Jirachi: Wish Maker Review
Although I use the English name of the movie and its characters, I was watching the Japanese version subtitled rather than the English dub while actually writing the review. Due to the notorious editing done by 4Kids, the dub is often vastly different from the original that I am reviewing, so keep that in mind even where I don't specifically mention the dub did something differently. If, by the way, I'm not using the correct official translation of some term or something, I'd appreciate a correction.
Thoughts and Synopsis
The villain of this movie is a man named Butler, better known as the stage magician The Great Butler, who has always loved to invent things to surprise and impress people with - particularly his friend/assistant/mutual crush Diane. Butler used to work for Team Magma and invented a way to revive Groudon from a shard of its body, but it failed because he couldn't gather enough energy to complete the process and was laughed out of the room and expelled from the team. He subsequently developed an obsession with gaining the energy to demonstrate that he could really do it, and one day he discovered just the way to do that: the Pokémon Jirachi awakens for seven days every thousand years so that he can absorb energy from the so-called Millenium Comet. Conveniently, at this point the Millenium Comet is fast approaching, and Butler figures he can use that energy, so he somehow finds out that Jirachi is in a place named Forina and manages to locate and remove the crystalline egg that Jirachi sleeps inside until the comet's arrival. Because Jirachi will only awaken if he can choose himself a "partner", however, Butler starts setting up magic shows with the egg in the hope that Jirachi will pick out someone from the audience. (More on the problems with this backstory later; just accept it for now.)
The actual movie starts with Ash and company (this time May, Max and Brock, since this is an Advanced Generation movie) heading for the milleniumly Millenium Comet festival, which is complete with cheap, mass-produced merchandising and superstitions despite this inevitably being the first time this festival happens since merchandising was first invented. (Well, unless the Pokémon world technologically stagnated quite some time ago.) At first they get there and there is absolutely nothing to look at, but then there is a fun scene in place of the ordinary theme song remix opening credits where the festival organizers suddenly arrive in a band of trucks and set up the whole thing in a remarkably short space of time. This, of course, includes The Great Butler, who builds a colorful dome by just waving his magic wand at a small cardboard box and then watching it happen. No wonder Ash and friends are so amazed.
In the morning, they all attend the festival proper and see The Great Butler's magic show, where of course the Jirachi egg has been stuck in near the end. As soon as it shows up on stage, Max hears a voice; it's Jirachi calling to him from inside the egg, because, surprise, he is the one he has picked to be his partner (not Ash, unusually enough). He takes this as his cue to run up on the stage, with Ash following; when Butler realizes Jirachi's future partner has come to him on a silver platter, he grabs the opportunity to personally involve the two of them in what remains of his magic show, just to establish a friendship. Incidentally Team Rocket have been working as clowns in order to steal Butler's Kirlia and Mightyena and make their move at this point, apparently having brought a device for catching Pikachu as well just in case. True to Team Rocket's apparently necessary irrelevance in the movies, however, Butler quickly disposes of them with his Dusclops, everybody thinks it's all part of the show, and nobody ever mentions it again.
Anyway, after the show, Butler explains to Max that the egg contains Jirachi, that he awakens for seven days every millenium while the comet is there, and that he needs a partner or friend during this time, a role Max gladly agrees to take on. He also says that Jirachi can grant wishes, much to Max's glee. Max receives the egg and keeps it with him that day as they wait to get to see the comet in all its glory. That night, when Max has fallen asleep with the egg, May starts humming a lullaby their mother apparently sang to them, and despite that being quite the opposite of what a lullaby is intended to do, this manages to wake Jirachi from his thousand-year sleep. After he has been introduced to the group and Diane has apparently invited them into hers and Butler's RV, they excitedly decide to try out the wishes thing; Max wishes for lots of candy, and Jirachi grants it... by teleporting all the candy from a booth at the festival to the RV. Oops. Apparently Jirachi isn't so good at wish-granting after all. This does, however, establish Jirachi's ability to teleport objects and how tiring this appears to be for him, since he falls asleep soon afterwards; both will come into play later.
Max and Jirachi fool around the next day until a sudden attack by an Absol. Jirachi cryptically mutters that the Absol came for him, and there is an interesting moment where Max and Jirachi are on one end of the stage and Ash, May, Brock and Butler the other and the Absol goes for Ash, May, Brock and Butler without hesitation - a fun little clue that if nothing else it's at least clearly not looking to hurt Jirachi. But the main characters don't notice this, and Butler manages to capture it in a cage and make his Kirlia put it to sleep with Hypnosis.
