Pokémon Heroes

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Pokémon Heroes
Japanese release poster
Japanese 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
Literally Pocket Monsters the Movie: The Guardians of Altomare
Directed by Kunihiko Yuyama
Produced by Yukako Matsusako
Takemoto Mori
Choji Yoshikawa
Written by Hideki Sonoda
Starring Rica Matsumoto
Mayumi Iizuka
Yuji Ueda
Megumi Hayashibara
Shin-ichiro Miki
Fumiko Orikasa
Kōichi Yamadera
Yuzo Gutch
Uno Kanda
Yumiko Shaku
Masashi Ebara
Ikue Ōtani
Narrated by Unshō Ishizuka
Music by coba
Shinji Miyazaki
Cinematography Hisao Shirai
Edited by Toshio Henmi
Distributed by Toho
Release date
  • July 13, 2002 (2002-07-13) (Japan)
Running time
71 minutes
Country Japan
Language Japanese
Box office $20.9 million

Pokémon Heroes: Latios and Latias, commonly referred to as Pokémon Heroes, 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 anime film directed by Kunihiko Yuyama. It is the fifth film in the Pokémon series, complementing Pokémon: Master Quest (the last season of Pocket Monsters story arc in the Japanese version) and the last one to receive a theatrical release in North America until the 2017 film Pokémon the Movie: I Choose You!. 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 (a subsidiary of The Walt Disney Company), 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 has numerously aired the film, it also aired on Toon Disney (now known as Disney XD) on November 27, 2007 (because Miramax, which was still owned by Disney at the time, released this animated film), being the fourth Pokémon film to air on Toon Disney (the first three being Pokémon: Jirachi Wish Maker, Pokémon: Destiny Deoxys, and Pokémon 4Ever).

Pokémon Heroes focuses on the main characters, Ash, Misty and Brock, continuing their journey through the Johto region; the main location of the movie is based on Venice, Italy. The name given to the city in the movie is Alto Mare, meaning "high sea" in Italian. Although it is part of the group's adventure in Johto, the film takes place on an island off of the mainland.

Optimum Home Entertainment re-released the movie on DVD in UK on May 9, 2011.[1] StudioCanal released the film along with Pokémon 4Ever on Blu-ray in the UK as a double feature pack on April 2, 2012,[2] just one day before Pokémon the Movie: Black—Victini and Reshiram and White—Victini and Zekrom came out on DVD on April 3, 2012. Echo Bridge Home Entertainment released the film on Blu-ray in the United States along with Pokémon: Destiny Deoxys on May 15, 2011.[3]


The film is set in the Venetian-esque city of Alto Mare, protected by the dragon siblings Latias and Latios. Their father, also a Latios, is said to saved the city from an evil Pokémon Trainer and their Kabutops and Aerodactyl whilst transforming the city's streets into canals. The citizens built the Defence Mechanism of Alto Mare (or “D.M.A.” for short) to protect the city if necessary, but have never had to use it. The father Latios died, leaving behind the Soul Dew, said to contain his own soul and can power the D.M.A.

In the present day, Team Rocket agents Annie and Oakley acquire a book detailing the history of Alto Mare, plotting to control the D.M.A. Ash, Misty, and Brock are touring by and see an invisible Latias. Annie and Oakley stalk Latias, who disguises herself as a human girl, trying to capture her using their Espeon and Ariados. Ash and Pikachu come to the rescue, guiding Latias to safety but she vanishes when Ash’s back is turned.

Visiting the museum, the trio meet the curator Lorenzo who details Alto Mare’s history, the D.M.A., and the fossilized Pokémon on display. Ash spots a girl, Bianca, who resembles Latias’ disguise, and chases her across the city, but she does not recognise him. Latias herself appears, guiding Ash and Pikachu to a hidden garden where she and Latios live, protected by Lorenzo and Bianca, his granddaughter. While Pikachu plays with Latias and Latios, Lorenzo shows Ash the Soul Dew, unaware that Annie and Oakley’s drone has infiltrated the sanctuary.

