Count me to the people who rolled their eyes at the announcement of the film “Sonic the Hedgehog” and exclaimed: “Nobody asked!”

And yet I sit here and eat my words because this film with the weird VFX re-do that inspired some pretty tough memes turns out to be utter joy and really great family-friendly fun.

Sonic (voiced by Ben Schwartz) lands on Earth as a child after escaping his home planet, where he is pursued by evil creatures who want to use their abilities for themselves. With one of the golden rings that his pseudomother Long Claw gave him, he lands in Green Hills, Montana. There he grows up, enjoys the simple things – reads his favorite comics (“The Flash”), plays table tennis with himself, listens to music and watches the townspeople while remaining completely hidden. His favorite people are the “Donut Lord”, also known as City Sheriff Tom (James Marsden), and his wife, the “Pretzel Lady”, the local veterinarian Maddie (Tika Sumpter).

Tom spends most of his time sitting on a speed trap and waiting for something to happen. And when he gets home, he does something: He was given the opportunity to join the San Francisco Police Department, where he feels he can actually save a life or do something more than just walk a duck family across the street , That same evening, after watching a Little League game he wanted to attend, Sonic was literally trying to escape his loneliness and caused a power outage so massive that the US government became suspicious.

You put Dr. Robotnik (Jim Carrey), the smartest man in the world who has an army of technologically advanced things that he created himself. Robotnik soon discovers Sonic’s abilities and Tom and Sonic set out to escape Robotnik and find Sonic’s rings so that he can be safe again by leaving the planet he fell in love with.

When this infamous first “Sonic the Hedgehog” trailer fell off, the VFX was definitely questionable, but there is no trace of this earlier unpleasant appearance in the end product. The effects have proven to be outstanding, although they have remained true to the popular video game. Sonic and his home world were exactly what I would have imagined when I could not turn off my Sega controller.

Director Jeff Fowler makes his feature film debut and remains true to what fans might want to see in a Sonic film. The worlds were believable, and Fowler really seems to be in tune with what families would enjoy in a film about an incredibly fast, relaxed alien creature. With care, he just makes it fun.

The script itself is very lighthearted, even when it comes to being an outsider and the loneliness associated with it. The co-authors Pat Casey and Josh Miller (Blumhouse’s YouTube series “12 Deadly Days”) never have to wait too long. Children who might go to a new school or city will definitely identify with this aspect, and I appreciated that Sonic was never asked in the film to change who he was. In fact, he finally finds himself the community he longed for.

The entire cast knows what movie they’re in and offers the perfect blend of energy and charm to sell this crazy story about a little blue alien hedgehog. But I couldn’t stop myself from seeing Jim Carrey in top form in the early 90s. Robotnik is definitely a bad guy, but you can spot elements of “Ace Ventura” and “The Mask” whipped in these tech-savvy, selfish psychopaths. “Where Evil Grows” has a dance sequence that shows Carrey’s genius.

(Props to cartoon veterinarian Ben Schwartz, who uttered a sweetness in a character that could easily have gotten lost in the oddities surrounding her, while matching Carrey’s energy and comedic timing, beat by beat.)

Sonic the Hedgehog may not be a classic for children’s films, but it is a great getaway that you can enjoy with the whole family. That in itself deserves a gold ring.

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All 22 Pokémon Feature Films, Rated Worst to Best (Photos)

  • Let’s face it, Pokémon has never been a great anime. The chaotic premise has always served the mechanics of a video game better than the plot of a cartoon. Regardless of the format, however, it is the feeling of almost everyday exploration in a large, wide Pokémon world that makes the franchise unforgettable. While the heroes of “Dragonball Z” and “Gundam Wing” had the task of saving humanity, Pokémon cartoon protagonist Ash Ketchum was often hardly competent and only tried to leave any traces when exploring the wilderness.

  • Ash didn’t even reach the final of the Indigo League Championships, which completed the show’s first story arc. That was a bold disappointment for a property in its prime when children around the world were still affected by Poké Mania. Because of its shortcomings, IRL Pokémon trainers working to master the game saw themselves in Ash – not in the center of the Pokémon universe, but in a tiny part of it.

