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EP016 : Pokémon Shipwreck
Original series
EP018 : Beauty and the Beach
Island of the Giant Pokémon
Island of Giant Pokémon!?
First broadcast
Japan July 22, 1997
United States September 30, 1998
English themes
Opening Pokémon Theme
Japanese themes
Opening めざせポケモンマスター
Ending ひゃくごじゅういち
Animation Team Ota
Screenplay 首藤剛志 Takeshi Shudō
Storyboard 日高政光 Masamitsu Hidaka
Assistant director 岡崎幸男 Yukio Okazaki
Animation director 志村泉 Izumi Shimura
Additional credits

Island of the Giant Pokémon (Japanese: きょだいポケモンのしま!? Island of Giant Pokémon!?) is the 17th episode of the Pokémon anime. It was first broadcast in Japan on July 22, 1997 and in USA on September 30, 1998.

201 Spoiler warning: this article may contain major plot or ending details. 201


After the attack caused by a group of Gyarados, Ash and his friends end up on an island where they realize that four of Ash's Pokémon, including Pikachu, are missing. On another side of the island, Jessie and James awaken to find their Pokémon, including Meowth, are missing. They try to call for help in a phone booth, but they soon remember they don't have any money. On another part of the island, a separated Pikachu finds the Poké Balls of the separated Pokémon and releases Bulbasaur, Charmander and Squirtle. They then see a Slowpoke fishing in the sea with its tail. Pikachu and Charmander decide to ask for help but with little result while Bulbasaur and Squirtle relax on the beach.

While trying to find Ash and the others, Ash's Pokémon are found by Team Rocket's Pokémon, Koffing, Ekans and Meowth. Meowth tells Koffing and Ekans to attack Ash's Pokémon, only to find out they won't battle for him because he is not their master. Each side tells the other about their missing trainers and Koffing and Ekans get visibly upset when Bulbasaur mentions that their trainers may have abandoned them. Pikachu immediately refutes the very idea, telling Bulbasaur that Ash would never do something like that. The two sets of Pokémon join together to find their trainers. Meanwhile Meowth is tied up for what he has done to Pikachu and the others in the past. While they are eating, a giant Rhydon attacks them. The Pokémon escape, accidentally leaving Meowth tied up. Pikachu unties Meowth so he can escape. Meowth shows no gratitude for Pikachu's action, instead pushing him and saying that he could have got out himself. At the same time, Ash, Misty and Brock are being chased by a giant Zapdos. They soon elude it and decide to rest for the night. Ash vows to find his Pokémon no matter what. Meanwhile, Jessie and James are being chased by a huge Moltres. They run into a sign and are both knocked out, causing them to escape the Moltres.

The next day, Team Rocket runs back to the phone booth and Jessie makes a phone call. When James tells her that they don't have money, she says they are calling the boss by collect. They annoy him with their motto, causing him to hang up on them. Jessie and James then use a wire to get help by pulling on it while inside, hoping it will lead to the phone company. They see a Pikachu and decide to catch it, not realizing until it is too late that it is in fact a giant Pikachu. At the same time, Ash and company run behind a rock after being attacked by a giant Charizard. The Pokémon still searching for Ash and Team Rocket see a giant Blastoise. Squirtle is forced to ask it for directions by the other Pokémon, something that it's not too happy to do. Squirtle tries to start up a conversation with the giant Blastoise but it gets attacked by its Hydro Pump. They then see a Venusaur and Squirtle this time asks Bulbasaur to seek help from it as Squirtle thinks it's one of Bulbasaur's relatives. Bulbasaur is too afraid to ask the giant Venusaur and so says that it's an orphan and has no family, to which Squirtle decides to call it a "coward." Team Rocket, still pulling the telephone wire, are now being chased by a huge Kabutops. They decide to jump into a rail cart to get away. It starts moving but begins to head backwards toward the Kabutops, rather then away from it. It gets its foot tied in the wire and is dragged after Team Rocket. Then Ash and friends find the giant Pikachu, which is then knocked down because of Team Rocket and the trailing wire on the rail cart. Ash and friends fall into the cart with Team Rocket inside. Then they see their Pokémon chased by a giant Charizard, Blastoise and Venusaur. The Pokémon manage to jump to their trainers and are at last reunited. Then the cart is sent flying into the air because of a giant loop in the rail tracks causing them to fly and crash into the giant Zapdos which they then discover to be robotic. Soon all the other giant robot Pokémon crash into each other and lay broken in a massive pile on the beach. Then the rail cart crashes into the water. A Gyarados shaped boat approaches the island. Inside, a woman introduces what appears to be tourists on the boat to Pokémon Island, however on noticing the damaged Pokémon, apologizes and then makes a call. It is revealed that the Island is an attraction park owned by Team Rocket's boss, Giovanni, who isn't too happy with the destruction of Pokémon Land.

Ash and his friends continue on, ending up in Porta Vista. Meanwhile, the Slowpoke from earlier in the episode is still sitting on the rocks. It stands up, revealing a Shellder attached to its tail. The newly evolved Slowbro looks forward and says its name proudly.

