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| Mewtwo Strikes Back|
ミュウツーの逆襲 Mewtwo's Counterattack
|| July 18, 1998
| United States
|| November 12, 1999
| Home video
|| February 12, 1999
| United States
|| March 21, 2000
| English themes
| Japanese themes
| United States
| Great Britain
| New Zealand
Pokémon the First Movie - Mewtwo Strikes Back (Japanese: ミュウツーの逆襲 Mewtwo's Counterattack, officially Mewtwo Strikes Back! in Japan) is the first Pokémon movie. It debuted in Japanese theaters on July 18, 1998, and then made its way to North American theaters on November 12, 1999.
Mewtwo Strikes Back was shown with the Pikachu short movie Pikachu's Vacation.
Other posters and logos
Final Mewtwo's Counterattack movie poster
English theatrical poster
Poster featuring Mewtwo and Mew
Mewtwo's Counterattack logo
Pokémon the First Movie logo
Giovanni, the leader of Team Rocket, had ambitious plans to take over the world, involving his latest experiment, a powerful clone of Mew—Mewtwo. Mewtwo is very powerful, and also very smart—smart enough to not want to be controlled by Giovanni. It escaped from the lab, and now Mewtwo begins to concoct its own scheme, clandestinely inviting a number of Pokémon Trainers to the ultimate test. Of course, if it's an event for talented Trainers, Ash Ketchum will be right in the front row!
Ash's excitement turns to fear and anger when Mewtwo reveals its plan for domination, creating powerful clones of all of the kids' Pokémon so it can even the "imbalance" between Pokémon and their Trainers. Despite Ash's protests, Mewtwo refuses to believe that Pokémon and people can be friends. But faced with the determination of a young Trainer and the love of his Pokémon, Mewtwo just might have to reconsider, especially when pitted against the power of the mysterious Mew!
Dr. Fuji, wanting to find a way to restore life by cloning, leads an expedition to Guyana after finding evidence of a shrine dedicated to Mew, the world's most powerful—but now said to be extinct—Pokémon. Giovanni, the leader of Team Rocket, funds Fuji's research in return for an enhanced, living replica of Mew. Finding a Fossil of Mew, Fuji and his team create Mewtwo. A confused Mewtwo asks itself who it is, what it is, and where it came from. Just then, Mewtwo wakes up in a stasis tube in one of Fuji's laboratories, where the scientists study it. Mewtwo breaks out of its test tube; Dr. Fuji tells Mewtwo that it was made by humans and is a clone of, but much more powerful than Mew. Mewtwo is angry that the scientists see it more as an end result to their project and less of a sentient being, so it destroys the lab and kills all of the scientists. Dr. Fuji says to himself that he succeeded in creating the world's most powerful Pokémon before dying at the hands of Mewtwo. Then, Giovanni arrives in his private helicopter and offers to help Mewtwo focus its powers. Mewtwo takes up the offer, and is put in a suit of armor.
Over the next few weeks, Mewtwo does most of Team Rocket's dirty work, capturing wild Pokémon and beating any Trainer that challenges the Viridian Gym, including Gary Oak. When Giovanni tells Mewtwo his own twisted way of controlling Pokémon, Mewtwo angrily blasts away, destroying its armor, and vows from atop the island it was created on to begin its reign on Earth.
Meanwhile, Ash, Misty, and Brock are preparing for lunch until a Pokémon Trainer shows up and challenges Ash, who is happy to oblige. With his Bulbasaur, Squirtle, and Pikachu, Ash easily beats the Pokémon Trainer. What he doesn't know is that he's being watched, not only by Team Rocket, but by a mysterious third party. Jessie, James, and Meowth, who were also watching the battle, don't have any food and watch hungrily as the gang eats Brock's cooking. Suddenly, a Dragonite flies in with a letter for Ash and his friends. It projects a hologram of a mysterious woman who tells the Trainers to head to Old Shore Wharf in order to get to an island fortress called New Island.
