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Pokémon: The First Movie - Mewtwo Strikes Back (1998)

Gekijô-ban poketto monsutâ - Myûtsû no gyakushû (original title)
Scientists genetically create a new Pokémon, Mewtwo, but the results are horrific and disastrous.

Writers:

Satoshi Tajiri (creator), Takeshi Shudo | 4 more credits »

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3 wins & 6 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Veronica Taylor ... Ash Ketchum / Female Scientist / Computer / Fuji's Wife (voice)
Jay Goede ... Mewtwo / Dr. Fuji (voice) (as Philip Bartlett)
Rachael Lillis ... Misty / Jessie / Wigglytuff (voice)
Eric Stuart ... Brock / James / Squirtle / Weezing / Scyther / Hitmonlee / Magneton / Male Scientist / Squirtletwo (voice)
Madeleine Blaustein ... Raymond / Meowth / Alakazam (voice) (as Addie Blaustein)
Ikue Ôtani ... Pikachu (voice) (as Ikue Otani)
Ted Lewis ... Giovanni / Corey / Male Scientist (voice) (as Ed Paul)
James Carter Cathcart ... Fergus (voice) (as Jimmy Zoppi)
Michael Haigney Michael Haigney ... Psyduck / Venusaur / Nidoqueen / Blastoise / Dewgong / Venusaurtwo / Blastoisetwo / Raticate / Spearow / Charmandertwo (voice)
Kayzie Rogers ... Miranda / Vaporeon / Vileplume / Ninetales (voice)
Rodger Parsons ... Narrator (voice) (as Ken Gates)
Hirotaka Suzuoki ... Sakaki (voice)
Lee Quick ... Officer Jenny (voice)
Ayako Shiraishi Ayako Shiraishi ... Joi (voice)
Chinami Nishimura Chinami Nishimura ... Junsar (voice)
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Storyline

When a group of scientists are offered funding into genetic research if they agree to try and clone the greatest ever Pokémon, Mew, the end result is success and Mewtwo is born. However Mewtwo is bitter about his purpose in life and kills his masters. In order to become the greatest he throws open a challenge to the world to battle him and his Pokémon. Ash and his friends are one of the few groups of trainers who pass the first test and prepare for battle. However they soon find out about further cloning and Mewtwo's ultimate plan for the earth. Written by bob the moo

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Who am I? Where am I? See more »


Certificate:

G | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official site

Country:

Japan

Language:

Japanese

Release Date:

10 November 1999 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Pokémon: Mewtwo Strikes Back See more »

Filming Locations:

Setagaya, Tokyo, Japan See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$30,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$31,036,678, 14 November 1999

Gross USA:

$85,744,662

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$163,644,662
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (Extended Cut)

Sound Mix:

DTS | Dolby Digital | SDDS

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

When Brock states that he does not know vikings still exist, Ash says they usually live in Minnesota. This is a reference to the Minnesota Vikings football team. This joke is not used in all dubs. See more »

Goofs

If one listen carefully, one can hear Ash's original voice in the scene when he faces the second trainers' Pokemon. See more »

Quotes

Mewtwo: Your Charizard is poorly trained.
See more »

Crazy Credits

As the ending credits roll, we see clips of Ash, Brock and Misty continuing on their journey, in different places and times. In order they show: them walking down the coast as the waves lap beside the credits. Them walking through a grassy field. Them by a waterfall, with Misty sitting down with a fishing rod. Them all standing in a field watching a herd of Taurus grazing in the distance. Them all sitting in a cave, while the sky is filled with black clouds and it is raining. Them walking through a forest full of enormous trees. A panning shot of all three of them sleeping in sleeping bags out in the woods. All three of the gang walking up a desert highway. The gang sitting on top of a high mountain with a campfire, watching the sun set. The three heading toward a forest, with a huge rainbow in the foreground. And the final shot of the three is of them walking towards the camera, through a poppy field. See more »

Alternate Versions

The 2016 Viz Media DVD and Blu-ray releases omit the Kids' WB, Nintendo, and 4Kids logos (as well as the closing Warner Bros. logo) and all of the opening credits (save for the title slide). See more »

Connections

Followed by Pokémon the Movie: Black-Victini and Reshiram (2011) See more »

Soundtracks

We're a Miracle
Written by Todd Chapman, David Zippel, Christina Aguilera
Performed by Christina Aguilera
Published by Todski Music Publishing (BMI)
Your Ear Music administered by Warner Chappell Music (ASCAP), Christina Aguilera Music (ASCAP)
Produced and Arranged by Todd Chapman
Christina Aguilera appears courtesy of The RCA Records Label
See more »

