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Reviewed July 18th, 2000 by David Colby


Pokemon the obsession that is brainwashing kids has finally released their first movie. Pokemon are what were originally called Pocket Monsters. Obviously that is not a catchy title and would not draw the kids into their web. For making up such interesting little characters the producers lack imagination. Grab the title of their first movie Pokemon: The first movie. Woah, brainchild there, right? Then take into affect that the Pokemon can only speak their names and nothing else. Talk about trying to keep it simple. You would figure since they are not killing themselves over dialect and titles they might be able to come up with a great adventure. Take it from someone that has seen the cartoons, this movie absolutely bites compared to the TV show. No wonder it did not do that well in theaters! The only plus of this movie is that it does have, as do all Pokemon cartoons, a great theme or life lesson. This movie can be viewed by all ages all though I would hardly waste the time.

The audio is provided in Dolby Digital 5.1. What is interesting is that since this is a cartoon and numerous sound effects are used they were able to twist and span them across the 5.1 creating a surreal sound experience. The sound is not very bold like some of the finer action flicks. The only other thing to note here is that you hear some of the thoughts of the Pokemon characters which is a break from the original TV series.

The video is only provided in fullscreen and is a bit soft. This is definitely disappointing since it does not come close to the capabilities that DVD can offer.

The only difference between this DVD and the VHS version is the extra’s, well that and the fact that they actually treated you to a 5.1 soundtrack. The extra’s include Pikachu’s Vacation, but I don’t know how they consider this an extra since it was shown in the theater and is also on the VHS version. Additional extra’s include Mewtwo’s origin story, preview of the second movie, Ash’s journey, audio commentary by the director and the music video from M2M: “Don’t say you love me.” If Warner would have included an anamorphic widescreen you would have a great DVD with a crappy movie on it. The good news is you can find this item for under $12, which is its only saving grace. Adding this title to your collection would be a mistake, well unless you have a pokefreak kid that just must have it.


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