"Tamer but Untrustworthy"
What You Need To Know:
This animated adventure contains a pagan worldview, mixing magical powers with many moral elements. It is difficult to view this movie without taking the rest of the package (the role-playing, etc.) with it. The moral and redemptive messages exhibit teamwork and sacrifice for others, with a group of characters, usually known as Ash’s nemesis, helping Ash for the greater good. Although the story takes on a more subtle tone with less violence than the first Pokemon movie, parents still should beware of its pagan and occult elements
(PaPa, B, C, O, VV, M) Pagan worldview with some moral, redemptive & occult elements of boy, noted as “the chosen one,” & friends working together as a team to restore an ancient pagan legend of mystical creatures representing fire, water & ice & creatures have magical powers; character hit in head & group topples down hole when creature runs into them, two creatures fist fighting shown briefly, creature kicks other creature, strong depiction of storm with struggle by creatures, creatures power defeats lightning, island hit with freezing ‘bombs,’ two birdlike creatures attack ship, then fight with each other as well as other creatures, explosions, firing, boy struggles in ocean nearly drowning, characters let go of creature while airborne, but survive & creatures fight clones of themselves until they are exhausted; and, villain steals but is rebuked & magical powers used throughout including playing a song that gives creature regained strength.
Unlike its predecessor, POKEMON: THE FIRST MOVIE, POKEMON THE MOVIE 2000 is not as dark and is a tamer movie involving this Japanimated phenomenon for younger viewers. However, it is this demographic that can be most vulnerable, and the basic rules and operation of the world of Pokemon are still intact, so MOVIEGUIDE® recommends cautious discernment with this movie.
Pokemon is short for “pocket monster,” and the idea is that human Pokemon trainers can subdue these creatures and their powers in order to compete against other Pokemon in “battles” or games. The main character, Ash Ketchum, is noted for being a top trainer and has a favorite Pokemon, Pikachu. Pikachu is cuter than cute, and his appeal to a wide range of audiences is evident.
As with the first movie, POKEMON 2000 begins with a short feature entitled PIKACHU’S RESCUE ADVENTURE, a mini tale about Pikachu and his friends trying to help each other through a storm. The Pokemon basically communicate by saying their own names with a wide variety of emotions, allowing the audience to determine each one’s feelings. Only at the end of this piece did the audience finally hear a human’s (Ash Ketchum’s) voice telling Pikachu (voiced by Iikue Otani) and the others to “come back,” (i.e., back home).
The actual movie, titled THE POWER OF ONE, begins with the villainous Lawrence the III, who is trying to complete his collection of rare Pokemon. He sets his sights on the three powerful Pokeman birds known as the “Titans” of ice, fire & lightning, who allegedly maintain nature’s balance on earth. The three Titans have lived for centuries in harmony from their separate island realms. Lawrence the III believes that capturing the three Titans will summon a legendary sea-dwelling Pokemon named Lugia out of its hiding place. Lawrence easily captures the bird of fire and sets out for the bird of lightning.
Meanwhile, Ash and his friends journey to Shamouti Island for an annual celebration in which one person is cast as “the Chosen One.” Upon their arrival, the honor is bestowed upon Ash, who readily takes on the task. The festival celebrates the ancient legend of the three powerful Pokemon birds: Moltres from the island of fire, Zapdos from the island of lightning and Articuno from the island of ice. The legend says that when the birds’ harmony is disrupted, chaos will take place and eventually destroy the earth. Only “the Chosen One” will be able to remedy the situation. He will do this by obtaining an orb from each island and joining them together.
No sooner do Ash and his friends participate in the festivities when they are swept up in Lawrence’s capture of Zapdos, and brought up to his airship. With his friends and their Pokemon, Ash knows that it is up to him to try and escape from Lawrence’s ship and save the world from destruction.
This animated adventure contains a predominantly pagan worldview, mixing magical powers with many moral and some redemptive elements. It is difficult to view this movie, however, without taking the rest of the Pokemon package (the role-playing, etc.) with it. The moral messages exhibit teamwork and sacrifice for others, with a group of characters, usually known as Ash’s nemesis, joining in to help Ash and his friends for the greater good. The children at this screening were very excited about the movie. Although the story takes on a more subtle tone with less violence than the first Pokemon movie, parents should beware of its pagan themes and occult elements.