Pokémon 3: The Movie

on April 06, 2001 by Dwayne E. Leslie
As with its predecessors, the "Pokemon 3" is preceded by a featurette--a lively 18-minute tale in which our favorite electrical yellow rodent, Pikachu, is stranded. The festive-jazz infused journey features a cornucopia of Pocket Monsters making their screen debuts. Enemies become allies and they band together to form a colorful Pokemon construction crew, each using his, her or its special power to save a pivotal fixture in the Pokemon community.

   When the "Spell of the Unown" feature begins, the audience is led into the world of the Unown Pokemon. The glyph-marked creatures are "like alphabet soup, without the soup," as one character observes. Acting as a collective, the 26 cryptic entities have the power to bring human thoughts and dreams into reality. When a five-year-old named Molly mysteriously loses her father, the Unown are activated and alter reality, concocting a crystallized storybook land that can only be manipulated by the young girl's wishes. Then enters her guardian, Entei, a griffin-like Pokemon that has unlimited powers--as long as Molly believes in him.

   The story's hero, Ash, becomes involved when Molly wishes for Ash's mother to become her own. Now Ash has to rely on his skills, friends and family to defeat the Unown and Entei in order to save his mother and Molly.

   The operative word for this film is "more." There are more new Pokemon introduced, more trainer-against-trainer battles and, most importantly, a bigger heart to the story: The first Pokemon movie barely had one and it was missing altogether in the second. Fans will be elated by the abundant action and by the way the movie crosses over to include the storyline from the television episodes.

   When the smoke of the mayhem subsides, the characters manage to get the point across to young Pokemon trainer-hopefuls that a real trainer fights hard, knows when to quit and puts friendship first. Voiced by Veronica Taylor, Eric Stuart, Rachael Lillis and Maddie Blaustein. Directed by Kunihiko Yuyama and Michael Haigney. Written by Takeshi Shudo. Produced by Norman J. Grossfeld. A Warner Bros. release. Animated. Rated G. Running time: 91 min

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