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10 Best Pokémon Movies, According To Reddit – CBR – Comic Book Resources

Reddit users have voiced their opinions about the best Pokémon films, from Lucario and the Mystery of Mew to Giratina & the Sky Warrior.
After more than 25 years, there's still no end in sight for Pokémon and the video game franchise's complimentary anime series has gained just as big of a following. The anime has more than 1000 episodes, but ever since 1998, there have been larger-than-life feature film set within the anime's universe.
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There are nearly 24 Pokémon movies that have showcased an extraordinary number of rare and powerful Pokémon, as well as the anime's diverse cast of human characters who accompany Ash and Pikachu. More Pokémon movies are on the way, but Redditors have some opinions on which Pokémon movies are the series' best.
Pokémon: The Rise of Darkrai is one of the more intense films in the franchise and Giratina & the Sky Warrior faces a tall task as the classic's direct sequel. The 11th Pokémon feature film centers around a tyrannical Pokémon researcher named Zero who tries to harness the destructive negative energy of the Legendary Pokémon Giratina.
Zero hopes to become the ruler of this new world and the Pokémon movie is not afraid to dip its toe in darkness. Thankfully, there are also Pokémon like Shaymin to add some levity, which is why Reddit user Swapforce1 thinks it's such a good movie. Giratina & the Sky Warrior doesn't reach the same heights as its predecessor and successor, but it's still one of the better-received Pokémon movies.
Pokémon: Destiny Deoxys feels like the franchise's attempt at a big apocalyptic blockbuster. The seventh film in the series focuses on a meteorite that crashes on Earth and happens to carry the egg of a Deoxys.
This crash landing disrupts Rayquaza, the Pokémon who holds dominion as the guardian of the sky. Soon, Ash and company are at the center of a war between these two mysterious Legendary Pokémon. The Reddit user Mad_Scientist_Senku even remembers cheering for Rayquaza in the final battle. Destiny Deoxys wasn't met with critical acclaim and it was dismissed as a movie that's only for the series' die-hard fans, which happens to be the exact community that discusses Pokémon on Reddit.
2020's Pokémon the Movie: Secrets of the Jungle is the 23rd film in the series and it's too soon to tell if its warm reception is still the result of recency bias. Secrets of the Jungle takes an atypical approach for a Pokémon movie. Its lead is Koko, a young orphan boy who gets raised by a wild Zarude and becomes the Tarzan-like product of two extremes.
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Koko's bond with Zarude is touching and the movie is a strong showcase for this new creature in the franchise. Secrets of the Jungle looks gorgeous and benefits from modern animation, which is what Reddit user MusubiKazesaru is most impressed with.
Pokémon Ranger and the Temple of the Sea is sometimes dismissed as a more frivolous Pokémon movie, but it has an undeniable sense of adventure and attempts to do something new. The ninth Pokémon movie feels slightly indebted to One Piece since Ash and company go up against a feared pirate named Phantom.
Ash assists a Pokémon Ranger named Jackie with their mission to escort a Manaphy back to their home. Pokémon Ranger and the Temple of the Sea is a mixed bag, but it hits some surprising emotional heights with May, which have left a mark on the Reddit crowd, like user precita.
Pokémon: The Movie 2000, the series' second theatrical outing, isn't anything special on paper. It's actually one of the shorter films in the series, even with the Pikachu's Rescue Adventure short that's tacked onto the beginning. The Power of One portion of the movie looks at a tyrannical Pokémon collector who attempts to harness the power of the original Legendary Bird trio to awaken the behemoth Lugia. This is why it's Reddit user pjizy's favorite.
Pokémon: The Movie 2000 is a standard story, but for many audiences, it's a nostalgic blast of when the anime was first starting to take off. It transports audiences back to their youth.
Pokémon Heroes: Latios and Latias is the fifth film in the series and the last to receive a theatrical release in North America until nearly two decades later. Set within the Pokémon: Master Quest season of the original series, Pokémon Heroes features the anime's original trio of Ash, Misty, and Brock.
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The plot in Pokémon Heroes is fairly subdued and it’s not the best critically received of the feature films, but it's a welcome character study for the human characters, even Team Rocket. Latios and Latias are very special Legendary Pokémon that are beloved by many fans, like Reddit User Luxray110. They're a calming presence throughout this Johto adventure.
Pokémon: The First Movie is only 75 minutes long and is cobbled together from Mewtwo Strikes Back, the prequel-short Origin of Mewtwo, and the hearty Pikachu's Vacation short. That being said, the experience of seeing Pokémon: The First Movie in a theater as a child was hard to top for many Pokémon fans.
There's plenty about The First Movie that doesn't make any sense, like Pikachu's tears curing a petrified Ash, but none of that matters to the Reddit crowd. The power of nostalgia is enough to overpower the early movie's shortcomings, according to Reddit users like waluigitime420. It still has a better reputation than its modern CG remake, Pokémon: Mewtwo Strikes Back – Evolution.
Set during the anime's Advanced Battle season, Lucario and the Mystery of Mew is a landmark feature film that acts as the culmination of many ideas. The film turns Lucario into its main character for the first half. Although the remainder feels slightly more generic once Ash joins the Pokémon's side, there's an emotional throughline that helps it all connect.
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The use of Lucario is consistently rewarding and The Mystery of Mew's world-building and character development are some of the best out of any Pokémon movie. It's what Reddit user Pretty-big-mess-rn loves about the movie. Aesthetically, there's also some effective use of CG animation that makes The Mystery of Mew feel properly cinematic.
Pokémon 3: The Movie, otherwise known as Spell of the Unown: Entei is an early feature film that still triggers a lot of discussion due to its darker nature. It's unlikely that any newcomers will see Pokémon 3: The Movie and become fans in the way that they might with either of the previous cinematic offerings.
That being said, the creepy use of Unown is a welcome change of pace for seasoned fans. Pokémon 3 begins to hint at the more mature themes that the series is occasionally willing to explore, which is what Reddit user yuei2 loves about the film.
Some Pokémon movies get lost in the epic nature of their Legendary Pokémon attacks and there's little room left to connect on a human element. Pokémon: Jirachi – Wish Maker is one of the larger exceptions to this. The sixth film in the series is accessible to newcomers and substantial enough for the hardcore fanbase.
Wish Maker is also the first movie that's set during Pokémon: Advanced, which means that characters like Max and May are present, too. Mythical Jirachi's adorable nature does a lot of the heavy lifting in the movie, which Reddit user 00crystaldawn confirms, but it still sticks the landing and understands when less can be more.
NEXT: 10 Highest Grossing Anime Movies
Daniel Kurland is a freelance writer, comedian, and critic, who lives in the cultural mosaic that is Brooklyn, New York. Daniel’s work can be read on ScreenRant, Splitsider, Bloody Disgusting, Den of Geek, and across the Internet. Daniel recently completed work on a noir anthology graphic novel titled, "Sylvia Plath’s The Bell Noir: A Rag of Bizarre Noir and Hard Boiled Tales" and he’s currently toiling away on his first novel. Daniel's extra musings can be found @DanielKurlansky on Twitter.


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