Later, as a storm brews, the gang arrive at the Pokémon Center, whose Nurse Joy has been missing for quite a while. Officer Jenny informs the Trainers gathered that the ferry to New Island has been cancelled. Miranda, the pier master tells them that she has lived on the pier all her life and that the current storm is the fiercest she's ever seen. She then tells a story to everyone present about how some people died in a storm many years ago, however legend has it that the tears of a Pokémon restored the people to life.
Soon, most of the other Pokémon Trainers—ignoring Jenny and Miranda's warnings—take off for New Island. Ash and the gang are eager to follow, but none of their Pokémon are strong enough to handle the giant waves. Team Rocket, under disguise, give Ash and the gang a boat ride. Later, Team Rocket's disguise was uncovered. However, the storm proves too much for them, and as the strong wind and waves hit against the boat, it capsized and everyone was sent into the ocean. The gang saved themselves by using Ash's Squirtle and Misty's Staryu to get all the way to New Island.
As the heroes barely arrive at New Island, the mystery woman from the hologram letter greets them and takes them to the dining room to meet the other Trainers who arrived safely. Brock says that she looked familiar, however, the woman denies it and shows them to the castle.
Meanwhile, as Team Rocket try to get inside the fortress, the legendary Mew senses something troubling and arrives at New Island, and follows closely behind Team Rocket.
As they arrive in the dining room, Ash and the gang meet three Pokémon Trainers named Neesha, Fergus, and Corey. Just then, the mystery woman introduces everybody in the room to her master, who is revealed to be none other than Mewtwo. Fergus insults Mewtwo, who sends him flying. Fergus has his Gyarados attack with Hyper Beam, but Mewtwo easily reflects it. Then, Mewtwo releases the woman from its power, Brock quickly catches her, and it is revealed that the mystery woman is the missing Nurse Joy. Mewtwo tells the Trainers that humans are weak and cruel, and have made all Pokémon their slaves. It also says that Pokémon are no better off, since they choose to associate with humans.
As Team Rocket get into the fortress and make their way into a laboratory, they come across a weird-looking machine, a computer, and several Pokémon sleeping in giant pods. Jessie accidentally sits on the computer controls, which play back a recorded message from Dr. Fuji about the fossilized eyelash of Mew that was used to create Mewtwo. Suddenly, the machine takes a piece of hair from Meowth to create a clone of him. Summoned by Mewtwo, the cloned Pokémon awaken and exit to their master.
Mewtwo leads Ash and the other Trainers into the stadium part of the fortress and suggests that they should battle Pokémon to see who is the strongest, the clones versus the originals. Ash's Charizard, Corey's Venusaur, and Neesha's Blastoise are no match for Mewtwo's clones. Mewtwo then summons its own specialized Poké Balls, the Clone Balls, and uses them to capture Charizard, Venusaur and Blastoise, claiming them as its prize. Mewtwo then announces that the other Pokémon will be taken to be cloned. The clones will remain safe on the island while Mewtwo's storms destroy the planet. Mewtwo then sends the Balls after the Pokémon.
Immediately, all the Trainers are on the run. Some Pokémon are captured before they realize what's happening, some attempt to outrun the Clone Balls and some attempt to use their attacks to defend themselves. However, it proves to be useless as nearly all the Pokémon end up being captured one by one. Ash deduces that Pokémon inside their Poké Balls should be safe from capture and recalls Bulbasaur and Squirtle. However, it turns out to be no use, as the Clone Balls instead capture the Poké Balls whole with Bulbasaur and Squirtle still inside. Brock suggests carrying the Pokémon away, but while Misty successfully hides Togepi inside her bag, Psyduck and Vulpix aren't so lucky and are also caught.
