Pokémon: The Rise of Darkrai
|Pokémon: The Rise of Darkrai|
North American DVD cover
|Directed by||Kunihiko Yuyama|
|Produced by||Mikihiko Fukazawa
|Written by||Hideki Sonoda|
|Narrated by||Unshou Ishizuka|
|Music by||Shinji Miyazaki|
|Edited by||Toshio Henmi|
|Box office||$42.5 million|
Pokémon: The Rise of Darkrai, originally released in Japan as Pocket Monsters Diamond & Pearl the Movie: Dialga vs. Palkia vs. Darkrai (劇場版ポケットモンスター ダイヤモンド&パール ディアルガVSパルキアVSダークライ Gekijōban Poketto Monsutā Daiyamondo Pāru Diaruga tai Parukia tai Dākurai) is a 2007 Japanese anime film directed by Kunihiko Yuyama as the tenth Pokémon anime film. It was released in Japanese theaters on July 14, 2007. It was later released in United States on February 24, 2008 on Cartoon Network, on November 5, 2008 in Australia and September 29, 2008 in the United Kingdom. The Rise of Darkrai aired on Jetix UK in February 2009. As indicated by the film title, Darkrai, as well as Dialga and Palkia, are the featured Pokémon.
Sarah Brightman performs the movie's theme song, a cover of "Where the Lost Ones Go" titled "Be With You (Itsumo Soba ni)" (ビー・ウィズ・ユー〜いつもそばに〜 Bī Wizu Yū ~Itsumo Soba ni~). The cover also features Chris Thompson. The song was replaced by "I'll Always Remember You" by Kristen Price (who would also sing the theme for the next season), and another song called "Living in the Shadow" followed afterwards.
Unlike other previous Pokémon films, The Rise of Darkrai shares plot elements with the next two films making this the first film of what is called the Diamond & Pearl trilogy, followed by Pokémon: Giratina and the Sky Warrior and ending in Pokémon: Arceus and the Jewel of Life.
A scientist named Tonio is reading a diary which belonged to a famous architect named Godey, his great-grandfather, indicating that two Pokémon between their dimension are fighting, and that the battle could lead to chaos. Those future events occur at same moment as Palkia, who can distort space, and Dialga, who rules over time, are brawling, which causes the hourglass in Tonio's lab to fall and shatter.
Ash, Brock, and Dawn are headed to Alamos Town for the next Pokémon Contest. However, they realize that Alamos is in the middle of a giant lake. Tired, they are greeted by Alice and her Chimchar, who offer them a ride in a hot air balloon. Brock falls for her and his Croagunk jabs him. Alice is a tour guide as well as a music student who plays the leaf whistle. On their way, the battle between the dimensions continues and causes a massive air current shockwave. After recovering from the slight air current disturbance, Alice offers a tour of the town.
Alice brings them to a garden where many Pokémon reside in peace and where Alice played at as a little girl. Ash, Brock, and Dawn let all their Pokémon free and they run off to play, which later goes from happiness to chaos. Once the Pokémon begin to quarrel, along with the grass-type Pokémon present, Alice calms them down by playing a soothing song using the leaf whistle. She reveals that she learned the song from her grandmother, who appears to be deceased. Shortly after, a Gallade hops into the scene. Alice indicates that Gallade senses something wrong and the Gallade requests Ash and the rest of them to follow it. The trio recalls their Pokémon and they pursue the Gallade, ending up at a small temple with some of its pillars damaged. A man named Baron Alberto walks out of the tunnel, claiming that it was the work of Darkrai. The name Darkrai puzzles Ash and Dawn. Brock mentions that Darkrai is a Pokémon that causes nightmares. Everyone hears a noise from a nearby bush and Baron orders his Lickilicky to fire a Hyper Beam attack into the bush. However, the victim was Tonio who screams and limps out of the bush. Alice quickly hurries to Tonio's pain.
Tonio is introduced to Ash, Brock, and Dawn. Baron flirts with Alice, stating that she is to be his wife. Brock is deeply shocked, as well as the rest of them. Alice rejects and runs to Tonio claiming that she likes him, causing Tonio to blush. Just then, Darkrai rises from the ground among the thick trees. Baron orders Lickilicky to attack the Dark Pokémon. Lickilicky's attacks miss while Darkrai fires back a Dark Void attack. Lickilicky dodges the attack and the Dark Void orb impales Ash, instantly knocking him out to sleep and trapping him in a nightmare. The nightmare shows Palkia moving up to Ash and rushing towards him for an attack. This delivers Ash to a part of the garden. Ash realizes the dream is Darkrai's doing, and Darkrai appears in front of him. Ash reaches for a Poké Ball and tosses it, but it vanishes into thin air. Then, Darkrai disappears to reveal Pikachu, who is about to get devoured by a vacuum hole. Ash dives into the hole to rescue Pikachu. Having failed, he and Pikachu drop into a never-ending fall. He is then awakened by Pikachu's Thunderbolt at the Pokémon Center. That night, Tonio tries to find more information about Darkrai. He reads that Darkrai had opened his heart to Alice's grandmother years ago and remains in the garden since then, with Godey watching from afar as she plays the leaf whistle. Meanwhile, Baron meets three TV people who are actually Team Rocket in disguise and decide to film Baron as he takes on Darkrai.
