Pokémon the Movie: The Power of Us
|Pokémon the Movie:|
The Power of Us
Japanese release poster, designed and illustrated by Yoshitoshi Shinomiya
|Hepburn||Gekijō-ban Poketto Monsutā Minna no Monogatari|
|Literally||Pocket Monsters the Movie: Everyone's Story|
|Directed by||Tetsuo Yajima|
|Produced by||Satoshi Shimohira|
|Screenplay by||Eiji Umehara|
by Satoshi Tajiri
|Narrated by||Unsho Ishizuka|
|Music by||Shinji Miyazaki|
|Edited by||Jin Nogawa|
|Box office||$25.4 million|
Pokémon the Movie: The Power of Us[a] is a 2018 Japanese anime adventure film produced by OLM and Wit Studio. It is the 21st feature length film of the Pokémon franchise, and the second film in the rebooted anime film series. It is the sequel to Pokémon the Movie: I Choose You! It is directed by Tetsuo Yajima and written by both Eiji Umehara (Grimoire of Zero) and Aya Takaha with character designs done by Shizue Kaneko (If Her Flag Breaks). It was released in Japan on July 13, 2018. The Pokémon Company International and Fathom Events released the film on a limited theatrical run worldwide on November 24, 2018.
Fula City was founded on barren land that was suddenly engulfed in flames due to the mysterious Pokémon Zeraora. When the Pokémon and people began helping one another, Lugia, moved by the cooperative nature of them, cleared the fire. Since then, the city has held a wind festival every year to celebrate Lugia's help while Zeraora disappeared supposedly cursing the mountain and surrounding area near the city.
High school student and former track runner, Risa, is asked by her younger brother, Rick, to attend the festival to capture a wild Eevee for him as he is in the hospital from a broken leg. She agrees, albeit reluctantly, but has no prior training and does not know how and where to capture one. Ash Ketchum and his Pikachu arrive in Fura City in time to rescue Margo, the daughter of Mayor Oliver, from a group of lemonade bullies and decides to enter the Pokémon catching contest held at the festival. Toren, a timid and self-deprecating scientist who owns a Chansey, has to give a speech at the lab about his progress on Pokémon, but is too nervous to talk. Callahan attends the festival with his sister Mia and her daughter Kelly. Kelly suffers from low immunity, so Callahan invents tall tales about him being the best trainer when he does not even have a Pokémon. Harriet is an anti-social old woman who dislikes being around Pokémon, but while at the lab to give Toren a paper for him to sign, accidentally gets love scent on her resulting in Pokémon following her wherever she goes.
Margo heads into the woods to play with a Teddiursa and Ditto and to care for the Zeraora who has been hiding in a ruined building hidden deep. Mistaking Callahan's loud proclamations, Risa asks for advice on where to find an Eevee with him telling her that it is extremely rare and can be found in the mountains. She later comically finds out that he was lying. Toren meets with Callahan and convinces him to give his speech and in return will help him win the Pokémon catching contest. During the contest, Callahan takes pity on a Sudowudo who had upset a Golduck and rescues him with the former Pokémon now following him. Ash and Pikachu meanwhile heroically stop a rampaging Tyranitar that got a cord stuck around his neck. Ash comes in second with an honorary award from Oliver while Callahan comes in first boasting about a rare Pokémon in the woods intriguing everyone, but worrying Margo.
The next day, Risa comes to Ash to help her capture an Eevee, which they successfully manage to do, and bond. Harriet, upset over the amount of Pokémon that have been following her goes to Toren to ask for an antidote, but says it will take time resulting in her staying with him. The festival is halted due to someone sabotaging much of the city's transportation and electrical workings. Ash, Risa, Margo, Callahan, Kelly, Mia and their Pokémon help clean the mess up, but Callahan is nervous as he has to make it to Toren's speech. While they manage to clean it up, Callahan rushes to the presentation with everyone following him. Toren tries to give the presentation on his own, but accidentally plays footage of him helping Callahan at the contest in time for everyone to see it. Upset over her uncle's lies, Kelly passes out from exhaustion. Harriet catches Team Rocket (who have been posing as Lum Berry juice salesmen) who make off with a bottle of Effect Spore. However, the trio accidentally lose it in the woods where it slightly cracks.
