I'm just going to state it right upfront - the Lucario movie is probably the best one. Considering we're talking about Pokemon movies, this isn't a very high bar, but really, I do think this one is better than most of the ones before it or after it, for that matter. It's not an amazing work of cinematic genius or something, and it's not really particularly deep or groundbreaking, but it has a nice emotional arc and it's not the typical cute-legendary-is-in-peril/scary-legendary-is-misunderstood plotline, which is refreshing. This movie also raises a lot of really interesting questions about the Pokemon world itself and the genesis of Pokemon training and does some worldbuilding with that, which really interests me a lot, and it also has a great soundtrack (which they often used in the show itself after this movie came out).
If you're only going to watch one Pokemon movie, it should probably be this one (or possibly a well-translated subbed version of Mewtwo Strikes Back, but good luck finding one). And if you don't think this movie is that great, just remember - the vast majority of the other movies are worse. AGAIN, THIS IS NOT A SUPER HIGH BAR.
(It just makes it all the more disappointing when a new movie comes out and it ends up being the same bland and boring stuff as before, like, you guys did it right with the Lucario one! Is it that hard to do something like that again? Looking at you, Genesect movie.)
I also heard the dub version of this isn't bad, though I haven't personally seen it. :B So that's also an option.
Anyway I tried to trim this down quite a bit but this movie is a bit more plotheavy than the others and also I got bored, so whatever.
REMEMBER THESE SHOTS FROM THE OLD MOVIES? HA HA, WE DON'T GOTTA ANIMATE NOTHIN!
This is supposedly the inside of a Pokeball, who knew.
snip snip CHECK OUT ALL THESE POKEMON, ARE THEY DIFFERENT FROM THE LAST MOVIE, WHO KNOWS
I WASN'T WATCHING THE SHOW AT THIS POINT
OH MAN, NOW THINGS ARE GOING TO GET INTERESTING
I mean just THINK about the repercussions the invention of Pokeballs had on training. How much that must have changed EVERYTHING in a world filled with Pokemon. JUST THINK ABOUT IT
A MILLION STORIES JUST RIGHT THERE FROM THIS ONE LINE
I mean the whole idea of training itself has to be changed if there are no Pokeballs, because you can't just zap a Pokemon into a ball and forget about it anymore, you have to spend every waking moment with that Pokemon, figuring out what to feed it, where to keep it, where it sleeps, its moods and preferences, its strengths and weaknesses, EVERYTHING. And imagine doing it with MULTIPLE Pokemon! Back then one can assume that training a Pokemon would be more like an apprenticeship or partnership with one singular Pokemon that you could devote all the necessary time and effort and energy to. And since you can't catch them, you can't "own" them. They could just as easily leave you OR GET STOLEN EVEN. And there wouldn't be anything like the Pokedex, it'd just have to be written notes about the Pokemon and their types and such since you can't catch them and get access to a prewritten summary like you can in the games.
AND THEN POKEBALLS CAME AROUND AND CHANGED THIS WHOLE DYNAMIC, CAN YOU IMAGINE the whole idea of pokemon training shifting over from a single intense partnership between a human and a Pokemon that spend like every waking hour with each other to the casual multi-Pokemon teambased methods of the modern day, where you can just keep your Pokemon in their balls forever and catch hundreds and hundreds of them all you like. Was there resistance to this change? Were people dubious about it at first, scaremongering about Pokeballs? Did people talk about how trainers didn't care about their Pokemon anymore like they used to? What kind of facilities went in and out of business as a result? Pokecenters must have been totally different, if they existed at all. And if you can't heal your Pokemon in its ball really easily, battling was a MUCH more serious affair if your Pokemon got hurt and had to get healed physically, not something to be taken lightly. Were Pokemon battles even an organized, regulated THING at this point, or did that only come about when Pokeballs came into the scene and gave humans much more control over Pokemon?
This is really interesting to me okay shh.
And here's our star! And his catchphrase. I honestly did not care at all about Lucario until I saw this movie, true story. It's why Farnsworth even exists to an extent.
Through the powers of bad filters, we can see an enormous army approaching!