  • In the Pokémon films, this down-to-earth spirit is thrown out the window. These Pikachu images are primarily intended to show the god-like legendary Pokémon that is the catch of the day. With incomprehensible “epic” actions with no discernible meaning, many of the Pokémon films are unbearable for everyone except the most dedicated Pokémon fans. Let me summarize how 90% of these films work.

    The narrator explains what Pokémon are.
    Ash has a Pokémon fight with inspiring pop music that spans the spectrum from funny dance pieces and power ballads of the 80s to Christian rock dishes. This is often the best part of the film.

  • Ash meets a legendary Pokémon from a current or upcoming Pokémon game.
    Another legendary Pokémon appears to fight the first one. Everything ends exactly as it was at the beginning of the film, so as not to affect the anime.

    I’ve watched all 22 of these films and I’m here to give you an overview of the good, the bad and the ugly.

  • 22. “Hoopa and the Battle of the Ages” (2015)

    This should be the “Destroy All Monsters” of Pokémon films. It combines many of the legendary Pokémon from the advanced generation to X & Y and shows their mega-developed forms in a Battle Royale. But this collision was more of a nap than a miracle. The bejeweled ghost Hoopa also wins the award for the most annoying legendary Pokémon ever – even for a Pokémon, Hoopa seems really stupid.

  • 21. “Pokémon Heroes: Latios and Latias” (2002)

    This starts off strongly with a fun water race between Ash, Misty and a number of other coaches in a fairly well-designed Venetian-looking town, Alto Mare. Things are quickly falling into the usual “bad guys want to catch the legendary Pokémon tropics,” and I just couldn’t keep my eyes open. This was one of the last Pokémon films released in U.S. cinemas and a real box office bomb. After trying to see it, I can see why.

  • 20. “Giratina and the Sky Warrior” (2008)

    When it came out, it was definitely the Pokémon movie that made me stop watching Pokémon movies. The sky warrior here is Shaymin – a leafy hedgehog that can absorb pollution, one of my favorite personal legends – but this film didn’t do the creatures justice. We usually only get blobs of paint that move through sloppyly rendered CG dimensions. The legendary Pokémon Giratina, a large demonic dinosaur, just looks too awkward to fly or move in animation, and this is a complaint that could be filed against many of the legendary Pokémon of the Diamond and Pearl era.

  • 19. “Genesect and the Awakened Legend” (2013)

    This is about a number of scientists who use ancient DNA to revive Pokémon, and if you’ve watched any of these films, that’s a fairly familiar act. The authors seem to be at least aware of this, since Mewtwo is a feature player itself. (Or should I say it myself? In Pokémon: The First Movie, Mewtwo is voiced by Jay Goede, but in this appearance she is voiced by the clearly feminine-sounding Miriam Pultrow. It makes sense – legendary Pokémon are often referred to as sexless and Mewtwo communicates psychically, so it can change its voice at any time.) Most of this film is about five of the legendary Steel Bug guys Genesect rages through New Tork City, an epcot-style utopia built on top of them former home. It’s kind of sad to see Genesect looking for their home that hasn’t been around for millions of years. That being said, this film is pretty boring.

  • 18. “The Rise of Darkrai” (2007)

    The diamond and pearl era of Pokémon was great, a return to shape from previous generation “Tron” style designs. But the films from that time suffer from a really plastic-looking animation. “The Rise of Darkrai” has a “Don’t judge a book by its cover” message that gives it almost meaning, but I was just looking at it typing and forgot most of it. There’s also a creepy Prince Charming trainer that turns into a Lickilicky. That’s all I have.

  • 17. “Arceus and the jewel of life” (2009)

    There are many powerful Pokémon, but Arceus has created the dimension that Pokémon live in and is one of the most powerful Pokémon of all time in games. Arceus is by definition a kind of god in the Pokémon universe, and God is a vengeful giant steel horse with a haughty voice. The human focus here is on Sheena, a girl with stunning brows who has the ability to communicate psychologically with Pokémon. Sheena’s ancestors betrayed Arceus (aka God) and she tries to make up for it. This has a kind of cool “memento” thing that plays out over time, but besides that, I can’t remember anything else but worse diamond and pearl animations. There is also a part in which Sheena trusts this one man who clearly has indecent hair.

