Pokemon the Movie 3: Spell of the Unknown Review

May 25, 2001 | 6:47am EDT

Professor Spencer Haled discovers the Unown while working on research and is sucked into their prison--a disordered state of symbols that alter reality--in a Scrabble case buried in some ruins. He remains there until his assistants take the box to the castle of his distraught daughter Molly and present it to her. When she opens the case the Unown escape and in order to relieve her grief for her missing father grant every one of her wishes. In the process they turn her hometown into an ice palace and the castle becomes a world of illusionary happiness that lulls people into complacency. This somehow leads to a Pokémon battle. Though the moral of the story seems to be that fighting is bad the characters fight constantly directing phlegm balls from their throats at their enemies. The movie is preceded by the 22-minute short "Pikachu and Pichu " in which Pikachu is chased by a Pokémon dog through an urban city.

One has to wonder when watching Pokemon 3 whether the actors were even watching the footage while doing their voice-overs as is usually the case with animated films. There seems to be no correlation between the movements of the character's lips and the words coming out of their mouths. But the voices were appropriate enough for the characters or as appropriate as you can get when creating voices for pocket monsters.

Pokemon 3 an adaptation of the original Japanese series was produced by Norman J. Grossfeld and directed by Michael Haigney. Though slightly superior and more visually interesting than the animated TV series beware--the battle scenes may cause uncontrollable bodily seizures. They are loud long and packed with artificial colors all of which may however be appealing to toddlers. The movie boasts several gold- and silver-series characters that were added in new versions of the video games. But with 100 new Pokémon added to the film there could be no end in sight until at least 2035 although the Pokémon phenomenon is pretty much already considered passe. Considering that the TV show's ratings have taken a plunge it's surprising that this project wasn't shelved from the get-go but it seems the contract for the third and fourth spin-off films were inked along with that of the second Pokémon movie.

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