That night, Annie and Oakley sneak into the garden, successfully capturing Latios and the Soul Dew, but Latias escapes. Bianca and Lorenzo attempt to stop the thieves from using the D.M.A. but are captured, the Soul Dew and Latios are used to power the machine. Latias goes to Ash for help, with Latios’ “Sight Sharing” ability allowing them to witness the events in the museum. Oakley becomes power hungry, using the D.M.A. to resurrect Kabutops and Aerodactyl, and initiates a citywide lockdown to prevent interference. Ash, Pikachu and Latias evade the lockdown, racing to the museum while being pursued by the fossilised Pokémon.

Oakley tries to drown Ash, Pikachu and Latias, but the latter’s psychic powers cause the D.M.A. to go out of control. Reaching the museum, the trio rescue Latios and shut down the machine. However, Annie tries to take the blackened Soul Dew, which shatters, causing all of the city’s water to flow out and return as a tidal wave. Latias and Latios combine their powers to stop the wave, Latios giving his life in the process. Kabutops and Aerodactyl perish again, while Annie and Oakley remain trapped in the D.M.A..

Ash and friends find Latias, realising Latios has died, but they share one last vision as he passes away. Several days later, Ash, Misty and Brock get ready to leave Alto Mare, saying goodbye to Lorenzo, but Bianca does not appear. On their way out of the city, they spot Bianca on the docks but she isn't wearing her hat (the usual difference between Bianca and Latias). The girl gives Ash a sketch of him and Pikachu, kisses him on the cheek, and leaves without saying a word. Whether the girl was Bianca or Latias is left to the viewer.

Japanese version[edit]

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' death still does.
  • Latios' Japanese voice was not retained in the dub, but Latias' Japanese voice was used in it (though Latias' Japanese singing voice was not retained in the dub).
  • The American version edited out the prologue where Annie and Oakley were reciting the legend of Alto Mare from the book they were about to steal:

A long time ago, Alto Mare 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 Alto Mare 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
Togepi 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
Zanner/ Annie Uno Kanda Megan Hollingshead
Leon / Oakley Yumiko Shaku Lisa Ortiz
Rossi / Ross Kōichi Yamadera Michael Sinterniklaas
Vongole / Lorenzo Gutch Yuzo Wayne Grayson
Kanon / Bianca Fumiko Orikasa Tara Sands[4]
Older Pichu Brother Yumi Tōma
Younger Pichu Brother Satomi Kōrogi
Nyarth / Meowth Inuko Inuyama Maddie Blaustein
Sounans / Wobbuffet Yuji Ueda Kayzie Rogers
Narrator Unshō Ishizuka Rodger Parsons


Like the other Pokemon movies, Pokémon Heroes received negative reviews from critics, earning a Rotten Tomatoes “Rotten” rating of 16%. The Washington Post gave it a positive review, proclaiming, "Kids That Love Pokémon Will Have a Blast!". Also, it was the first-ever animated film based on a Japanese television series to be submitted for consideration for the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature.

Box office[edit]

The film opened up alongside Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones in Japan (where it had opened at number one), and failed to out-gross it. It later fell to ninth place at the Japanese box office behind Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones and Stuart Little 2. In its North American run, the movie was a box office bomb. This was due to facing competition from X2, The Matrix Reloaded, (which had opened the day before its American release), Bruce Almighty, and the premiere of Finding Nemo. The film closed down its American run on July 10, grossing $20,867,919 worldwide.


  1. ^ "Pokemon Heroes". Amazon.co.uk. 9 May 2011. Retrieved 19 August 2017 – via Amazon. 
  2. ^ [1][dead link]
  3. ^ "Pokemon Heroes / Pokemon Destiny Deoxys Blu-ray". Blu-ray.com. Retrieved November 14, 2016. 
  4. ^ Sands, Tara Jayne [@TaraSandsLA] (August 6, 2014). "@DanielManning__ Pretty sure I did!" (Tweet). Retrieved September 28, 2017 – via Twitter. 

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