|Pokemon the First Movie
Mewtwo Strikes Back
|Directed by||Kunihiko Yuyama|
|Produced by|| Choji Yoshikawa
|Written by||Takeshi Shudō|
|| Rica Matsumoto
|Narrated by||Unshō Ishizuka|
|Box office takings||$163.6 million|
|Successor||Pokemon the Movie 2000|
|Australia||December 16th, 1999|
|Europe||April 5th to 21st, 2000|
|Japan||July 18th, 1998|
|United States||November 6th, 1999|
Pokemon the First Movie: Mewtwo Strikes back was as the title suggests was the Pokémon franchises debut on the big screen, airing first of all in Japan and then having a staggered release across the rest of the world. It was directed by none other than Kunihiko Yuyama who is also the chief director of the Pokemon Anime series.
Interestingly the full version of the movie was aired on Japanese television on July 8th, 1999 before most places had even had it at the cinema.
The movie featured slightly improved cgi and animation over the Anime episodes which had aired prior to it's release. Audiences across the globe could also take advantage of getting a free promotional Pokemon Trading Card when they went to a showing at theatres/cinemas.
The movie is broken down into three key parts as follows:
- Pikachus Vacation - The first ever Pokemon pre-movie short film, it was 21 minutes long and unrelated to the main feature.
- Mewtwo's Origin - A ten minute prequel giving a background to the events that lead up to the event of the main feature. All things however are not created equal and this 10 minute Mewtwo's origin feature was only aired in Japanese showings of the movie. The only way international audiences could get their hands on this was on the bonus disc included with a special release version of the films direct sequel; Mewtwo Returns.
- Mewtwo Strikes Back - The main feature, 75 minutes long.
The first movie was well timed, riding the crest of the wave of the global Pokémania phenomenon and smashing the box office and topping the charts in it's opening weekend and continuing to do so worldwide. The movie grossed approx 163.6 million USD by the end of it's showings. All of this in spite of many critics being pretty negative about it.
Prologue: Origin of Mewtwo
The story of this ten minute prologue begins with a team of researchers heading to a remote part of the jungle to find a shrine to Mew which was created by an ancient tribe long ago. The tale is narrated by Dr. Fuji the head of the expedition who states that Giovanni of Team Rocket is funding his expedition. The key reason for the expedition is to find DNA of Mew, an ancient Pokemon who is known to be the most powerful of all, obtaining this is a shared goal for both Giovanni and Dr. Fuji however for completely contrasting reasons.
Giovanni is funding the expedition so that if Dr. Fuji does manage to secure a sample of Mew's DNA he will be required to genetically engineer a version of Mew for Giovanni so that he can control the world for his own criminal ends. Dr. Fuji's goal however is a little different, he is hoping to learn how to create and restore life itself via Mew's DNA and the research that Giovanni is funding; with the ultimate goal of bringing his little girl Amber back to life.
The expedition is a success, a small sample of Mew's DNA is obtained and taken back to the lab for testing and processing. Discussions amongst the scientists in the lab indicate that there have been a series of failed clones already which don't survive the process, and that they are yet to succesfully create one. Using Mew's DNA the Dr. Fuji and his team begin developing a clone of Mew, known as Mewtwo; also in the lab at the time is a cloned Squirtle, Bulbasaur and Charmander as well as the remaining life force of Dr. Fuji's daughter, Amber.
Although none of these clones are awake they are able to commune via apparent telekensis (perhaps due to Mewtwo's precense) and the five spend some time together in the nether. At this point Mewtwo has no idea who he is, what he is or the reason for his being.
We see a young, innocent Mewtwo learning from Ambertwo and enjoying his time with the Bulbasaur, Squirtle and Charmander clones, even visiting Amber's hometown where she used to live, a place which she refers to as "My memory place" as it was where she lived before she died.
After enjoying watching their first sunset together the Charmander clone sadly dies, closely followed by Bulbasaur and Squirtle and finally Amber too starts to fade. As Mewtwo and Amber say goodbye this is when Mewtwo has his first experience of sorrow and pain. Before she fades away Amber tells a crying Mewtwo "My daddy used to tell me a bedtime story that when Pokemon are sad and they cry, that their tears are filled with life." a line which would hold greater importance in the movie to come. She tells him not to cry, because he is alive and life is wonderful.
Meanwhile in the lab it's noted that three of the clones and Amber have not survived and that only Mewtwo remains, due to the things he has seen and experienced and the passing of his first friends Mewtwo's readings are going off the chart on the machines due to his growing upset and anger at what just happened. Dr. Fuji orders that they pump him with a serum in order to calm him down.
The cloning process of Mewtwo continues for some time, showing him visibly growing in his stasis chamber as he contemplates "I have slept for so long..... it seems like forever...... but I remember something...... someone... life is wonderful.... but... why?"
Main Feature: Mewtwo Strikes Back
Ash's excitement turns to fear and anger when Mewtwo reveals its plan for domination, creating powerful clones of all of the kids' Pokémon so it can even the "imbalance" between Pokémon and their Trainers. Despite Ash's protests, Mewtwo refuses to believe that Pokémon and people can be friends. But faced with the determination of a young Trainer and the love of his Pokémon, Mewtwo just might have to reconsider, especially when pitted against the power of the mysterious Mew!
|Character||English Voice Actor||Japanese Voice Actor|
A HD remastered version of the original trailer by DBKai42 on YouTube