European Stars And Stripes Newspaper Archives Dec 11 1999, Page 52

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European Stars and Stripes (Newspaper) - December 11, 1999, Darmstadt, HesseSaturday december 11, 1999 stars and stripes to 21 at the movies if you have kids you la catch Emall at the theater Chuck Vinch editor s note this review of pokemon was left out of some editions of to week last week. Pika. Pika i. , Pika Pika Pika Chu for those of you who Aren t fluent in pokemon Lingo that roughly translates As parents prepare to empty your yes the latest in a Long line of cynical merchandising campaigns aimed at children has made its natural arc from video games to trading cards to television and now to the big screen and the sound of octo plex Cash registers ringing across the land is reach ing thunderous Decibel Levels. If your kid is into this craze you might As Well not even think about fighting the tide. Pokemon the first movie is absolutely bul let proof to criticism from any one above the age of 12, so i m not even going to bother to give it a rating. But that does t change the fact that the adventures of Pika Chu bul Basaur squirt be and All the other pokemon cannot even be charitably described As Quality childrens fare. It s basically a warmed Over rehash of a shallow japanese import that has been overhauled and padded out for pint sized american audiences. Backfill for the oblivious pokemon began in 1996 As soft Ware for Nintendo s game boy but exploded Only within the past 18 months after migrating to trading cards some of which now go for More than $50 a pop at collectors shops. Pokemon or pocket Mon sters Are creatures with a Vari Ety of Powers. Human trainers capture and store them in poke balls then let them out once in a while to do playful Battle with other pokemon. The contests almost always ends up with one participant being briefly knocked out but never killed by the other s pow ers usually fire water or electricity shooting out of some bodily orifice. As they win More Battles pokemon can evolve into higher forms and their trainers can move up the rank Chart towards the coveted title of pokemon adults who Aren t current on All this can get up to Speed with the 10-minute Short that pre cedes the movie Pik Achu s Vaca Tion. I had always thought of Pika Chu As a cute yellow whatchamacallit until my 10-year-old daughter gave me the look that exasperated Eye rolling thing children use to signify that As a Parent you Are Embarrass ing them just by breathing the same air and patiently explained that he is a mouse pokemon with electrical pow of of course. What the Heck was i thinking anyway the Short acts As an introduction to the world of pokemon even though it s Rife with weird inexplicable touches that seem like something Salva Dor Dali might have dreamed up after scarfing a Pepperoni and Anchovy pizza at 1 . The associated press Trainer Ash Ketchum relaxes with his first and favorite pokemon Pik Achu. Ash and Pik Achu Are challenged to a Battle by a neophyte Trainer. Then it s on to the movie in which Young Trainer Ash Ketchum along with his pals misty and Brock Are lured into travelling to a mysterious Island with their coterie of Good pokemon including Pik Achu. The Good Guys Are roped into participating in a vague tournament of sorts against a lineup of evil clone pokemon created by the megalomaniac Al me two a Catlike creature who was himself cloned by human scientists from the gentle Mew the rarest poke Mon of them All. Along the Way team rocket two snooty human trainers named Jessie and James and no rated a 6 i nips % opening this wee Cenci Fiji Fary Ihei a = must see = Worth you Tim = mildly entertaining = wait for their pet pokemon me oath who sounds like Leo Gorcey of the old bowery boys films get mixed up in the action for no apparent reason other than to allow the filmmakers to pad 10 extra min utes of footage. The most bewildering thing about the film is its message which can be summed up in three words fighting is bad. That s certainly a worthy moral but in t fighting the whole Point of pokemon if pokemon never fought the Bot Tom would fall out of this whole concept. But As Ash says pokemon weren t meant to fight. Not like not like what you pointy nosed goof Well that s never explained. Pika i Pik Achu. I hardly think i m alone in wondering what it is about this thing that so mesmerizes kids. There s no there there. I just Don t get it and this comes from a Guy who still watches three stooges marathons and laughs himself senseless. Calling the animation crude is too kind Disney it Ain t. The human characters with their Sharp noses and oversized eyes except for Brock who does t seem to have any eyes All look pretty much alike. And when they speak they have the trademark out of synch lip movement of All exported japanese animation which will no doubt dredge up memories of Speed racer for Many adults in the audience. But it s useless to get worked up. In the final analysis the movie is relatively harmless if you consider a 96-minute com Mercial harmless. Besides Given the attention Span of the average american kid these Days we can reasonably Hope that the whole thing will blow Over soon. There s already a whiff of desperation in the merchandising Campaign with special edition trading cards find the pokemon books and even bed room slippers indicating that the folks behind this thing Are Rush ing to squeeze the juice out of it while the squeezing s Good. Yet the film s subtitle is an ominous sign that the master minds Don t intend to go Down easily. With 151 different Variet ies of pokemon a pointed refer ence to this flick As Only the first is enough to chill a Par ent s Bones. Warner Bros. From left Vulpis Geo dude Pigeot Cherizard onix Staryeu Goldeen Zubiat and Pyduck in the pokemon movie. A group of scientists a been working to create the strongest pokemon yet it leads to a match Between me two and Mew

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