Pokemon in battle armor! AGAIN, THINK ABOUT THIS FOR A SECOND. You can't CATCH Pokemon at this point, an army of Pokemon could be totally unstoppable. And of course, you'd have to fight an army of Pokemon with another army of Pokemon to even the odds. Stocking them up like weapons of war, though you'd have to be able to feed and house them as well since you can't just keep them in balls. So of course you'd want to give your Pokemon army armor to keep them going the longest and sustain the least amount of casualties, since training new Pokemon to replace ones that fall is a much more complicated affair, not to mention a big investment.
So yeah, ten inches at least, you interested
oh what now
Sadly this movie suffer the same wonky face animation as the Jirachi and Deoxys movie, I dunno what the art team was doing for this gen.
sucks for them
Just a castle with no kingdom or what
Meanwhile someone kicks dirt in Lucario's eyes
Just stand there while I kill you theeeenks
WELL GOOD LUCK WITH THAT, BYE
Skarmory shows up to shoot a beam right up Pidgeot's butt, rude
Shoot where am I going to get another one of those
BLINDNESS AIN'T NOTHING
sorry i meant i was going to stay at the castle, i got confused
And Lucario gets turned into energy and sucked into the crystal. Remember this is before Pokeballs so imagine how completely alien and terrifying this could be to a Pokemon.
Although it does make you wonder, why can Aaron do this with his staff, can other people do this, was this like a weird power some Wave users had, was it the crystal itself, did Pokemon gossip about humans being able to seal them in crystals as rumors before Pokeballs were made, many questions here
oh it is not
Pidgeot is ENORMOUS
I like that there are also puzzled human soldiers here, probably to help direct the Pokemon a little.
Hey, isn't she from Chrono Trigger?
And the humans who presumably orchestrated the war decided to do something else I guess, who knows.
Pokemon toys! I never get tired of them.
There's a bunch of swooping around the crystal but this was the oddest thing to me DOES THE POKEMON WORLD HAVE SPACE TECHNOLOGY
Or Lucario and the Mystery of Mew I think in English, I forget.
MIGHT AS WELL, WE'RE IN THE AREA
Pikachu is unimpressed.
A carbon copy of the old Queen! Maybe this really IS Chrono Trigger after all!
may do you have something you want to share with the class
has anyone ever seriously raised a tropius
OH the intro to this movie is Battle Frontier, which has a lot of guitars and fun energy to it. FINALLY A PROPER INTRO.
WHAT IS GRAVITY TO A POKEMON
A Weavile, another new Pokemon cameo for Diamond and Pearl.
And a Mime Jr.! DP was really into pre-evs and new evs for whatever reason.
WHO'S THIS SCAMP USING TRANSFORM ALL OVER THE PLACE, I CAN'T IMAGINE
fire spin sucks
I REALLY DO WONDER IF ASTHMA IS A BIG PROBLEM IN THE POKEMON WORLD
GASP ASH'S OPPONENT WAS A LADY WHO somehow fit all that hair into that helmet, that is the real surprise here
Aaron was a HERO, OKAY
HI TEAM ROCKET, NICE OUTFITS
especially you james
no it's just the staff, it does that sometimes, just ignore it
CG DANCERS FOR EVERYONE!!
Some older dude being nice and dancing with a kid.
I WAS LEGITIMATELY SHOCKED BY THIS THE FIRST TIME I WATCHED IT, BROCK NEVER SUCCEEDS WITH GIRLS EVER
argh this is so cute, i can't handle it
i ended up making some animated gifs of it no less, haha
Max meanwhile knows what's really important - tons of free food.
In this sequence you can reeeeaaally tell that Jessie is voiced by the same lady who does Lina from Slayers, if you're a Slayers fan. WHICH OF COURSE YOU ARE, WHY WOULDN'T YOU BE, SLAYERS IS GREAT
YOU ONLY SEE THEM LIKE EVERY DAY TRYING TO STEAL YOUR POKEMON, MAY
Man I feel you Meowth.