Pikachu is the only Pokémon still uncaptured, and as a result he's now the only target of the Clone Balls. Ash uses his body to block them, giving Pikachu a chance to run. Pikachu heads towards a nearby suspended staircase and uses ThunderShock to take out a few of the Clone Balls. Ash follows him up the staircase. Pikachu is forced to use his ThunderShock every few seconds, which in combination with constantly being on the run, leaves him exhausted. As a result, Pikachu is forced off the staircase while dodging the Balls, falling a long way. Ash jumps off after Pikachu to protect him, but before he can grab his friend, a Clone Ball finally manages to capture Pikachu. Ash grabs the Ball before he falls into the pool of water at the base of the staircase, and loses his grip on it underwater. Ash follows it, out of the pool, and towards the entrance to the laboratory where Team Rocket is.
The same machine that cloned Meowth earlier is now processing all of the Clone Balls, and Ash grabs the one Pikachu is in just as the machine does as well. Fighting against the machine's many arms, Ash eventually manages to get the Clone Ball away, destroying the machine in the process. Pikachu is released from the Clone Ball and shakes himself off. Happily, he reunites with Ash, but the clones are now freed from their stasis tubes, prepared to join Mewtwo. The remaining Clone Balls are released from the machine in an explosion, and all open to free the Pokémon inside, including Squirtle, Bulbasaur, and their Poké Balls.
Mewtwo releases the other humans and is soon joined by its clone army. Ash emerges from the smoke with his and every Trainer's Pokémon and proclaims that they won't let Mewtwo's plan succeed. He tries to punch Mewtwo, but Mewtwo's force field knocks him down. Ash goes in for another punch, but this time Mewtwo sends him flying at a high point of the castle. Ash is saved from the blow by a large, pink bubble. The legendary Pokémon Mew comes onto the scene, having created the bubble that protected Ash. The playful Pokémon is soon targeted by a Shadow Ball from its clone, Mewtwo, who says that clones are far more powerful than the originals. Mew communicates with Mewtwo that a Pokémon's real strength comes from the heart, which is translated by Meowth. Disgusted, Mewtwo throws another Shadow Ball at Mew, who dodges it, but the blast hits Ash. With Mewtwo blocking all the Pokémon's special moves, a widespread melee begins between the Pokémon and their clones.
Ash survives the blast, but is horrified to see all the Pokémon fighting their clones, especially Pikachu getting slapped endlessly by his clone. He eventually falls back down to the stadium floor, prompting Misty, Brock, and Nurse Joy to come to his aid. They see now how horrible this kind of fighting is, and that the originals and clones will never give up, resulting in their deaths. Ash realizes someone has to take a stand and refuse to fight, like Pikachu is.
As Team Rocket also look on in horror, Meowth talks with his clone about how, no matter how different people are, they all share a lot in common on this planet.
Just as Mew and Mewtwo are emanating large auras of psychic energy in preparation for their most powerful energy blasts, Ash, angered by the continuous fighting, runs between them, demanding them to stop. The two blasts of energy strike with Ash in the crossfire, and due to the magnitude of concentrated power, Ash is turned to stone.
The stadium becomes silent, save for Pikachu, who runs to Ash's side. After trying to wake him up, Pikachu uses his Thunderbolt in vain, as Ash stays unmoving. Pikachu begins to cry at losing his friend, as do the rest of the Pokémon in the stadium due to Ash's sacrifice. The tears of all the Pokémon come together and magically revive Ash, bringing him back to life just like in the story Miranda told earlier.
After witnessing all of this, Mewtwo states that it does not matter who is more powerful, that the clones and originals both have value, and that the circumstances of one's birth is irrelevant: it is what one does with life that determines one's destiny. Mewtwo also says that it would be best if no one knew about what happened. When Mewtwo flies off, it tells Ash that it will find a place where it and the clones can live in peace. As a result, all of the memories of this event are erased from the Trainers' minds.
Ash, Misty, Brock, and everyone else instantly find themselves back at the Pokémon Center with no memory of their adventure on New Island. Nurse Joy is also back, offering shelter from the storm. Going out to the pier, Ash sees Mew in the clouds as the storm ends and tells Misty and Brock that when his journey began he saw a mysterious Pokémon, and now he believes he just saw another. Misty thinks that Ash was just imagining it, but Brock points out that maybe he wasn't. With that, the three friends prepare to continue their journey.
