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Pokémon 4Ever: Celebi, the Voice of the Forest (Japanese: セレビィ時を超えた遭遇 Celebi A Timeless Encounter) is the fourth Pokémon movie. It features Celebi and Suicune. Ash and his friends meet a very familiar young boy named Sammy who has been sent 40 years ahead in time to the present by accident.
Tagline: "Best friends. Better heroes."
Distributed by Miramax in theaters in 2002. A limited release in the United States took place on the 11 October and the official premiere was on the 25 October.
In Brazil, the title was changed to: Pokémon 4 - Viajantes do Tempo (Pokémon 4 - Time Travellers), distributed by Miramax in theaters in 2005.
A young Sammy Oak is traveling through the woods one day, 40 years before becoming the prestigious Pokémon Professor he is known as. In this current era, he is nothing more than a Pokémon trainer, wandering Johto as his future grandson and his grandson's rival will later do. Getting a piece of bread from a young woman before he enters deeper into the forest, Sammy is warned by her that there are very rare Pokémon in the forest. Sammy thanks her for the bread, and continues into the deep woods, unaware that elsewhere in the same forest, a Celebi is being chased down by a Pokémon Hunter who wishes to capture it using his Scyther and his Houndoom. The Celebi, the man, and the young Oak soon come in contact with one another, and Sammy protects the Celebi from the man, who reveals himself to be a poacher of rare Pokémon. Celebi is still worried, however, and in pain, and teleports itself as well as the young Sammy ahead in time.
Forty years later, the same Pokémon poacher, now aged, is in a confrontation with Vicious, a member of Team Rocket who lives up to his name. It is here that Vicious demonstrates a Dark Ball, using it on one of the Pokémon the poacher has caged up, a Tyranitar. Using the now Dark Tyranitar's Hyper Beam, Vicious destroys the ranch, and apparently the cages, of the poacher. Finally convinced of the Rocket member's power, the poacher agrees to tell him where exactly the Celebi he had seen was sighted forty years before.
At the same time, in a nearby town, Brock and Misty are waiting for Ash to arrive at the dock of one of the many ferries they've taken across the waterways of the regions. Brock sends out his Crobat to find Ash and tell him that it's just about time for them to leave, just as Ash starts a Pokémon battle with another trainer, using his Pikachu against the trainer's Croconaw. Pikachu defeats Croconaw easily, just as Crobat shows up, and Ash and Pikachu make a run for the dock, arriving just in time to see the ferry begin to pull away. Ash runs for a dock nearer to where the ferry is, jumping for it and being caught by the boat's owner. After being dragged on board, the trainers and owner talk Pokémon.
It is during this that Pikachu sees another Pokémon in the forest, Suicune. As soon as they arrive at their next destination, Ash makes a call to the modern Professor Oak, who explains to them from Ash's description that it indeed was a Suicune. From the description Oak gives the young trainers, it seems that Oak himself knows more about Suicune specifically than the experts, leading Ash to ask if he ever has seen one. The Professor replies affirmatively, and Ash asks where he did. Before Oak can reply, the ferry's owner calls for Ash, telling him that they must leave. Ash says goodbye quickly, and goes with him.
Ash continues on the water, this time in a different boat, through a deep forest, and, as always, Jessie, James, and Meowth are watching. This time, their preferred mode of transport is seemingly a giant pink paper airplane, the propeller in the back of which is operated by the pedaling of the Rocket trio. However, Jessie stops pedaling for a moment, leaving the contraption underpowered and susceptible to the wind, which is exactly what catches it. Team Rocket is sent flying, far into the distance, leaving their trademark star in the sky.
Meanwhile, Ash, as well as the others, have reached a waterfall along the river. Unable to climb it, Misty asks what they'll do. The captain responds with a quick transformation of his craft, turning it from a boat into a small blimp in a matter of seconds, and floating up, over the waterfall, and into a small town in the trees, where he lets the three off.
They continue on, arriving at the same place that Sammy did forty years before, and asked by the same woman, who has now aged considerably, if they're going to be going into the forest to look for Pokémon. Ash replies that he will, and soon the old woman's granddaughter, Diana, shows up, who Brock promptly hits on. Ash ignores the old woman's advice, running headlong into the forest, leaving Misty to pull Brock away from Diana, as she always does.
As soon as the trio has gotten into the deep woods, the trees begin to glow blue, something that happened just before Celebi vanished into the future with Sammy. At the same place he vanished from, in front of Celebi's shrine, Sammy reappears, just as Ash, Misty, and Brock run up, with Celebi in his arms. Celebi floats away before the three can see it, however, young Sammy is unconscious, and Ash, worried about him, decides to take him back to the old woman's house.