Sucker, he'll never see me again
is this code, what is this
A JEWEL THIEF OF COURSE lolol nice hair
WOW AN EMPTY ATTIC, THIS IS WAY BETTER THAN THE SUMPTUOUS BALLROOM AND FEAST DOWNSTAIRS
aww the legendary bird mobile
I'M NOT JAMES, I'M NOT WEARING A DRESS, YOU SEE?
best time of the night
awww brock, ditched again
meanwhile yada yada meowth gets up to the roof and falls but I just thought it was sort of neat that the curl of his tail caught the vane, who knew that was good for something
HEY MEOWTH what's that thing sticking off your face
this can't be a good sign
YOU GUYS ARE DARK TYPES, SHOULD BE EASY
CHOKE YOU TO DEATH
pokemon attacks as usual exploding all over the place down there
dance dance dance dance, presumably to try and get the Weaviles confused about which Meowth is which
THE ONLY WITNESS
THIS PARTY SUX, I'M OUT
:< faces, haha
Wait, isn't everyone already partying
SOMEONE CUE THE FIREWORKS GUYS OUTSIDE
the dangers of mimicking ancient tapestries graphically portrayed
Jessie and James holding hands, as usual.
I just like her holding her hand out in front of the queen. :B
WHAT A COINCIDENCE ASH IS WEARING HIS EXACT OUTFIT aaron-sama did you lose a foot of height
Sidenote, Lucario is telepathic, thus why he can communicate with people. Presumably all psychic Pokemon are telepathic, but even some non-psychic Pokemon can be, as is the case with Lucario (fighting/steel). HOW MANY POKEMON TALK TO THEIR TRAINERS
MY EYES HAVE HEALED wait what
how many people saw that
FLASHBACK better get used to these
You know, given that Lucario's species is like kind of notorious for being natural users of the Wave and all, it's weird that a human is teaching a Pokemon how to use the Wave. It'd be sort of like teaching a fire Pokemon how to burn something, wouldn't they already know? Wouldn't they naturally be better at it than any human could ever be?
Or is Aaron SO skilled at the Wave that his powers exceed even that of a Pokemon's? I mean, picture Aaron throwing around huge Aura Spheres that explode things from great distances like a Lucario (or any Pokemon that learns Aura Sphere for that matter), that'd be NUTS. IN THE OLD DAYS, DID HUMANS HAVE POKEMON LEVEL SUPERPOWERS? WHAT HAPPENED TO THAT did people just forget or was it buried down when Pokeballs became commonplace, how does it fit in with the idea that Pokemon and humans share evolutionary history
Lucario says all intense like for some reason.
I can see how you'd get confused, we look completely identical.
I DID NOT AGREE TO THIS HUG
I had this really terrible nightmare once where I like went into a coma and woke up 17 years later and couldn't reintegrate myself back into my own life, so I can relate to Lucario's time-displaced horror and confusion here.
They couldn't have been after our castle! I mean, it's not like we had a kingdom or something.
I'LL NEVER FORGIVE HIM
I like that May immediately believes him though.
how could you
MIGHT AS WELL MOVE ON
Ash actually on top of things for once
WHAT A COINCIDENCE
james is less than thrilled
WOW THE LEGENDS ARE TRUE
Brock says cheerfully
I TOTALLY WASN'T INVOLVED
why does mew do anything
Wait, wasn't that just an Aaron tapestry
awkward mouth angles for everyone
do you buy that
what a terribly unflattering angle, lucario
not like i got anything else to do
WOOPS BLEW MY COVER
What else do you have in that notebook, Brock
also A SPACEWALK, THERE TOTALLY IS A SPACE PROGRAM IN THE POKEMON WORLD
WHY DON'T WE HEAR MORE ABOUT THIS
He says Super Woman in english, hehe
I could've gone to the tree itself, but why do that
i hope mew didn't turn into a sharpedo and eat him
I'LL NEVER FORGIVE YOU
Lucario backflips off a wall and tackles Ash and it's hilarious, I made some gifs of it even.
THIS FRANCHISE DEPENDS ON IT
Raises questions of how the Pokemon see the training relationship back in the old days, again the idea of an apprenticeship comes to mind
I WAS STUCK IN A STAFF FOR LIKE HUNDREDS OF YEARS
WHY AREN'T WE BEST PALS ALREADY
I'M GOING TO MESS THAT GUY UP
let's change the subject
Sort of a weird name for it!
