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: The Movie 2000 is the second entry in the Pokemon movie franchise and has lots of simplistic cartoon action that little kids might find scary. The established heroes encounter explosions, shrieking birds that fight while engulfed in fire and lightning, and severe storms that rage around them and dash their boats and vehicles into rocky islands. Plenty of dark music, an ominous villain, and an overriding theme of the Earth's possible destruction may prove unsettling, as well. A similarly action-packed, 20-minute short, Pikachu's Rescue Adventure, is included on the DVD.
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What's the story?
In POKEMON: THE MOVIE 2000, a bad guy plans capture the birds that control elements of nature in order to disrupt the "harmony of fire, ice, and lightning." Then, he'll unleash the monster currents of the ocean, and capture the ultimate treasure, Lugia, for his collection. Meanwhile, champion Pokemon trainer Ash and his friends arrive on an island for the annual re-enactment of an ancient legend. The girl selected to be the star of the re-enactment thinks it is all a little silly. But then she realizes that it is more than a legend, and that by paying careful attention to the words and music, she will have the key to restoring the balance of nature, protecting Lugia, and preventing catastrophic weather conditions that could wipe out all living things. According to the legend, "the world will turn to Ash" if the harmony of nature is disturbed. And Ash needs help from everyone, even the usually dastardly Team Rocket, to save the day.
Is it any good?
This installment of the series is better than the first one. There are a few moments of interesting animation and what passes for a plot is a bit more coherent than it was in the first one. As in the first movie, there is also a short film at the beginning, Pokemon's Rescue Adventure, featuring the Pokemons on a human-free and almost dialogue-free frolic. Pokemon fans will enjoy the lineup of favorite characters, and may even learn something about loyalty and teamwork.
The characters undergo some transformation or make use of a secret to attain power, a theme that's endlessly interesting to kids who can feel overwhelmed by a world built on a scale that is often too large for them. Kids, especially those ages 6-10, also love to memorize and sort endless facts. It gives them a sense of mastery, especially because they can do so much better than adults. And it becomes an important part of their social development, creating a shared language with their friends. This can be particularly meaningful for kids who are insecure about talking to other children. Excruciating as it can be for parents to endure, it may be worthwhile for kids to see the movie.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the importance of loyalty and teamwork and how Ash sometimes feels that he is not up to the task ("Training Pokemons is tough enough, but saving the world is way too hard!").
How do you think this movie comapres with the first Pokemon film?
Kids may also want to talk about how Ash's mother feels -- proud and scared at the same time when he is risking his life to save the world. When she tells him, "You're my hero every day," she lets him know that she's proud of him for who he is as well as for what he does.
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