Meanwhile, Team Rocket, on the now-empty and green New Island and with no clue how they got here, decide to take a vacation as the credits begin to roll.
|| Spoilers end here.
Pokémon seen with Trainers waiting for the ferry to New Island
Mewtwo's cloned Pokémon
The fourth Trainer seen on the far right before leaving
The female Trainer leaving for New Island on a Fearow
- During EP063-EP065, scenes of Mewtwo breaking out of the lab and battling at the Viridian Gym can be seen. Furthermore, the film used footage of Gary Oak battling Mewtwo. The director's commentary jokes that they had to get a "stand-in" for Gary because his agent was asking for too much.
- Some of the Pokémon on the poster didn't appear in the actual movie itself.
- Pikachu's Vacation has the first appearances of the Generation II Pokémon Snubbull and Marill, and the feature film is the first appearance of Donphan.
- Several moves were used by Pokémon in this movie that were not yet available in the games. Mewtwo used Shadow Ball, Blastoisetwo used Rapid Spin, and Raymond's Donphan, itself a Pokémon not available yet, used Rollout.
- Other than Corey, Fergus, and Neesha, a female fourth Trainer takes off from the pier on the back of a Fearow. She is seen flying Fearow while Fergus and Neesha ride their Gyarados and Dewgong. She likely never made it to New Island, unlike the others.
- This female Trainer and her Fearow are often mistaken as a continuity error involving Corey and his Pidgeot.
- She is the only character who leaves for New Island but never appears again. Mewtwo wipes the memories of everyone on New Island and transports them back to the mainland (except for Team Rocket), but this female Trainer completely disappears.
- Despite numerous mentions and hints that Charizard and its pre-evolved forms will die if the flame on their tail goes out, both the Charizard clone and Charizardtwo were submerged in liquid with no visible flame while in their incubation chambers.
- This movie marks the only time in the anime that Pikachu is shown going into a Poké Ball, and only the second time he has come out of one (the other being in Pokémon - I Choose You!).
- Of the Pokémon seen in the movie, only Misty's Togepi, Staryu, Jessie's Arbok, and James's Weezing were not captured and cloned by Mewtwo. Misty hid Togepi in her bag, and Staryu, Arbok, and Weezing were not released from their Poké Balls during the gathering.
- Though Mewtwo owned a cloned Venusaur, Charizard, and Blastoise, they were not cloned from the Trainers' Pokémon. They were supposedly cloned from Pokémon Mewtwo had previously acquired himself. Despite this, all three of the Trainers' Pokémon were captured by Mewtwo anyway.
- This may have been done in order to prevent the three from interfering with the capture of the other Pokémon.
- Mewtwo indicated his wish to populate the new world with his clones; thus the three may have simply been acquired for genetic stock purposes. Having genetic material from multiple unrelated sources would help prevent genetic defects and result in a more successful breeding program.
- These three Pokémon are the fully-evolved forms of Mewtwo's childhood friends, who died before the events of this movie. It is most likely a coincidence since Mewtwo's memory of their deaths was erased by the scientists.
- This is the second time Ash dies and then comes back to life, the first being in The Tower of Terror.
- This is the only movie that does not feature Ash on the English cover. However, Pikachu does appear.
- The home video release of the film had a trailer of the second movie and came with a free trading card.
- This movie is the only Pokémon material to be given a release on LaserDisc. It was packaged with the Pikachu's Vacation short.
- The movie was re-released on DVD in Japan and contained the Japanese and English audio tracks along with the complete The Uncut Story Of Mewtwo's Origin short.
- The first anime special, Mewtwo Returns, is a sequel to this movie.
- This movie and Arceus and the Jewel of Life are the only Pokémon movies to feature all of their generation's version mascots. Charizard, Blastoise, Pikachu, and Venusaur are all present in this movie, while Dialga, Palkia, and Giratina are present in the twelfth movie.
- Early in the film, Ash's Pikachu defeats Raymond's Golem, a part Ground-type Pokémon with Thunderbolt, which should have had no effect.
