A scene from 'Pokemon 3'
Courtesy Photo
** stars 93 minutes | Rated: G
Opened: Friday, April 6, 2001
Directed by Kunihiko Yuyama, Michael Haigney

Voices of Veronica Taylor, Eric Stuart, Rachael Lillis, Maddie Blaustein, Ikue Oiani, Ken Gates, Dan Green, Stan Hart


Only released in theaters in the hopes of fleecing parents of $8 a head. Won't lose anything to video.

   VIDEO RELEASE: 08.21.2001


 LINKS for this film
Official site
at movies.yahoo.com
at Rotten Tomatoes
at Internet Movie Database
Better effects, fairly coherent story can't mask the fact that 'Pokemon 3' is about merchandizing, not movies

By Rob Blackwelder

Next verse, same as the first.

There may be more computer-rendered effects animation in "Pokemon 3." The plot -- centered around supernatural goings-on generated by a little girl's out-of-control imagination -- may be somewhat more coherent than the last two "Pokemon" pictures. But like its predecessors, fleecing parents of their money is the singular purpose of this automated, assembly-line sequel. Making a worthwhile, entertaining children's film? Not so much.

In their usual half-assed animation style, Ash, Pikachu, et al. battle undefeatable Pokemon spawn from the lonely girl's dreams. Her father, some kind of Pokemon archeologist discovered ancient Pokemon runes etched with Pokemon hieroglyphics while on a dig. The hieroglyphics come alive and suck him into some parallel universe populated by beings called "the Unown" (that's right, "unown," not "unknown").

With Daddy gone poof, the runes and his laptop with all his research on it are given to 5-year-old Molly. When she starts playing with the runes, they come alive again, this time making her imagination come to life. The mansion she lives in becomes overrun by a fortress of crystals, which take over her whole town and the valley in which it lies. A lion-like "legendary" Pokemon called Entei is created from her fantasies to protect her, and things generally get out of hand because Molly is 5 and isn't all that concerned with what her imagination is doing to the rest of the world.

Coincidentally, Ash, his mom and his Pokemon pals are all in town (as are the series' do-nothing bad guys, Team Rocket). When Entei steals away with Ash's mom to keep Molly company, he goes in to save her. Ash isn't too bright, though, so it takes him a while to catch on that he needs to talk some sense into the little girl instead of sending his Pokemon into hopeless battles against omnipotent Entei.

Like the other two "Pokemon" movies, this one is nothing more than an elongated episode of the TV show transferred to film. Like the others, it's also two separate stories, the first one being a plotless, 10-minute Pokemon-at-play episode.

Like the other two "Pokemon" movies, reviewing this one is pointless since what a critic thinks will have no bearing on whether or not you let your kids drag you to see it. So I'm going to go work on more important things now.

I will leave you with this: Unlike the first two films, at least "Pokemon 3" isn't physically painful to endure. If they keep improving like this, perhaps "Pokemon 10" or "Pokemon 11" will actually be worth reviewing. Of course, in a perfect world the "Pokemon" fad will be dead long before it comes to that.

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