The Darkrai movie is the first one in the Diamond/Pearl era, and the sort of gimmick of the movies in this time period is that they were meant to be a trilogy. The first movie has Dialga and Palkia, the second one has Giratina, and the third one has Arceus, to go with DP's whole pokecosmology and such. Which was sort of a unique idea at the time for pokemovies, but means that most other legendaries get a backseat in favor of whoever the main cosmopoke is of the movie.
I don't know if I'd say the Darkrai movie is bad exactly, though I wouldn't say it's good either. I think it sort of falls into this frustrating narrow place that Silent Hill Origins did in some respects, where it feels like this whole premise could've super easily been explored in a much more interesting way. Darkrai could maintain a plot by itself! It wouldn't even be that hard, it's practically got a big plot device for an ability. Toss in Cresselia and you could have a whole thing going on, I could brainstorm you up a plot for that in like fifteen minutes. But instead, this movie is mostly Dialga and Palkia having these incredibly boring, drawn out fights with each other while Darkrai gets half-heartedly shoehorned into a plot that obviously has nothing to do with it. As a result, for a movie supposedly featuring Darkrai, it barely shows up or does very much at all. And it's annoying because you COULD do something with Darkrai! You could even do something with this same setting and the same B-list characters in this movie! You just need to recenter it around Darkrai and not big stupid legendary fights (any plot about Darkrai would be more interesting than a big stupid legendary fight). As it is it's just this weird hodgepodge of ideas thrown on top of a bunch of boring fight scenes like confetti.
And again it's not even that I think this movie sucks, I guess it just feels like it never lives up to its potential? I always get annoyed at myself for thinking this much about this movie, I don't even like Darkrai. WHATEVER
There is SO MUCH filler in this movie, I only did a few passes over the caps and got under the Jirachi movie's length easily. I probably could've cut them down even more but whatever.
The Darkrai movie is also the tenth Pokemon movie! So it's time to get all retrospective. Instead of lazing out like some of the previous movies by just reusing old footage, this movie actually has a totally new animated bit at the beginning for the previous movies. Here's Mewtwo and Mew! How long ago that was.
Lugia, who also had a movie that was crammed with pointless legendary fights.
Entei and the Unowns! I still like that one.
While the Celebi movie was boring, I recommend checking that entry out sometime because my bootleg subbed VHS copy of it was translated super poorly and as such it's a fun ride.
Latias and Latios! I also liked this movie but I also had a bootleg sub copy of this so the entry is also fun in that regard. I also remember liking a lot of my commentary on this one.
After that, I got my Pokemon movies from more reliable sub groups so it never got quite as silly. But the Jirachi movie was pretty odd in retrospect.
REMEMBER ME, I'M A JERK
The Deoxys movie also had a ton of filler in it, as well as Rayquaza just wrecking stuff for no reason.
The Lucario movie! Still the best one, and I actually caught up on the movies the other day so I've seen up to the Hoopa one. Which boy, the Hoopa movie was weird. I can sort of appreciate that at least. But the Lucario movie is still the most enjoyable one, and that's not setting the bar very high. Ugh the Regis suck.
And our last adventure, the Manaphy movie! Emphasizing the important moral for kids of BABIES BABIES BABIES BABIES
lol no movie for you, ho-oh
(unless the 20th movie actually did follow up on that, don't spoil it for me if it did)
So NOW we're going to reprise a bunch of footage from the old movies, but I'll forgive them for it since that first sequence was pretty neat actually.
Why didn't Jirarudan ever say his name, that was so weird
I like how you can really see the cel quality in the older movies. It has a very definite different look compared to the newer ones, which you can see as it goes along.
Unowns, what is your deal
Ash's first boyfriend
the first DEATH
The movie about Max no one asked for
lol even the selection of clips from the Deoxys movie make it look like such a weird disjointed mess
At least Lucario and Aaron got astral married
I can't take my eyes away from Jackie wearing that clown makeup.