As soon as the four return, Sammy wakes up, pushing Ash away and demanding where Celebi has gone. Before there can be a fight between Ash and his future mentor, though, Brock is able to break it up. The old woman recognizes Sammy, and she brings everyone inside to explain what happened. Since Sammy disappeared 40 years before, she had been keeping his sketchbook, and returns it to him, explaining to him just how long he'd been gone.
Sammy vows to return to where he reappeared and find Celebi to help it, and Ash, Misty, and Brock agree to go with him. Perhaps ironically, the introductions between them that are most heavily emphasized are those between Sammy, Ash, and Pikachu, as it was those three that Sammy would later know before the others.
Soon, traveling in the forest, the four see the destruction wreaked by Vicious's giant mech, and Sammy and Ash find where Celebi is hiding. However, the time travel Pokémon appears not to want their help, sending out a Vine Whip to get them away. Pikachu prepares to ThunderShock it, but Sammy prevents it from doing so. Soon, Ash and Sammy are able to, together, soothe Celebi and bring it with them.
Team Rocket, not yet having given up, are waiting for them, and block their path back. Saying their motto, as they always do, causes Wobbuffet to fall down onto the already-unstable branch they stand on, though, and causes it to break, sending them to the ground, and allowing the four trainers to continue.
Just as Ash says that the town where the old woman and Diana live together is close, Vicious attacks, sending out his Dark Tyranitar against the trainers. Using its Hyper Beam again, he very nearly hits them, however, they are able to escape, partly due to the intervention of Weezing's SmokeScreen. It is at this point where all of the Team Rocket members meet. Vicious demonstrates to them his Dark Pokémon, sending out his Dark Sneasel and Dark Scizor as well, and sends the two Pokémon after the group of four.
Misty causes the group to stop due to twisting her knee, and both of the Dark Pokémon catch up. Ash prepares to battle, taking out one of his Poké Balls, and Sammy does as well. Sammy's Poké Ball is different, though; instead of being a red-and-white color like Ash's, it has a greyish color to it, and must be unscrewed on the top before sending out his Pokémon of choice, a Charmeleon. Ash, now over the surprise of Sammy's strange Poké Ball, throws his own, sending out Bayleef. Thus begins a battle, Bayleef vs Scizor, Charmeleon vs Sneasel. Both of the trainers' Pokémon are able to defeat Vicious's, just as the man himself, with his teammates, arrives. However, all he finds left by the trainers are his Pokémon, tied up.
Ash and the group continue in the forest, which grows foggy. Leading them through are several Template:Type2 Pokémon, who bring them to a lake. Sammy brings Celebi in, and it dives underwater, using Recover. Now fully healed, the Pokémon plays with the group a bit, and Ash turns his hat backward and jumps in, followed by Sammy. The three of them swim for a bit, then fly through the air with the help of Celebi's Psychic powers. Celebi soon leads all four of them to a Berry tree, and everything seems well for a bit.
Jessie, James, and Meowth, bored on Vicious's mech, try to grab a fruit of their own, however, in doing so, they end up falling out, and even losing the fruit itself to a Pidgeotto.
Back with Ash's group, he and Sammy are discussing Pokémon, and Sammy shows Ash his sketchbook, which Ash compares to a Pokédex, again ironically, something that, in the games at least, Professor Oak himself is said to have invented. The two then talk about how, especially for Sammy, that their mothers must worry about them. Pikachu and Celebi then run off, causing Sammy and Ash to follow them, and watch many Metapod evolve into Butterfree, which not only brings back memories for Ash, but for viewers as well. Sammy, on their return to the campsite, draws Celebi and Pikachu sleeping together.
Soon, the next morning, Vicious arrives, and captures Celebi in his Dark Ball. Ash attempts to attack Vicious himself, however, even though he gets the Dark Ball containing it away, Vicious is able to get it back, and shows the group, as well as the Pokémon who have gathered to help Celebi, just what has happened: Celebi has become a mindless monster.
Vicious, in causing Celebi to destroy the forest, also picks up a good amount of debris, and Jessie, to create a monstrous ball. Suicune is watching this, and Diana and her grandmother know as well. Eventually, Vicious, in his Celebi-made monster, reveals to Jessie his true intentions: to take over Team Rocket and usurp Giovanni as its boss.
Eventually, with Suicune's help, Ash and Sammy save Celebi from Vicious, however, it is too late, and just as they bring Celebi back to the lake, however, Celebi still withers, and even though it is put into the lake after it has been cleaned by Suicune, dies.