  • 16. “Kyuurem Against the Sword of Justice” (2012)

    The title-giving “Sword of Justice” is the water unicorn Keldeo; It is more animated than any My Little Pony and is reminiscent of Osamu Tezuka’s Baby Unico. This film starts with a cute one-turn sequence that made me think this would be the Pokémon version of “Snowpiercer”. Instead, things come to a standstill through an endless series of battles with Cryogonals, Kyuurem’s snowflake servants. The Cryogonals somehow ruined it and made the last two thirds of this film a real job. Kyuurem himself, a menacing ice dragon, is rightly scary at certain moments, points for a Pokémon film that makes me a little nervous.

  • 15. “The strength of us” (2018)

    A group of Pokémon trainers find themselves at a wind festival to celebrate Lugia, hosted by an annoying child with white dreadlocks in a top hat. Unlike many other films, “The Power of Us” tries to develop characters for its human characters, but does not capture the landing. There was a LOL-worthy dramatic scene in which a sudowoodo “Sudowoodo!” Says. and his trainer answers angrily with: “You throw my words back into my face!” At some point Ash saves the Mayor’s WASPy daughter Margot from some thugs, and everything feels very “trustworthy authority, children!” Trying to give a real narrative to a Pokémon movie is a tough fight, but there are some emotional twists tried, and the animation and character design is a step above most recent outings. But in the end I just couldn’t take care of the newer characters.

  • 14. “Diancie and the Cocoon of Destruction” (2014)

    “Cocoon of Destruction” isn’t much better than most of these other films, but the main character Diancie is a diamond rock fairy goddess who needs the help of the Pokémon Xerneas fairy deer, so she gets points for being extreme in comparison fey and high femme is to the rest of these fairly boy-oriented films. You might think the Cocoon of Destruction is the overwhelming high ponytail hairstyle worn by the villain Merilyn Flame, but in fact it is the chamber where the legendary villain is, the dark dragon bird Yveltal. Diancie’s diamond obsession makes her Pokémon’s Elizabeth Taylor, and her connection to gemstones creates a number of jewel thieves that Ash and his crew must fend off.

  • 13. “Destiny Deoxys” (2004)

    “Destiny Deoxys” is fully committed to the cyberpunk tendencies of the advanced generation, and that is to his advantage. Most of the action takes place in LaRousse City, a high-tech city where everyone is on conveyor belts and small block-shaped robots that can build buildings and bridges play the role of the Big Brother. Most of the plot is about more boring fights between two legends (Rayquaza and Deoxys), but what’s actually of interest is a platinum-haired character named Tory, a little boy who has had an extreme PTSD phobia from Pokémon since he was almost a herd of walrein is trampled on as a child. That being said, there are not many signs of life.

  • 12. “Pokémon Ranger and the Temple of the Sea” (2006)

    This film, clearly an advertisement for the Pokémon Ranger series, takes place around the sea, and the aquatic environment gives it a nice focus that most of these other films don’t have. Ash and the gang meet the Marina Group, a traveling water circus tasked with protecting the eggs of Manaphy, a legendary amoeba-like marine Pokémon that is closely linked to May. The Marina Group’s water performances are large floating water balls through which she and her Pokémon swim, and it is fun to watch. The villain is also a pirate who wears two belts on his beard. The mix of 2D and CG animation that appears in many Pokémon films of the time is best here. In the end, however, not much is noticeable.

  • 11. “Pokémon: The Movie 2000” (1999)

    Critics received this film somewhat more positively than the previous entry “Pokémon: The First Movie”. However, I can’t get over Tracy Sketchitt, a Pokémon artist who replaced Brock as Ash’s male companion and has no personality at all. In addition, this film takes place in the region of the Orange Islands, which was never shown in the games and, as such, never quite gained a foothold in the fandom. Fun fact: The title song of this film, “The Power of One” (performed by Donna Summer), was quoted ad nauseam by handy conservative Herman Cain during his doomed 2012 presidential campaign.

  • 10. “Jirachi – Wish Maker” (2003)

    At that point, I had seen a few of these films, and if one of them plays a cute little legendary Pokémon, I immediately worry about that cute little legendary Pokémon. This film had a funny plot because you weren’t sure who was trustworthy. Jirachi, the kawaii star-shaped Pokémon in the middle here, is a little fool, and the circus performers we meet early also seem suspicious, even after saving Pikachu from Team Rocket. The animation is crisp and colorful, and there are some terribly bad moments worth watching: The film ends with Ash and the gang stumbling through a wordless lullaby for Jirachi that my boyfriend and I are on Floor rolled.

