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|entitle=mewtwo Strikes Back
|entitle=Mewtwo Strikes Back
|rotitle=Mewtwo's Counterattack
|rotitle=Mewtwo's Counterattack

Revision as of 09:37, 17 April 2011

Mewtwo Strikes Back
ミュウツーの逆襲 Mewtwo's Counterattack
Movie 1 poster.png
Japan July 18, 1998
United States November 10, 1999
Home video
United States March 21, 2000
English themes
Opening {{{enop}}}
Ending {{{ened}}}
Japanese themes
Opening jaop
Ending jaed
United States G
Great Britain PG
Ireland PG
Canada PG
Quebec  ?
Japan G
Germany 6
Australia G
New Zealand G

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 10, 1999.

Mewtwo Strikes Back was shown with the Pikachu Short movie Pikachu's Vacation.

Other posters and logos


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

Giovanni, the leader of Team Rocket, has managed to create an enhanced clone of Mew. In this, he has created Mewtwo. As the story begins, a confused Mewtwo asks himself who he is, what he is, and where he came from. Just then, Mewtwo wakes up in a stasis tube in one of Team Rocket's laboratories, where the scientists study him. Mewtwo breaks out of his test tube, as the head scientist, Dr. Fuji, tells Mewtwo that he was made by humans and is a clone. Mewtwo is angry that the scientists see him more as an end result to their project and less of a sentient being so he destroys the lab and kills all the scientists. Dr. Fuji says to himself that he regrets playing God before dying at the hands of Mewtwo. Then, Giovanni arrives in his private helicopter and offers to help give some value to Mewtwo's life. Mewtwo takes up the offer, and is put in a suit of armor to prevent him from rebelling against Team Rocket.

Over the next few weeks, Mewtwo does most of Team Rocket's dirty work, capturing wild Pokémon and beating any Trainers that come into the gym in Viridian City, including Gary Oak. Mewtwo has had enough and blasts off out of Team Rocket HQ and back to the island where he was born.

Upon returning to the island where he was born, Mewtwo vows to get revenge on those who created and tried to enslave him, and more importantly, to prove his worth as a living being by finding and beating his original, Mew.

Meanwhile, Ash, Misty, and Brock are preparing for lunch until a Pokémon Trainer known as Raymond shows up and challenges Ash, who is happy to oblige, since he enjoys one or two battles before lunch. With Pikachu jumping into battle, 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. Suddenly, a Dragonite flies in with a letter for Ash and friends. It projects a hologram of a mysterious woman who tells the Trainers to head to a pier in order to get to an island fortress called New Island.

Later, the gang arrive at the Pokémon Center and discover that the Nurse Joy who works there has been missing for quite a while. Miranda, the pier master tells them that she has lived on the pier all her life and that the 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 the Pokémon restored the people to life.

Soon, most of the other Pokémon Trainers take off for a place called New Island. Team Rocket give Ash and friends a boat ride, but the storm proves too much for them, so they have to use Ash and Misty's Water Pokémon 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.

Meanwhile, as Team Rocket try to get inside the fortress, Mew can be seen flying around without a care in the world.

As they arrive in the dining room, Ash and friends 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! Then, the woman faints, 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 the world will fall into ruin because it is controlled by them. He 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 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 created to form Mewtwo. Suddenly, the machine takes a piece of hair from Meowth to create a clone of him.

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, and he claims the originals with his own specialized Poké Balls. 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. He 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's no use and the Pokémon are all being captured one by one. Ash gets an idea and, reasoning that Mewtwo can't capture his Pokémon if they're already inside their Poké Balls, recalls Bulbasaur and Squirtle. However it turns out to be no use, as the Clone Balls instead capture the Poké Balls 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 captured.

Now Pikachu is the only Pokémon still uncaptured, and as it's now the only target, the Poké Balls have little trouble focusing on it. It is nearly captured at one point, however Ash uses his body to block, 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 is desperate to save Pikachu and follows it up the staircase. Pikachu is forced to use its ThunderShock every few seconds, which in combination with constantly being on the run, leaves it 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 it, 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 up, 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 itself off, hating being confined to the space. Happily, it 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 Ash's Squirtle and Bulbasaur's Poké Balls.