That night, Butler takes the sleeping Jirachi and brings him onto his magic show stage, where he has set up the equipment designed to grab Jirachi's energy and use it to resurrect Groudon. Meanwhile, Diane comments that the Absol was probably going to take Jirachi back to Forina, where he was taken from, and pleads for Butler to stop his plans before a serious disaster happens. He just responds that everything he has done has led up to this day and starts up the machines. Jirachi is suspended in mid-air and wakes up from his sleep, but is too late to be able to escape from the pull of the... well, whatever the machine that holds him up is; it looks kind of like a pair of magnets, except they obviously pull Jirachi rather than metal - well, then again, isn't Jirachi a Steel-type? Hmm, theory potential. Anyway, Jirachi is obviously in pain, but Butler, because he is playing the villain role now, ignores it and orders Jirachi to open his true eye to absorb the energy of the comet. When Jirachi refuses to do it, he makes his Dusclops force the eye open with Psychic.
May, however, noticed Butler sneaking around earlier, and she quickly figures out what is going on. She wakes the rest of the gang and they hurry over to Butler's dome just as Jirachi's true eye opens fully and a beam shoots out of it towards the comet, collecting its energy (physics is crying right now because even at light speed it should take more than the observed couple of seconds to reach the comet, but seeing as this series is to physics as the movie 300 is to history and it's not as if gathering energy from a comet makes any sense anyway, we can cheerfully ignore that). The beam returns multiplied, but instead of resurrecting Groudon, it merely causes an explosion. Max picks up the battered Jirachi, who mutters that he wants to go back to Forina as Pikachu and the caged Absol (who has managed to break out) keep Butler's Dusclops at bay. Diane, finally fed up with Butler's obsession, directs them outside and gets them all in the RV before driving off. Butler quickly sends his Mightyena after them to stick a tracking device on the RV.
As they drive, Diane explains to them that Forina is where they found Jirachi, complete with a flashback where Butler laughs evilly (though it's not quite the stereotypical evil laugh of the Iron-Masked Marauder), about Butler's failed attempt to resurrect Groudon for Team Magma, and his plan to use Jirachi to generate enough power. They all agree to take Jirachi to Forina together, but since it's four days' drive away, that gives them a bit of time on the way for a few extra scenes and montages.
Basically, they drive over some uneven land so that the tracking device falls off (without them ever knowing it was there), but it has been on long enough for Butler to presumably realize they were on their way to Forina anyway. That night, Diane tells May about how she and Butler were childhood friends, that he is a good guy deep down and that she hopes once the comet has passed, Butler's obsession will cease and he will return to his old self so that they can be together. Meanwhile, as the days pass Max begins to grow anxious at the knowledge that he will have to be separated from Jirachi forever in just a couple of days' time, and Ash makes a really adorably awkward and unhelpful speech about how a thousand years can pass like an instant to try to cheer him up. (The dubbers apparently decided this speech was just right for turning into one of those sickeningly sweet lectures about how friendship totally lasts forever even if you never meet again and how by the way he misses Misty so much and she was his bestest friend in the world and deep down he was totally in love with her because what ten-year-old kid doesn't fall deeply in love with the first girl he meets outside his hometown?) Finally they arrive in Forina, an area characterized by tall natural stone pillars and very varied greenery and wildlife.
They sleep a night there, and then the next morning a familiar Absol shows up to lead the way to where Jirachi was found. On the way they see a bunch of wild Pokémon, most notably a Flygon who unlike the others will actually have significance later (a random wild Pokémon with significance; imagine that). Eventually they get down to the rocky caves where Jirachi was excavated, and he floats upwards to face the comet through the gap in the ceiling while Diane explains that Jirachi gathers energy from the comet by opening his true eye and then, in his thousand years of sleep, he slowly releases that energy into the environment; this is what has made Forina so fertile and full of life.
Suddenly, metal cylinders that look like gun muzzles burst out through the walls of the gap in the ceiling and shoot purple lightning towards Jirachi, which raises him up towards the gap and then onto a huge, suspended metal platform which the characters had been unable to see before. And who should stand there but Butler? He explains to them that because they earned Jirachi's trust and got him to willingly open his true eye (which seems to put him in some sort of a temporary coma), they've done a good share of the work for him. He then tells Diane that he is sure she will come crying back to him if this experiment succeeds, which seems really dysfunctional if you ask me, and points the unconscious Jirachi towards the comet. Again, Jirachi's true eye shoots a beam towards it, it returns with the comet's energy, and Butler's machines begin to burn a (very) stylized image of Groudon onto the ground with lightning. This looks absolutely nothing like his previous attempts, so I suppose he started anew.