ALRIGHT SO HERE WE GO, NOW WE'RE IN THE PRESENT
DP is in full swing so expect a lot of new Pokemon. Also a new traveling companion, Dawn! I actually like Dawn fine, she has a sort of sibling-esque vibe with Ash that I enjoy. I got no problems with her. I REALLY wasn't watching the series by this point, but I think Dawn's thing was Pokemon Contests, and her catchphrase was "I'm fine" (just like Apollo Justice!).
So this is where the Unown's dropped Mii's dad! I mean, presumably. I'm shocked he didn't die.
Anyway Dialga and Palkia begin their interminable stupid fight in the void, who cares
Sounds like a design flaw.
Just one city? That's a pretty small area of effect for a couple of gods tussling it out.
Why did I replace my glasses with light bulbs
Anyway in the process of the dumb fight Palkia gets its shoulder cracked. So I guess Space (Palkia was... space? I think Palkia was space) sucks.
OH NO MY SYMBOLIC HOURGLASS
Dialga VS Palkia VS Darkrai which isn't subbed for some reason. In English this was called Rise of Darkrai which is even more misleading about how little a role Darkrai plays in any of this.
look at dialga and palkia's stupid faces on the sides of that logo. god they're both so ugly. so ugly.
Oh right, Dawn's name in Japanese is Hikari.
The Pokemon Contest air sirens were going off, everyone went into their bunkers
Let's stand in one place and swivel to face the four directions of the compass continually until someone makes eye contact
I need fresh blood for my outfit
Here's our stage, Mesatown
ONLY ONE PERSON COULD BE PILOTING THAT BALLOON
That book again! I'm surprised the movies kept up this running gag for this long honestly.
Croagunk fists Brock right in front of everyone, this is a children's movie!!
There always has to be SOMEone to stop Brock from getting any, so for DP most of the time it was his Croagunk, which sort of gave a weird vibe that his Croagunk was jealous of him paying attention to girls. Sort of odd...
Fire Pokemon and a hot air balloon, you can go ANYwhere
She blows on this leaf and it sounds like a kazoo
Like these Pokemon here!
Not an actual Pokemon but an incredibly facsimile
I made a gif of this, I thought it was adorable, haha. Let's see...
Drifloon and Drifblim! Adorable little balloon Pokemon that want to steal children away to eat their souls (that's not a joke)
You look a little intense Jessie
"WE DON'T HAVE LEGS!"
Well enough of that silliness
God, he wore the WORST clothes
Ash taking a fewww too many thundershocks to the brain
I probably could have inferred but alright
Pikachu is not interested.
Gible and Bronzor! Which evolve into a landshark and a wallbell, respectively.
Oh shoot what was this opening song... OH right, it's Together 2007! (oh my god it's been ten years)
Together is a cute, peppy little song, and I don't think the movie version really does too much to change it, but it's still fun.
Pikachu that is too much sugar!
lol brock's betrayed face
HOW COULD YOU
A Torterra! The grass starter of DP, I love Torterra.
CAN YOU GUESS WHICH POKEMON THESE THREE TRAIN
NICE TRY, TORTERRA IS GROUND TYPE
Dawn's signature Pokemon is her Piplup, the little penguiny starter.
Shellos just leaving big trails of slime everywhere
Oh right, the lyrics here are about Poffins, which I think were a DP thing... a lot of Pokemon games have a thing where you can make some kind of treat for your Pokemon and I always forget which name goes to which gen. Poffin always sticks in my head though. Anyway they had different flavors depending on what kind of berry you used when you made one.
ANYWAY back to the "plot"
PLEASE DON'T KILL US, POKEMON
Yanmega, one of the maaaaany evolutions to old Pokemon that DP added.
And here are some Pokemon now!
If they know what's good for them
Obligatory frolicking scene, that tiny thing there is a Happiny, a pre-evolution to Chansey. I think its thing was that it was surprisingly strong for being a baby pokemon.
You know I tried to raise a Kricketune in Platinum, I really did, but I just couldn't do it. It just was not good at all.