Mewtwo demands to know what happened in the explosion, and Ash emerges from the smoke with his and every Trainer's Pokémon. Ash tries to punch Mewtwo, but Mewtwo's forcefield sends him flying. Just then, after hearing all the commotion, Mew flies down and creates a giant bubble, which Ash lands on, breaking his fall. Mew encounters his clone and tells him that the originals will never be defeated by their copies when they fight without special powers. Thus, Mew and Mewtwo have a big battle that follows, which is about Pokémon fighting for the meaning of their lives, since (as Mewtwo sees it) clones have no value, and whoever wins will be the "real" Pokémon, not the worthless clone.

Ash is horrified to see all the Pokémon fighting their clones, especially Pikachu getting slapped to death by his clone. He eventually falls back down to the stadium floor, causing Misty and Brock to come to his aid. They and Nurse Joy talk about how Mewtwo and all the clones are living beings with value, as well as how when one animal invades the territory of another animal, it doesn't give up until it's driven the trespasser away. And then everyone expresses fear that the originals and clones will never give up, resulting in their deaths.

As Team Rocket also look on in horror, Meowth talks with his clone about philosophy and the moon, and how tasteful it is to be talking about the moon at a time like this.

Just as Mew and Mewtwo are about to finish each other off with huge energy blasts, Ash, angered by the continuous fighting, runs between them, demanding them to stop. The two blasts of energy come in contact with him together, and being so powerful, it turned him into stone.

The stadium becomes silent, save for Pikachu, who runs to Ash's side. After trying to wake him up, Pikachu uses Thunderbolt in vain, as Ash stays unmoving. Pikachu begins to cry at losing its friend, as do the rest of those present 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 nothing else about the matter. He also says that it would be best if no one knew about what happened. When Mewtwo flies off, he tells Ash that he will find a place where he and the clones can live in peace. As a result, all the memories of this event are erased from the Trainers' minds.

Ash, Misty, and Brock instantly find themselves back at the pier with no memory of their adventure on New Island. Ash sees a Mew in the clouds as the storm ends, but Misty and Brock do not, thinking it only to be a mirage.

Meanwhile, Team Rocket lie dormant on the empty New Island as the credits begin to roll.

Major events






Ash Veronica Taylor Satoshi Rica Matsumoto サトシ 松本梨香
Pikachu Ikue Ohtani Pikachu Ikue Ohtani ピカチュウ 大谷育江
Misty Rachael Lillis Kasumi Mayumi Iizuka カスミ 飯塚雅弓
Togepi Satomi Kōrogi Togepi Satomi Kōrogi トゲピー こおろぎさとみ
Brock Eric Stuart Takeshi Yuji Ueda タケシ うえだ ゆうじ
Jessie Rachael Lillis Musashi Megumi Hayashibara ムサシ 林原めぐみ
James Eric Stuart Kojirō Shin'ichirō Miki コジロウ 三木眞一郎
Meowth Maddie Blaustein Nyarth Inuko Inuyama ニャース 犬山イヌコ
Mewtwo Phillip Bartlett Mewtwo Masachika Ichimura ミュウツー 市村正親
Mew Kōichi Yamadera Mew Kōichi Yamadera ミュウ 山寺宏一
Corey Ted Lewis Sorao Tōru Furuya ソラオ 古谷徹
Neesha Lisa Ortiz Sweet Aiko Satō スイート 佐藤藍子
Fergus Jimmy Zoppi Umio Wataru Takagi ウミオ 高木渉
Nurse Joy Megan Hollingshead Joy Ayako Shiraishi ジョーイ 白石文子
Officer Jenny Megan Hollingshead Junsar Chinami Nishimura ジュンサー 西村ちなみ
Miranda Kayzie Rogers Voyager Sachiko Kobayashi ボイジャー 小林幸子
Giovanni Ted Lewis Sakaki Hirotaka Suzuoki サカキ 鈴置洋孝
Narration Rodger Parsons Narration Unshō Ishizuka ナレーション 石塚運昇


Main article: Pokémon the First Movie (soundtrack)


