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 Pokémon plush toys coming on, and I refuse to share with those grandkids of mine. I especially want that ankylosaurus-lookalike 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 too, who shoots bubbles from his mouth. Then there’s that rhinoceros cutie-pie. I want, I want. There are 150 plus Pokemons out there, and I shudder to think of how many I’ll be buying from now on. Well, this movie succeeded in its purpose to brainwash me to buy, buy, buy. Having said that, the movie sucks. It’s not even classic cheese ball 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 Pokémons (short for Pocket Monsters) holidaying in some sort of Pokémon Disneyland. They act cute to convince me to grab the last Pikachu (Pokemon Yellow) from that cry-baby kid in Toys-R-Us. Since their 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 thing and I want it now.
The longer cartoon has Pikachu’s trainers pitting them all against an evil Pokémon named Mewtwo. There’s a moral about us being all brothers and sisters and other peace and love messages, but let’s face it: who are they kidding? I admit I cried at the somewhat moving grand finale (about sacrifice and such), but don’t tell anyone.
Pokémon: The First Movie is nothing more than a walking billboard for toys. And the thing is, they don’t even have the grace to make it entertaining. Hmmph!