A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Pokemon: Mewtwo Strikes Back -- Evolution is a 2019 computer-animated movie in which Ash, Pikachu, and the others face off against a cloned Pokemon. It's a remake of a 1998 anime film. Expect plenty of Pokemon battles waged with, among other things, fire, ice, electricity. Some peril, as the lead characters try to reach an island during a violent storm. Cloning is a big theme of the movie, and Mewtwo's constant existentialist questioning ("Who am I? For what reason do I live?") may lead to similar reflections and conversations between tweens and parents. As this is computer-animated rather than the traditional anime, there may also be discussion as to whether or not this change in style works for the series.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
In POKEMON: MEWTO STRIKES BACK -- EVOLUTION, Team Rocket has hired Dr. Fiji to create a weapon by cloning the Legendary Pokemon Mew. Using one of Mew's eyelashes for the purposes of cloning, what emerges instead is not a weapon, but Mewtwo, the "World's Most Powerful Pokemon." Furious at being viewed as little more than an experiment, Mewtwo destroys the laboratory where he was created on New Island, and plots revenge on humanity. Mewtwo then invites Ash (Sarah Natochenny) and other trainers to New Island to take on the world's greatest Pokemon trainer. Before embarking for the island, Mewtwo creates a massive storm, and all ferry boats cancel their trips to New Island. Ash, Brock, and Misty, with the help of their Pokemon, as well as Team Rocket in disguise, brave the storm and make it to the island. Soon after arriving, Ash and his friends do battle with clones from Mewtwo's army, and then Mewtwo expands his army to include clones of Pikachu and the others. Now the Pokemon must do battle with their clones, and Ash must risk his life to stop the battles and the cloning.
Is it any good?
Whether or not viewers, and Pokemon fans in particular, enjoy this movie is inevitably dependent on how much they like the change to 3D computer animation. Those accustomed to traditional anime may find it jarring, and for those who aren't devotees of anime and Pokemon, the computer animation and the battle scenes hold up and allow a fresh perspective. The movie is a remake of the first-ever Pokemon movie, circa 1998, and while the movie is replete with the typical Pokemon proverbial cast of thousands and chaotic story threads, it's one of the easier movies to follow in the franchise, especially if you're not overly familiar with Ash, Pikachu, and the rest.
Pokemon: Mewtwo Strikes Back -- Evolution addresses cloning, and Mewtwo, the product of cloning, suffers an existential crisis (repeatedly asking "Who am I? For what reason do I live?") that might resonate with tweens taking the first awkward steps towards asking similar questions about themselves, their identities, and place in the world. The questioning gets to be as redundant as the constant reminders that we're dealing with "The World's Strongest Pokemon Trainer." The story works, but the ultimate takeaway is the change to 3D animation.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about themes. Pokemon: Mewtwo Strikes Back -- Evolution addresses topics like cloning, existence, and individuality. How does the movie present these themes?
How is this movie a departure from the animation and style of anime? Does it work? Why or why not?
This is a remake of a Pokemon movie. What would be the challenges in not only using a different type of animation, but also remaking a movie for modern audiences?
Our editors recommend
For kids who love anime
Themes & Topics
Browse titles with similar subject matter.
Top advice and articles
Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.
Streaming options powered by JustWatch