Of course, I can never see a Kricketune without thinking of this though
Shinx and Piplup fight over the berry, and as an aside I love Shinx, it reminds me of Unico. So cute.
blood geysering off-screen
The soothing sounds of a Kricketune
But no actually she's playing the recurring melody of the movie, much like the one that kept running through the Lugia movie. Here it is. It's not bad I guess.
She knew someday it'd be a plotpoint.
Gallade, the male-only evolution line for Ralts that swallowed a rubber donut in his youth.
This was my favorite pillar, I can't believe this!
No but what IS- you know what, never mind
Like dlelelelelelele woooooooooop
In a big nightmare book like a nerd
error... error... reboot... data lost...
right in those tight white pants
i'm not sayin you're a gold digger~
meanwhile in some OTHER bushes
Another new DP evolution! This one for Lickitung, called Lickilicky.
it's enough to make me pirouette into a tree
looks like he's been investigating a slice of cheesecake if you ask me
Tonio why are your eyes like that, it's distracting
I mean, what kind of monster would twist a pillar
What kind of black-hearted scoundrel
Tonio gets donked on the head by a rock, maybe thrown by some jock off-screen
Now Tonio and Brock can get married
lol dawn's face
lol alberto's face
i'll KILL YOU
he's my ex, it's a long story
Let me just get my coat first
TONIO, READ THE ROOM
Where could Tonio be going wrong, can you at home figure it out
back in the past, alice has been bit by a zombie
oh no, OOH NOOOO
ARGHHHGHHH SHE'S GOT ME AHGAGFHGHHJJLLL
ow something in my eye
figure it out, tonio
Meanwhile in the void, Palkia and Dialga continue being boring beyond belief
Drop your own egg into the ocean and save!
These things called... "clouds"...
Night time for Cherrims! I forget if they were DP pokemon or not, their thing was that they only open up into flowers when its Sunny. Which makes them kiiiind of tricky to use effectively in any kind of competitive sense.
Oh my god Darkrai stop STALKING ME, WE'RE NOT SEEING EACH OTHER ANYMORE!!
It's supposed to be Palkia but it's honestly pretty hard to tell.
Grotle! No wait... Turtwig, that's it. The Grass starter.
Ash tosses it up and the Pokeball dissolves into nothing, presumably taking Turtwig with it.
Pikachu falls into this ugly CG hole thing and Ash jumps after him
By one of Darkrai's signature moves I'm pretty sure called Dark Void, which puts you to sleep 100% of the time. If I remember right.
Because there's not much good in having an ability like that if the enemy isn't sleeping so you can exploit it, right? It shaves off a pretty good amount of health each turn if I remember right.
I took great pleasure in watching your suffering
what a loser
Probably all those noise complaints
way to nightmareshame, Dawn
IT'S THE ONLY WAY I KNOW HOW TO HANDLE A PROBLEM
Tonio bonks into a wall.
Do you two not see each other often, or
LET'S GET INVOLVED IN YOUR LOVE LIFE
Just setting off fireworks for no reason. Maybe to celebrate the Purugly.
Genetics in the Pokemon world, more like cloning am I right
The Lucario movie did this same thing
Just gonna take a nap
Excuse me, I was sleeping
I love my granddaughter and how she touches all these dangerous Pokemon
where everyone there hated it
A HUMAN BEFRIENDED A POKEMON? IT CAN'T BE TRUE
The Orihalcon, for some sweet armor drops
Could this be Team Rocket's best disguise yet?
The Lunar Wing! Cresselia is weirdly absent from this entire story.
That's what you think, idiot
where he's just been murdered
when will these two lovebirds work it out
auxiliary plot device?
Especially the god-like, capricious Pokemon
Do you not have to pay a fee or anything, isn't this kind of like going into a church and just banging on all the bells
She has a point, Ash!
push it real good
You know... cause
It can make lesbians dance in the street!
So again can just any yahoo go in there and just play music on it all day, how does anyone get any sleep in this town
Anyway they go back down the tower and have a battle with those starter trainers for a bit.
