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Since its inception Pokémon, as well as producing the original anime and enough games and tie in products to sink a small island, have since 1998 released a series of theatrical films. In this three disc Blu-ray set the first three of those films have been gathered together.
Pokémon: The First Movie - Mewtwo Strikes Back (1 hr, 14 min, 26 sec) was directed by Kunihiko Yuyama and Michael Haigney.
Scientist, in an attempt to clone the rarest Pokémon, create Mewtwo from the surviving DNA of the original Mew. So pleased are they that they do not take into account how Mewtwo will feel about its creation. Mewtwo turns on the scientists killing them all before escaping. He sets out a challenge for anyone to come and battle him, a challenge readily accepted by Ash and his friends. However, when they travel to the island they discover that much more is afoot.
For the show's first outing on the big screen first and foremost it aimed to bring back all of the audience's favourite Pokémon, as well as creating more for the growing pantheon of creatures to collect. In this regard the film delivers on what Pokémon fans would be looking forward to.
The picture is nice and sharp with no obvious problems. The English vocal track is workmanlike, but suitable for a children’s film. The animation has not stood the test of time looking little better than the anime and a lot worse than modern anime standards. The disc contained no extras.
Next up, Pokémon the Movie 2000 – The Power of One (1999. 1 hr, 20 min, 05 sec), was directed by Michael Haigney and Kunihiko Yuyama.
The world of Pokémon stands on the brink of destruction as an evil genius, aboard his flying dwelling, is intent on capturing the three birds of fire, ice and water; if he succeeds he will have enough power to control the beast of the sea, Lugia. As luck would have it Ash and the other Pokémon trainers are visiting the Orange Islands. With the fate of the world in peril Ash, his friends and even past rivals, combine to stop the evil master plan.
The animation, in parts, is a real step up from the first film, the picture remains clear with the colours looking a little more defined.
Lastly we have Pokémon 3 – The Movie (2000, 1 hr 13 min 26 sec) directed by Kunihiko Yuyama and Michael Haigney.
Professor Shuri is digging in places to find new Pokémon and discovers that some things should be left alone. Whilst on a dig he unearths some runes which seem to point to the ‘unknown’. He is quickly sucked into the ‘unknown’. When his daughter discovers her father missing she too encounters the ‘unknown’ only this time it bonds with her. In an effort to make her happy it turns her mansion into a palace of crystal before recreating her father as a Pokémon. Feeling that she might be on a roll, even if her father does now resemble a lion, she next wishes to have her mother returned. This time the ‘unknown’ cut a few corners and steals Satoshi's mother Hanako.
Once again, apart for the odd nice touch the animation is barely an improvement on the television show.
Overall, the 1080p presentation is better than the DVD releases, with bright, strong colours; all films are presented with an aspect ratio of 1.85:1, MPEG-4 AVC encoded. The films maintain a large content of the show's original creatures, while introducing the audiences to a few more to collect. Audio across the three discs is DTS-HD 2.0, which is sufficient for a children’s film.
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