Japanese release poster
|Directed by||Kunihiko Yuyama|
|Produced by||Yukako Matsusako
|Written by||Hideki Sonoda|
|Narrated by||Unshō Ishizuka|
|Music by||Shinji Miyazaki|
|Editing by||Toshio Henmi|
|Distributed by||Toho (Japan)
Optimum Home Entertainment (UK DVD)
Studio Canal (UK Blu-Ray)
|Running time||71 minutes|
Pokémon Heroes: Latios and Latias, originally released in Japan as Pocket Monsters the Movie: The Guardians of Altomare (劇場版ポケットモンスター 水の都の護神 ラティアスとラティオス Gekijōban Poketto Monsutā Mizu no Miyako no Mamorigami Ratiasu to Ratiosu , lit. "The Guardian Gods of the City of Water: Latias and Latios"), is a 2002 Japanese animated film directed by Kunihiko Yuyama. It is the fifth film in the Pokémon series, complimenting Pokémon: Master Quest (the last season of Pocket Monsters story arc in the Japanese version). The film was released in Japan on July 13, 2002, and stars the regular television cast of Rica Matsumoto, Yuji Ueda, Mayumi Iizuka, Megumi Hayashibara, Shin-ichiro Miki and Ikue Ōtani. The English adaptation was produced by 4Kids Entertainment and distributed by Miramax Films, and saw a limited release in the United States on May 16, 2003, before being released to video and DVD in January 2004. The English version stars the regular television cast of Veronica Taylor, Eric Stuart, Rachael Lillis and Maddie Blaustein.
Although Cartoon Network currently airs the film, it also aired on Toon Disney on November 27, 2007 (because Miramax, owned by Disney, released this animated film), being the fourth Pokémon film to air on Toon Disney (the first three being Pokémon: Jirachi Wishmaker, Pokémon: Destiny Deoxys, and Pokémon 4Ever).
Optimum Home Entertainment re-released the movie on DVD in UK on May 9, 2011  Studio Canal re-released this film along with Pokémon 4Ever on Blu-ray in the UK as a double feature pack on April 2, 2012, just one day before Pokémon the Movie: Black—Victini and Reshiram and White—Victini and Zekrom came out on DVD on April 3, 2012.
The story behind this short film revolves around the Pichu brothers as they attempt to find a train back to the big city. Along the way, they are helped by seven of Ash Ketchum's and Misty's Pokémon (Pikachu, Cyndaquil, Totodile, Phanpy, Corsola, Togepi, Psyduck) and a Wynaut. Meanwhile, Meowth and Wobbuffet are hiking in the back country, but their journey continuously goes wrong and their paths intertwines with the others.
Along the way, the Pokémon sit around a campfire, where the older Pichu brother, along with Wynaut, scare the younger brother with the help of a Duskull. They also encounter a Volbeat, who guides them to a mill where they can stay the night.
Heroes: Latios and Latias
The main film's setting is in the water-themed Johto city of Altomare (which means "High Sea"), based on cities such as Venice, Italy and Amsterdam, Netherlands. The city is watched over by two legendary Pokémon, Latias and Latios. The story behind the two involves an evil Pokémon Trainer using a Kabutops and an Aerodactyl to terrorize the citizens, until the original Latios came to the city, using his powers to drown the evil Pokémon and turning the streets into canals. However, Latios died and his children were left orphans. His soul is within a special jewel, the Soul Dew.
The Soul Dew is sought by Annie and Oakley, two members of Team Rocket. The Soul Dew acts as a key for activating the Defense Mechanism of Altomare, a special device built in case of disaster. Meanwhile, Ash Ketchum, Misty, and Brock are visiting Altomare on their travels. Ash and Misty participate in the Tour de Altomare, a water chariot race. Misty wins, after Ash takes a wrong turn due to an invisible Latias and Latios. Ross, the former champion of the race gives the friends a tour of the city in his gondola and tells them of the city's guardians. Annie and Oakley follow Latias, disguised as a human girl named Bianca. Latias is saved by Ash and Pikachu. Team Rocket are also in the city and decide to follow Annie and Oakley.