Give me back my Hanson tape!
I'd watch the TR News.
That's an interesting interpretation of that move, alright
Darkrai's design is stupid (there i said it) and also kind of ugly but the most puzzling thing about it to me is that sometimes they have Darkrai grow out these little spindly legs that just make it look even stupider
And Darkrai Dark Voids everyone
Just enjoy Team Rocket's disguise.
Double Team! >:(
Spent like twenty minutes thinking of that line
Not my Lickilicky!
Someone out there just got a boner and they don't know why, that's what's wrong
Anyway, at the super posh Pokecenter
I'LL TAKE MY CLOTHES OFF EVEN
This whole character was made just for this joke.
If I put your head in my mouth would that help
lol your pokemon's having nightmares about being you, sick burn
I mean... there aren't any other ideas being floated, so
I love Meowth's wig.
Possibly the least flattering shot of a Honchcrow in existence
My legitimately sensible idea, no!
They dragged this sequence out way longer than these caps would suggest.
no you'll give people ideas, don't lick her
Gotta say, the Baron knows how to work a crowd.
the shock of my folly made me pass out before i hit the ground
uh yeah let's go with that
and somehow in the present tonio's like I DON'T GET WHY SHE HANGS OUT WITH ME
For some reason, only now does it become clear!
i wasn't planning on marrying a pokemon, where am i going to register
somewhere, a jock readies another rock to throw at tonio
WE HAVE THIS ONE JOKE AND WE'RE STICKING TO IT
god LOOK AT THE STUPID THINGS THEY LOOK LIKE CHOPSTICKS
just a weather balloon
sure, why not
As if those stupid spindle legs weren't already stupid enough, it uses them to slow down from hitting the ground here before hovering again as if to emphasize how silly they look
HEY BRO WHAT'S UP
time for pokemob justice
Darkrai can stick its head in that weird lower jaw spike necklace ugly thing it has around its neck I guess?
A CHANCE TO SEE HOW THE OTHER SIDE LIVES!
WAIT, THIS IS MY OWN TONGUE
waah waah waaaahh
that guy owes me money
Summarized about 2/3rds of the movie in about a paragraph, we're in good shape.
Dark clouds, so this is where you were hiding
Just gonna take a look here
You in trouble now
hug that houndour!
FROM ONE FRYING PAN TO THE NEXT
You know, because reasons, whatever, just roll with it
Better check my extensive catalogue of Palkia pictures, since they're such a common species
Dialga and Palkia are so ugly and stupid looking. What even is Dialga supposed to be. Look at its stupid head.
It's possible it's explained in one of the later movies but if it was I can't remember it now.
better recap again to make sure everyone's still paying attention
So, if Darkrai gave Gaudy the dreams, wouldn't that put Darkrai under the Time aspect? Is Darkrai a Dialga agent or something?
Well enough of that
haha wheeee hahah!
Then they almost fall on her but Darkrai shields her.
no YOU get out
sorry my eyes are drifting off my head a little bit
darkrai disappears into the floor to go sulk in its room MAYBE THIS IS WHY YOU DON'T HAVE ANY FRIENDS DARKRAI
because i dunno, stuff
why do unowns hang out here?
it'll SAVE YOUR LIFE
welp, problem solved
i actually forget how brock got separated, maybe he was hitting on the jenny and got distracted
anyway perilous journey up the tower WOOPS
Star... Staravia I think
anyway there was a sequence in here that didn't really cap very well but the end result is that ash and dawn end up on the tower
hi i'm back from being exploded that other time what's going on- ooh nooooooo
darkrai's primary ability in this seems to be stopping beams of energy with its face
yeah i'm fine, don't worry about it
WHY ARE TONGUES SO SLIPPERY
Tonio also fell off at some point MUST'VE MISSED IT
Alice's hair reminds me of a poodle's ears.
you three should work out your issues, ot3 that biz
TIME TO DIE
water yoga with Darkrai
i put it in the deep end and it started flailing like a baby, I told it to calm down but
Darkrai is just a bum, it's gonna sleep on your garden bench for months
I cannot tell you how long and boring the sequences are of Dialga and Palkia fighting.
