Pokemon The Movie 2000 (Pikachu's Rescue Adventures / The Power of One)
Pikachu Project '99
Where Pokemon: The First Movie fell on its face, the second movie makes all the right moves and gives a little fan service as an added treat.
Pokemon The Movie 2000
By Adam "OMEGA" Arnold
Pokemon The Movie 2000, the second movie to spring from the venerable franchise started by the two interconnected Game Boy games, immerses the viewer into an epic story and makes you believe that one person really can save the world.
In the first segment, Pikachu's Rescue Adventure, the exhausted trainers take a short rest and let their pokemon have a little free time in the forest. Pikachu befriends an Elekid and through a bit of antics, Togepi finds itself in a Exeggcute nest and Meowth winds up hanging by his backpack over a ravine. All the while, the pokemon are treated to a teeth-rottingly cute musical number in a landscape that seems to be copied directly from Princess Mononoke. After that's over, Pikachu and his friend rescue Meowth, the weather gets really nasty, and it's up to the combined might of the pokemon to work together to save the exeggcute nest.
"Do not disturb the harmony of Fire, Ice, and Lightning."
Ash, Misty, and Tracy are out sailing on the ocean when a terrible storm hits and sweeps the crew off course to the Orange Islands, the cradle of the ocean where all the world's waters are theorized to come from. The heroes find themselves on Shemadi Island during the Annual Legend Festival where Ash is chosen by the ocarina playing Melody to gather the Fire, Ice, and Lighting Orbs and place them in the Slowking Priest's shrine. After a pep-talk, Ash sets out to begin his quest as another storm hits.
It seems that the pokemon can sense a disturbance in the elemental forces caused by the Collector's trapping of the pokemon Moltres. Now the balance of power has shifted and the other pokemon are fighting for elemental supremacy. All the while the mysterious pokemon of water, Lugia, has begun to awaken from the depths.
What's shocking is that the soundtrack for the movie actually has songs associated with the fits the movie better than the original soundtrack did. What's really shocking is no extra songs were added to tone down the movie like was done with the climax of the first movie. In fact, the Youngstown featuring Nobody's Angel version of 'Pokemon World' actually seems to be better than the TV version.
Not having the privilege to see the original Japanese version of the second movie gives me a special unbiasedness towards the English language release. It kept me entertained and wondering what would happen next, even though the plot was virtually clear cut. The movie is filled with cameos by various pokemon and series characters like Brock. Yet, what I was most surprised at were the fan service scenes dealing with Misty being Ash's 'girlfriend,' which she blatantly denied, and Team Rocket's change-of-heart. Pretty shocking for a side-story to actually advance the plot of an ongoing series.
The Power of One beats out Mewtwo Strikes Back hands down, for the movie presents a more solid viewing experience. But, this isn't to say the second movie is perfect. The Power of One is a cookie cutter feature that parallels the original movie at key points and advances around the same lines. But, this is easily overlooked, as the witty dialogue, memorable characters, and loads of fan service is where this movie shines.
The movie's villain, known only as The Collector, is one of the more complex villains to appear in the Pokemon Universe. He is only doing what he was meant to do -- capturing Pokemon for his collection aboard his floating air fortress, a la Final Fantasy. He represents the video game player who seeks only to catch 'em all and, at the same time, the collectible card game player who has to have the most powerful cards. In this sense you can actually side with the villain as he strives to capture his prize, Lugia. But you must all hate him for destroying the world to achieve his goal. Maybe there is a message there for all otaku...
If you love Pokemon or just want to see a decent movie that anyone, even adults, can watch, then this is the ticket. It has something for everyone.