Major Events

For a list of all major events in the anime, please see the timeline of events.


Pokémon Debuts




Who’s That Pokémon?: Slowbro

Giant robot Pokémon


  • This is the only episode where subtitles were used to translate what the Pokémon were saying. In some non-English dubs, the Pokémon used human language and the English subtitles were kept. In the Dutch and European Portuguese dubs, the English subtitles were translated into Dutch and European Portuguese subtitles, respectively.
    • In the Japanese version of this episode, some Pokémon had their genders revealed through the subtitles: Pikachu, Bulbasaur, Squirtle and Ekans were implied to be male due to male-only first person pronoun usage.
  • This is also the only episode where the "Who's That Pokémon?" talked with subtitles.
  • The robotic Moltres that chased Team Rocket and the robotic Rhydon were the only giant Pokémon that were not seen to be destroyed, although Giovanni's phone call implied that they were indeed destroyed as well.
  • Jessie and James reveal that they never caught Ekans or Koffing but that they were given to them as birthday presents and for Christmas respectively.
  • When the group fell into the water, Charmander was still out of its Poké Ball and its tail was completely submerged. Yet, the flame did not go out. This happened again, as a Charizard, in Charizard's Burning Ambition.
  • Bulbasaur and Meowth appeared to get drunk at the stand, which is backed up by somebody talking to a "barkeep" in the original episode.
  • More Pokémon's Pokérap images come from this episode than any other episode, providing the images for Rhydon, Zapdos, Charizard, Blastoise, Venusaur, Kabutops, and Slowbro. Out of these, only Slowbro was an actual Pokémon. The rest were the robotic giants.
  • The book Island of the Giant Pokémon is based on this episode.
  • This episode is featured on the Volume 4: Squirtle copy of Pokémon All-Stars.
  • Even though Ash was never shown to find Bulbasaur, Charmander and Squirtle's Poké Balls, he doesn't seem to have lost them.
  • When Slowpoke evolves into Slowbro at the end of the episode, it doesn't glow like other Pokémon do when they evolve. The case may be that Slowpoke actually evolved earlier, offscreen, while its tail was in the water, and, being a Slowpoke, didn't realize until it pulled its tail out of the water.
    • On a related note, when a Slowpoke evolves into a Slowbro later in The Pi-Kahuna, it looks like any other evolving Pokémon would.


Blastoise's miscolored jaw
  • When Team Rocket are about to use the breaks on the cart they say "pull" but push the lever.
  • One of Squirtle's captions spells Pokémon as "pokémon", without a capital P.
    • Also, as Pikachu stumbles across Ash's Poké Balls, it says "Poké Balls" without the accented "é", "Poke Balls."
  • When Team Rocket sees Meowth, James and Jessie are crying and James has no pupils.
  • After the scene when the cable is about to snap, Meowth's paws are brown instead of white.
  • When James is explaining about their recent run of bad luck, Jessie's earrings and lipstick are gone.
  • After all the Pokémon jumped in the moving cart, when Jessie and James are hugging Koffing and Ekans their gloves are missing.
  • When the Pokémon jump into the moving cart, Misty catches Squirtle and Brock catches Charmander and Bulbasaur. However, when the cart falls towards the water, Misty is shown holding Charmander while Brock is holding Squirtle and Bulbasaur.
  • When the destroyed robots are shown, the Blastoise robot's bottom jaw is miscolored.
  • At the very end, when Brock, Ash, and Misty are seen walking a path, Ash's gloves are missing. Just afterward they reappear, only to disappear once more as the three are running towards Porta Vista.
  • As the camera scrolls across the beach, a spiral Shellder is seen. However, a shellder that becomes detached from the Slowbro reverts back to normal form, just as the Slowbro does.

Dub edits

  • Jessie's receiving Ekans for her birthday and James's receiving Koffing for Christmas were actually the Japanese holidays chuugen and oseibo, respectively in the Japanese version.
    • The scene where Krabby and Slowpoke appear also had them with subtitles in the Japanese version as well.
  • Meowth's reaction actually had two interpretations in the Japanese version. One implies that he has a master, and one states that he doesn't have a master.
  • The word Oden is removed from the stand.
    • Also, the scene where the Pokémon were at the Oden was not translated. The translation of the scene is as follows:
...those darn humans
...those darn humans
...those darn humans
Not all people are bad
Now now...
Cheer up
I understand
I understand ya
That's just how the world is
Hey, barkeep...
  • There was also a subtitle that told the time.
  • The digital effect of Giovanni's voice was dub-only.
  • Jessie also apologizes to the Kabutops mecha when the cart's cable tripped it in the Japanese version.
  • For subsequent dubs, the text and the Pokémon sounds were deleted and replaced with text/sounds clarifying what they're talking about for non-English speakers.

In other languages

EP016 : Pokémon Shipwreck
Original series
EP018 : Beauty and the Beach
Project Anime logo.png This episode article is part of Project Anime, a Bulbapedia project that covers all aspects of the Pokémon anime.