Pokémon the First Movie (picture book)

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Pokémon the First Movie
M01 picture book.png
ISBN: 0307304035
Published: 1999
Publisher: Golden Books logo.png
Author: Diane Muldrow

Pokémon the First Movie: Mewtwo Strikes Back is a children's picture book published by Golden Books based on the film of the same name. It was authored by Diane Muldrow, also known for the Pokémon Adventure Series picture books. The book uses screenshots from the film itself as illustrations.


Cloned from Mew, the rarest of all Pokémon, Mewtwo plans to use its psychic powers to take over the world. Can Ash and Pikachu save themselves, their friends, and the world from the most powerful Pokémon of all?


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

The story begins with Mewtwo waking up in the laboratory on New Island, wondering "Who am I? What am I? Where... am I?". Mewtwo opened its eyes, seeing a large group of scientists around it. The scientists explained to Mewtwo that they had worked for ten years to create it using the DNA of Mew, the rarest Pokémon of all. Mewtwo, feeling that the scientists only viewed it as a lab specimen, destroyed the lab in anger. As the lab burned up, Giovanni (identified only as "The Boss") arrived to the island by helicopter. The Boss asserted that Mewtwo was created not to be a lab specimen, but as a fighting tool to serve him alone. Mewtwo, not wishing to be enslaved by The Boss either, vowed to discover its own purpose for living, and purge the world of all humans or Pokémon who opposed it.

At the same time, Ash, Pikachu, Misty, Togepi and Brock were enjoying a picnic lunch when a Dragonite flew in, delivering a message containing a hologram. The hologram, which was of a young woman, stated that they were invited to a special gathering of Pokémon Trainers on New Island. Ash decided to go, expecting that the world's strongest Pokémon Trainer wished to challenge him to a Pokémon Battle. The group departed for the Old Shore Wharf to catch the next ferry to go to New Island.

When the group arrived at the wharf, they discovered that the ferry had been cancelled due to a sudden storm coming in. Though Ash and his friends managed to take a different boat from the wharf, the boat capsized, requiring them to use the help of Misty's Staryu and Ash's Squirtle to travel the rest of the way to the island. Upon their arrival to New Island, they were greeted by the same young woman who appeared in the hologram. They presented their invitation to her, and she invited them in. Ash, Misty and Brock all suspected that there was something strange about the woman. Team Rocket also arrived to the island, but, as they did not have an invitation, they had to sneak in to the palace.

Ash, Misty and Brock arrived in a large hall and introduced themselves to other Pokémon Trainers that had arrived to the island as well. The young woman who led them in introduced Mewtwo to the Trainers as both the world's greatest Pokémon Master as well as the world's most powerful Pokémon. Fergus, one of the other Trainers, shouted out in objection that a Pokémon Trainer cannot be a Pokémon themself. When Mewtwo responded, Misty wondered aloud how it could communicate as it had not moved its mouth at all. Brock informed the group that Mewtwo was able to communicate telepathically with its psychic powers. Mewtwo used its powers to throw Fergus across the room and announced that it would be the new ruler of the world, ruling humans and Pokémon alike.

At this time, Pokémon clones began to make their way to the room from another part of Mewtwo's castle. Mewtwo communicated with these Pokémon telepathically, commanding them to attack the visiting Trainers and their Pokémon. The reasoning for Mewtwo's attack was that it could not forgive humans for creating it for the sole purpose of science, and it could not forgive their Pokémon as it saw them as subservient to humans.

Mewtwo commanded its cloned Charizard, Blastoise and Venusaur to attack the other Trainers' Pokémon of the same species, including Ash's Charizard. Since the clones were designed by Mewtwo to be more powerful than the originals, they easily defeated the entire group. At this point, Mewtwo unleashed several black Poké Balls, which it used to capture all of the Trainers' other Pokémon. Ash's Pikachu, determined to escape, began to flee the area. Ash chased after him, encouraging him to run as fast as he could. Ash and Pikachu both fell down to the area where Mewtwo's cloning machine was kept, and Ash managed to prevent Pikachu from being fully captured within the machine.

