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Pokémon Heroes (2002)

Gekijô-ban poketto monsutaa: Mizu no Miyako no Mamori Gami Ratiasu to Ratiosu (original title)
Trailer
1:16 | Trailer
Two thieves take control of an ancient weapon designed to defend the canal city of Altomare.

Writers:

Kathy Pilon (as Kathy Borland), Hideki Sonoda

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Rica Matsumoto ... Satoshi (voice)
Veronica Taylor ... Ash Ketchum / Spectator (voice)
Rachael Lillis ... Misty / Jessie / Vulpix / Poliwag (voice)
Mayumi Izuka ... Kasumi (voice) (as Mayumi Iizuka)
Eric Stuart ... Brock / James / Security Guard / Politoed / Kabutops / Xatu (voice)
Madeleine Blaustein ... Meowth (voice) (as Maddie Blaustein)
Yûji Ueda ... Takeshi / Waninoko (voice)
Ikue Ôtani ... Pikachu (voice) (as Ikue Otani)
Lisa Ortiz Lisa Ortiz ... Oakley / Woman (voice)
Megan Hollingshead ... Annie (voice)
Inuko Inuyama ... Nyasu (voice)
Tara Sands ... Bianca / Female Trainer (voice) (as Tara Jayne)
Kerry Williams Kerry Williams ... Additional voices (voice)
Uno Kanda Uno Kanda ... Zanna (voice)
Kayzie Rogers ... Totodile / Corsola / Wobbuffet / Espeon / Vaporeon / Old Woman / Kid (voice)
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Storyline

Ash, Pikachu and the rest of the Pokemon gang try and stop a pair of thieves hiding out in the canals and alleyways of Alto Mare, the water capital of the world. Joining the adventure are two new Pokémons, a brother/sister pair named Latias and Latios who are protecting the Droplet of the Heart - a valuable treasure. Written by IMDb Editors

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

On a mission they never expected. To a world they never imagined. An adventure you'll never forget. See more »


Certificate:

G | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official site | Official site [Japan] | See more »

Country:

Japan

Language:

Japanese

Release Date:

16 May 2003 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Pokémon Heroes See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$260,372, 18 May 2003

Gross USA:

$746,381

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$20,867,919
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

This is the first Pokemon movie where the Pokemon are given genders and referred as such by the characters. See more »

Quotes

Misty: The Earth is so pretty, so blue...
See more »


Soundtracks

The Time Has Come
Written by Michael Whalen
Performed by Dominic Nolfi, Heidi Weyhmueller & the Cast of Pokémon Live
See more »

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User Reviews

 
A Pokémon Retrospective, Part 5
23 June 2019 | by Shostakovich343See all my reviews

In my ongoing quest to destroy my childhood I have set out to (re)watch all Pokémon films, and see how they hold up now that I am an adult. After disliking "Pokémon 4Ever - Celery: Spice of the Forest" as much as I remembered disliking it, I was looking forward to "Pokémon Heroes: Latias and Latios." It is often considered a step forwards for the franchise, and rightfully so.

The difference in quality immediately shows during the opening: The usual boring exposition is relayed over an actual artistic effort. These stylised backgrounds are not stunning by any means, but indicative of the increased effort on display.

The film wastes no time introducing the antagonists, Annie and Oakly. In the Japanese version, they work independently; in the dub, in service of Team Rocket's Giovanni -- presumably because the translators feared viewers wouldn't get that these scheming thieves are supposed to be the enemy. Whatever their motivation, Annie and Oakly stand among the more enjoyable of Pokémon antagonists, vigorous yet not operatically evil.

The two travel to the city of Alto Mare in search of booty, whilst Ash and Co. happen to be in town for the annual water race. This livens the spirits somewhat. Alto Mare, a combination of Venice and the Hanging Gardens of Babylon, is a very pleasant setting, complimented by some sunny artwork and fluent animation.

After the race, Ash comes across a girl who appears to take a liking to him. As he approaches her, however, she turns out to be the Pokémon Latias in disguise (inspiring generations of horrifying fan art). Together, they are chased by Annie and Oakly through the city's picturesque alleys, and manage to escape when Latias flies into the air and disappears. You would be forgiven for thinking this to be a gender-swapped rip-off of "Howl's Moving Castle", but that film was made after this one. Pokémon vs. Studio Ghibli: 1 - 1,000,000, I guess.

For the next twenty minutes, barely anything happens that furthers the plot, and yet these scenes are quite enjoyable -- just pleasant interludes in a beautiful location. There is a holiday-vibe to the entire film that makes for comfortable watching.

The second half, as usual, is mostly action, but done better than before. Instead of stakeless Pokémon fights, most of it features Ash himself, including an honestly entertaining chase scene through the canals. Indeed, good use is made of the city's geography. Its narrow streets, waterways and ancient machinery provide plenty of spectacle to refrain from boring. Although none of this may be especially original, everything gives off a sense of agreeable competence.

This is also apparent in some of the writing. Not the dialogue, obviously, but foreshadowing is clear, and more subtle. Latias' and Latios' 'mind sharing,' for example, provides initially for an appealing trip through the city canals, yet later for a means to find the antagonists' location. Such set-up and pay-off is basic scripting, but laudable in a series that often feels like it is making things up as it goes along.

The film's climax validates these touches. Its consequences are far graver than the first or fourth film's, without attempting to pluck at our heartstrings as desperately. This nicely balances out the story as a whole. Pokémon films up to this point have generally had an atmospheric set-up followed by a mind-numbingly boring second half, but not "Latias and Latios". The action does not overstay its welcome, and the ending feels appropriate and deserved.

Earlier in this retrospective series, I gave "Mewtwo Returns" a positive note, remarking that it was quite good for a Pokémon film, although 'in terms of either entertainment or depth it barely holds up on its own, and it is still not recommendable to anyone but Pokémon fans.' That does not go for "Latias and Latios." Despite some typical shortcomings, it is a well-paced and genuinely entertaining interlude, that I reluctantly recommend.


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