Pokemon 4 Ever - Mania.com



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Info:

  • Audio Rating: B
  • Video Rating: A-
  • Packaging Rating: B+
  • Menus Rating: B
  • Extras Rating: A+
  • Age Rating: 3 & Up
  • Region: 1 - North America
  • Released By: Buena Vista Home Entertainment
  • MSRP: 29.99
  • Running time: 79
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
  • Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
  • Series: Pokemon

Pokemon 4 Ever

By Andrew Tei     October 14, 2003
Release Date: March 18, 2003


Pokemon 4 Ever
© Buena Vista Home Entertainment


What They Say
Meet the newest Pokemon, Celebi, who has the power to travel through time. Vicious, the future descendant of James and Jessie of Team Rocket, travels back in time to wreak havoc, and it's up to young Ash, Pikachu, and friends to stop him. Along the way, Ash continues to mature into the unstoppable Pokemon trainer he will become in the future.

The Review!
The Pokémon phenonomon continues with the release of it?s fourth movie, as Ash proves once again that he?ll do whatever it takes to make sure all Pokémon are never hurt.

Audio:

There?s only one audio track provided on the main feature, and that?s English 5.1. Despite being a 5.1 track, the rears are hardly ever used. Mostly just music seems to be directed towards the rears, with an occasional rare sound effect. Dialogue comes out clearly through the center speaker, and most of the action sounds are directed towards the front left and right speakers. Directionality is rarely used. I found it a little disappointing for a 5.1 track.

Video:

Pokémon 4Ever is a pan & scan release. Sadly, Miramax continues Warner Brother?s tradition of not providing the original theatrical Japanese release ratio. The picture looks great though, and colors are vibrant. A lot of CG is used in this movie, and the scenes are absolutely gorgeous. No line shimmering or cross coloration is present.

Packaging:

Yes, no more snapper cases for a Pokémon movie, just some type of generic keep case. On the front cover, we have Pikachu, riding on Ash, who?s riding on Suicune, a legendary Pokémon. In front of them, we have Celebi. The back cover features a decent description of the movie, and advertises the Pokémon short that wasn?t included in theaters. The numerous special features are also listed. Inside is an insert, with the same front cover image, with scene selections on the reverse side. A Pokémon trading card for Suicune is also included.

Menu:

The main menu features some video clips from the movie playing on the upper half, with the theme song playing, a large improvement from the first two Pokémon movie DVDs. It?s the only menu that had video and audio though. The menus were very responsive. Kids will probably just want to hit play, though they have to go into the special features menu in order to play the extra feature, Pikachu Pikaboo.

Extras:

This DVD is packed with extras, including some that adults will enjoy. My favorite extra is the Multi-Angle Animation Progression feature. Four clips from the movie, 5 angles. The angles take you through the rough pencil sketches, the wire frames, shading, shadow, and light that create the final CG scenes used in the movie. Pikachu?s PikaBoo, a twenty minute short featuring just Pokémon, was really cute as usual.

A commentary track is also included, featuring a lot of the producers and actors in the series. It starts out well, but teeters out towards the end of the movie. There?s a real good camaraderie between them all, but they have been working together for five years now. I normally don?t mention movie trailers, but they included the one for the fifth Pokémon movie and short on the DVD, in original Japanese! No subtitles are provided though. Lastly, there?s a simple seven question trivia game, and a trading card tutorial DVD-ROM wise.

Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)

We start our adventure outside a forest, where a young boy named Sammy is about to enter. Before he does, a young woman warns him to beware the Voice of the Forest. The Voice of the Forest is Celebi, a Pokémon capable of time travel. Celebi is in a battle running away from a Pokémon hunter. Sammy tries to rescue Celebi, but the hunter proves to be too much for them. In a desperate attempt to escape, Celebi uses his time travel ability and takes Sammy with him.

We switch over to Ash, Brock, Misty, and Pikachu as they continue their Pokémon adventure. Soon, they are about to enter the same forest, and they too are stopped by a woman outside and given a similar warning. Except, this woman bears a striking resemblance to the same woman who warned Sammy, but a whole forty years older.

Of course, the trio enters the forest, the same time Sammy and Celebi appear. Both of them are hurt badly, but Celebi hides before Ash and company catch up to Sammy. When Sammy awakens, his only concern is for Celebi. After Sammy has a chance to rest, they all go back into the forest to search for Celebi.

Unfortunately, another Pokémon hunter, who?s a member of Team Rocket, is looking for Celebi also. Unlike Jesse and James, who are also wandering about in the forest, he?s competent, and has special Pokéballs that can turn a Pokémon evil. Eventually, the Pokéhunter does capture Celebi, and only Sammy and Ash have a chance to save him.

Like all the Pokémon movies I?ve seen, Ash gets the major focus of the movie, and it?s his caring about Pokémon that ultimately saves the day. This movie has one of the most unoriginal legendary Pokémon ever, Suicine. Suicine is the guardian of the forest, and looks amazingly like the Forest God in Mononoke Hime. Nature plays a large role in the theme for this movie, and how we should care about it. And our usual Pokémon lesson, that no Pokémon should ever be exploited runs true.

There?s a large amount of CG in the movie, and it just looks glorious. It kinda makes the animated scenes pale in comparision. Celebi flies around a lot, and the CG features scenes of the forest moving around Celebi that are truly beautiful.

For Pokémon lovers, and even those who have only the casual intestest in Pokémon, I really suggest this one. Lots of fun.

Features
English 5.1 Language,Meet the actors and producer,Multi-angle animation progression: Forest Fly Through/Dust Storm/Battling A 3-D Foe/Climbing Ivy,Pikachu's Pikaboo,Trailer,Trivia game,DVD-ROM features: Trading card game

Review Equipment
Toshiba 3109 player, Toshiba 36? Cinema Series via component, Pioneer VSX-810S receiver via optical, Cerwin Vega front speakers, Pinnacle center and rears


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