The Pokémon movies are taking a page out of Disney’s playbook and releasing a remake of the very first Pokémon feature film bit with CGI characters.
Don’t act so shocked. We knew that Pokémon was going down the CGI route when they started being all 3D instead of the beloved pixelated characters we grew up with. That, and it was announced at the end of the last Pokémon movie, Pokémon the Movie: The Power Of Us, which came out last summer.
You might not have seen The Power Of Us as it saw a limited release in the US.
In any case, they’re calling this one Mewtwo Strikes Back EVOLUTION in Japan, which presumably will still have the same name by the time they translate it for American audiences. If they even bother.
If you’ve seen the first movie, which was descriptively called Pokémon: The First Movie: Mewtwo Strikes Back, then this is going to be just more of the same. The film tells the tale of Mewtwo’s origin, and how he was created in a lab by some power-hungry humans that wanted to use him as a weapon to take over the world. Giovanni of Team Rocket tapped Dr. Fuji to give him a Pokémon so powerful that he would become unstoppable, and Dr. Fuji delivered using the fossilized DNA of a Mew.
And just like Jurassic Park, their creation spins wildly out of control and blows up the place. The only difference being that Mewtwo is a fully sentient creature that gets really upset with the whole “cloned weapon soldier” thing. So he retreats to New Island where he plots his revenge against the entire human race.
Ash and the gang (including Misty, Brock, and of course, Pikachu) show up to save the day while Team Rocket’s Jessie and James provide comic relief. The story of every Pokémon movie wrapped up in a single, timeless plot.
Mewtwo Strikes Back EVOLUTION will release in Japan on July 12th with no US release date yet confirmed. And maybe we don’t need one: with Detective Pikachu blowing this trailer’s animation out of the water, it would be a sad step backward in CG quality.