The trio later visit Lorenzo, the curator of a local museum, who explains the city's history and also introduces them to the Defence Mechanism of Altomare (DMA). Ash pursues Bianca, and then Latias in disguise, across the city, eventually discovering a hidden garden where Latias and Latios live. When Latios and Bianca threaten to force Ash out, Lorenzo arrives to clear up all the tension. Latias and Latios play with Ash and Pikachu, and later Lorenzo reveals to Ash the Soul Dew. However, Annie and Oakley's spy robot is watching this and later the duo steal the Soul Dew and capture Latios - using both to control the DMA. Latias flees to Ash for help, and later the two and Pikachu race across the gridlocked city to the museum. Using the DMA, Oakley locks down the city and revives the undead Pokémon to capture Latias. After a long chase through the city, Ash and Latias cause the undead Aerodactyl to crash into a building, and are saved from the Kabutops by their friends' Pokémon. The heroes arrive at the museum to find the DMA going berserk and Latios seriously injured. After freeing Latios, the Soul Dew fades and turns black, causing the DMA to shut down. When Annie tries to get the Soul Dew, it disappears and the city's water becomes a giant tsunami. Latios and Latias use their psychic powers to stop the tsunami, but Latios sacrifices himself in the process. The water returns to the city, washing away Team Rocket in the process. The undead Pokémon return to their fossil states, and Annie and Oakley get trapped inside the DMA.
Latios becomes a new Soul Dew and is placed as the new guardian of Altomare. Ash, Misty, and Brock head off to leave Altomare, but Bianca or Latias in the guise of Bianca (Nobody knows which) stops them before they leave and hands Ash a drawing of him and Pikachu, giving Ash a kiss on the cheek before leaving. As the group leave on a boat, they see two Latios and a Latias in the air. Annie and Oakley are sent to jail, where they examine the possessions of Lawrence III.
The Pokémon trilogy movies will be on the upcoming TV Show Adventures
The Japanese version had a few key differences from the English version.
- Annie and Oakley were not affiliated with Team Rocket.
- The original Soul Dew may or may not have the soul of a Latios inside it at all. The one that appears after Latios's death still does.
- Latios's Japanese voice was not retained in the dub, but was used Latias's Japanese voice in it (though Latias's Japanese singing voice was not retained in the dub).
- The English version edited out the prologue where Annie and Oakley were reciting the legend of Altomare from the book they were about to steal:
A long time ago, Altomare was just a small town. One day, an old couple walking along the beach found two unconscious children lying in the sand. They brought the children home and took care of them. But a dark cloud above Altomare rained down shards of darkness. Anything these shards touched became dark as well. One shard was about to hit the old couple when the children started to glow and all the shards were destroyed. The children revealed themselves as Latios and Latias. More appeared, one of them carrying the Soul Dew. Their power, combined with the Soul Dew's, shone upon the dark cloud, vanquishing it. In gratitude for their help, the two Latios and Latias gave the Soul Dew to the old couple.
|Character||Japanese voice||English voice|
|Satoshi / Ash||Rica Matsumoto||Veronica Taylor|
|Kasumi / Misty||Mayumi Iizuka||Rachael Lillis|
|Takeshi / Brock||Yūji Ueda||Eric Stuart|
|Pikachu||Ikue Ōtani||Ikue Ōtani|
|Togepi||Satomi Kōrogi||Satomi Kōrogi|
|Latias||Megumi Hayashibara||Megumi Hayashibara (sounds); Madoka Kimura (singing voice)|
|Latios||Masashi Ebara||Megumi Hayashibara|
|Musashi / Jessie||Megumi Hayashibara||Rachael Lillis|
|Kojiro / James||Shin-ichiro Miki||Eric Stuart|
|Zanna / Annie||Uno Kanda||Megan Hollingshead|
|Rion / Oakley||Yumiko Shaku||Lisa Ortiz|
|Rossi / Ross||Kōichi Yamadera||Michael Sinterniklaas|
|Bongore / Lorenzo||Gutch Yuzo||Wayne Grayson|
|Kanon / Bianca||Fumiko Orikasa||Tara Sands|
|Older Pichu Brother||Yumi Tōma||Yumi Tōma|
|Younger Pichu Brother||Satomi Kōrogi||Satomi Kōrogi|
|Nyarth / Meowth||Inuko Inuyama||Maddie Blaustein|
|Sounans / Wobbuffet||Yuji Ueda||Kayzie Rogers|
|Narrator||Unshō Ishizuka||Rodger Parsons|
The film was a box office flop, only making $20,121,538 at the Japanese box office and $746,381 at the United States box office, making it the least successful film in the series. In fact, it barely surpassed Super Mario Bros. as Nintendo's least successful film adaptation. The movie was only released in 196 theaters in the United States. Future Pokémon films were then released exclusively on DVD in America, as opposed to a receiving a theatrical release in Japan. This changed with the US release of Pokémon The Movie: White—Victini and Zekrom, which received a limited theatrical release.
The film received negative reviews from most critics. On Rotten Tomatoes, the film has a 16% "Rotten" approval rating, a significant decline from its predecessor, based on the reviews of 38 critics, with the consensus being, "This series isn't getting any better". The film reviews from the audience also received a 64% "Fresh" approval rating, the first pokémon film to get a fresh rating and a significant improvement from its predecessors.