Pokémon: The Movie 2000

not reviewed
Moviemaking Quality:

Primary Audience:
Children
Genre:
Japanese anime
Length:
1 hr. 55 min.
Year of Release:
2000
USA Release:
_____
Scene from Pokémon: The Movie 2000
Featuring: Eric Stuart, Veronica Taylor, Philip Bartlett, Rachel Lillis, Addie Blaustein
Director: Kunihiko Yuyama, Michael Haigney
Producer: Norman Grossfield, Choji Yoshikawa, Tomoyuki Igarashi
Distributor: Warner Brothers
Scene from Pokémon: The Movie 2000

Viewer Comments
Comments below:
Negative—I represent the small organization of TAAI: Teenagers Against Anime Influences. After reading the articles posted on your Web site, I am agreeing with what was said, but saying that there is a lot more to this story than anyone knows or wants to know about… In the late 1960’s, a type of animation was created. It was not only known for its unique, and somewhat unusual style, but also for its plots and storylines. The creator of this type of cartoon thought it would be interesting to create a type of cartoon, not meant to be funny, but meant to be realistic and dramatic. This type of animation was called Anime. Anime existed through the sixties, seventies, and eighties, but was not extremely popular and wide spread. There were a few anime cartoons in the US during that time, such as Speed Racer, but nothing too dramatic. Then, the 90’s hit. Anime began a new expansion into the US.

It was slow to begin with, but exploded with the arrival of an extremely popular video game. It was known as Pokémon. This is where the major problem is. As soon as Pokémon became such a big success as a cartoon series, other kids’ cartoon networks decided to try their luck at Anime. They too were incredibly successful, and from that, anime has grown exponentially. It is huge in the teen market as well as the child market because of the dramatic parts to it. Some anime that were created were even geared towards teens and adults. So what is wrong with anime? Pretty much all of the things said about Pokémon apply to anime in general.

The most popular forms of anime are highly addictive, have occult overtones contained in the use of realistic magic, crystals, chants, and tarot cards, and even have sexual innuendos. …I do not want to see other kids have to fight with something that only God Himself will be able to break them free of, and which will leave scars for the rest of their lives.
—Chris Wilburn, President of Teenagers Against Anime Influences
Negative—If your children want to spend time learning about all these spirits why not focus on studying the Holy Spirit? This is what we have told our children. It has drawn them closer to the real Spirit and has saved us a ton of money. I feel it is this grabbing at different fixes, or spirits, that could cause these children to grab at different religions later when life gets tough. If we get them rooted on the one true Spirit that can assist us in ALL circumstances they are a step ahead.
—Tori McAllaster
Negative—The underlaying tones of witchcraft and demonic activity is apparent to anyone blessed with discernment. We as parents must protect our innocent children from being exposed to this kind of subtle programming. The devil himself wants us all to believe the all these types of movies are just harmless entertainment. When in fact it undermines the authority we Christians have in Christ our beloved Savior to overcome the spirit world and all its works. Stand guard parent’s there is nothing innocent about such movies.
—Roxanna, age 33
Negative—I took my 8 year old grandaughter to see this awful movie. I spent much time showing her while the movie played the deception of the way movie makers portray cute little characters doing, what seems to be, harmful things. I pointed out that pichachu and his friends are likened to familiar spirits that seem to accompany the young boy and how the boy is fooled into thinking the spirit (pokemon) is a good and helpful companion. Towards the ending of the picture where the crystal (jewel, new age) is deposited it a circle of pillars (likened unto stonehenge). How one little girl saves the world by doing this. I asked my grandaughter what she thought of the movie. She had one comment: “Boring, gramma”. I rest my case. My Ratings: [1/1]
—J.Rios, age 55
Neutral—I know that there is a lot of controversy about this movie, but I think that what your child takes away from it is going to depend on your child. I took my two kids, ages 7 and 9 and they loved the movie… both of my children are solidly grounded in Christ and are able to discern what is right and what is wrong. They see worse treatment of others on the playground these days. Granted, the movie is a little monotonous for grown-ups, but the kids who are interested in Pokémon thoroughly enjoy it. I don’t feel that there was anything occultic or evil about the movie.

Yes, there are things in the movie that we as Christians do not believe in, but I use these items as a great opportunity to talk with my kids afterward and see how well they understand the difference. We can’t protect them from every bad thing in this world—we need to teach them discernment. The main thing I appreciated about the movie is that the “bad guys” found out that they could do good things and that they were truly good people at heart… and everyone cheered for them when they did the good things—which showed forgiveness. Overall, I think this movie may be too “on the edge” for very small children, but for the slightly older kids, I don’t think it’s a problem. My Ratings: [3/2]
—Amy S, age 29
Negative—Just before I took my five-year-old to see this, a friend told me that she would “never take my child to a movie about magic and wizardry.” She strongly implied that the film had occult-like overtones. After seeing the film, I got a glimpse of what she meant. I mean, the little kids have these little “Poke-balls” that realease little monsters that have magical powers. I sensed slightly that this could be interpreted as magic or witchcraft. But where do you draw the line? Is any character with super-powers endorsing withcraft? Is Superman’s heat vision a dark magic power?