The next morning, Ash, Brock, and Dawn visit the Space-Time Towers, which are composed of three "Space" towers and three "Time" towers. They meet Tonio there, and they climb to the top to be introduced to a massive instrument which plays music by the hour throughout the town. Using the instrument, Dawn chooses and plays a song through the tower's bells (the "Market Theme" from the Legend of Zelda franchise). As Ash and the rest of the group leave the Space-Time Towers, a hole blasts out in the middle of the sky just above the towers, which then dies down. A massive shockwave purges through the entire town. Tonio decides to study the sudden outburst. Later, Darkrai reappears in the courtyard while Ash and company (with Baron joining along) engage in combat with it. Outraged, Darkrai fires multiple loads of Dark Void orbs, trapping many Pokémon in the town square in nightmares. Back in lab, after some intensive research, Tonio finds that the sudden outburst was when Palkia entered their dimension, but he did not know why. Ash and Baron chase Darkrai into a dark alley where the Dark Pokémon lands a direct hit on Baron's Lickilicky, causing it to doze off. Just then, Baron is turned into a Lickilicky himself due to a combination of the distorting of space and Lickilicky dreaming that he turned into his master. With that occurring, ghost-like images of the sleeping Pokémon float around town, some passing through walls, causing the situation to grow quite strange.
After all the Pokémon are in the Pokémon Center, Alamos Town gets surrounded with a massive fog, which can not be cleared off and causes anything attempting to leave the town to reversibly enter the town, resulting in no possible escape. Baron still believes it was Darkrai that caused the abnormalities in the town. All the trainers follow Baron to confront Darkrai, but Ash, Brock, and Dawn do not go along listening to Tonio, who doesn't believe Darkrai is up to this. He believes Darkrai is good since he had saved Alice in their childhood. He reveals that the two of them were playing in the garden when Alice tripped and fell off a cliff. Tonio ran to her, but a silhouette of Darkrai zipped out and caught Alice just before disappearing. Hearing that, the trio now agree that it was not Darkrai who caused the havoc in the town. Tonio explains that the distortion caused from the spiritual images of the sleeping Pokémon was caused by a multidimensional disturbance from when Palkia entered the realm. Later that evening, Tonio finds Palkia resting between the towers. Darkrai, who was fighting Baron, instead tries to attack the resting Palkia. Ash then realizes that Darkrai was trying to tell him in his nightmare that the two legendary Pokémon are waging war.
As Palkia and Darkrai battle, Palkia switches the town back into its own battle dimension (the Unown Dimension where Unown live and is located between time and space). As Palkia is about to hit Darkrai with one of his attacks, Dialga opens fire on the two and immediately runs into Palkia, thus continuing the battle between the two Dragon-types. As they brawl, the entire town slowly dissipates into nothing due to the severe injury suffered by Palkia during its battle with Dialga earlier. Darkrai constantly tries to fend them off as the town evacuates into the garden. After Tonio reads a passage from Godey's diary, Alice hears the word "Oración", which means Prayer in Spanish, and is the name of the song her grandmother taught her to play on the leaf whistle. Tonio indicates that "Oración is the song that could soothe even the fiercest rage". They realize that they must play Oración on the Space-Time Towers' musical instrument to stop Dialga and Palkia from feuding.
After finding the Oración music disc, Ash, Dawn, Alice and Tonio begin to head up the tower by balloon as Brock stays behind to help Nurse Joy evacuate the townspeople. On their way up, Dialga and Palkia continue their battle, with some flames striking the balloon basket, sending Ash and Dawn flying out of the balloon, but safely landing onto a platform of the tower. Dialga fires its Roar of Time attack at Palkia, while Palkia stands in front of the balloon. Palkia dodges the attack, leaving the beam to crossfire with the balloon. Darkrai instantly comes to the rescue and takes the massive blow from Dialga, causing great damage to the Dark Pokémon. Dialga and Palkia fly passed and cause heavy damage to the balloon, sending Tonio flying and ultimately causing Alice and Chimchar to evacuate the balloon. With the help of their Pokémon, Ash and Dawn travel up the tower by foot.
