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Pokmon: The Movie 2000

Ash and the Pokémon must bring the forces of nature back into balance in order to sell obscene amounts of tie-in ... er, to save the world!


The second feature in the planet-conquering Japanese franchise opens with an all- Pokémon, all-gibberish short feature that will have parents reaching for the Tylenol even sooner than expected, then we cut to the main adventure, titled "The Power of One." A scheming Pokémon Collector named Jirarudan begins snatching up winged Poki with the power to control fire, lightning and ice, destabilizing Earth's weather patterns. It's up to brave young Pokémon Trainer Ash Ketchum, his chubby yellow pocket monster Pikachu and their friends to put things right.


It's a sad state of affairs when voice actor Ikue Otani manages to steal the show chirping his character's name over and over as the floppy-eared, lightning-tailed Pikachu. The thespians lending their vocals to the human characters have less chance to be impressive, saddled as they are with the film's clumsy English translation of Pokémon arcana and the occasional witless pun.


Kunihiko Yuyama's team puts no special stamp on the series' generic Japanese toon work, which bears a closer resemblance to primitive TV fare in the "Speed Racer" or "Astro Boy" vein than the cutting-edge artistry going into modern anime epics such as "Princess Mononoke." Computer-rendered shots of Jirarudan's elaborate flying fortress and churning ocean waves are impressive in themselves, but they clash with the traditionally animated material. Not that the grade school-age target audience is likely to mind.

Bottom Line

Unwatchable for adults, unmissable for seat-kicking, concessions-devouring young Pokémon fans.


Starring Voices of Veronica Taylor, Rachael Lillis, Eric Stuart, Addie Blaustein and Ikue Otani.

Directed by Kunihiko Yuyama. Produced by Norman J. Grossfeld. Screenplay by Takeshi Shudo. Released by Warner Bros.