At any rate, if there was any magic or witchcraft overtone here, it flew straight over my son’s head, so maybe that’s some consolation. That said, adults may not survive this film. The kids were enthralled, but I don’t think I’ve ever sat thought a film more blatantly designed to suck the brain matter straight out of the heads of every adult in the audience. This was the most vapid, empty, trivial waste of time I’ve ever been a part of. The filmmakers should apologize to my son for insulting HIS intelligence, and he’s all of five.

Even worse, before the film is a cartoon short involving the little yellow one—Pikachu—that I truly believe you’d have to be on pyschidelic drugs to understand. After the film was over, There were many comments among the adults about how diffcult it was to sit through. It was so bad, that it almost a bonding experience—like when a group of people grow closer together after being trapped on a desert island for a year.
—Deane, age 28
Positive—“Pokémon the Movie 2000” was one of the best movies in the summer of 2000. The story clearly shows Ash as trying to fulfill a prophecy to save the world. While I cannot call it a perfect allegory to what Christ did for us millennia ago, I refuse to call it blasphemy. There is some “boyfriend-girlfriend” talk about Ash and Misty, but nothing is ever lustful. The movie shows that we should not mess with God’s creation, as the villain does. As for the “Pokémon are more in tune with nature than we are” bit, I thought nothing of it. It does not promote pagan idolatry, the Pokémon were just trying to warn the humans about the danger that was occurring in the world at the moment.

As for nature being run by three birds (Articuno, Zapdos, Moltres), any Christian is perfectly aware that only God is in control of nature. I know a lot of stuff was incompatible with real life, but at the same time, Pokémon is not trying to lure kids away from God or Jesus. It’s just a work of fiction, like any Disney movie. Lugia’s “I have failed” comment clearly shows he answers to someone higher than himself; I have interpreted it that way since I was 10, when I saw the movie back then.

Furthermore, how many prophets in the Bible have said the same thing, only for God to still finish His works with them? I also noticed someone made a comment about the crystals in the movie promoting New Age stuff. The crystals are just musical instruments with Melody’s ocarina. After Melody plays the song that finishes the prophecy (type Lugia’s theme on YouTube, it sounds SO heavenly and wonderful, you won’t regret it), the crystals enter an eternally dormant state. Nothing occultic about it.

There is some violence that can be a bit hairy for young children, particularly between the three legendary bird Pokémon. Some appear to have died, but they are healed with Melody’s song in the end.

The only “Good vs. Evil” type of violence is when Lugia fights the man who provoked the catastrophe. My main problem is near the end, Ash’s mom states he is in “big trouble” even though he just saved the world. When Misty points out Ash’s good deed, the latter’s mom responds “Oh, he did, did he?” in an angry voice.

My main concern is younger kids will get the impression that parents are critical spirits. Still, Delia does show her love for Ash and it ends on a good note. Still, the criticism was not needed, but it’s not worth hating the movie over. One more thing: The songs in this movie, such as Donna Summers and Westlife’s songs in the credits are BEYOND beautiful.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Better than Average / Moviemaking quality: 4
—Peter, age 22 (USA)
Comments from young people
Positive—I saw “Pokémon the movie 2000” with a girl from a church I attended. She said kids under 10 wouldn’t be able to understand it. I am 15 so I can. Being a Pokefan, I say that there were three titans ice, fire, and thunder, also known as Articuno, Zapdos and Moltres. When the three birds were brought together Lugia got furious. Therefore he came out and started to battle the 3 birds. Lawrence III was trying to capture all of the extremely rare pokemon, but didn’t succeed. He owes it all to his Ancient Mew Pokémon card. This movie is really interesting, and I do not understand why people think it is evil or from the occult!
—Brandon Howarth, age 15
Positive—This movie is excellent, but the story line is somewhat mystical. I recommend this movie for kids 6 and up. My Ratings: [4/5]
—Wesley Corbitt, age 12
Movie Critics
…magical powers of the Pokémon seem more like fantasy and folklore than occultic or New Age in nature…
—Preview Family Movie and TV Review
…the violence has been tamed somewhat, so the positive messages shine a bit more brightly [than the first movie]…
—Focus on the Family’s “Plugged In”
…a moderate amount of [violence] where various Pokémon creatures fight each other or try attacking the humans…
—ScreenIt!
…a rather innocuous piece of entertainment for our children though I would still recommend monitoring…
—Michael Elliot, Movie Parables