Ash and company are trapped underneath the purple lightning, and not even Pikachu's trusty Thunderbolt can pierce through the energy barrier this creates (it's horizontal and in the air above them, but I'm sure that Ash would be running headfirst into it as usual if it were where he could reach it). But lo and behold! Absol comes rushing through the tunnel and shoots an Aerial Ace or something of the like at the muzzles producing the purple lightning, destroying a couple of them. And then that random Flygon comes along too from above and smashes the last two muzzles before landing on the ground next to them and offering them its flight to help. Ash, Pikachu and Max get on its back, and Flygon takes off into the air.
As Butler sees them flying up, he sends out his Salamence and jumps on its back, hoping to keep them away while the machines finish creating Groudon (his role in the process is over, so he is free to fly wherever while it continues). Flygon drops Max and Pikachu off on the platform where Jirachi is and then takes off again to distract Butler as Pikachu Thunderbolts the machine holding Jirachi suspended, allowing Max to take him in his arms. The machine creating Groudon stops, and Ash and Flygon land again to pick them up and take them down to where Absol has led the others out of the caves.
There is an ominous rumble. They were too late: the machine had finished carving Groudon into the ground, and now the carving is bulging up and coming to life. However, there is something decidedly off about the Groudon that emerges. It is absolutely humongous, and it looks suspiciously... evil. Its pupilless eyes glow with a sinister light; trees start to wither in its presence as it drains that cosmic energy distributed by Jirachi from the soil. Instead of that gray-brownish belly we're used to, this Groudon has pitch black interrupted by the glow of molten lava under the surface. When it roars, the inside of its mouth is filled with white-hot magma. And... its claws and spikes turn into creepy green tentacles that start to absorb all the Pokémon in the vicinity (starting with Absol, who was brave enough to try to attack it). Nope, definitely not the Groudon we know and love.
Butler lands on his Salamence next to Ash and friends and stares in horror at what he has created. Meanwhile, the fake Groudon continues absorbing the various wildlife, and incidentally Team Rocket too, not that Ash and co. notice. Butler stumbles forward in confusion, muttering that this is not what Groudon should be, while a tentacle shoots towards him; Diane leaps in front of him to save him and is absorbed instead, her last words being that she loves him. Cue horrified "DIAAAAAAAANE!"
Butler gets on Salamence quickly as more tentacles come towards them. Ash and company try to run, but a tentacle snatches May and Brock. Ash, Pikachu, Max and Jirachi continue to run, but another tentacle comes and begins to absorb them too until Jirachi teleports them away (which naturally raises the question of why Jirachi didn't do this when any of the others got absorbed; I'll give him the benefit of the doubt and say he just didn't think of it until then). They are saved by Teleport again the next time they've nearly been caught. When the tentacles approach a third time, a Flamethrower from above repels them momentarily - it's Butler's Salamence, and he shouts to them that the fake Groudon is after Jirachi's energy: it seems it basically exists to absorb the energy of all life into itself, and Jirachi has more energy than any other creature in the vicinity. Or at least that's how it makes the most sense to me.
A tentacle, its end formed into the creepy shape of a snakelike head, comes towards Ash and Max again, but is blasted apart by a beam of energy from above. Who should it be this time but Flygon, here again to rescue them? They waste no time in climbing on its back again, and it shoots off the ground just as another tentacle lashes out. Flygon is followed by a swarm of more tentacles, but manages to fly ahead of them with some clever maneuvering for several seconds before they realize the tentacles are going to catch up. Jirachi manages to teleport them all away again, however, before they actually do catch up.
Butler approaches on his Salamence and explains that the only way to destroy the fake Groudon is to put Jirachi into the machine again, but set it to reverse, so that Jirachi will absorb energy from the Groudon. They don't entirely trust him, but he says quietly that he just wants to rescue Diane. Some tentacles come along, and Butler's Salamence flies in front of Flygon, first blasting a tentacle apart, but then getting enveloped by the next as Butler falls off it. Jirachi, however, teleports Salamence down so that Butler lands back on its back. Since Jirachi trusts Butler, Ash and Max decide to trust him too.
