(This review may contain spoilers).
As I watched the Pokémon cartoons as a child, and continue to enjoy playing the games, I was immediately interested in watching this movie.
At first, I was kind of disappointed, as the first five minutes of the movie effectively rehashed the first episode of the cartoons. However, after the opening credits, I actually became quite emotionally invested in the movie. Even if Ash does seem to be perpetually stuck in the body of a ten-year-old.
It was interesting to see the movie focus so much on the legendary Pokémon, but I particularly liked the friendship shown between Ash and his Pokémon. However, although there were some darker elements in this, I didn’t really feel those were explored enough, especially when it came to Ash reacting badly to Cross (who I thought looked very much like his main Pokémon with his hair).
I did like Verity and Sorrel, but I also felt that Verity seemed very similar to Misty personality-wise at the start. It was really good to learn about both of them and a bit about their history.
I also particularly liked seeing the different types of Pokémon, though it was a bit surprising that Ash didn’t have the Pokedex I’ve grown so used to seeing throughout both the series and games.
I also liked the appearance of Team Rocket, but I didn’t really feel they added anything to the movie. And both James and Meowth sounded vastly different, which was hard to get my head round.
While it was good to see the acknowledgement that Ash was a kid away from home and to see his calls to his Mom, there wasn’t really much shown of Pokémon outside of battle. And they seemed to come across more as pets.
I did enjoy watching this movie and I wouldn’t mind watching it again in the future, even though I probably wouldn’t rush to buy it on DVD.