YOU WERE JUST THINKING THIS, WEREN'T YOU
the japanese word for it is "hadou" if i remember right
WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO MASTER THE WAVE
COULD AARON THROW AURA SPHERES AROUND
I'M CURIOUS ABOUT THIS
WOULDN'T THAT BE SOMETHING well that'll probably come to nothing
Meanwhile at the tree Meowth and Pikachu are fine, I just think that Spoink-in-the-Box is adorable.
how are you doing that with no opposable thumbs
i can't sit with everyone else aaaaangstttt
A Bonsly! Another new DP pokemon. Also those look like grilled cheese sandwiches to me, like the ones you'd make in a grilled cheese press. I would totally eat one of those.
brock's face, haha
because it's a pre-evolution of Sudowoodo and Sudowoodo is a faker tree Pokemon, get it
wait how do you know that max
WOW A SINGLE BERRY INSTEAD OF THIS FULL PLATE OF HUMAN FOOD
WHAT A GREAT TRADE
lucario ~has a heart~
my thoughts exactly meowth, what the
BUT WHO CARES ABOUT THAT
pretty sweet, it's true
tip tip tip
LET'S TAKE A BREAK
let's all face this direction
TEAM ROCKET CAN ALWAYS COME ALONG
actually the bonsly fell off the roof of the jeep onto her head and it always bugged me that it barely hurt her at all BONSLY IS A ROCK POKEMON AND LIKE THIRTY POUNDS
sort of a pun, May saying "uso" for no way, which is part of Bonsly's Japanese name, yada yada
GET OVER IT, ASH
aw yeah, now things are gonna get hot
STOP DRIVING DAGGERS INTO MY HEART
maybe his HEART WAS BROKEN
just as planned
IT JUST BROKE OFF IN MY HAND, WHAT WAS I SUPPOSED TO DO
max why are you wearing glasses in a hot spring
also known as a plot device
and so we get a see-through version of what we just saw happen!
were you listening a second ago
this probably won't come up later
he looked much fatter, little stubby legs
HE LIKES ME NOW still shocks me though
REMEMBER THIS SCENE, OLD SCHOOL FANS?
i like comparing the quality of these shots to the movie shots
LUCARIO DO YOU PERCHANCE HAVE A FLASHBACK FOR US?
aaron dodges some badly done cg logs
you didn't explain anything you just did it how am i supposed to
it was the blindfold... the whole time...
EVERYONE'S ALWAYS TALKING ABOUT ME
lucario sees you out there
lucario knows what you've done
YOU'RE JUST LYING ABOUT YOUR BETRAYAL AND BROKEN HEART AREN'T YOU
everyone else is cool with it though
I'LL KILL YOU
Ash don't get into it with a fighting Pokemon, they can break you in half
i'm going to go angst somewhere else, i don't gotta take this
Ash has a rare moment of self-awareness.
no one understands
oh what do YOU want
i like that it broke off unevenly
Lucario tilting it back and forth like a curious dog
then makes a satisfied little purring noise here, haha.
I-IT'S NOT LIKE I ACTUALLY LIKE IT, BAKA
max gets along with like all the pokemon
Shuckle party favor!
Hitmontop top! So cute.
not like you had anything better to do, pikachu
I SENSE PIKACHU CALLING ME
what a weirdo
that's too bad CHOP CHOP BACK ON THE ROAD LET'S GO
quit playing games with my heart
hi convenient time flower
i worship thee, magical staff
MORE TIME SHADOWS
look at these ironic beautiful flowers GET IT
not a bad suggestion
WHO CARES, NOTHING MATTERS
this giant crevasse represents the blackness of my heart
oh now what
yes, obligatory ash tears, check
LEARN FROM MY TRAUMA, DO NOT REPEAT IT AGAIN
I CAN'T BE SAVED BUT PERHAPS OTHERS CAN BE
thanks for showing up just to ruin everything regirock, fits in well with the general feel of the regis
BETTER WALK RIGHT INTO THE TREE THEN
eh, nothing special
it was THIS big i swear
i did not know omanytes could do that
LOOK AT ALL THESE FOSSIL POKEMON, LIKE A FOSSIL POKEMON UTOPIA
WHY ARE THERE NIDORANS HERE
i mean he's probably at the top, why wouldn't he be
HOPE OUR TERRIBLE HUMAN TAINT DOESN'T DESTROY THIS BEAUTIFUL UTOPIA OR SOMETHING
brock are you listening
anything you imagine for how silly ra~re could be pronounced is true
cuddleshot as usual
I'M JUST HERE TO RUIN THINGS
ME TOO, I WANT TO DESTROY IT ALL
so a rrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrock pokemon?
