POKEMON: THE FIRST MOVIE MEWTWO STRIKES BACK
(Poketto Monsutaa: Myutsu No Gyakushu)
Pokemon the First Movie: Mewtwo Strikes Back has been aimed squarely at the Pokemon phenomenon. There are so many creatures and characters involved it is impossible for an outsider (like this author) to make any sense of what is going on. We are never given any explanation of what the Pokemon creatures are, what their powers are, or why, how or what training by humans involves. As a great part of the films substance centers around this and the plot makes no concessions to anybody outside the cult for anybody with an age in the double digits watching, the film is akin to seeing a foreign language film without the benefit of subtitles.
The animation is cheap and limited so there is not even the art for the non-Pokemon fanatics to watch. Being Japanese, the film trades in many of the recurrent themes of anime children wielding vast powers, tragic sacrifice, love as a transcendent force. Every line seems a banal attempt to make a message: A Pokemons real strength comes from the heart, Someones got to take a stand and refuse to fight. The climax seems as though the film is competing to pack as many messages in as possible. There are other times where the film is bizarrely surrealistic, like the Vikings that appear out of nowhere to transport the heroes I didnt know there were any Vikings anymore, They mostly live in Minnesota.
The subsequent Pokemon films were Pokemon: The Power of One/Pokemon 2000: The Movie (1999), Pokemon 3: The Movie (2000), Pokemon 4-Ever (2002), Pokemon Heroes (2003), and some fifteen other films.