Freeze Frame (Japanese: フリーザーＶＳプリン！ふぶきのなかで！！ Freezer VS Purin! In the Middle of a Snowstorm!!) is the 189th episode of the Pokémon anime. It was first broadcast in Japan on March 15, 2001 and in the United States on February 9, 2002.
On their quest to capture Articuno on film, Todd and our heroes run into a frozen Jigglypuff! Ash uses his Cyndaquil to defrost the melodious Pokémon. When Todd asks Jigglypuff if it has seen Articuno, Jigglypuff nods towards Snow Top Mountain. Undeterred by the incredible height and icy conditions, the gang heads up the mountain where they run into a Pokécenter. Both Officer Jenny and Nurse Joy explain the legend of Articuno; Centuries ago, a group of travelers were lost on the mountain. Certain they would perish, they almost gave up hope but an Articuno appeared and guided the group to safety. As a tribute, they created a statue of Articuno that still stands today. Some say that anyone traversing Snow Top Mountain is protected by Articuno. After hearing the story, Todd is convinced there are Articuno on the mountain and continues his vertical journey. With Ash and Co. in tow, a blizzard kicks up and temporarily blinds the group. Brock and Misty want to stay put and let the blizzard pass, but Todd and Ash are determined to continue. Little do they know, directly ahead of them is a cliff edge and a deadly drop. Will Articuno come to their rescue? Is this Legendary Pokémon really the guardian of the mountain, or is it merely a legend?
Ash, Misty, Brock, and Todd’s search for the Legendary Pokémon Articuno leads them towards Snowtop Mountain. Noctowl returns to the group, informing them that it didn't see any signs of Articuno. However, Todd is certain that they saw Articuno fly to that mountain. Golbat also returns to the group and it leads the group to Jigglypuff, who has been completely frozen along with its signature microphone. Brock notes that they haven't seen Jigglypuff in a long time, and wonders what it's doing there. Todd has a hunch that Articuno may have frozen Jigglypuff. Ash has Cyndaquil use a Flamethrower to defrost Jigglypuff. Todd rushes up to Jigglypuff and demands to know where Articuno is, but Jigglypuff is immediately annoyed and slaps Todd in the face. Misty takes a different approach and politely asks whether Jigglypuff knows where Articuno went. To this, Jigglypuff points towards Snowtop Mountain, confirming the group's beliefs.
Meanwhile, Team Rocket is climbing up the side of Snowtop Mountain using a rope and two ice axes. A Spearow suddenly swoops in and takes one of Jessie’s ice axes, and soon the trio find themselves surrounded by an entire flock of Spearow. The Spearow peck at the last ice ax keeping them on the mountain, loosening it up and causing them to fall down the side of the mountain.
As Ash and friends walk towards Snowtop Mountain with Jigglypuff now in tow, they come across two Stantler, which Todd takes a picture of. Todd comes up with an idea to print out a whole bunch of those pictures and make them into Christmas cards. Pikachu then points out a nearby Pokémon Center, and the group walks towards it. As they approach it, they see a sign that says that this Pokémon Center is the highest of its kind in the world. Todd takes a picture of the rest of the group standing next to the sign. Just then, Officer Jenny pulls up to the Pokémon Center in her snowmobile and invites the group inside.
The group sits inside, warming themselves up, and Todd says that getting a picture of Articuno might be harder than he thought it would be. Ash comes up with an idea: once they find Articuno, they can just get Jigglypuff to Sing its song to lull Articuno to sleep. Misty is quick to point out that Jigglypuff’s singing would also put Todd to sleep. Todd admits that he would prefer a more natural shot that captures Articuno's true majesty. Nurse Joy then approaches the group with Officer Jenny, and admits that Articuno is a familiar sight at Snowtop Mountain. She shows the group to a 1,200 year old carved Articuno statue. Officer Jenny adds that some people believe that the Articuno still has nests in all of the highest mountains and coldest places, and that it flies from nest to nest, bringing winter weather with it. She mentions that there is a diary from one of the people who brought the statue up to Snowtop, which reveals that Articuno rescued him and lots of others. Todd suggests that that might be the reason why Articuno is in the area now.