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User Reviews

 
It's message is weak but still a nostalgic watch

Since its introduction to the world, Pokemon is one of the most recognizable and popular animes to ever exist. With TV show seasons far longer than many others, the adventures of Ash Ketchum and co. has captured the imaginations of people of all ages. All this based on the catch phrase "Gotta catch 'em all!". On top of that, with augmented reality becoming more and more prominent in today's culture, smart phone app Pokemon GO further cemented its craze among fans. However before this, Pokemon boomed with success even with its first theatrical film. In retrospect, it might have been bigger than today's excitement. When it started, Pokemon was all about catching the total 150 types throughout its world. But when the trailer made it clear that Ash would be coming in contact with the last Pokemon of the official list, it drove people nuts. Nobody knew what to expect and people were psyched to see what happened. Revisiting it again was definitely a nice little trip down memory lane but it does have a few things that should be recognize that needed fixing.

Picking up close after the first TV season, the film starts with an introduction to Mewtwo (Jay Goede), the 151rst-pokemon waking up from his initial cloning. Confused and frustrated with his placement, he learns that he is a clone of mythical pokemon Mew but more powerful. After being informed his usefulness will only be for his extensive strength, Mewtwo becomes angry and declares world domination over humans and the pokemon who follow them. It is with that viewers are switched over to Ash (Veronica Taylor), Misty (Rachael Lillis) and Brock (Eric Stuart) doing what they do in every episode. That is until they are invited to New Island to meet the best pokemon master (Mewtwo); but they don't know this. Tagging along is the infamous Team Rocket still looking to capture Ash's Pikachu (Ikue Ôtani). Originally written by Takeshi Shudo and adapted by Michael Haigney, Norman J. Grossfeld and John Touhey, the script is okay but does have its problems. Like many foreign movies, scripts get lost in translation and that's what happened here.

Shudo's screenplay had painted Mewtwo in a much more innocent depiction. Instead of being hell-bent on conquering the world because of mistreatment, Mewtwo was a pokemon who sought to prove itself to others. As to how that would've gotten worked into the western version of the script is up for debate but apparently the idea of making Mew's clone a tyrant was easier. Hard to say. Yet this is one of the film's major flaws. The overall moral to the story ends up being stated that "fighting/violence is wrong". Yet this is a complete contradiction to the whole essence of pokemon because majority of the way fans play the games is by having their partners fight in battle. So the point was what again? Another odd tidbit was various circumstances various characters had to endure. Sometimes there were times where things weren't as plausible as portrayed. The other problem to this film is for people who are not familiar with pokemon. This did not initiate pokemon so in order to understand the movie one had to watch the show.

So if a viewer has never watched the show, they won't be as engrossed as other fans because they never met Ash and company or anyone else. For fans however, seeing this was a big deal and looking back on it now can be a nostalgic journey. Surprisingly there are a number of scenes that involve dialog that probably viewers of younger ages wouldn't understand, but now is more clever or funny sounding. It's inside humor that is realized over time that can make the movie all the more enjoyable to revisit in later years. All voice actors involved with this production perform well and do what is required to make it sound more connected to the TV show. As always Veronica Taylor, Rachael Lillis and Eric Stuart as the main protagonist and antagonists are the best choices for these roles. Jay Goede as Mewtwo although short-lived in his role definitely made the character sound unique enough. Mewtwo would later receive a short explaining more on his backstory with Goede reprising the role. Too bad he didn't do much else other than this.

One thing that doesn't make sense in this film is that cinematography was credited to Hisao Shirai. Not exactly sure why it was listed because there wasn't a scene of live-action unless accounting for one scene with realistic looking clouds. Other than that, the animation looks great. Much of it looks more polished than that of the TV series, which would obviously have a smaller budget. Especially towards the finale it is at its best quality in detail. The music is thankfully another plus. The soundtrack has several nostalgic tunes from the late 1990s with artists like M2M and Blessid Union of Souls. Very catchy pop songs. Even composers John Loeffler and Ralph Schuckett's film score is another great element. The sound of it does incorporate orchestra but also an equal amount of synths. Although that may sound not so good, the mixture of these instruments sounds natural and really works in a number of scenes because of how much they pull on the viewers heart strings. It is also one of the few pokemon scores to ever be released.

The ending message is a contradiction of pokemon in general, and for those who aren't fans will have trouble paying attention. But for those who do enjoy it, will love taking a stroll back to the late 1990s and remember when there were only 151 pokemon with the original crew. The animation looks great, the characters are likable and the music is effectively memorable.


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