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Pokémon the Movie: I Choose You! review – a cute corporate rebranding exercise – The Guardian

Pok?mon the Movie: I Choose You!

Collector’s item … Pok?mon the Movie: I Choose You!Animation[1]

Pok?mon the Movie: I Choose You! review – a cute corporate rebranding exercise

2 /5 stars

The 20th feature-length promo tool for the Pok?mon phenomenon is a reboot, all about the very first meeting of Ash and likable company mascot Pikachu

The – get this – 20th feature-length promotional tool for the media-spanning collectibles phenomenon[2] turns out to be a reboot of the series entire. We are returned to the very first meeting between 10-year-old everykid Ash and totemic cat-bug-baby creature Pikachu, thereby allowing the rules of the game to be explained to a whole new generation with disposable income to squander.

As rebranding exercises cinemagoers are expected to underwrite go, I Choose You! forms a modest improvement on those headachy spinoffs that bedevilled the world around the last millennium. Though the Pok?-matches rely on generic, TV-standard animation and become repetitive, occasional flourishes (some black-and-white backstory, a computer-assisted bad dream) suggest that those responsible may some day make art once they’re done bolstering a leisure conglomerate’s stock options. Beyond these sidebars, it’s business as usual.

The new movie preserves
that Hello Kitty-ish cuteness built into the franchise from the get-go, whether in Pikachu’s chittering or the message about looking after your pocket monsters (unlike those Team Rocket[3] nogoodniks). However, you don’t have to look too long and hard to spot the insidious corporate-think slipped in alongside it. “Being a second late for a Pok?mon can be life-changing,” lectures one father figure – so, you know, consume early and often, kids. Even the quest New Ash is sent on points towards an ungainly winged collectible, the questionably named Ho-Oh, which is surely now appearing in very limited packs of trading cards.

One of Ash’s contemporaries describes his encounter with this rainbow-hued bird as “a priceless experience”.

Two decades’ worth of vanished, irretrievable pocket money would say otherwise.

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  1. ^ Animation (
  2. ^ media-spanning collectibles phenomenon (
  3. ^ Team Rocket (

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