Somehow they all find the chance to land somewhere pretty far away from the Groudon without its tentacles coming after them, and there they formulate a plan: Butler will try to set the machine while Ash, Max and Jirachi try to distract Groudon on Flygon. This goes okay; the platform with the machines, however, has been weakened by the Groudon and is getting rather wobbly, and when Butler is done throwing all the switches, he drops the fragment of Groudon's body, which is necessary for the process (though I can't really tell exactly why). It bounces off the platform and begins to fall, only to be caught in the air by Ash on Flygon's back. They land on the platform, Butler puts the Groudon fragment back in in reverse, and they place Jirachi where he needs to go. As Groudon notices them and approaches, Flygon and Salamence both heroically fly out to distract it long enough for the process to work. The platform rocks again, and Butler falls off the side just as he is about to turn the machine on but manages to hang on to some side wires as Groudon comes ever closer. Salamence and Flygon rush in to attack again, but are then swallowed by more tentacles that come rushing towards them. Meanwhile, Ash makes his way towards the switch and turns the machine on.
As promised, it begins to suck energy back from Groudon, and it roars and shoots its tentacles straight towards Jirachi. Now it is Butler who jumps in the way to sacrifice himself, and he is swallowed. As Jirachi absorbs more energy from the Groudon, the evil creature becomes weak and confused, flailing with its tentacles but not quite managing to focus them on Jirachi, and then it walks into the cliffside they're stuck on and begins to melt. A creepy crimson mud leaks down in globs and begins to envelop Ash, Max, Pikachu and the now-glowing Jirachi, but the energy Jirachi is receiving expands into a solid sphere of white that keeps Groudon off them. In the middle of the white light, Jirachi rockets upwards, with the melting Groudon smeared across the top of the sphere like topping on an ice cream scoop, and heads towards the stars. Groudon disintegrates into tiny fragments that rain down like fireworks, and Jirachi teleports everybody Groudon absorbed, including all the random wild Pokémon, safely down onto the ground.
Jirachi comes back down to Max and they all promise to be friends forever and stuff. Then Jirachi makes his own wish, which is for them to sing that lullaby of May and Max's mother's again. They do so as Jirachi curls up and forms a new crystal egg around himself, which then sinks into the ground below to wait for a thousand years. Butler and Diane stand by together and clearly everything is now all hunky-dory between them.
On what seems to be the next morning, Butler and Diane explain that they want to stay in Forina to try to restore the land that was damaged and study the flora in the area. They then offer to take Ash and company to the next settlement. As they leave, Max hears Jirachi's voice one last time, assuring him he'll be watching over him forever. Aww.
Cue ending credits, with a full vocal and instrumental version of that pretty lullaby. There is no remarkable wrapping up of storyline elements in the credits this time, but we do see Ash and friends looking at the stars and recognizing Pokémon versions of familiar astrological signs. This is one of my favorite things in this movie for some reason. The fact the star patterns look nothing like the Pokémon only makes it more fun; it may even be subtly lampshaded it at the end, where apparently you're supposed to see a leaping Pikachu out of one single star (which forms the cheek).
This movie has some unique aspects that make it pretty interesting. First of all, it has probably the most powerful final confrontation and climax of any Pokémon movie, once the fake Groudon comes into play. Pokémon movie villains have been passably evil before (see the Iron-Masked Marauder from the fourth movie), but never nightmarish; the Groudon, however, is a twisted, positively demonic creature that manages to be just about as genuinely frightening as anything in a Pokémon movie has any chance of becoming. You shudder as you watch it: it's huge and scary and pure evil and overwhelmingly powerful, and you feel like it really needs to be destroyed, which helps enormously in making the final part of the movie more rather more gripping than usual. Although the fake Groudon doesn't have an awful lot of screentime, it has been sufficiently set up throughout the movie and the fight against it when it does appear is epic enough to make its appearance not feel tacked on and out of the blue like some of the other "secondary legendaries" of the movies (such as Suicune in the aforementioned fourth movie).
Another interesting thing about this movie is that it is, I think, the only movie to feature ordinary, non-speaking, non-legendary Pokémon in actual heroic roles, which is something I really like. Human characters tend to do an abnormal amount of the world-saving considering the franchise is called Pokémon, and when Pokémon do get to do some of it, they're always portrayed as distinct from other Pokémon somehow, usually by being legendary or if not at least able to speak with some sort of telepathy. Ordinary Pokémon, however, have gotten to be victims (first movie), bystanders (second movie), even briefly helpful (fourth movie), but otherwise they generally only serve as an extension of the influence of their trainers or as just another part of the scenery if they're wild. In this movie, however, we have the random wild Absol and Flygon who several times step in at the last moment to steal the scene in actual acts of heroism completely on their own terms. They as individuals are brave and strong and believe they should help the main characters' cause, without having to speak or be legendary or otherwise "special"; they're heroes purely because of their own choices. Thus, they are actually my favorite characters in this movie. They may not get a lot of personal development, but they show a degree of individuality that is sadly generally not seen in ordinary Pokémon in the movies.
