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Pokemon The Movie: I Choose You! LImited Edition Blu-ray Steelbook
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(Apr 30, 2018)
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Pokémon the Movie: I Choose You! is an origin story highlighting Ash & Pikachu's first meeting and their adventures as they search for the legendary Pokémon Ho - Oh. The iconic pair encounter familiar faces along the way, new characters including trainers Verity and Sorrel, and even a mysterious new Mythical Pokémon, Marshadow. Challenges and epic Pokémon battles abound in this unique story about the beginning of one of the most beloved friendships in popular culture.
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That being said, I received a copy with both discs and am pleased to report that this version of 'Mewtwo Strikes Back' is the widescreen version! Sadly there are no bonus features (so no Pikachu's Vacation short), audio or subtitle options on the disc and the few minutes of footage cut from the beginning (and later released on Mewtwo Returns as a bonus) is still missing. Also, surprisingly, the audio is not surround sound, meaning the soundtrack quality is affected, and audio effects they used to convey the difference between Mewtwo's telepathy and private thoughts have been lost.
Moving on to 'I Choose You' - I really enjoyed this alternate timeline take on Ash's journey. There are a number of references to the original series sprinkled throughout (the most being the first few minutes of the movie) to give older fans a nostalgia trip, but for the most part the story is its own creature, with Ash somewhat more competent from the start, his travelling companions being unique to this film and nods to a variety of generations all the way up to Alola. The art is crisp and gorgeous to look at, the animation is dynamic and captures the high energy action beautifully, and the dub soundtrack backed up the visuals fine. I do enjoy the credits song they made for this one. For note, only the English audio track is included, with subtitles for the hard of hearing.
On the downside the film suffered from a case of not quite knowing what it wanted to do with trying to showcase new Pokemon Marshadow alongside Ho-oh, which resulted in some concepts - especially the whole Rainbow Hero thing - being unclear and confusing. The outcome of the final scene was also kind of disappointing - missing out on a huge opportunity to showcase one of Ho-oh's main abilities, instead leaving matters to resolve themselves seemingly out of convenience.
Overall I had a great time with 'I Choose You'. It got daring in places and took gambles which we haven't seen these films doing in a long while. There were a couple of genuinely moving scenes, one of which got me choked up. A worthwhile viewing, despite a couple of flaws. I am looking forward to the second movie in this alternate timeline!