PLEASE KISS ME
THERE YOU ARE, FINALLY
IF SOMEONE COULD GIVE ME A HAND HERE
not you, ideally
lucario knows what's up
did someone stomp on your nose lucario
i swear there are some angles where lucario's muzzle looks fine and others where it looks like they awkwardly glued a cone to his face.
lot of running in this movie
sup can we interest you in some death
our plan is to RUN AWAAYYYYYYY
cool poses for your trading cards
i just think this is a neat shot
think you're clever do you, we'll get you yet
This animation of James throwing out this Pokeball is weirdly detailed for no reason, it's bizarre. Someone on the animation team really liked James I guess.
time to fall to your knees and wail to the skies
IF I HAVE TO DIE AT LEAST I CAN SAVE YOU
i think this is a really sweet detail though, that the trainers let their pokemon free so they can escape knowing they're about to die. CARING ABOUT THEIR POKEMON TO THE END
i totally forget how james got this Chingling. No wait, this is the evolution... Chimecho, that's it.
TWO PEOPLE JUST DIED, WHAT'S THAT ALL ABOUT
to be fair, not unusual in the pokemon world
Lucarios' ears are flopping around all over in this scene for some reason, haha.
Do you buy that
COULD USE ONE RIGHT NOW
found my new reaction image
ACHIVEMENT UNLOCKED: BEFRIEND LUCARIO
do we... do we just go, or
ASH NO WE'RE GOING THIS WAY
There's a really long sequence in here with Ash jumping around these crystal pillars and it's really windy but here is the end result
AT THE LAST SECOND
EVERYONE FRIENDS NOW
not friends now
i asked you to do ONE thing, are you serious
dramatic back shot
should we get a flying pokemon, maybe a fearow could drill peck through
HEY GUYS IT'S SO GREAT TO SEE YOU
HUGS FOR EVERYONE
I'M SORRY THIS THING IS KILLING ME
i just noticed meowth's face back there, haha
oh well, alright, go ahead then
but no wouldn't that be hilarious
"would this hat cheer you up"
"NO GDIT WHAT IS YOUR PROBLEM ASH JUST DIED GET AWAY FROM ME"
oh fine, I'LL fix it
woah i was dead, i saw the afterlife, i know what lies beyond this mortal plane, my entire worldview has changed forever
well i guess we're... done...?
couldn't have done that before, could you mew
how does that work WHO CARES, ROLL WITH IT
oh i have the vapors
oontz oontz oontz
I KNOW THAT PAINED YELP ANYWHERE
meowth just walks off screen and no one asks him where he's going or what, it's sort of hilarious. WELL GOOD LUCK WITH THAT MEOWTH, WE HAVE OUR OWN PROBLEMS
YOU DON'T SAY
MEW AND THE TREE SURE ARE IN A SYMBIOTIC RELATIONSHIP hey buddy don't eat those humans okay, spit em out
FINE, THEN I'LL JUST DIE TO SPITE YOU
Oh right, that weird tube thing Mew and Pikachu and Meowth fell in is sort of like a capillary and these are the blood cells, I guess.
NOT OUR COTTONY WINGS, NOOO
protecting her again, so cute
eh, they're probably fine
Mew has the same ugly undermouth thing going that Lucario does, I have no idea why they went with that as a stylistic choice.
TRUSTING MEW HAS WORKED OUT FOR US SO FAR, WHY NOT
wow, more crystals, amazing
DUN DUN DUNNNN
then turned into a cg model and got stuck in a rock
a plot device?
TO DO THIS THING
WHATEVER IT IS
WE NEED TO DO IT
THE TREE WILL HELP I GUESS??