  • Originally, this movie was supposed to be the series finale of Pokémon; however, the anime was so successful that it was renewed for another season, The Adventures In The Orange Islands
  • The events of this movie happen after The Pi-Kahuna and before Make Room for Gloom, though it premiered in Japan between The Case of the K-9 Caper and Pokémon Paparazzi. It should be noted that were it not for the four-month hiatus caused by EP038, this movie would have debuted shortly after Showdown at the Poké-Corral, Mewtwo's final cameo appearance in the TV Series.
  • There are three versions of this movie:
    • The first version was the version released in Japanese theaters and was the first Japanese DVD release.
    • The second version was a re-released DVD, containing re-done animation, cleaned up effects and new computer generated animation. This version was later used for the dub.
    • The third version was the English dub. This removed the Mewtwo's origin sequence and ultimately, it portrayed Mewtwo as a cold heartless villain who just wanted to take over the planet.
  • Mewtwo Returns is a sequel to this movie.
  • Several moves were used by Pokémon in this movie that were not yet available in the games. Mewtwo used Shadow Ball, the clone Blastoise used Rapid Spin, and Raymond's Donphan, itself a Pokémon not available yet, used Rollout. This is likely due to the movie's release being relatively closer to Generation II than Generation I.
  • Jessie and James ask "Who's that Pokémon?" when the silhouettes of the Pokémon, including Meowth, appear in the cloning machine. This is a reference to the segment that appeared between commercial breaks during the anime at the time, and is also present in the Japanese version.
  • Misty's Togepi was the only Pokémon that wasn't cloned by Mewtwo. She was able to hide her Togepi in her bag, and unlike Brock's Vulpix, it didn't get captured.
    • Misty's Staryu was also not cloned by Mewtwo, however unlike Togepi and Vulpix it remained inside its Poké Ball during the gathering.
      • As a result, Staryu is the only Pokémon belonging to Ash's friends seen during the movie that is not released from its Poké Ball during the gathering.
  • Some of the Pokémon on the poster didn't appear in the actual movie itself.
  • This is the only movie which does not feature Ash on the cover. Interestingly, Pikachu does appear. This does not apply to the Japanese version.
  • The movie was re-released on DVD in Japan and contained the Japanese and English audio tracks along with the complete 'Origin of Mewtwo' short.
  • The home video release of the film had a trailer of the second movie and came with a free trading card.
  • Pikachu's Vacation is the first appearance of the Generation II Pokémon, Snubbull and Marill, and the feature film is the first appearance of Donphan.
  • This was the first film confirmed as canon to the anime; during EP063-EP065, scenes of Mewtwo breaking out of the lab and battling at Giovanni's 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.
  • Raymond, the Trainer that Ash faces in the introduction to the movie wears a bandanna with a white marking similar to that of Team Aqua's logo.
  • This movie marks the only time in the anime that Ash's Pikachu is shown going into a Poké Ball, and only the second time it has come out of one (the other being in Pokémon - I Choose You!).
  • This is the second time Ash dies and then comes back to life, the first being in The Tower of Terror.
  • The nickname of Neesha's Blastoise is Shellshocker, which contains 12 characters. This is impossible in the games, as nicknames are only allowed to be 10 characters.
  • 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.
    • Coincidentally, the Japanese premiere of Arceus and the Jewel of Life was on the 11th anniversary of the Japanese premiere of this movie.
  • The English title is a reference to Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back. The Japanese title comes from The Empire Strikes Back's Japanese title, Teikoku no Gyakushuu. This movie's special episode sequel, Mewtwo Returns, is a reference to Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi.
    • The film's title also resembles the Japanese title of the SNES RPG EarthBound, which in Japanese is called MOTHER 2: Gyiyg Strikes Back (MOTHER2ギーグの逆襲). Gyiyg, who's name is "Giygas" in the English version, is an alien with psychic powers who intended on conquering the world as revenge for a perceived betrayal. It should be noted that EarthBound was developed by the company now known as Creatures, Inc., and that Mewtwo itself bears some physical resemblance to Giygas as he appeared in EarthBound's predecessor, MOTHER.


  • Early in the film, Ash engages in a battle with another Trainer. In one battle, the opponent's Golem, a dual-type Rock/Ground Pokémon, was defeated by Ash's Pikachu's Electric attack. In the games, Template:Type2s are immune to Electric attacks.
  • In the English 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 when they noticed it as something for the children watching to notice and because they felt it was plausible in context that Team Rocket could make a mistake.
  • When the three other Pokémon Trainers are taking off, Corey is seen doing it twice, the second time on a Fearow. However, when the trainers show off their parties later, Corey does not have a Fearow on his team.
  • In the beginning of the English dub of the feature film, Raymond's Machamp is shown coming out of the Poké Ball twice, for an unknown reason.
  • When Fergus releases his Gyarados into the water to ride on its back, its lips are blue instead of the normal yellow.
  • Mewtwo is mistakenly colored a light blue instead of a light purple on the VHS and DVD cases.
  • When Fergus runs over to his injured Gyarados, his Nidoqueen has the color scheme of a Nidoking.
  • During the scene where Ash confronts Mewtwo, Rapidash was seen without flames.
  • During the scene where Ash is looking at Fergus's Pokémon, his Japanese voice can be heard over the voice of the Pokémon.
  • On the DVD scene selection, Togepi is listed as Pokémon #152.
  • About 28:45 (DVD release) into the movie, Ash's pupils are entirely brown instead of black with brown near the bottom part of the eye.

