Pokemon: The First Movie (1999)
Main cast: Veronica Taylor (Ash Ketchum, Mrs Ketchum), Rachael Lillis (Misty/Jessie), Ted Lewis (Tracey Sketcher), Eric Stuart (James/Charizard), Addie Blaustein (Mewtwo), Ikue Ootani (Pikachu), Stan Hart (Professor Oak), Kayzie Rogers (Professor Ivy/Mr Mime), and Megan Hollingshead (Computer)
Director: Michael Haigney


I have a weakness for round, stumpy, tubby monsters. After watching this cartoon, I feel a shopping spree for Pokemon plush toys coming on, and I refuse to share with those grandkids of mine. I especially want that ankylosaurus-lookalike Pokemon that has something like a stumpy palm tree on its shell, the one that shoots flying round leaves. Oh, and I want that turtle-squirrel hybrid Pokemon too, who shoots bubbles from his mouth. Then there's that rhinoceros Pokemon cutie-pie. I want, I want. There are 150 plus Pokemons out there, and I shudder to think of how much I'll be buying from now on. Well, this movie suceeded in its purpose to brainwash me to buy, buy, buy. Having said that, the movie sucks. It's not even classic cheeseball anime. It's purely an hour something exercise in brainwashing kiddies.

Let's see. There's a half hour montage featuring Pikachu holidaying with his fellow cute Good Pokemons (short for Pocket Monsters) holidaying in some sort of Pokemon Disneyland. They act cute to convince me to grab the last Pikachu (Pokemon Yellow) from that cry-baby kid in Toys-R-Us. Since the Pokemons' speech ability are limited to their names, after the two hundredth Piiiiii-kaaaaaa-chuuuuu from Pikachu at the interval of every ten seconds I am prepared to throw a chair at the screen. There's a moral about helping each other, united we stand, et cetera, but who cares really? I want that turtle-squirrel Pokemon and I want it now.

The longer cartoon has Pikachu's trainers pitting the Pokemons against an evil Pokemon named Mewtwo. Again, these Pokemons act cute (I want that ankylosaurus Pokemon!). There's a moral about us being all brothers and sisters and other Peace brother messages, but let's face it: who are they kidding? The next Pokemon movie won't be about World Peace. I admit I cried at the somewhat moving grand finale (about sacrifice and such), but don't tell anyone.

Pokemon: The First Movie is nothing more than a walking billboard for Pokemon toys. And the thing is, they don't even have the grace to make it entertaining. Hmmph!

Rating: 40


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