All is not lost, though, as due to the tears of both the Pokémon and the trainers, many Celebi appear from a time warp in the sky, and together, heal Celebi with their powers.
However, again, Vicious returns, taking Celebi once more. This time, as he rockets away, Ash grabs him and holds on tight, climbing up as he attempts to kick him off, going ever higher. Eventually, Ash has Pikachu use Thunderbolt on the evil man, causing the jetpack he was wearing to explode, and he, Ash, and Pikachu to fall back to Earth. Celebi comes to the rescue of Ash and Pikachu, though, and helps them safely return to their friends. Vicious falls through the trees, eventually reaching the ground, losing his helmet and Dark Pokémon, and having to face the wrath of the old woman and several Template:Type2 Pokémon, all of which use String Shot to tie him up.
Back at the lake, Ash and company say goodbye to Suicune, and Celebi prepares to travel back in time 40 years to return Sammy from where he came. As Ash says goodbye, Sammy and he agree that they'll see each other again one day, hopefully soon. Those who remained in the present are saddened by Sammy and Celebi's departure, however, soon, Ash, Misty, and Brock find themselves back where they started, calling Professor Oak once again to confirm that it indeed was a Suicune they saw, and Misty adds that they also were able to see Celebi.
Oak notices Ash's disheartened face and asks him what exactly is bringing him down, as he hasn't said a word since they began talking. Ash replies that it's because he thinks he'll never see the friend he met from another time ever again, but Oak responds that he's absolutely sure that he'll see Sammy again. After hanging up, Misty notices something: How could Professor Oak have known that the boy they met was named Sammy if none of them mentioned this? Before any can think on it too much, the next ferry they're taking is prepared to leave, and they have to go catch it.
Back in Oak's lab, the Professor is looking through a sketchbook-- but not of Tracey's, of his own. Talking to himself, he says that it's all as if it happened yesterday, revealing to the viewers the drawing of Celebi and Pikachu together that he drew.
In the end, Jessie swims in the lake, and James and Meowth find her on a raft. Soon after they meet back up, a Tyranitar, formerly Vicious's, attacks the raft. As it swims away, Vicious's Scizor and Sneasel are also revealed, returning to their wild life on being freed from the Dark Balls. The movie, like the others, ends on a Team Rocket note.
- This was the only Pokémon movie that featured an audio commentary with voice actors Veronica Taylor, Rachael Lillis, Eric Stuart and Maddie Blaustein. It was also the last movie to feature an audio commentary with Michael Haigney and Norman Grossfeld.
- Sammy Oak once did the same thing that Tracey Sketchit does in modern times: sketch Pokémon. This may be one of the reasons Tracey looks up to him.
- Since the sketchbook didn't time travel with Sammy the first time, but did the second, the notebook Professor Oak has at the end is 80 years old.
- This movie causes a causal loop and a grandfather paradox. If Sammy was 40 years ahead of time in the future, how could his present self have given Ash his Pikachu, or caused Ash to go out on his journey with a Pokémon at all, if there was any doubt of him getting back? As well, could Ash have only gotten his Pikachu because Oak thought ahead in the beginning to capture a Pikachu specifically for him, after that adventure? As most trainers do not have more than one starter Pokémon, and Sammy clearly saw Ash's Bayleef, knowing that he would be recieving a Pokémon from him, as Ash grew up, would have caused Oak to either go with the Johto starters or to capture the Pikachu that would become Ash's ahead of time. As the latter, rather than the former, was the case, perhaps this is exactly what happened.
- On the cover, Suicune is standing in a similar pose to its official art and it seems like Ash is standing on it, however the pose of Suicune would make it nearly impossible as he was shown standing on its neck
- The events depicted in this movie may have influenced the GameCube games Pokémon Colosseum and Pokémon XD: Gale of Darkness. Vicious had Dark Balls which corrupted Pokémon captured in them. These dark Pokémon were probably a precursor to Shadow Pokémon. Also, Celebi plays a key role in both these games and the movie.
- This is the third Pokémon movie to air on Toon Disney. Jirachi: Wish Maker and Destiny Deoxys were the first two.
- Like the 3 movies before it, Porygon makes an appearance at the beginning of the film.
- Tracey was seen in the background during Ash's first conversation with Professor Oak in the Japanese version. 4Kids cut this 43-second scene from the dub and replaced it with the same one, only without Tracey in it.
- The 45-second scene of Sammy returning home to his own time and being greeted by Diana's grandmother is removed from the English version.