I kept this little bit in here since apparently it was implied in the show and possibly the other movies that Dawn's Buneary had a crush on Pikachu, SO
i told you, darkrai's never gonna get a job
Spacial Rifts and whatever Dialga's attack was called, Time Roar or something, I forget, I don't care
CLEARED FOR TAKEOFF
AAAA THERE'S A BUG ON ME AAA AAAAA
except yours, you need to get out
hey how's darkrai doin out there
pretty good it seems like
Darkrai, who bravely ran facefirst into explosions
no wonder Ash can relate
look at dialga's stupid little stump legs
thanks for those five seconds Darkrai
PREPARE TO DIE, EVERYTHING IN EXISTENCE
Oh hey what's goin on over there
The Space-Time tower becomes a Swiss Army knife of plot devices and unfolds everywhere
I joke but actually this sequence is pretty neat. A really fancy version of the leaf whistle tune plays as it unfolds and all these gold sparkles go everywhere. It's actually kind of moving but it sort of needs the visuals for full effect.
Hey my wound is healed! Thanks for causing all this by breaking my shoulder for no reason, Dialga.
This bit also reminds me of Alexander's reveal in FF9.
jerk time pony gallops off for reasons we will never understand
Palkia just raises one giant foot
welp that's all settled i guess??
some time later
oh yeah, that guy
Get a nice montage of Darkrai eating cement and getting exploded to pad for time and in a last ditch effort to convince you this movie was actually about it in any way.
We only talked like... once?
I BARELY KNEW DARKRAI BUT I'M DEVASTATED
aw yeah, time for the shoulder grab
jizzed~ in my pants~
The last shots of this movie are unintentionally hilarious because it starts playing Darkrai's very dramatic theme music while they all stare at it all :D and Darkrai doesn't even do anything, it just... stands there on its stupid stilt legs, doing and saying nothing, while the camera swoops around and this super dramatic intense music plays. What on earth were they going for here?
AND THAT'S THE END, GOODNIGHT!! what????
The ending song for the Darkrai movie is... bizarre. It's this completely serious, totally done in English (by English singers) ballad that I guarantee you would NEVER guess was from a Pokemon movie. It's actually really pretty and kind of moving, sometimes the lyrics to this one mess me up even to this day and more so given recent losses (the lyrics have no connection to the movie as far as I can tell). It's called Where the Lost Ones Go and I really recommend listening to this at least once on its own merits and then listening to it and reminding yourself "this song goes to the Darkrai movie" the whole time. I really do love this song though.
Combees! Combees are useless (well, male Combee are useless) but they're still such cute Pokemon.
Dawn gets to do that contest she was talking about! What an ugly outfit.
Whirlpool gets interpreted with Piplup as making a water vortex like so and sending it at your opponent which is a cool way to think of it, actually.
I feel like I should know that lady.
TR creep around Alberto's mansion to try and rob him but get caught
you're a weird dude, gaudy
Through the generations!
Darkrai at it again with the standing there doing nothing
Dialga and Palkia fly around some CG canyon as a hook for the next movie or something, whatever
AND INTO THE DISTANCE
god it's been ten years you guys
This actually isn't immediately obvious (and I lost a few caps before I remembered) and it'll especially be less obvious for you guys if you don't watch the movies on your own, but each of the pictures here is set where a Pikachu short was set! To go along with the retrospective at the beginning of the movie for all the old movies, there's a nice shot of each Pikachu short area. I think this was the Pichu bros city, and the previous one was that Pokepark where Charizard got its head stuck.
To be honest though, I don't keep up with the Pikachu shorts at all since they usually aren't included with each subbed movie...
I remember this one though! It's the Polka o Dolka one! Where everyone danced and destroyed things.
BUT THAT'S IT what a weird movie that was. Next up, the Shaymin/Giratina movie!