Harriet awakens the next morning to discover that the windmills that line the city have stopped turning as the winds have ceased while the eternal flame (a light held on the highest tower in the city to contact Lugia) has mysteriously disappeared. The whole town is in an uproar, but Ash, Risa, Toren, Harriet and Oliver manage to locate clues on what has happened to the flame. Margo tries to protect Zeraora from two poachers, but are rescued by Ash and his friends just in time. Margo reveals that she took the flame to stop the festival so that she can hide Zeraora. Oliver then reveals to her that the fire was started by humans who were trying to find Zeraora who was just protecting the Pokémon. The mayor before Oliver held this secret and since then he has kept it too. Suddenly, the Effect Spore bottle cracks engulfing much of the forest and the city and the group decide to work together to stop it.
Callahan discovers that Mia and Kelly are trapped in a gondola while the city is being engulfed and Sudowoodo allows itself to be captured by him so that they can save the city. Toren gets to the lab and finally stands up for himself so that he can get to work on an antidote. Harriet, Callahan and Oliver meet at the mayor's house to chart a plan with Harriet revealing that she helped build the giant disused windmill up in the mountains and she and Callahan head there. Ash, Risa and Margo try healing Zeraora so that he can help. A fire suddenly breaks out in the forest, killing the electricity and destroying much of the lab equipment, but Team Rocket arrive with their Lum Berry juice cart and Toren begins creating a concentrated antidote with it. While heading up the mountain, Harriet reveals that she had burned her hand while trying to rescue her Snubbull from the burning windmill when she was younger, resulting in her becoming distant from Pokémon. It managed to rescue the key needed to start it and she and her numerous Pokémon help clear a path.
Zeraora awakens and begins rescuing Pokémon. While Ash and Margo decide to go follow it, the former tasks Risa with taking the eternal flame back to the tower. She worries about her foot injury, but her Eevee gives her the confidence to run. She removes her shoes and runs barefoot to the tower where she gets unexpected help from Rick, who is using a satellite to track her. Ash and Pikachu end up fighting Zeraora, who still distrusts humans, but Margo manages to get through to it and they try helping to put out the flames. Toren arrives at the windmill to give the antidote to Callahan who tosses it into the turbines while Harriet and the Pokémon turn the blades. Risa gets the eternal flame to the top, and Lugia arrives to put out the fire. Everyone resumes the festival where Oliver gives a speech based on something Ash had said about working together with the help of "Pokémon Power". Ash, Risa, Callahan, Kelly, Mia, Toren, Harriet and Margo all join the festivities changed by their experiences.
During the credits, stills reveal the characters after their adventure. In a post-credits scene, Rick is revealed to be the ecstatic blogger who appeared throughout the film. Risa barges into his hospital room and angrily demands an explanation for him knowing where she was (it is implied that the sunglasses he had given her at the beginning were tracking her). Ash and Pikachu are seen walking down the road wondering what their next adventure will be.
- Ash Ketchum (サトシ, Satoshi) Voiced by: Rica Matsumoto (Japanese); Sarah Natochenny (English)
- Pikachu (ピカチュウ Pikachū) Voiced by: Ikue Ōtani
- Jessie (ムサシ, Musashi) Voiced by: Megumi Hayashibara (Japanese); Michele Knotz (English)
- James (コジロウ, Kojirō) Voiced by: Shin-ichiro Miki (Japanese); James Carter Cathcart (English)
- Meowth (ニャース, Nyāsu) Voiced by: Inuko Inuyama (Japanese); James Carter Cathcart (English)
- Risa (リサ, Lisa) Voiced by: Rina Kawaei (Japanese); Haven Paschall (English)
- Margo (ラルゴ, Rarugo/Largo) Voiced by: Mana Ashida (Japanese); Erica Schroeder (English)
- Callahan (カガチ, Kagachi) Voiced by: Koji Ohkura (Japanese); Billy Bob Thompson (English)
- Toren (トリト, Torito) Voiced by: Gaku Hamada (Japanese); Eddy Lee (English)
- Harriet (ヒスイ, Hisui) Voiced by: Masako Nozawa (Japanese); Kathryn Cahill (English)
- Zeraora (ゼラオラ) Voiced by: Kōichi Yamadera (Japanese); Pete Zarustica (English)
- Kelly (リリィ, Lily) Voiced by: Inori Minase (Japanese); Laurie Hymes (English)
- Mia (ミア, Mia) Voiced by: Yū Shimamura
- Rick (リク, Riku/Rick) Voiced by: Shoko Nakagawa (Japanese); Lianne Marie Dobbs (English)
- Mayor Oliver (オリバー市長 Oribā-shichō) Voiced by: Kōichi Yamadera (Japanese); Marc Thompson (English)
The film was initially announced on December 10, 2017 broadcast of TV Tokyo's variety program Oha Suta, under the title Pokémon the Movie 2018 (劇場版 ポケットモンスター 2018 Gekijō-ban Poketto Monsutā 2018), showing a new character design for the film's main protagonist Ash Ketchum alongside a new unnamed character. The film also revolves around the Legendary Pokémon Lugia. Alongside the reveal of the film, Wit Studio (Attack on Titan, The Ancient Magus' Bride) was confirmed to co-produce and animate the film. A new trailer for the film was released on February 27, 2018, which revealed 5 new characters accompanying Ash in the movie alongside the mysterious new character; the film's initial premise was also revealed. The staff also revealed that Kunihiko Yuyama will serve as the film's animation supervisor, which marked the first time he did not direct a Pokémon film in his career. Alongside the new director, Eiji Umehara and Aya Takaha also wrote the film's script.
