Pokemon: The First Movie

Pokemon: The First Movie
Voice Director: Michael J Haigney

US Theatrical: Nov 06, 1999
Japan Theatrical: Jul 18, 1998

Animation Studio: OLM

Popularity: 175th All Time, 278th This Week

Franchise: Pokemon
Characters on BTVA: 30
A.K.A. Mewtwo Strikes Back

Some scenes were removed from the English dub version of the film, however they were later released as "The Uncut Story of Mewtwo's Origin" as a special feature with the Mewtwo Returns DVD.
Pokemon: The First Movie Pokemon: The First Movie Cast
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Pokemon: The First Movie Cast



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said at 8:09 PM on Wed Sep 6 2017
 1 Shout Out!
Classic Pokemon film with it animation and plot also a standout performance by Jay Goede as Mewtwo
said at 5:14 PM on Tue Jul 25 2017
 1 Shout Out!
said at 7:59 PM on Fri Jan 20 2017
 3 Shout Outs!
The dub of this Movie happens to be 4Kids' worst dub of anything Pokemon-related in their entire run (on par with some of their Chronicles episodes), so how people can applaud it and say this is the best Movie (in terms of the dub), while ignoring a lot of the other Movies (4Kids' others included), really does bother me.

The sole redeeming factors of this Movie's dub for me are (a) the casting of Jay Goede as Mewtwo, I believe 4Kids made a wise decision there, and (b) I think their voice cast was always giving it their best efforts at their roles- I never felt like they weren't at least *trying* to put out good voice work.

Other than that...where do I begin? The script is severely rewritten, which is something *very* unlike 4Kids' crew that worked on this Series in general (this is something I'd expect from their Yu-Gi-Oh dub staff), so that's a wonderful start, but the dub music is pretty bland and uninspired here- still not as intolerable as the dub music we've had to endure during the last few years, but it's pretty snore-inducing nonetheless. "Brother My Brother" in particular is cheesy from start to finish, come on: they composed surprisingly decent to good music for the Series in general when they were around, so why did this turn out so corny? Oh, and the moral about "Fighting is wrong" doesn't work entirely here in the dub, since this franchise is centered around that for the most part, as nice as the idea behind writing that was.

I'll say that the one thing that I liked about the dub script, though, is that line from Mewtwo saying "I see now that the circumstances of one's birth are irrelevant, it's what you do with the gift of life that determines what you are," it works pretty well for his character.

At least they eventually included the Amber Backstory they cut out in this film's theatrical release later on in 2001 with Mewtwo Returns' DVD, though, and oddly it had a much better dub from 4Kids than the first Movie here itself did...strange how this worked out, isn't it?

This is only one of two Movies during the 4Kids dub Era I would recommend watching in Japanese over the English Version, because there is a stark difference between the two in these cases (the other, being the following film).
said at 11:43 PM on Sat Jan 21 2017
I thought most of the dub music here was pretty good. Especially Mewtwo's theme.
said at 11:49 PM on Sat Jan 21 2017
I'll be honest: I'll *still* take Movie 1's dub music over Movies 17-19's dub music any day of the week myself (most of the fandom on other sites would agree with this sentiment of mine, it's a long story, but suffice it to say we think the score is *very* unfitting for the Series since the composer's approach to the score is that of an opera & ballet), but even so, Movie 1's dub scoring really conflicts badly in this case, because the rewriting of the script in conjunction with the music changes, alter almost all the atmosphere in this film in question.

There is one bright side to the dub's music here, that being said, I did once read that the "Tears of Life" piece of dub music was praised by the Japanese producers as "moving them to tears" at one point in time- I'm not sure if there's any truth to this rumor, but I heard it was said on the first Movie's commentary on the DVD release as well.
said at 7:21 PM on Sun Dec 18 2016
 1 Shout Out!
One of the best Pokemon movies. Jay Goede was so epic as Mewtwo.
said at 10:23 AM on Sun Dec 22 2013
 2 Shout Outs!
I... ...didn't like this one.

Even as a kid, to which I would usually like ANY movie, this one just left me feeling unsatisfied in an entertaining sense. Something never clicked with it for me in my youth. You could assume that I didn't like Pokemon and thus that's why this one did nothing for me, but honestly, I WAS a Pokemon kid growing up. With the games and a couple of the movies (the show not as much), I was, even at times, obsessed. This movie, however, wasn't a good showcase of my love for it. This is the exact same issue I have with the first Rugrats movie. Both left me in a rather... unpleasant state.

One thing I did like however: Mewtwo. The voice, the backstory, the mere presence of him... all handled very well. But other than that, I usually just skip this movie.

Also, I feel absolutely terrible for Nostalgia Critic, since his review of the movie was ultimately panned by countless Pokemon fans. Sincerest apologies to him.
said at 10:14 AM on Fri Jul 1 2011
 1 Shout Out!
Amber? I don't remember her...

This was a good movie, though I admit that I slightly prefer Pokemon 2000. I remamber kids going crazy over this movie in the US! It was all they were talking about!
NCZ (Admin)
said at 3:37 PM on Sun Dec 25 2011
@PurpleWarrior13 She was only in the Japanese version. The scenes featuring her were presented as a bonus feature on the Mewtwo Returns DVD.
said at 8:35 PM on Mon Jan 30 2012
@NCZ Ah! I almost forgot about those scenes...
said at 1:48 AM on Thu Jun 9 2011
 3 Shout Outs!
This, and Pokemon 2000 were definitely my favourite pokemon movies, the stories just felt so dark despite some cheesy moments and Phillip Bartlett was a great actor for Mewtwo, I think everyone should watch the film at least once if only for his unique role since a performance like that will never be heard again.
said at 12:40 AM on Thu Nov 13 2014
@Metabad It's times like these where I wish I could go back and edit my old comments.
said at 2:29 AM on Wed Jan 13 2016
said at 2:31 AM on Wed Jan 13 2016
There are better films, you know, though if you're hoping for the newer ones since DP being better, well, they aren't- XY's are notably performing abysmally in the box office in Japan, the Hoopa Film has the lowest box office reviews to date in Japan in particular. You should check out the Johto-Hoenn films, those are the best.
said at 11:37 PM on Wed Jan 20 2016
@Dr.Who I actually meant editing out "A performance like that will never be heard again" since Jay Goede's alive and all, but okay.

To be honest I stopped watching them in theaters and stopped watching cold turkey after the third movie, I think I just ended up getting burnt out from them, especially with how many there are now. I might give the Lucario movie a watch sometime, but eh.
said at 5:12 AM on Thu Jan 21 2016
Oh, I see, well that makes sense to me, no problem.

I don't blame you, even in the fandom nowadays with people who like the newer Anime Series, most of them will admit the Movies have been on a sharp decline and gotten repetitive. The films are pretty solid, until DP, that's when they really begin getting bad and predictable, but XY's are probably the worst so far- first one rehashed this film in many ways, and the Hoopa one was pretty pointless. Definitely recommend the Lucario film, though, most of the fandom considers it the best since Movie 3.
said at 10:54 PM on Sat Feb 26 2011
The first Pokemon movie was the best.

It's too bad the English dub replaced the original music and missed the point of the movie.
Jackson_H (Admin)
said at 11:25 PM on Sat Feb 26 2011
The second movie is my personal favorite. "Tears of Life" is a pretty good piece of music IMO.
said at 1:21 AM on Sun Feb 27 2011
@Jackson_H Give me "Mewtwo Toujou!" over that any day.

Also, I prefer this movie because of how much darker and more mature it was in comparison to the TV series (at least, until the Disney end).
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