Dub edits

  • The plot in the dubbed English version contains a "fighting is wrong" moral and portrays Mewtwo as a cold heartless villain who just wants to take over Earth. It also contains anti-racism material. Meowth, agreeing with his clone, says, "Maybe if we started looking at what's the same instead of always looking at what's different, well who knows?" The Japanese version instead portrays Mewtwo as a confused being who cannot place himself among other living beings, so his stress of not being able to figure any of that out leads to his destruction of the laboratory on New Island, Team Rocket's new base, and eventually, his plan to get revenge on the world to prove he should be alive.
  • During the battle between the Pokémon and their clones, the music that plays in the background 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 and 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 dialog, one of them being Misty saying "My bike..." referring to a running gag in the anime.
  • In the French dub of the movie, 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.
  • Three scenes detailing the history of Mewtwo's creation, a full twelve-minute sequence, were removed from the English dub. However, those three scenes were featured in other dubs. The first scene centered around a group of explorers who found an ancient engraving of Mew, and then finding Mew's eyelash. The second detailed the history of Dr. Fuji and his attempts to clone Mew, as well as his daughter, who had died as a child. The final scene detailed a young Mewtwo's interaction with clones of the Kanto starters as well as Amber Fuji. The latter two scenes were later dubbed and made into a short released with the DVD of Mewtwo Returns, known as 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.
  • Miranda's story about the water of the tears that can revive people exists in the English version only, and is not in the Japanese version.
  • In the Latin American dub, Corey was referred to as Gary Oak.
  • When Team Rocket is disguised as two Vikings, Brock comments that he wasn't aware that they existed anymore. Ash replies saying that they mostly live in Minnesota, which is an obvious reference to the NFL team, the Minnesota Vikings.
    • However, in the Swedish dub, Ash replies that they live in Norway.
    • In the Norwegian dub, Ash tells the opposite of the Swedish dub and say they mostly live in Sweden.
    • In the Finnish dub, Ash tells that there are Vikings in Sipoo's archipelago.
    • In the Polish dub, Ash tells that they live in Scandinavia.
    • In the European Portuguese dub, Ash tells that they live in Vila Franca de Xira, a city located to the northeast of Lisbon.
    • In the Latin American dub, Ash tells that some play American Football.

Japanese edits from original theatrical release

  • In the wide shot of Mewtwo facing Dr. Fuji, who is explaining to him how he was created, two large test tubes were shown positioned on either side of the screen in front of the characters with a magnified image of each of them. These were pushed off to the edge of the screen in the newer version of the film.
  • When Mewtwo is being suited up into Giovanni's armor, Giovanni is shown to be 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 Giovanni has Mewtwo battle a trainer's Onix.
  • When Mewtwo first summons the storm, the shadow color on his 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. The original hand-drawn doors were actually seen in the US theatrical trailer for Pokémon the First Movie. 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 when Rhyhorn is charging towards Mewtwo.
  • The big reveal of Mewtwo's stadium was rendered into CGI.
  • The scene with Ash walking forward with all the rescued Pokémon was altered to have them fade into visual 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 removed from dub

Scenes edited from original release

In other languages

External links

Pokémon movies
Original series
Mewtwo Strikes BackThe Power of OneSpell of the Unown: EnteiCelebi: The Voice of the ForestPokémon Heroes: Latios & Latias
Advanced Generation series
Jirachi: Wish MakerDestiny DeoxysLucario and the Mystery of MewPokémon Ranger and the Temple of the Sea
Diamond & Pearl series
The Rise of DarkraiGiratina and the Sky WarriorArceus and the Jewel of LifeZoroark: Master of Illusions
Best Wishes series
White—Victini and Zekrom / Black—Victini and ReshiramKyurem VS. The Sword of JusticeGenesect and the Legend Awakened
XY series
Diancie and the Cocoon of DestructionHoopa and the Clash of AgesVolcanion and the Mechanical Marvel
Sun & Moon series
I Choose You!M21

Project Anime logo.png This movie article is part of Project Anime, a Bulbapedia project that covers all aspects of the Pokémon anime.