The movie premiered in Japanese theaters on July 13, 2018, received a limited release in the United Kingdom, Ireland, United States, and Canada starting on November 24, 2018 to December 1, 2018 plus additional screening on December 3, 2018 in United States by Fathom Events and will be released in Australia and New Zealand starting on November 25, 2018. The English dub was first screened in Singapore on November 12, 2018.
Amazon UK listed a collector's BD and DVD release of The Power of Us, which will be released on February 11, 2019.
Callum May of Anime News Network gave the film an overall grade of A and noted positives: Character stories are compelling and easy to engage with, great 2D animation throughout, standout visual style and exciting use of 3D backgrounds. On the other hand, May noted the following negatives: Zeraora's story feels too rote, overarching conflict isn't that interesting, as well as some awkward 3D character models in the crowd shots. May praised that the film is one of the most successful attempts at telling multiple stories within the same Pokémon film. May also added, "Although Zeraora's plot feels too familiar, the cast of human characters and their own personal motivations and secrets leave a stronger impression. There is a possibility that the localisation won't be able to properly translate some aspects and may lose the tone of some important scenes, but if they manage to nail it, Pokémon fans are in for a standout film that reinvents the formula yet again."
Popular video game reviewer IGN rated the movie with a score of 7.5/10, and gave the following verdict: Sweet and sincere, The Power of Us is a light and fun adventure film filled with likable characters, fantastic creatures, and enough classic Pokémon to make the most diehard of fans happy. Nintendojo rated the film with a B+ grade and noted, "Good standalone story; great animation; strong character development". Anime UK News rated 9/10 by calling "The Power of Us is a much-needed change of pace, creating a charming film that’s less about flashy monster battles and more on the people who just happen to live in a Pokémon world. No prior knowledge is required to enjoy this film, so I wholeheartedly recommend it to any Pokémon fan – just remember to stay behind after the credits!"
In contrast, UK daily newspaper The Guardian rated the film with a score of 1/5, and made the following claim: Dud animation lost in promo fog. List Film gave the film a score of 2/5, citing that it is "strictly for fans only".
The Power of Us premiered on July 13, 2018 in 364 theaters in Japan and opened at #2 at the Japanese box office, though the film earned 3.1% less than the opening weekend of last year's Pokémon the Movie: I Choose You! According to polls conducted by Pia Cinemas, the film has hit the mark in Japan. The Power of Us led the pack at the box office with a reported 92.8% rating from the audience.
The Power of Us fell from #3 to #4 during the fourth weekend. The film earned 180,860,400 Yen (about US$1.62 million) from Friday to Sunday and earned a cumulative total of 1,652,206,500 Yen (about US$14.88 million). By its 5th weekend, The Power of Us fell to #9, and earned 2,357,352,897.60 Yen (about US$21 million) on 2.04 million admissions. The Power of Us fell off the top 10 during the seventh weekend, but was still screening. As of December 2018, the film has earned a cumulative total of $25.4 million worldwide.
Follow up film
Titled Mewtwo Strikes Back EVOLUTION, the film will be in the Toho 2019 lineup presentation and will launch in Japanese cinemas on July 12, 2019. Pokémon fansite Serebii reported that the movie is going to be directed by Kunihiko Yuyama and Motonori Sakakibara. Additionally, Takeshi Shudo, who passed away in 2010, is being credited for writing the screenplay, due to the possibility Strikes Back EVOLUTION may be a remake of Mewtwo Strikes Back.
- Originally released in Japan as Pocket Monsters the Movie: Everyone's Story (劇場版 ポケットモンスター みんなの物語 Gekijō-ban Poketto Monsutā Minna no Monogatari)
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