A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
The movie is meant to entertain, not educate. But it has messages about helping others, as well as an introduction to the concepts of "truth" and "ideals."
Helping others is good. Understanding and following through with your ideals is a good thing.
Positive Role Models
The movie has no real villains. Each character's actions are intended to help others, though one character makes an honest mistake based on a lack of knowledge. Though Ash is still interested in collecting and battling Pokemon, in this story, he wants nothing more than to help a new friend.
Violence & Scariness
Less violent than many other Pokemon movies, this one still has battles between the little creatures, and two larger "dragon" types have a brief fight. A cute, heroic Pokemon (Victini) is trapped and hurt for a long section toward the climax. Ash is likewise trapped and hurt while trying to protect his friend. In a flashback, a beloved king dies (he closes his eyes, and his hand drops to his side).
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Products & Purchases
Part of the Pokemon franchise, which is all about collecting more and more Pokemon (cards, figures, toys, games, etc.).
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Pokemon the Movie: White - Victini and Zekrom is one of two Pokemon movies sometimes packaged together, which tell almost the exact same story (the other is Black - Victini and Reshiram). The difference shows how alternate paths can lead to the same conclusion. This movie is less violent and complex than other Pokemon entries, with less about fighting and collecting, and more focus on helping others. But there are still some Pokemon battles and some brief attacks, and the main character -- an adorable Pokemon called Victini -- is trapped and shown to be in pain for a section of the climax. Beautifully animated and with a gentle touch, this is a top entry in the feature-length Pokemon movies. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
This Pokemon movie seems more thoughtful and less interested in flashy violence than others in the franchise. The pace is more leisurely than usual, the plotline is less convoluted, and the animation and artwork are more elegant and genuinely lovely, recalling some of Hayao Miyazaki's work. It may be the finest Pokemon of the franchise. The hero this time is an adorable new Pokemon called Victini, who shyly comes out of hiding and quickly wins Ash's heart (as well as ours).
The main focus is on helping Victini out of his sad situation and trying to bring a dying land back to life. There isn't even a real villain here; the antagonist is acting in what he believes is everyone's best interests, though he lacks all the information he needs. (The naughty Team Rocket shows up for a few obligatory comic relief scenes.) As for the two alternate movies, it's not clear what the point really is, since they lead to the same conclusion, but they may get viewers talking about the meanings of "ideals" and "truth."
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.