Before we take a trip into the world of cuddly little fighting monsters of Detective Pikachu, it’s time to take a step back into the past with the Honest Trailer for Pokémon: The First Movie: Mewtwo Strikes Back. The latest installment of Screen Junkies’ ongoing series takes a look back at the 1998 animated movie that made us all cry over a little yellow electric mouse and his friend-slash-captor.
As the title suggests, Pokémon: The First Movie: Mewtwo Strikes Back features the mutant Pokémon Mewtwo, a powerful clone of the adorable Pokémon Mew. Like many a terrible scientific creation before him, Mewtwo swears revenge on his human creators – revenge that starts with organizing a massive Pokémon tournament. This attracts the attention of classic trio Ash, Brock, and Misty, but they realize too late that the tournament is actually just a way to gather Pokémon in one place so they can be cloned.
All of this leads up to a sequence that’s far more heartbreaking than any Pokémon movie with two colons in its title has any right to be. Pokémon are forced to battle their clones in a big arena, but Pikachu refuses, instead standing nobly still as his clone repeatedly slaps him in the face. Meanwhile, Mew and Mewtwo have a battle that results in Ash getting caught in the crossfire and turned to stone. Fortunately, he gets healed by the power of all the Pokémon’s tears (please don’t ask how this works).
The conclusion of Pokémon: The First Movie is that it’s wrong to make Pokémon fight one another – which is rather awkward for a franchise based entirely around Pokémon fighting one another. Fortunately, Mewtwo’s parting gift to Ash and his friends is to completely wipe their memories of the whole affair, so that they can cheerfully go back to trying to become the world’s greatest Pokémon master by forcing the animals in their care to engage in violent battles.
Funnily enough, it seems as though Detective Pikachu may be taking quite a few cues fromPokémon: The First Movie. It also features a friendship between a boy and a Pikachu, Mewtwo appears in it as an antagonist, and there’s even memory loss involved. At least if Justice Smith’s character ends up being turned to stone by a dual blast of psychic power, we’ll know he’ll be fine as long as there are enough Pokémon to mourn him.