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Pokemon 3

Voiced by Veronica Taylor, Eric Stuart, Rachael Lillis, Maddie Blaustein, Ikue Otani, Ken Gates, Dan Green and Stan Hart
Screenplay by Norman Grossfeld and Michael Haigney
adapting a screenplay by Takeshi Shudo and Hideki Sonoda
based on characters created by Satoshi Tajiri
Directed by Kunihiko Yuyama (Jpn) and Michael Haigney (US)

IN SHORT: "The best Pokemon movie ever!" [Rated G.]

More from the soon to be introduced "Kid Cranky" in a moment

The third Pokemon movie is subtitled "Spell of the Unown," the last word referring to a group of legendary Unknown Pokemon who are at the center of the events in this story. "Unown" is pronounced (and even spelled, once) "unknown" and we're going to use the latter spelling because it's easier on old brains. While the phenomenon of Pokemon has outlasted earlier kidlet faves like Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and the Power Rangers, the teevee show and matching card games are impossible to follow if you haven't had proper six-day-a-week cartoon training. That pretty much dooms Pokemon 3 under our standing rules that you shouldn't have to know the source material to enjoy the movie.

The Pokemon movies don't even attempt to stand apart from the teevee adventures because they know only the kidlets are paying attention. That's what a phenomena is. So, like most kidflicks, there's no "dollar rating" on this one. If your children are deep into Pikachu and pals, you don't have a choice about buying the ticket (and then the video for homeplay again and again and again). Since we sat next to other parents and none of us had the slightest idea what was going on, we present the next best thing. Our nephew Jeff, eight years old, explains and reviews Pokemon 3. Your best bet is to get your own personal eight year old to wade through the next couple of paragraphs. They'll understand.

Ladies and gentlemen, "Kid Cranky" . . .

Pokemon 3 starts out with the little girl named Molly and her papa reading a story about legendary Pokemon, like Entai and the Unknown. Molly's papa had one of his researchers call him because they were looking for the Unknown and found some chamber with some of the Unknown. They looked like lines with eyes and stuff and shapes and if you picked them up, Entai appears. And the professor gets taken away by the Unknown.

Ash and Misty and Brock are going to Greenfield and meet Lisa who is another trainer. Ash battles Lisa and Ash won. They go to Greenfield and see that it's all icy. But before Misty said Greenfield is supposed to be beautiful but it isn't beautiful because it's all icy.

The Unknown can make anything Molly dream of real. She dreamed of Greenfield turning all icy, so the Unknown did that. Molly wishes she had a papa and Entai came to be her papa. Molly wishes she had a mommy so Entai kidnaps Ash's mom because she was in Greenfield. So Ash tries to go and save her from all the ice and all of his Pokemon help him.

Pokemon 3 was a good movie. It was better than Pokemon The Movie but I don't remember Pokemon 2000 so it was probably better than that.

There's a cartoon that comes first called Pikachu and Pichu in which Pikachu saw the Pichu Brothers in trouble. Pikachu tries to help the Pichu. One Pichu tells the other that Pikachu is the older brother of the family. The two pichus take Pikachu to a playground made of old tires. A lot of Pokemon like Hitmontop and Wooper were playing on the tires. The tires started to fall over so all the Pokemon tried to save the tower by holding strings that hold it up. And then ash has a part for Pikachu because one year ago was the day the first met. So Pikachu ate birthday cake with Brock and Misty and all the other Pokemon Ash had.

We'll add that these Unknown Pokemon all look like letters of the alphabet. When Molly puts four together to spell "papa," the Entai Pokemon appears to "become"her father, who had pretended to be Entai when reading Molly a bedtime story about these legendary Pokemon in the first scene of the movie. Molly is a very lonely five year old, whose mother had died years before. When granted the power to make her wishes come true, she wants a mom and dad and everything else to go away. We'll let the college students do term reports on psychological motivations of supporting characters in Pokemon films. Everything else in the movie was quite foreign to us.

Does anything in this film help us old brains understand what Pokemon are or why they live in pocket sized plastic balls or why they live to battle and what their relationships to their trainers are? Nope.

And don't even start us on what the difference is between an Entai and a Pikachu . . .

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The Cranky Critic website is Copyright © 1995  -  2017  by Chuck Schwartz. Articles by Paul Fischer are Copyright © 1999 - 2006 Paul Fischer. All images, unless otherwise noted, are property of,©, ®, their respective studios and are used by permission. All Rights Reserved. Not to be used or copied for any commercial purpose. Academy Award(s) and Oscar®(s) are registered trademarks and service marks of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.