features like "virtual Pokémon trading cards" and game
While the story and
animation are strictly toddler stuff, I have to mention the audio again
as such a terrific high point to this disc that it's worth a listen to
let you see how well your home theater can perform.
First Movie, from Warner Home Video
96 minutes, Pan&Scan, Dolby Digital 5.1
Starring "those lovable little critters"
English Adaptation Produced by Norman J. Grossfeld, Directed by Michael
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