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| Mewtwo Strikes Back|
ミュウツーの逆襲 Mewtwo's Counterattack
|| July 18, 1998
| United States
|| November 10, 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 10, 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
Dr. Fuji, wanting to find a way to restore life by cloning, goes 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 himself who he is, what he is, and where he came from. Just then, Mewtwo wakes up in a stasis tube in one of Fuji's laboratories, where the scientists study him. Mewtwo breaks out of his test tube; Dr. Fuji tells Mewtwo that he was made by humans and is a clone, much more powerful than Mew. 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 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 his 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 Trainers that come into the Gym in Viridian City, including Gary Oak. When Giovanni tells Mewtwo his own twisted way of controlling Pokémon, Mewtwo angrily blasts away, destroying his armor, and - atop the island he was created on - vows to begin his 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 a pier 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 his 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. He also says that Pokémon are no better off, since they choose to associate with humans.
As Team Rocket gets 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 created to form Mewtwo. Suddenly, the machine takes a piece of hair from Meowth to create a clone of him. The cloned Pokémon awaken (via Mewtwo) 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, and he claims the originals with his own specialized Poké Balls, the Clone 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, while some attempt to outrun the Clone Balls and some attempt to use their attacks to defend themselves. However, it proved to be useless as the Pokémon are all being captured one by one. Ash having the thought that Pokémon who are in their Poké Balls cannot be captured, 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 her Togepi inside her bag, Psyduck and Vulpix aren't so lucky and are also captured.
Pikachu is the only Pokémon still un-captured, 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 and Bulbasaur and their Poké Balls.
Mewtwo releases the other humans and is soon joined by his clone army. Ash emerges from the smoke with his and every Trainer's Pokémon. Ash says they won't let Mewtwo's plan succeed, and he tries to punch Mewtwo, but Mewtwo's forcefield knocks him down. Ash goes in for another punch, but this time Mewtwo 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. The playful Pokémon is soon attacked by its clone; Mewtwo says that clones are far more powerful than the originals, but Mew tells him (via Meowth's translating) that a Pokémon's real strength comes from the heart. Mewtwo disgustedly throws another energy ball at Mew; it dodges it, but the blast hits Ash. With Mewtwo blocking all the Pokémon's special moves, a gigantic battle 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, causing 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 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 turns him into 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 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 that the circumstances of one's birth is irrelevant: it is what one does with life that determines one's destiny. 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, 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 a Mew in the clouds as the storm ends, but Misty and Brock do not. Ash just smiles, knowing that his journey has only just begun.
Meanwhile, Team Rocket - on the now empty and green New Island - having no clue how they got here, decide to take a vacation as the credits begin to roll.
- *see The Birth of Mewtwo
- *see The Birth of Mewtwo
Pokémon seen with Trainers waiting for the ferry to New Island:
Mewtwo's cloned Pokémon:
- 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 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. 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 two 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 English dub.
- The first anime special, 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.
- Of the Pokémon seen in the movie, only Misty's Togepi, Misty's Staryu, and James's Weezing, were not captured and cloned by Mewtwo. Misty hid her Togepi in her bag, while Staryu and Weezing were not released from their Poké Balls during the gathering.
- Though Mewtwo owned a cloned Venusaur, Charizard, and Blastoise, they were not the clones of the same Pokémon owned by the Trainers on the island. They were supposedly cloned from Pokémon Mewtwo had previously acquired himself. Despite this, all three of the Trainers' Pokémon were captured by Mewtwo anyway.
- Despite numerous mentions and hints that Charizard, as well as its pre-evolution forms will die if the flame on their tail goes out; both the Charizard clone and Charmandertwo were submerged in liquid with no visible flame while in their incubation chambers.
- 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 English cover. However, Pikachu does appear.
- 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.
- 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 he 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Besides Corey, Fergus and Neesha a female 4th trainer takes off from the pier on the back of a Fearow. She is seen flying along side Fergus and Neesha and their Gyarados and Dewgon respectively; however, she likely never made it to New Island unlike the others.
- The female trainer and her Fearow are often mistaken as a continuity error involving Corey and his Pidgeot.
- Corey's Pidgeot continues to be shown as a Fearow while traveling to New Island.
- Ash's Pidgeotto does not appear along with his other Pokémon.
- Early in the film, Ash engages in a battle with another Trainer. 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.
- In the beginning of the English dub of the feature film, Raymond's Machamp is shown coming out of the Poké Ball twice.
- When Fergus releases his Gyarados into the water to ride on its back, its lips are blue instead of the normal yellow.
- When Jenny's hat flies off, Miranda's loop-style earrings are completely colored in.
- 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.
- Fergus states that all of his Pokémon are Water-types, however, he has a Nidoqueen which clearly is not a Water-type (though his other Pokémon are).
- In the scene where Mewtwo creates the storm, he is colored pink.
- When the clones enter with an explosion and emerged from the smoke, Pikachutwo's black fur tipped ears are the same as a normal Pikachu and Golduck is a green-teal instead of blue.
- 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 and Team Rocket's new base, and eventually, his plan to get revenge on the world to prove he should be alive. Likewise, Mew's speech to Mewtwo is different in the Japanese version. In the English version, Mew gives a speech about how real strength comes from the heart, whereas in the Japanese version, Mew declares that all unnatural life (ie, clones) are inferior to the originals, and thus should perish.
- 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, "My bike..."
- 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 that they mostly live in Minnesota, which is an obvious reference to the NFL team, the Minnesota Vikings.
- 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 subtitled version Ash says Vikingerne er et band.
- The Vikings is an old Swedish band, and that 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.
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. 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
Movie 1 Deleted Scene 1.jpg
Movie 1 Deleted Scene 2.jpg
Movie 1 Deleted Scene 3.jpg
Movie 1 Deleted Scene 4.jpg
Movie 1 Deleted Scene 5.jpg
Movie 1 Deleted Scene 6.jpg
Movie 1 Deleted Scene 7.jpg
Movie 1 Deleted Scene 8.jpg
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