Dialga and Palkia continue their confrontation and are about to trigger the final blow. Tonio reveals that if the Dragon-types' signature moves collide once more, their dimension will be completely destroyed. Dialga is charging its Roar of Time attack while Palkia charges its Spacial Rend attack. At Alice's cries to the Legendary Pokémon to stop fighting, Darkrai recovers from its injuries and rushes to help. When both the Legendary Pokémon discharge their attacks, Darkrai crosses the attacks' line and forms a sphere around itself to block the attacks, engulfing and immobilizing Dialga and Palkia in the process. Baron, who had already turned back to himself due to his Lickilicky's awakening, then finally believes Darkrai is not the foe. As Ash and Dawn make their way up the tower, they watch as Darkrai's sphere gets weaker and eventually shrinks, causing Dialga and Palkia to break free. The Dragon-types, fed up with the Dark Pokémon intervening with their battle, shoot Darkrai from both sides. Having almost no armor or the energy left, Darkrai bravely takes the destructive blow and disintegrates into the air. Everyone looks on with the fear that they too would suffer the same fate as Darkrai.
Ash and Dawn reach the top of the tower and run to the musical instrument, only to find that the electrical power source is down. Ash's Pikachu uses Thunderbolt at full-blast and Dawn's Pachirisu uses Discharge to get the machine running. The song plays throughout the town. The towers glow. Each of the six towers to unveil their hidden features added by Godey, including blooming flowers and gigantic golden wings. The song successfully calms the Legendary Pokémon down. Dialga flies away, and Palkia's wound heals and Ash and Dawn successfully plead to Palkia to restore the lost parts of the town, returning Alamos Town to how it originally was, and the townspeople and Pokémon rejoice and return home.
Later, the band mourns the loss of Darkrai thanks him for his efforts. Ash and Dawn begin to cry, believing they will never see Darkrai again. As they walk away, Ash stops as he sees a shadow on the cliffside. He, along with everyone else, looks back at the cliff. On the Space-Time Towers, they find Darkrai standing heroically on top. Everyone is relieved that he is safe and Alice cuddles next to Tonio as they look on at Darkrai, who then glares with a lit up eye, as the film quickly fades.
The end credits present the aftermath, such as the Pokémon contest which Dawn competes in, and Dialga hovering towards its next destination, awaiting a battle, foreshadowing future adventures to come of Ash, Dawn, and Brock.
The Rise of Darkrai is set in an area based on Barcelona, Spain. The staff visited this area in September 2006 to form a basis for the movie’s setting. Yuyama travelled there with screenwriter Hideki Sonoda and composer Shinji Miyazaki. Places in The Rise of Darkrai are inspired by places in Spain - the Space-Time Tower and Oración featured are based on the uncompleted Sagrada Família and the Park Güell, respectively, in Barcelona. The name of the architect behind the Space-Time Tower, Godey, and the name of his descendant, Tonio, bear homage to the name of Sagrada Família's architect, Antoni Gaudí.
Development and release
As with all Pokémon films, it was announced in Japan after the ending credits of the previous Pokémon film; in this case, Pokémon Ranger and the Temple of the Sea. On January 25, 2008, Cartoon Network revealed the title to be Pokémon: The Rise Of Darkrai, with a preview that aired on February 1, 2008 as part of a two-hour premiere involving a tag team battle at 8 PM ET/ PT, and was shown on Cartoon Network on February 24, 2008 in the United States at 7 pm ET/PT. This is the first English dub done by DuArt Film and Video instead of TAJ Studios. This is also the final Pokémon movie distributed by Viz Media in the United States; the next two films were distributed by Universal Pictures. This movie was released on British Region 2 DVD, for the first time since Pokémon: Jirachi Wish Maker by the DVD distribution company Network DVD, who specialises in distributing old British TV shows. Oddly enough future Pokémon movies in the UK were released by Universal, which distributed this film in Mainland Europe on DVD. The UK version has since gone out of print, with the possibility of perhaps being re-released by Universal or another distributor in the future.
Box office and reception
The Rise of Darkrai topped the Japanese box office charts in the first three days of its release. With a revenue of ¥1.13 billion ($9.26 million) from 1,074,000 viewers, the movie performed better than its predecessor Pokémon Ranger and the Temple of the Sea. The Rise of Darkrai eventually earned a franchise record of 5.02 billion yen (US$47 million). It was the fifth highest-grossing film in Japan of that year, behind Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Hero, and Spider-Man 3. The Anime News Network gave the film a B-.