- Mewtwo is colored pink as it begins creating the storm. In a later shot of Mewtwo intensifying the storm, its color is corrected.
Fergus and Corey's backpacks shrink. Also, the left image shows the fourth Trainer who left for New Island.
- In two very similar shots at the beginning and end of the film, as Officer Jenny warns the Trainers about the storm, the backpacks of Corey and Fergus drastically shrink in size.
- When Fergus releases his Gyarados into the water to ride on its back, its lips are blue instead of yellow.
- When Jenny's hat flies off, the loops of Miranda's earrings are completely colored in.
- In the dub, three Pokémon are referred to by the wrong name. Pidgeot was called Pidgeotto, Scyther was called Alakazam, and Sandslash was called Sandshrew. In the audio commentary, 4Kids stated that they decided to leave the Alakazam error as something for the children watching to notice and because they felt it was plausible in context that Team Rocket could make a mistake.
- Fergus states that all of his Pokémon are Water types in the dub, but he also has a Nidoqueen, a Poison/Ground-type Pokémon.
- While Ash is looking at Fergus's Pokémon in the dub, his Japanese voice can be faintly heard over the voice of the Pokémon.
- When Fergus runs over to his injured Gyarados, his Nidoqueen has the color scheme of a Nidoking.
- Right before Ash charges at Mewtwo, one frame shows Rapidash without flames. This was fixed in later releases.
- In the shot after Corey shows his Pokémon to Ash and his friends, Ash's pupils are entirely brown instead of mostly black with very little brown.
- When the clones enter with an explosion and emerge from the smoke, Pikachutwo's black-tipped ears are the same as a normal Pikachu's and Golduck is a green-teal instead of blue.
- Pikachutwo's cheek pouches surge with electricity even though Mewtwo blocked the Pokémon's special abilities.
- However, the Japanese dialogue says nothing about the Pokémon's abilities being blocked, and they simply clash physically out of pure hatred.
- On the DVD scene selection, Togepi is listed as Pokémon #152. However, prior to the release of Pokémon Gold and Silver, Togepi had been given #152 in other media as well.
- Some scenes detailing the history of Mewtwo's creation, a full twelve-minute sequence, were added to later Japanese home releases of the movie, which also included the CGI edits made for the American release. The first scene (the only one that was included on the American VHS/DVD release of the movie) centered around a group of explorers who found an ancient engraving of Mew and a fossil of its eyelash. The second detailed Dr. Fuji's attempts to clone his daughter, who had died as a child, and later Mew for Giovanni. The final scene detailed a young Mewtwo's telepathic interaction with clones of the Kanto starters and Amber Fuji. Certain later international releases of the movie include these new scenes, and they were also made into a short known as The Uncut Story Of Mewtwo's Origin, included on the international DVD releases of Mewtwo Returns. These scenes were adapted from the radio drama The Birth of Mewtwo.
- Giovanni denies that Mewtwo's armor is meant to suppress its powers in the dub, stating that it is rather meant to "focus" them. It is stated outright in the original Japanese that the armor is meant to suppress the bulk of its powers.
- Raymond's Machamp is shown coming out of its Poké Ball twice. It is unknown whether this was mistakenly repeated or intentionally done for dynamic effect.
- When Meowth complains about his hunger, Jessie takes out a frying pan and states that she could cook something, to which Meowth replies "Thanks, but the last time you cooked, you took out eight of my nine lives." In the Japanese version, Jessie simply points out that she's got a frying pan, to which Meowth replies that without meat and vegetables, it is nothing more than an iron pan.
- When Team Rocket are disguised as Vikings, Brock comments that he wasn't aware that they existed anymore. Ash replies that they mostly live in Minnesota, an obvious reference to the Minnesota Vikings NFL team.
- In the Danish version, Brock says Jeg vidste ikke vikingerne stadig fantes., and Ash replies Jo, men de turnere mest i Sverige. This is probably because at the time the vikings existed, the Danes were also Vikings.
