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'Pokemon 4 Ever'

All's well in 'Pokemon' world

Friday, October 25, 2002

By Sharon Eberson, Post-Gazette Sunday Magazine Editor

In the Pokemon world, evil destroys, and good witnesses a forest full of glowing Butterfrees. Evil causes pain, and good flies with a cute little Celebi. Evil is bad for the environment, and good can purify a contaminated lake.

 
 
'Pokemon 4 Ever'

RATING: G.

VOICES: Veronica Taylor, Roxanne Beck, Amy Birnbaum, Ken Gates.

DIRECTORS: Jim Malone; Kunihiko Yuyama.

OFFICIAL SITE: pokemon.com/Movies/movie4

CRITIC'S CALL:


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The problem is, though evil is clearly really, really bad, it's not drawn that way. The most interesting animation by far in "Pokemon 4 Ever" is what Meowth, Team Rocket's Borscht Belt Pokemon, calls "the twig monster." It was so much cooler than everything else, it was as if it had stepped out of another animated film into this one.

The story, filled with insider moments for Pokemon followers, begins 40 years earlier, when a rare time-traveling Celebi is being stalked by a Pokemon hunter. To escape the hunter, an injured Celebi and his newfound human friend, Sam, suddenly find themselves in the future (our present), where they encounter hero Ash Ketchum and Pikachu, along with his constant companions, Brock and Misty.

Another, meaner hunter -- the Dark Masked Marauder -- is now on the trail of Celebi, and it's up to the kids and the free-roaming Pokemon of the forest to save it.

Along the way, there are some environmental messages and the introduction of the legendary Suicune, a horse-like Pokemon that has the power to purify water. And there just happens to be a Lake of Life that needs restoring ...

I went to this movie prepared to say, "251 creatures and four movies ... enough already!" Yet when it was done, I was sure my Pokemon fan at home would approve. This certainly isn't the worst of the four films, and it even has a nifty twist at the end.

Sharon Eberson can be reached at seberson@post-gazette.com or 412-263-1960.

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