Remember Pokemon? In the mid-90s it had taken the world by storm, creating millions of eager fans in the process. It was a true global phenomenon, but as fads tend to do, Pokemon slipped into the shadows very slightly with only its die-hard followers remaining part of the cult.
Fast forward to 2016, Pokemon’s 20th year, and the unthinkable has happened. Pokemon GO, the map-based catching game has reignited the public’s interest in the cute little monsters and with a live-action film on the way, it seems fitting that Adam Brannon would look through the best movies related to the brand.
#5) Hoopa & the Clash of Ages
Despite being the newest of the films featured in this list, and the most recently released Pokemon film in the English language, Hoopa & the Clash of Ages has a story that rivals that of its predecessors and some stunning animation too. It’s also surprisingly dark, pleasing the more mature Pokemon fan no end.
It’s downside? The titular Pokemon, Hoopa, is an irritating little runt that doesn’t sparkle like the main characters in some of the series’ other films.
#4) Pokemon: the Movie 2000
The first film to feature fan-favourite Lugia, Pokemon: the Movie 2000 was released to greater critical acclaim than its predecessor and fellow list member Pokemon: the First Movie.
We also get to see the beautiful legendary birds, Articuno, Moltres and Zapdos in all of their glory, alongside the series’ best characters; Ash, Misty and Tracey. The film was a success in all its markets, though grossed slightly lower at the box-office than the first film.
#3) Pokemon 3: Spell of the Unown
The very first Pokemon film to be released in IMAX, Pokemon 3 followed the story of a young girl’s pain at the disappearance of her father. Her heartbreak summons the mythical Entei.
Earning a series high on Rotten Tomatoes at the time, Pokemon 3 offered audiences a much darker story than what had come previously, focusing on the plight of a young child, with the usual group of heroes tackling the problem head on.
#2) Pokemon Heroes: Latios and Latias
There’s only one reason that this film didn’t make the number one spot, and that reason will be revealed further down the page. Pokemon Heroes: Latios and Latias had the proud honour of being the first film based on a Japanese TV series to be submitted to the Academy Awards for Best Animated Feature.
Despite being a complete box-office bomb thanks to some very stiff competition at the time of its release in 2002, Heroes features legendary twins Latios and Latias, two Pokemon who have become timeless classics to the series.
This was one of the first times the franchise tackled mortality and as such, remains one of the most tearful additions to the Pokemon movie train.
#1) Pokemon: the First Movie
There was never going to be another choice. Pokemon: the First Movie was the film that defined a generation of Pokemon lovers. It was marketed to death, with special edition trading cards being given out at cinemas across the globe. I still have mine.
The story wasn’t half bad too with Mewtwo and Mew making appearances in the film, and with the success of the TV series, trading cards, video games and all the other merchandise, it helped ensure the brand went down in history as one of the greatest franchises of all time.
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