- In the Danish subtitles, Ash says Vikingerne er et band. The Vikings is an old Swedish band, which is probably what Ash and Brock are referring to.
- In the Swedish dub, Brock says Jag visste inte att vikingar fortfarande existerade., and Ash replies Jo, men de hänger mest i Norge.. This being that real Vikings existed in both Sweden and Norway.
- In the French dub, Misty's Staryu does not make a sound when it is released from its Poké Ball. In all other versions of the film, Staryu's voice can be heard twice.
- In the Latin American dub, Corey is referred to as Gary Oak.
- While the original and clone Pokémon battle, the background music is different in both versions: the Japanese version plays instrumental music very softly while the English version plays Brother My Brother.
- When Pikachu is repeatedly shocking Ash to try to bring him back to life, Misty says "Pikachu…" in the Japanese version, and "Please, no…" in the English version. A commentary revealed that the dubbers had many alternatives for this piece of dialogue, one of them being "My bike…"
- Miranda's story about the power of Pokémon tears to revive people exists in the English version only.
CGI edits made for the American theatrical release
- In the wide shot of Mewtwo facing Dr. Fuji, who is explaining to it how it was created, two large test tubes were shown positioned on either side of the screen in front of the characters and magnifying them. These were pushed off to the edge of the screen in the newer version of the film.
- When Mewtwo is being suited up with armor, Giovanni is covered in shadow (much like his first appearances in the anime). In the newer version the scene was changed so he could be seen better, probably because his identity in the anime had already been revealed in Battle of the Badge.
- A CGI panning effect was added to the Gym floor when Mewtwo battles a Trainer's Onix.
- When Mewtwo first summons the storm, the shadow color on its hand is changed from purple to pinkish-red.
- Mew floating up to the surface of the water in a bubble was completely re-animated.
- Throughout the film, the original hand-drawn clouds of Mewtwo's storm are replaced with more realistic-looking CGI clouds. The water in the storm is also altered to have different shades of blue.
- Mewtwo's castle is changed from hand-drawn to CGI.
- The shot of the big doors opening was replaced with CGI doors. When the door closes in front of Ash, the scene now pans all the way back to Team Rocket facing the door when it was originally a dissolve.
- Another CGI panning effect was added for the shot of Rhyhorn charging toward Mewtwo.
- The big reveal of Mewtwo's stadium was rendered with CGI.
- The scene of Ash walking forward with all the rescued Pokémon was altered to have them fade into sight. In the original, they were drawn as black silhouettes slowly walking outward through the smoke and their bodies interacted with it more. This was also seen in the US trailer of Pokémon the First Movie.
- When Ash is looking down at the Pokémon fighting their clones, they were all originally drawn as silhouettes.
- The tears of life from the Pokémon were changed to CGI.
Scenes added to later home releases of the movie
Scenes edited from original release
Reanimation Mew in the bubble
Big doors replaced with CGI doors
Hand-drawn clouds replaced with CGI clouds
In other languages
|| Pokémon: První film
|| Pokémon Filmen: Mewtwo Mod Mew
|| Pokémon De Film: Mewtwo tegen Mew
|| Pokémon Elokuva: Mewtwon vastaisku
|| Pokémon: Le premier film
|| Pokémon, le film: Mewtwo contre-attaque
|| Pokémon - Der Film
|| Πόκεμον η πρώτη ταινία
|| Pokémon: Az első film - Mewtwo visszavág
|| Pokémon Il Film
|| 포켓몬스터1탄 : 뮤츠의 역습
|| Pokémon Filmen
|| Pokémon: Film Pierwszy - Zemsta Mewtwo
|| Pokémon O Filme: Mewtwo Contra-Ataca
|| Pokémon O Filme: Mewtwo Contra Mew
|| Покемон: Фильм Первый - Мьюту наносит ответный удар
|| Latin America
|| Mewtwo Contraataca
|| Pokémon, la película: Mewtwo contraataca
|| Pokémon - Filmen