what is this thing you're doing
say that to all the girls
SURELY THIS WILL STOP THE WAR
NO MY LIFE IS A LIE AGAIN
i'm not in the mood, mew
i am so high right now
like at all or just the giant spirit ball he was doing
I FEAR NOT DEATH
YAY SOUL BALLS AGAIN
what, what a rip-off
man way to kick lucario when he's down ALRIGHT I'M GOING TO DO IT, I'M GOING TO NOBLY SACRIFICE MYSELF TO SAVE THE WORLD
lol sorry you don't even have enough power to do that, good luck though
I DON'T HAVE ANY OF THE TRAINING THAT YOU HAVE BUT I'M SURE I CAN DO IT
is that circle on the back of those gloves raised or flat, it seems inconsistent to me
I DON'T EVEN KNOW THESE POKEMON BUT I DON'T WANT THEM TO DIE ash, shounen hero to the end
stop trying to steal my thunder
FINE IF YOU WANT TO DIE TOO, I WON'T STOP YOU
HEY DO I GET A SAY IN THIS AT ALL
I KIND OF HAVE AN OPINION ABOUT YOU DYING
aw yeah SWEET SOUL ENERGY, JUST PUMP THAT INTO ME YEAH YEAH YEAH
CAN'T BELIEVE I CONNED TWO MORE SUCKERS INTO GIVING ME THEIR SOULS, HA HA HA!!!!
OH NO, WHO SAW THIS COMING
so what do neighboring kingdoms think whenever this happens, i mean it's got to be visible from pretty far away
MEOWTH SNUGGLES YAAAY
well i bet ash and lucario are fine let's just go outside
thanks for kidnapping pikachu and meowth and starting this whole thing
MAYBE NOW YOU'LL LEAVE EVERYONE ALONE
lol mew's eyes
oh yeah, the whole death thing
man sat RIGHT on a spike ow
THAT'S WHAT TRAINERS AND POKEMON DO FOR EACH OTHER >:(
oh, oh wooahhh, i just wanna be here beside you
just piling it on Lucario here
oh god he's going to ask me to marry him
soulmate, friend, whatever
Fun trivia: Aaron is in the Diamond and Pearl games! He's in a cave if I recall and he gives you an egg, which hatches into Riolu, Lucario's pre-evolution. :B They call him Riley but it could not be more obvious that he's Aaron. Or Aaron was based on him, whatever.
not really what he was talking about, but okay ash
I WON'T ALLOW IT, I LIKE YOU TOO MUCH
WHERE I TRULY BELONG
the "no, you meant dying" face
Aaron and Lucario's soul balls become one
IS THIS WHAT HAPPENS WHEN YOU DIE
EVERYTHING I KNOW IS WRONG
should we go look for ash, or
eh he's probably fine
WE WEREN'T ABOUT TO LEAVE, WHAT
oh man i don't know how to have this conversation
the tree ate him
THEY'VE BECOME CLOUDS???
and also with you
the scale of this tree is ridiculous. sorry, "mountain"
people in this movie have too much hair
Oh, the ending song for this movie is Hajimari no Uta, sung by Puffy Amiyumi! You may remember them from the short-lived Cartoon Network show, if I have my names right. It's a fun, cheery rock type song.
wait how does that work, wait what
I'M THE ONLY WOMAN WHO EVER SHOWED YOU POSITIVE ATTENTION BROCK WELL HERE I GO OUT OF YOUR LIFE FOREVER
the pain never eases
Mew has a new friend in Bonsly at least. also STOLE AARON'S GLOVES, THE THIEF
omg, it's Butler and Diane from the Jirachi movie! I totally never noticed this until I took all these caps, it surprised me, haha. MOST OF THE TIMES THE MOVIES DO NOT HAVE CONTINUITY, THIS WAS VERY UNUSUAL
nice overalls butler lol
fonz, still incredibly boring, at least the world tree had crystals and lasers in it
AND BACK IN THE PAST (?)
OR IS IT
don't be silly lucario, you can't have any of this, it's people food
the happiest we ever see that poor pokemon
AARON ONLY EATS CHOCOLATE ONE PRECISE SQUARE AT A TIME
i read a fic once where aaron and lucario were trapped in some kind of weird alternate dimension or limbo like afterlife where they were constantly trying to get to the castle but could never quite reach it. it always makes this shot feel a bit sad to me. :B
Meanwhile Ash and co walk off, as standard.
2005, THE HIGH POINT OF THE MOVIES
man almost ten years since this movie, i can't believe it
And the coloring contest that started with the Deoxys movie continues! I like the Torchic in the dress.
I THINK the ending song here is Pokemon Kazoe Uta, an ondo sounding song.
SOMEONE HELP, GET US OFF THIS THING
And that's all! Next up, the Manaphy movie!