This is also a rather pretty movie, especially compared to some of the conspicuous CGI in the previous ones. There is CGI, of course, but it feels really well-done; you can tell it's CGI, but it usually doesn't look out of place at all, unlike a lot of what was used in the previous movies. The fake Groudon looks great and frightening, and the comet imagery is quite nice, notably so because it is actually pretty correct in showing both the gas tail pointing straight away from the sun and the dust cloud that curves away from the comet's direction of travel.
I rather enjoyed the music too. And of course the Pokémon star signs in the end credits, nonsensical as they were. Then again, I'm a bit of an astronomy geek, if you couldn't tell from the comet bit.
Well, sadly, there are unusually many plot holes, even for a Pokémon movie. First of all, the movie can't seem to properly decide how Jirachi works. He's supposed to awaken only during the Millenium Comet, but Diane describes Butler as having been putting on magic shows specifically to find a partner for Jirachi and makes it sound like he's been doing it for a while, which is nonsensical if he knew it wouldn't happen until the comet arrived. And then there's the whole needing a partner to begin with; not only is it kind of silly and arbitrary and obviously only there to entangle Ash and the gang in the story, but it also can't actually be the case if Jirachi's egg is supposed to just lie buried in Forina - how in the world is he supposed to find a partner there, where there are no humans around? The only way I can imagine it to even be possible is if Jirachi calls to some young wild Pokémon to actually manually dig him up, but that seems like an awful stretch considering the whole movie acts like Jirachi's "partners" are human. And in any case, shouldn't Jirachi then choose a Pokémon as a partner, not Max? Wouldn't it at the very least be natural for Butler to assume Jirachi needs a Pokémon partner, instead of assuming right off the bat that he should hope Jirachi partners up with an attendant at his magic show?
And really, just how in the world do people know all that stuff about Jirachi, anyway? Again, Jirachi is supposed to awaken only for seven days every thousand years, and he's supposed to be in Forina when that happens, an area uninhabited by humans as far as we can see. The most I can picture humans knowing about Jirachi is vague, mangled legends from several thousand years ago, when some human traveler perhaps happened to pass by during those seven days, but in the movie, they know exactly when he appears, for how long, under what conditions, that he can supposedly grant wishes, how he absorbs energy from the comet using his true eye, and even what he does with that energy after going back to sleep. How did anybody find any of this out?
Really, I think the writers of this movie made a huge mistake with the whole thousand years thing, because nothing in the movie actually seems to fit with the assumption that this is an event this rare. Why is there just a little festival somewhere out in the country? Something that happens once a millenium feels like it ought to be cause for something bigger than that - if people know they're getting the privilege to see something that won't be seen again until their very time is long forgotten, it should attract a bit more nationwide attention than what we see in the movie. Heck, judging from the movie, the Millenium Comet looks more like a local event than something that would undoubtedly be celebrated all over the world - it looks like Ash and company have been traveling for a while specifically to attend the festival, which should only happen for local events. And even then, the festivities look suspiciously routine - everything is prepared and can be unpacked in an amazingly short time, as if they've been doing this for ages. Perhaps the same people handle other festivals in other locations regularly, but there is still how they have special Millenium Comet merchandise that they will obviously never be able to resell once it's over, even with what seems to be supposed to be some sort of a folk belief about making wishes on the days of the comet, which should just not have been able to develop. The whole movie would work much better if the comet's orbit were shortened to something closer to a hundred years - long enough that Max is unlikely to ever see Jirachi again, but short enough that there would at least be plenty of appearances in recorded history, plenty of time for people to gather reasonably confident knowledge based on a few encounters with Jirachi, and perhaps even time to build up sensible traditions around the appearance of the comet.
Then there is how the pacing is rather off. Very little actually happens in the movie until the last half-hour; Jirachi steals a bunch of candy, an Absol stumbles in, Butler kidnaps Jirachi but the energy just explodes, they drive for Forina - most of the movie you don't feel like there is much of a threat to anything really present, which makes it feel odd. It somewhat makes up for it in the general excitement value of the movie by having a particularly intense last twenty minutes, but that doesn't help the actual pacing.