  • 9. “Lucario and the secret of meowing” (2005)

    It starts in a medieval moment before the Poké Ball in the history of the Pokémon universe, and it was kind of cool to see that era of the past. Ash also has a real character development as he remembers his earliest days with Pikachu. This is definitely one of those films that is about Pokémon being disappointed by people for being selfish or self-centered, a recurring asset in the series. The center of the film, a Dog Steel / Combat Pokémon Lucario, makes some real sacrifices in this film, and it’s easy to understand why he’s become a fan favorite – especially in Japan, where the film grossed 4.3 billion yen.

  • 8. “Volcanion and the Mechanical Marvel” (2016)

    This starts with the legendary water / fire volcano losing to an ice type, which is not really credible. A recurring problem with the shows and films is that they don’t really seem to honor the rather nuanced mechanics of the game itself. Things then slip into a steampunk overkill when Ash discovers a watchmaking kingdom and puts on an outfit straight from “newsies”. The plot is mainly about Volcanion and a robot Marie Antoinette Pokémon called Magearna. It seems pretty clear that if he isn’t Magearna’s friend, Volcanion wants to be. In addition, the bad guys bind Ash to Volcanion with a kind of energy rope, causing Ash’s butt to bang against Volcanion when they are outside of a certain range. Finally, the plot revolves around the Navel Plateau, an abandoned Pokémon reserve, which protects Volcanion from Pokémon hunters and gives us a story with real meaning and traces of weight, and there are many sweet moments. Volcanion talks about how Pokémon are wounded by people’s selfishness and lies. According to Volcanion, Pokémon can’t lie – I don’t think he ever met Meowth. Ash goes “not all people” on Volcanion and comes out like a legitimate idiot, which is fun.

  • 7. “Pokémon: The First Film” (1998)

    OK, maybe this film only made it to the top of the list because I saw it in theaters when I was in fifth grade, but if you read this, it is possible that you did it too. “Pikachus Vacation”, the digital short film that preceded “Mewtwo Strikes Back” in cinemas and on VHS, is a sunny, fun playground that is appropriate for B * Witched, Vitamin C and other toothache-sweet teen pop acts of the late 90s is set to music. The feature begins with a monologue by Mewtwo that is still in my head 2 years later. The house remix of the Pokémon theme song (played by Billy Crawford) that accompanies Ash’s opening battle is still going strong. Once we get to Mewtuo’s evil island, things are starting to get really slow, but who can forget all the Pokémon fighting in the background as “Brother My Brother” by Blessid Union of Souls? For some reason, I was really impressed by the film’s incredibly bad music, but if you haven’t heard one of these recorders, you’re probably not alone.

  • 6. “I choose you!” (2017)

    This was less a movie than a dramatic retelling advertisement for the franchise’s previous editions, possibly to bring a new generation of children up to date. But what distinguishes “I Choose You” are these harrowing moments with injured Pokémon. The images of a wounded vaporeon with a slack tail and a charmander in the rain being kicked by his trainer both came to my mind. Ash, of course, saves the wounded Charmander and carefully weighs this little quietly spoken lizard in his arms. I couldn’t help but get a little foggy eyes. Ho-Oh is the real centerpiece here, and it describes Ash as his “rainbow hero”, who is probably the closest Pokémon to the strange representation. (Wrestling Firecat Incineroar is also strangely attractive?) This is one of the few newer Pokémon films that actually have a Rotten Tomatoes score that should tell you that it was intended to stand out, and it is , “I choose you!” makes the unfortunate decision to replace Ash’s helpful original friends Brock and Misty with new unforgettable friends. What is the point of this revisionist story?

  • 5. “Detective Pikachu” (2019)

    Despite the amount of “Detective Pikachu” on the list, I still rated it “Rotten on the Tomatometer” when reviewing it, which could give you an idea of ​​the caliber of these films. But there are some great moments here, and the Pokémon are all well translated into live action. Some of the twists towards the end remind me of “Get Out”, and given my own restlessness, I won’t try to unpack that on this list. Ryan Reynolds is rightly adorable and fun, and the battles in the underground Pokémon Club gave me something I wanted.

