Pokemon 4Ever

The Pokemon fad is essentially dead, as are the fads spawned by the initial Pokemon fad. Yet the fourth movie still arrives on shore, and Miramax bought the rights to the franchise about 5 years too late. The fourth movie makes a little more sense than its predecessors, if that statement makes any sense. The one annoying thing about the Pokemon movies (well, okay, one of the annoying things) is that they conform to the convention that as a feature film, everything, especially the scope of the movie, must be bigger than the television show. So the end of the world and whatnot is always at stake. They scaled back the potential disaster in Pokemon 4Ever (kind of an ironic title, huh?) to fate of a forest. This is bigger than the show, yet its ambitions are not wholly unrealistic (in the Pokemon universe, that is).

This is probably the best Pokemon movie to date, which still doesn't say much. It is still not much more than an extended commercial for new Pokemon cards to entice slow children still playing the game. However, it actually fills out a feature length film (barely) without the benefit of a cartoon short at the beginning. All the principal characters are back, as are all the voice actors. Ash Ketchum (voiced by Veronica Taylor, Pokemon 3: The Movie, Pokemon 2000) is still on his way to becoming a Pokemon master with his buddy Pikachu. Ash meets a new friend, Sam (voiced by, oh, does it really matter?). Unbeknownst to Ash, Sam is from the past. He rescued Celebi, a rare forest Pokemon from hunters. Celebi has the power to move through time, and sent him/herself and Sam to the future for safety. However, now, others are hunting for Celebi.

As written by Hideki Sonoda (Princess Minerva, The Special Duty Unit Shinesman) and adapted by Michael Haigney (Pokemon 3: The Movie, Pokemon 2000) and directed by Kunihiko Yuyama (Pokemon 3: The Movie, Pokemon: The First Movie) and Jim Malone, this latest movie again attempts to be a good children's film by putting in lessons about teamwork and friendship. Everything is just as dull as the other Pokemon movies. It is a blatant attempt at trying to add something redeeming to the movie, and the redeeming quality is there, just not put in very well. Anyways, there are still more Pokemon films in the pipeline, but it remains to be seen if any more will find their way here.

Haro Rates It: Not That Good.
1 hour, 16 minutes, Rated G.

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