It turns out that Team Rocket landed, but not in the most convenient of places: they are stuck on a small ledge of ice. Without their equipment, there is no way to get up and no way to get down. Meowth rolls over on his side and dreams of sleeping on a coffee table. Jessie and James scold him and try to wake him up, but to no avail. James suggests that Meowth has the right idea. Jessie becomes frustrated and stands up, shouting out for help. However, all she can hear is her own echo. James says that at least their situation can't get any worse, but just then, it starts snowing. Meowth wakes up, confused, and a blizzard starts. The three of them hug each other, thinking that they are doomed, when Articuno suddenly appears before them.
After hearing about the legends surrounding Articuno, Ash and his friends become more determined to locate the mysterious Pokemon. Nurse Joy warns them that it is quite dangerous to climb an icy mountain like Snowtop. Brock promises Nurse Joy that he will guide the rest of them, and when Nurse Joy confirms that this will be Brock's first time ice climbing, she suggests that it might also be his last. Brock freezes up at this, and it then starts snowing. Once a blizzard blows through, Officer Jenny orders everyone back inside the Pokémon Center. However, Todd sees something in the distance, and Articuno flies upwards before Todd can get a picture of it. The blizzard suddenly stops, and the group notices a knocked-out Team Rocket mashed up in a pile of snow.
Back inside the Pokémon Center, Jessie and James shiver in blankets, while Meowth bundles up in his blanket and lays on the coffee table, just like in his dream. Brock tells Team Rocket that Nurse Joy and Officer Jenny are preparing soup for the three. After Misty calls for Brock to help her out with the coats, Ash and Todd are left in the room with Team Rocket. Ash demands Team Rocket explain how they wound up in the pile of snow. Jessie and James explain that they were stranded and alone when a gigantic thing flew up out of nowhere and lit up, and then they all blacked out. Todd is quick to conclude that it must have been an Articuno, and he, followed by Ash, rushes outside to get his snapshot. Misty and Brock, holding thick jackets, see Ash run out. Brock mentions how they can't just run around a snowy mountain dressed like that. They run after Ash and Todd. Now left alone, Team Rocket realize that Articuno must have saved them, and remember that Articuno is a Legendary Pokémon. They toss away their blankets and decide to capture Articuno. When Nurse Joy and Officer Jenny come out with the soup, Team Rocket has already fled. Joy and Jenny go outside to look for them. Officer Jenny notices that her snowmobile is gone and knows that Team Rocket took it. The two realize that a storm is headed directly for the mountain, so they both agree to find Ash’s group and Team Rocket before the wintery conditions hit.
Ash and his friends, now wearing thick jackets, trudge through the snow as a blizzard begins to blow. Ash suggests that the blizzard means that Articuno is somewhere nearby. Pikachu and Jigglypuff seem to sense something. Just then, Articuno appears before them, and the blizzard stops. Ash walks towards Articuno, greeting it, when it screeches at him. Ash wonders what's wrong when he looks below him and realizes that he's right at the edge of a cliff. The group realizes that Articuno stopped them from falling over the edge, saving their lives. Jigglypuff makes a move to sing, but Ash covers its mouth before it can. Todd focuses his camera on Articuno when something suddenly attacks it. It turns out to be Team Rocket.
Jessie tells Arbok to launch another Poison Sting attack while James tells Weezing to use Sludge. Ash has Pikachu use Thunderbolt, and Articuno launches an Ice Beam at Team Rocket. Team Rocket hides behind Wobbuffet, who uses Mirror Coat. Articuno is forced to dodge its own attack, but the Ice Beam instead hits the ice cliff behind it. A piece of debris lands on Articuno, sending it plummeting into the crevasse below. Ash and Todd run to save it, but the ground underneath them collapses and also sends them hurtling down. Pikachu and Jigglypuff jump over the edge after them. Misty and Brock ask if Ash and Todd are okay, but no response is heard. A blizzard starts up again, and its force is strong enough to blast Team Rocket off. Misty wonders how the blizzard started, and Brock suggests that when the ice hit Articuno, the power it was holding back was released all at once. Misty and Brock decide to head back to the Pokémon Center to get help from Nurse Joy and Officer Jenny to find their lost friends.
