Pokemon: The First Movie | Chicago Reader

Pokemon: The First Movie

A character I can't even begin to describe gains consciousness in a laboratory, then becomes resentful when it realizes it's a clone. It soon resolves to dominate not only the human scientists who created it but also the nonhuman species to which it belongs. There's something intriguingly abstract about the premise of this animated action movie—combative role-playing games involving imaginary species that are both extensions and reflections of their human owners—and all the abstraction seems to offset the cloying cuteness of the nonhuman characters. The repetitive plot is essentially a string of excuses for fantastical combat sequences, but somehow several characters' insistence that violence is bad doesn't come off as hypocritical. By the time the fighting between clones and their originals turned to fraternal bonding, I was quite moved, even blissed out. Norman Grossfeld, John Touhey, and director Michael Haigney adapted this English version of a Japanese movie, written by Takeshi Shudo and directed by Kunihiko Yuyama, that's based on the TV show that's based on the game. 75 min.

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