The Pokémon movie of 2001. Directed by Kunihiko Yuyama, Western edition by Michael Haigney - cowritten by producer Norman J. Grossfeld.

(Various voice actors in various languages, most likely the same that appear in the TV series...)

Also Called Pokémon 3: Now It's Starting To Look Like Credible Anime =)

The movie opens with a short movie "Pikachu & Pichu". These movies always begin with short movies that are intended for the youngest watchers of the bunch, you know, kids who barely understand spoken words. In the movie, Pikachu gets to see what a Big Town is like, meets some Pichus and gets chased by Houndour. Not much point here, of course; At the moment, the only fact I remember from the end was that Brock's Vulpix was eating a cake. (So? I like Vulpixes. Expect some Vulpix-praising in the remainder of the review...)

The feature itself is much more interesting. An archeologist leaves for a dig late in the evening after playing with the daughter. The archeologist finds a box full of Unown symbols that turn into real Unowns and send him to another dimension. The rest of the archeologists return the box to the daughter, who does the same - except that the Unowns don't take her, instead they come there. In this archeologist's manor.

Now, Unowns and the powerful Pokémon Entei have this ability of doing whatever she wants or dreams - she thinks of something, Unown says "if that is what you want", and *poof*, it happens. Suddently, the whole area around the mansion turns into weird crystalline. There's the spirit of Armageddon in the air. Well, maybe not.

Ash and the rest of the gang get to the area, as does professor Oak - and Ash's mother. (The disappeared archeologists has some relations, you know.) Now, the archeologist's daughter hasn't seen her mother for ages, so Entei arrives, hypnotizes Ash's mother and takes her to the castle.

So, Ash, Brock and Misty go to the castle - easier said than done - and enter the strange dream world. Lots of Pokémon battles. Explanations. General Weird Stuff (like, how come Teddiursa could beat Vulpix with a couple of Judo throws now that Brock finally uses Vulpix in a battle? =( Illogical... well, that's a dream world, after all!) But, well, it has a happy end too.

It's interesting that they actually made this movie a bit dark and confusing - more like the more "serious" anime movies, not like your usual children's movie. Many anime makers do "show something so tricky the people will 'get' the movie the next week earliest"; this was an attempt to do such movie, and as such, it was pretty good. The "western" version was edited somewhat - to add a couple of explanations to most perplexing cases. (Well, the western audience probably wants "more easily approachable movies" - even philosophical movies need to be fast-paced and filled with gunpowder these days...)

I can only say that I enjoyed the feature presentation - much better movie than the previous two parts, I think, much less likely to bore grown-up viewers.

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