Articuno manages to use its powers to soften Ash and Todd's landing. The pair wake up and are surprised to have survived their fall, when they realize that Articuno must have rescued them. The legendary bird appears before them as Jigglypuff, who inflated its body, makes a gentle landing with Pikachu. The Rocket trio and their Pokemon soon crash down nearby, disappointed that they failed to capture Articuno. Team Rocket then spots their desired target and go on the attack again. Arbok and Weezing use Poison Sting and Sludge respectively, but Articuno whips up a Powder Snow that freezes the attacks solid. Arbok and Weezing use the same moves again, but Articuno quickly dodges them with its Agility. Articuno then sends out an Ice Beam, and Team Rocket hides behind Wobbuffet, who uses Mirror Coat again. However, the Ice Beam is too strong for Wobbuffet, and he is knocked to the ground. Articuno then uses Blizzard, and its force is so strong that Jigglypuff gets blown away from the scene with Team Rocket.
The clouds begins to disappear, allowing the bright sunlight to shine through. Ash and Todd then notice Articuno's blue plumage is shimmering in the light, just as majestic as Todd imagined it was. He takes out his camera and takes his long-awaited picture of Articuno. Articuno then flies upward, and Ash comments that Articuno probably knew that Todd wanted to take its picture, to which Todd agrees. Just then, Misty, Brock, and Officer Jenny find the boys and approaches them on the snowmobile. They get a glimpse of Articuno as it flies away and admire its beauty and strength. Misty questions where Jigglypuff is, and Ash and Todd reveal that it got blown away with Team Rocket. Ash hopes that Jigglypuff will be okay. Back outside the Pokémon Center, Todd informs the group that he is going to stay around Snowtop Mountain to take more pictures of the Pokémon that live in the area. Todd wishes Ash luck in the Johto League, while Ash hopes that Todd's photography will continue to do well. Ash, Misty, and Brock say farewell to Todd as they leave the mountain. Todd's picture of Articuno is then revealed to be hanging proudly inside the Snowtop Peak Pokémon Center.
At nighttime, Team Rocket is shivering inside a small cave in the mountains. Jessie and James are exhausted and decide to go to sleep, when Meowth Scratches at their faces, forcing them to stay awake. Meowth warns his teammates that they might never wake up from the cold, and Jessie and James decide to stay awake. They suddenly hear Jigglypuff, as it appears at the cave's entrance. Jigglypuff stares at them with its microphone in its hand, and Team Rocket begs for Jigglypuff not to sing. However, Jigglypuff goes ahead and sings, lulling Team Rocket to sleep quite easily because of the cave's echoing acoustics magnifying its effectiveness.
- Todd gets a photo of Articuno, and later parts ways with Ash and his friends.
- Jessie's Wobbuffet is commanded to use Mirror Coat for the first time.
- For a list of all major events in the anime, please see the timeline.
- Pikachu (Ash's)
- Meowth (Team Rocket)
- Togepi (Misty's)
- Wobbuffet (Jessie's)
- Cyndaquil (Ash's)
- Noctowl (Ash's; Shiny)
- Golbat (Brock's)
- Arbok (Jessie's)
- Weezing (James's)
- Jigglypuff (anime)
- Spearow (multiple)
- Stantler (×2)
- Articuno (Johto)
- When this episode aired on Kids' WB!, the first episode would follow it. The reason for this is unknown. It is possible that they may have lost the rights to air the last 20 episodes, much like how they lost the rights to air the first 145+ episodes.
- This episode's English dub title is both a reference to the photography term, freeze frame, and a pun on Articuno's category (Freeze Pokémon). It could also be a reference to the song of the same name by The J. Geils Band.
- This episode is featured on the Volume 5: Ice copy of Pokémon Elements.
- Team Rocket blasts off three times in this episode.
- This episode marks the last appearance of Todd Snap to date in the anime.
- After Team Rocket blasts off and the sun comes out, there is a shot of Ash wearing all-white shoes instead of his black-and-white ones.
- In the dub, the Japanese "Dare Da?" screen appears for a fraction of a second after Brock tells Misty that they need to return to the Pokemon Center to get Nurse Joy and Officer Jenny's help.
- The original airing of this episode on Hungama TV in India started the episode directly from the title card, skipping the part of the episode that comes before it.
In other languages
|European French||Vive le vent d'hiver|
|Hebrew||צילום צונןtsilum tsonen|
|Hindi||Articuno की तस्वीर! Articuno ki Tasvir! *|
|Portuguese||Brazil||A Foto Legendária|
|Spanish||Latin America||¡Imágen congelada!|
|This episode article is part of Project Anime, a Bulbapedia project that covers all aspects of the Pokémon anime.|