Pokemon: Mewtwo Strikes Back
Those of you who grew up in the United States would be more familiar with this movie's US title, Pokemon: The First Movie. In this film, Ash (Satoshi), like many other Pokemon trainers, goes on a trip towards New Island on an invite to fight one of the most legendary trainers in the world.
Unbeknownst to them, the whole thing is a setup by Mewtwo, an artificially created Pokemon with the sole purpose of becoming a weapon. When Mewtwo learned of his origins, he quickly escaped from his captors and was left confused by the immense amount of power he wielded but having no place to belong to.
In the American dub of the film, Mewtwo's dialogue has been changed in order to present him as less morally conflicted -instead making him a more outright and decisive villain-type character. However, this change creates an abrupt conflict in the flow of the story at the very end of the film.
Pokemon Advanced Generation: Mew and the Wave Hero
This film merits its place in the list for the introduction of Lucario -who is currently one of the most iconic Pokemon in the series. The story begins in the past, with Lucario being heralded as a hero Pokemon and shows his devotion to his human master. However, a major crisis ensues and his Master traps Lucario inside a staff and sends him away to safety.
Several generations later, Ash and and the other characters arrive at what was once Lucario's kingdom. There they compete in the festivities and Ash wins the privilege of holding the Master's staff -and unknowingly releases Lucario from within. The rest of the film is an amazing journey through the world of Pokemon as viewers follow Lucario and Ash towards the world tree. There are a lot of scenes in PAG: Mew and the Wave Hero that focuses on the trust and bonds between Pokemon and their trainers.
Pokemon XY: The Archdjinn of the Rings: Hoopa
Ash and company encounter the volatile powers of an ancient, and mischievously playful Pokemon named Hoopa. However, when Hoopa's full powers are unleashed, he turns into an Unbound form that is nearly unstoppable. To make matters worse, there are other forces in play that seek to gain and make use of Hooper's powers. Ash, Pikachu and their friends must find a way to not only keep Dahara City safe, but also help Hoopa find a place to belong to.
Storywise, Archdjinn of the Rings feels a lot like a very long and extended Pokemon episode, but this film gets to go on the list for having a huge plethora of legendary type Pokemons appearing onscreen. That, plus the much updated artstyle and visuals makes this animated movie something that fans of the series should not miss out on.
There are actually two different versions of this film, one is Victini and the Black Hero (Zekrom) and the other is Victini and the White Hero (Reshiram). For those not familiar with Pokemon lore, this may seem like a strange thing but all it does is replicate the duality the game storyline it is based on: Pokemon Black and Pokemon White. Depending which version you play, the story alters a little regarding the roles of the white and black legendary Pokemon.
Both versions of the film start out in roughly the same way: with one of the legendary Pokemon saving a village in the past. The story then cuts to Ash, Cilan, and Iris as they reach Eindoak Town. Things start to get rolling as they soon realize that their Pokemon are being improved by the powers of Victini -who needs their help in order to protect the Dragon Force. Depending on the version of the film you are watching, Zekrom and Reshiram's roles will be reversed -one of them initially siding with the villain while the other is automatically supportive of Ash.
Pokemon Best Wishes! Kyurem vs the Sacred Swordsman: Keldeo
When Keldeo (a pony-like Pokemon) attempts to join the order of the Swords of Justice, he is told that he must first acquire certain skills to become part of the group. Eager to prove himself, Keldeo battles the legendary Dragon Kyurem but is quickly outmatched. As Keldeo flees from the battle, the other Swords of Justice are drawn into the battle and are quickly incapacitated by their legendary enemy. Right on cue, Keldeo stumbles upon Ash and his friends during his escape.
This movie is set a little after the Black and White film -so much of the visual quality and style between the two productions are quite similar. Though this movie has a slightly less grand storyline (it mostly centers on Keldeo and the Swords of Justice -which is basically Pokemon's equivalent to the three musketeers.
Wrap Up: Gotta Watch Em All
These are just 5 of our favorite, must-watch Pokemon films (and yes, being relatable to the newest released pocket monster games is a category we value deeply). But if you are not particularly busy and want to binge-watch, watching the other Pokemon movies can be pretty fun. Of course, it helps even more if you play the games as you gain additional information and have a different insight on the context of the events that happen in the movies.
While all of the Pokemon movies have official English releases, it pays to give a quick look at the subtitled Japanese-voice versions as well. There are some parts of dialogue that get changed when the films are localized and this means that the story is altered a little. Of course, do expect a lot of Japan-culture centric references. But still, there are fans that would claim that being able watch the original versions of the film are much better than the localized one.