Pokemon Heroes

Consistency is good when the product is good. Each movie in the Pokemon franchise is about the same as the last, not much better and not much worse. Unfortunately, the movies aren't that great to begin with, so an annual bombardment of mediocrity feels worse over time. Ash Ketchum (voiced by Veronica Taylor, Pokemon 4Ever, Pokemon 3: The Movie), his Pokemon Pikachu, and their friends are still wandering around. Ash is still trying to become a Pokemon master. It makes one wonder if he should stop given that he doesn't seem to be making much headway even after four films and countless television episodes.

Although it's pointless to say otherwise, STOP DUBBING MOVIES. The Pokemon franchise, along with many other Japanese imports, goes through a thorough scrubbing before its translation, to make sure things make sense in English. This is why there are two directors, Kunihiko Yuyama (Pokemon 4Ever, Pokemon 3: The Movie) and Jim Malone (Pokemon 4Ever) and two writers, Malone again, and Hideki Sonoda (Pokemon 4Ever, Love City). This reviewer would make a bigger fuss, but this is only Pokemon, and it's a Sisyphusian task. In essence, one can blame Malone for the film.

Ash and his friends are visiting the city of Altomare, a Venice-like city with canals, protected by the legendary Pokemon Latios and Latias. Since they are legendary, it means they actually exist and that somebody will try to capture them (two girls named...wait for it...Annie and Oakley) and Ash and friends will protect the Pokemon and make some new friends. Every film has the same story, and Ash is still no closer to his goal. Loser.

In comparison to the other franchise films, Pokemon Heroes falls somewhere in the middle. It is not quite as blatant in its commercialization (given that the fad is over). The Pokemon are still a little ridiculous when it comes to their power versus the fact that little kids can capture them. The morals taught are the same. The main difference is that Pokemon Heroes uses CGI more than its predecessors. It's actually somewhat decent, but used in conjunction with the typical animation for the characters, making the combination of the two look less than appealing. And still, nobody cares.

Haro Rates It: Pretty Bad.
1 hour, 20 minutes, Rated G.

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