Birth of Mewtwo

Without love, we are but strangers in paradise



Current Zar note: I eventually branched out from just doing game screencaps to doing them for Pokemon movies as well cause why not, who's going to stop me. I did this LP (?) in 2009! I left my write-up mostly unchanged.




The dub of Mewtwo Strikes Back changed a lot about the movie. Namely by doing its best to convey a "fighting is bad" message (which given the content of the games and anime itself is hugely ironic) and to paint Mewtwo as an evil villain who wanted to take over the world.

I'm not sure on the exact details about this... some sites say this was included in the movie originally when it came out in Japan, and others say it was added in with the special edition with all the cg clouds and everything. But either way, there's about ten minutes of footage that were edited out of the english release. This footage takes place between Pikachu's Vacation and the main movie. It's a prologue of sorts.

Apparently these ten minutes were deemed "too complicated" for American audiences, and since it completely undermines the direction the editors were trying to skew the movie (mewtwo is bad. bad.), they removed it entirely. It was only much much later that this lost prologue was dubbed and put on the Mewtwo Returns dvd as the Birth of Mewtwo.

So what was in these ten minutes? What could have been so threatening to the dubbers that it had to just be cut completely? What would have been too hard for American children to understand?

Can ten minutes completely change an audience's view of a character? Can they put their future actions in an entirely different light? Can it give a random sudden ending meaning? Can it raise more uncomfortable questions about the somewhat abitrary rules that define the Pokémon world? Can it make those nameless scientists people?

LET'S FIND OUT

WOOOOOOO 1998 WOOOOOOOOO oh god that still doesn't feel that long ago to me aaaaaaa

[insert cheap pee joke here]

HARD TO SAY REALLY

I really like Butterfree. I just thought you should know.

THIS IS IMPORTANT

and it makes sense considering that I think Mew is said to be kind of the progenitor of all Pokémon. Or at least it was before Arceus came along.

I have trouble thinking of Mew as a he to be honest, I can't help it. I KEEP THINKING OF IT AS A SHE

AND THEREFORE MEWTWO IS A LADY

No doubt because Mew can't stop trolling people for like two seconds.

No faces we want a nice picture for christmas

HA CHA CHA

It might just be Jenkin's eyelash, we dunno

WHAT ARE YOU GUYS TALKING ABOUT IN THERE

Hey, there's that mountain!

SCIENCE!!

And the cloning machine! Which makes the shot of the cloning machine later on in the movie make a lot more sense since you can compare the two and see how Mewtwo's is more organic, but hey who cares about that in english CUT IT

how is babby mewtwo formed

There's that born business that the previous fansubbers seemed to have so much trouble with! I have no idea why.

SAYS A GIRL'S VOICE OFFSCREEN

I took a lot of caps of babby mewtwo because he's adorable, leave me alone

So smaaaaall

HERESY!

i know this makes me like the biggest dork ever but seriously this line like blew my mind because no one in the anime ever talks about this kind of thing

the thinness of the line between humans and pokemon is like the elephant in the room that no one ever talks about BUT THEY DID IT THEY ACTUALLY DID IT HERE

MEANINGLESS DISTINCTIONS THAT REINFORCE A SYSTEM WHERE ONE RACE ENSLAVES ANOTHER or is this getting too dark

WHO CAN REALLY SAY IN THE END

BLASPHEMY HUMAN AND POKEMON CAN'T BE THE SAME

OR CAN THEY?!?!

and if they can then the whole pokemon trainer system is a sham

thus why mewtwo might have such a vendetta against it in the future

HEY

YOU GUYS LOOK FAMILIAR

The little girl's name is Ai, which also coincidentally means Love. SYMBOLIC?

tiny mewtwo is just so adorable aaaa

you mean this glowing thing here

I like how cheery Ai is about this. NO REASON TO LET THAT GET YOU DOWN!

So do the markings on the starters there look familiar to you at all

the marks on the back of the Squirtle and the stripes on the Charmander

Mewtwo and his clone friends all have a good laugh. Whee!

DUN DUN DUUUUN

This looks flashback colored.

I just find this whole exchange rather fascinating in a way. Particularly Ai's mom's reaction, which seems reasonable especially Ai's dad is so obsessed with bringing her back to life that he barely lives for himself anymore. I CAN'T LIVE LIKE THIS I CAN'T WATCH YOU BOTH DIE

anyway

you're all i have left, pretty glowing colors

so this DOES tie in!

Which always kind of bugged me since Mew doesn't seem to have any eyelashes. I guess they fell off.

THE TRUE MOTIVATION BEHIND THE MEWTWO PROJECT

actually if I remember right I think Giovanni offered to fund them if they created the strongest Pokémon alive, so they agreed so they'd have enough money to bring Ai back to life. THERE YOU GO

YOU'LL COME BACK TO LIFE AND THEN YOUR MOM WILL COME BACK AND EVERYTHING WILL BE NORMAL AND BACK THE WAY IT WAS JUST PLEASE GOD COME BACK

Meanwhile

BABY MEWTWO WANT SUN

Which makes the ending song (Kaze to issho ni - Together with the Wind) make a bit more sense, incidentally.

uh oh

I took a lot of caps of this because I like how Mewtwo's tail moves okay leave me alone

Oh god they just disintegrated how disturbing is that D:

You'd think he'd be more upset but I guess at this point he's fairly dead inside

Think about the ending now and omg

TEARS OF LIFE DON'T SEEM QUITE SO RANDOM NOW

well no they're still a bit random but

:<

OR DID THEY

considering the first clones that Mewtwo makes (successfully i might add) are clones of his old friends - Charmander, Squirtle, and Bulbasaur. They even have the same markings and everything. Thinking about it that way makes the entire thing that much more tragic. Remaking his old friends without knowing why, invested in proving that his friends are better than their originals, that they're just as legitimate and real as he is. Subconsciously giving them a second chance at life since he was the only one who survived.

Man you think about this too much and it gets reaaal depressing.

The movie starts.

AS YOU CAN SEE, THIS PUTS THE WHOLE THING IN SOMEWHAT OF A DIFFERENT LIGHT

and weirdly enough, my old subbed vhs of the mewtwo movie didn't have this prologue either. :O how strange. although if this was only included in the special edition, that'd make sense cause my old tape definitely did not have the cg.

This whole little story is also chronicled in a radio drama on the soundtrack for Mewtwo Strikes Back, and in fact you can read and listen to it here. IT IS A SAD TALE

Mewtwo Strikes Back | Revelation Lugia | Index