Finally, Mew suddenly appeared to distract Mewtwo from going after Ash and Pikachu. Mewtwo challenged Mew to a battle, determined to prove that it was superior due to its modified DNA. Although Mew (whose communication was translated by Meowth) asserted that strength is not determined by special powers, a large battle ensued nonetheless, with Mewtwo fighting against Mew and all of the clones fighting against the originals. Pikachu was the only one who refused to fight, inspiring Ash to stand up to Mewtwo. Ash stood between the two Pokémon, but was zapped by their attacks and was struck down to the ground. Pikachu, upset to see the life drained out of Ash, began to cry. As all the Pokémon, originals and clones alike, began to cry for Ash, the power of their tears brought Ash back to life.

Mewtwo, who was also moved by Ash putting his life on the line to save the Pokémon, came to realize that it did not matter how it was born, or how the other Pokémon were born; rather, it was what they decided to do with their lives that mattered the most. Mewtwo stated that it would never forget the events that had taken place, but for the others, it would turn back time so that they would forget the events that had just taken place. Ash and his friends reappeared at the Old Shore Wharf, having no knowledge of having been to New Island or meeting Mewtwo, Mew and the clones.

Differences between the movie and the book

Likely for simplicity as well as to fit the story into a children's book, several events from the movie are modified or skipped entirely.

  • Mewtwo's battles under Giovanni's command are not depicted. Additionally, Giovanni is not identified by name, only as "The Boss". His affiliation with Team Rocket is also omitted.
  • Ash's battle with Raymond is not shown.
  • It is not revealed that Team Rocket used the boat that brought Ash and his friends partway to New Island.
  • The young woman's identity as Nurse Joy is never shown.
  • Neesha and Corey are not shown or identified outright.
  • Team Rocket's discovery of the video footage left by the scientists is omitted.


Only characters that appeared or are described outright in the pages of the book are listed.



Anime adaptations: Pocket Monsters SeriesPokémon anime novelization seriesPokémon anime novelization series (France)
Pokémon the First Movie
Pokémon Encyclopedia: Pocket Monsters EncyclopediaPokémon Gold and Silver Pokédex
Pokémon Adventure Series: Bye Bye ButterfreeAttack of the Prehistoric PokémonElectric Shock ShowdownA Shipful of Shivers
Readers: Worlds of AdventurePikachu in LoveTogepi Springs Into Action!The Haunted Gym
Let It Snow!Catch That Wobbuffet!Get Well, Pikachu!Snack Attack!Time Out For Torchic
Save the ShieldonBecome a Pokémon TrainerMeet AshMeet the Pokémon
Ash's Triple ThreatBattle for the Bolt BadgeWrath of the LegendsSuper Sleuth
Quiz books: Pokémon ChallengePokémon Pop QuizPokémon Pop Quiz 2Pokémon Pop Quiz 3
Pathways to Adventure: PokémonPokémon SnapPokémon Gold/SilverPokémon Gold/Silver: The Adventure Continues!
Pokémon Keychain Books: ElectricWaterNormalFire
Sheet music books: Can You Play Pokémon?Pokémon 2.B.A. MasterPokémon 2.B.A. Master: Recorder Fun!PokéRAPPokémon Five-Finger Piano
Other: Pocket Monsters: The AnimationLet's Find Pokémon!Pikachu's Global AdventurePikachu Meets the Press
Meet Buizel and FriendsPokémon TalesSatoshi Tajiri: Pokémon Creator
Shōko Nakagawa: Pokémon Taught Me The Meaning of LifeDetective Pikachu: Episode 0—Eevee's Case
Detective Pikachu (graphic novel)Movie Novel (Pokémon: Detective Pikachu)

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