We're also not given a very clear motive for Butler, and Team Magma's involvement is rather random. If Butler were actually a full-fledged member of Team Magma who was shown to really believe in its goals, I could buy it, but we never see even the vaguest hint that Butler believes in expanding the land, and I generally get the impression he wasn't really intended to actually believe in Team Magma's ideals. But then why did he join Team Magma and want to resurrect Groudon for them in the first place? It would be monumentally stupid of him to assist an obviously shady team of individuals just for the opportunity to show off what he is capable of; I could buy him trying it for himself, or more likely for a casual audience, but why Team Magma? The way Diane describes what drives him, it is essentially the joy of performing, entertaining and impressing other people, which he should be able to do just as well with another audience; heck, better, since I can't imagine people with a personal stake in the act being performed, such as Team Magma here, can possibly be simply entertained in the same way as a neutral audience. I would understand it if he was established as being desperate for money or something of the like and that drove him to approach Team Magma with the hope that they would pay him handsomely if he created a Groudon for them, but that is both not established as being the case and would not really satisfactorily explain his subsequent obsession with resurrecting Groudon completely without the involvement of Team Magma; that only really fits if it was something he was actually passionate about. Basically, his reason for wanting to revive Groudon is rather flimsy and just doesn't really work to explain his actions properly. What's worse is that this is not one of those Fridge Logic moments like the Jirachi partner thing: while you're watching the movie you never feel like you actually understand just what makes Butler so desperately want to resurrect Groudon, and it makes him feel rather flat as a villain.
Relatedly, the movie can't really seem to decide either if he is a decent man with a bit of an obsession or a proper villain. On the one hand, Diane insists on the former throughout and is perfectly ready to get together with him at the end, and he is quick to be horrified at the abomination he has created once he sees the fake Groudon. The way he obviously doesn't care when Jirachi is in pain while harvesting the energy, on the other hand, really doesn't seem to rhyme with this at all; his comment about how Diane will come running back to him when he's finished his task makes her into a sort of a prize to him, and the way he boasts about having manipulated their friendship with Jirachi for his purposes is just downright disturbing. So okay, his obsession with reviving Groudon is corrupting him, but maybe it's just how that obsession isn't well-developed enough as explained above; in any case it just doesn't feel right for him to suddenly turn from that into a good guy the moment he sees his creation looks kind of scary. If that "What have I done?" shock is what snaps him out of it, why didn't he show any reaction to that adorable little Jirachi's screams of pain? I'd buy it if his grin had just faltered a little at that moment, if he'd averted his eyes before ordering Dusclops to force Jirachi's true eye open. But no. Again, he had absolutely no problem torturing a cute, naïve, innocent little Pokémon to get his way. Everything up until his sudden conversion seems to indicate he's gotten pretty darn good at being evil. It doesn't seem right that he should suddenly be so horrified by this one particular action that he completely sheds his villainous self.
For some reason Team Rocket's irrelevance manages to annoy me even more than usual, even though they technically have a bigger part than in some of the previous movies. I think it's because at the beginning of the movie, when they had gotten their jobs at the festival and actually came in to steal some Pokémon, I started to get my hopes up that this time they wouldn't be completely without impact on the storyline, but then that is solved in two minutes, it's the last time Ash and co. are ever aware of their existence, and the Rockets spend the rest of the movie being there and talking about doing a bunch of stuff like trying to capture Jirachi for Giovanni but never even trying to act on it. There is even a bit where they see Ash and company driving off with Diane and go all "This is our chance!" and yet they don't do anything. Stop setting things up as if they're going to be noteworthy in the movie if they aren't going to!
Finally, the way the characters' lips are drawn and animated when they're humming just bugs me. They're not at all in sync with the actual humming, and generally look more like if they were whistling than humming. It just looks really off.
I think I like this movie more than it deserves, really. I look at all I've written down under "The Bad" and the couple of things under "The Good" and feel like I should think it's firmly on the poor side, but that fake Groudon really leaves something of an impression (perhaps it's just the pleasant surprise: when I first heard of this movie including a fake Groudon, I thought that sounded pretty lame, but the real thing is far from it), and I just love the wild Pokémon heroism. Like the fourth movie, there is both good and bad, but here it is even more polarized; at least for me, however, the good actually somehow manages to outweigh the bad in the end and I really somehow rather like this movie despite the host of problems with it. That said, partly that's my personal quirks, and depending on how you weigh these aspects, your judgement could very easily come down on the other side.
Page last modified March 26 2010 at 15:24 GMT