  • 4. “Pokémon 3: The Movie” (2000)

    Many of the previous Pokémon films benefit from three things: Misty, Brock, and an animation style that feels more organic and less digital. The story of “Pokémon 3” revolves around Molly, a little girl whose archaeological father was moved to a trippy alternative dimension by Unown. Molly accidentally summons the lion god duck, whom she thinks is her father, and for some reason duck joins the imagination. Molly’s father can somehow afford a mansion for an archaeologist’s salary, and as soon as things get strange, the entire residence is covered with rock formations that make it look like a beautiful giant diamond sea anemone. The reality-warping powers that Molly is somehow given provide for some fun battles, and while “Pokémon 3” isn’t as down-to-earth as the show itself, the plot, which focuses on Molly’s family and their palpable sadness, makes them one a little more intimate, and that goes a long way.

  • 3. “Pokémon White: Victini and Zekrom” / “Pokémon Black: Victini and Reshiram” (2011)

    These are actually two separate films that are almost identical except for a handful of scenes, a marketing trick that is similar to the release patterns of the Pokémon games. It doesn’t make sense to watch both films, but they give one of the strongest actions of all the films in the series. The focus of the film is on the people in the valley, a tribe that was dispersed after a war between two brothers who controlled the legendary Pokémon Reshiram and Zekrom. The “Victini” films actually address some fairly serious problems related to displacement and environmental degradation from war, and they distinguish a nation’s people well from the bad choices made by a nation’s leaders and other parties. The oppressed becomes the oppressor when a trainer named Damon tries to reunite the people in the valley by capturing the cute fire Pokémon god Victini and depriving him of his power against his will. Who would have thought Pokémon could get there? I think if you put enough 100 Mankeys in a room with 100 typewriters, you will end up at Shakespeare.

  • 2. “Pokémon 4Ever: Celebrity Voice of the Forest” (2001)

    For me, this is the film that comes closest to the spirit of the games because it mostly takes place in a forest. “Pokémon 4Ever” plays Celebi, a time-traveling forest nymph Pokémon, and also includes the legendary ice cat Suicune. Suicune’s mysterious presence in the forest recalls the spirit of the forest in “Princess Mononoke”, which is never a bad film. Ash and the gang must help a time-shifted boy named Sam to save Celebi from the “Iron Masked Marauder”, a member of Team Rocket who (surprise, surprise) wants to enslave the cute little legendary Celebi and use his power. The message “nature good, poachers bad” is simple but true, and the phrase at the end does more to develop one of the main characters in Pokémon than any of these other films put together.

  • 1. “Zoroark – Master of Illusions” (2010)

    This was definitely the most thought-provoking watch in the series, with Zoroark, a Pokémon with the power to create illusions and transform into other Pokémon. Grings Kodai, a shady businessman with the power to look into the future, wants to use Celebi’s power to improve his divination skills, and he has captured Zoroark to help him achieve his goals. While Zoroark has the ability to create illusions, Grings Kodai is rich enough to control the media and divert responsibility for his actions on Zoroark and others. Eventually Ash and his crew show up, accompanied by some undercover journalists working to uncover Kodai’s business. This film had character sheets for almost everyone, some surprising twists and turns in the plot, and Grings Kodai was a stronger, more interesting, and hateful villain than the similar Howard Clifford played by Bill Nighy in “Detective Pikachu” made of wood. (There are still some problems with the translation here. At some point Kodai actually says the sentence: “Victory is mine!”)

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How does “Detective Pikachu” count among the 21 – that’s right, 21 – anime features in the game’s onscreen universe?

Let’s face it, Pokémon has never been a great anime. The chaotic premise has always served the mechanics of a video game better than the plot of a cartoon. Regardless of the format, however, it is the feeling of almost everyday exploration in a large, wide Pokémon world that makes the franchise unforgettable. While the heroes of “Dragonball Z” and “Gundam Wing” had the task of saving humanity, Pokémon cartoon protagonist Ash Ketchum was often hardly competent and only tried to leave any traces when exploring the wilderness.