Pokemon the Movie: Black - Victini and Reshiram

 
Gentler, less complex than others; has a companion movie.
  • Review Date: April 4, 2012
  • Rated: NR
  • Genre: Family and Kids
  • Release Year: 2012
  • Running Time: 95 minutes

What parents need to know

Educational value

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."

Positive messages

Not having the full story can get in the way of making the right decisions.

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).

Sexy stuff
Not applicable
Language
Not applicable
Consumerism

Part of the Pokemon franchise, which is all about collecting more and more Pokemon (cards, figures, toys, games, etc.).

 
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Pokemon the Movie: Black - Victini and Reshiram is one of two Pokemon movies sometimes packaged together, which tell almost the exact same story (the other is White - Victini and Zekrom). 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

Parents say

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What's the story?

Ash (Sarah Natochenny) and his friends arrive in Eindoak Town for a big festival and a Pokemon battle. Ash's Pokemon win handily, but with some unseen help from an invisible Pokemon named Victini (Nana Mizuki). With some homemade macaroons, Ash lures Victini out of hiding, and they become fast friends. He learns Victini's sad story, that he once helped watch over a magical castle and kept the Dragon Force flowing freely -- but that he has been trapped and lonely for a millennia. A local, Damon (J. Michael Tatum), wants to harness Victini's power and return the castle to its former resting place. This requires Ash to awaken the long-dormant dragon Reshiram (Marc Thompson), who represents the path of \"truth.\" But what Damon doesn't know is that moving the castle again will lead to certain disaster.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

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."

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about Pokemon the Movie: Black's violence. Why did the filmmakers feel it was necessary? Does it make the movie more thrilling or less appealing? How did you feel when Victini was hurt?

  • What's the movie's message? When asked about "ideals" and "truth," what does Ash answer? What's the difference between the two movies?

  • Did watching this movie make you want to buy more Pokemon toys, games, or cards? Why?

  •  

  • Why are there two movies? How do they affect one another? Did one movie make the other seem richer or deeper?

Movie details

DVD release date:April 3, 2012
Cast:Eileen Stevens, J. Michael Tatum, Sarah Natochenny
Director:Kunihiko Yuyama
Studios:Viz Media, Warner Home Video
Genre:Family and Kids
Topics:Magic and fantasy
Run time:95 minutes
MPAA rating:NR

This review of Pokemon the Movie: Black - Victini and Reshiram was written by

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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What parents and kids say

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Kid, 9 years old September 15, 2012
age 8+
 

Good movie, but Mewtwo Strikes Back is better.

It's a great movie and I like the Black movie better than the White movie, and this one was actually one of the most violent ones next to the First Movie. I like the movie but still...the First Movie is better. There are a few shut ups and stupids. I can say them but I know some people can't. It DOES have a MPAA rating. It's G. But still has a little violence.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much swearing
Too much consumerism
Kid, 8 years old April 14, 2012
age 7+
 

Good! GREAT! Saw it in theathers myself! But, the little ones may get scared at some parts... But it's just a cartoon!

This is GREAT! So far, my 3rd favorite Pokemon film, 2nd being Spell of The Unown and 1st being Mewtwo Strikes Back. The good stuff: Ash is a good role model. He's very kind, caring, and he's a guy you can trust. He also protects Victini. And, there is a message: Be nice to your animal friends. And NO, Pokemon is not a form of Animal Abuse. Pokemon aren't even animals. They are just made up creatures in a made up world. And, they always get revived after battling, and the Pokemon love their trainers. The bad stuff: A bit of violence. Victini is captured, Lots of fighting, and dying is mentioned once. But, if your like, 6 or up, You could handle it. And, Pokemon has LOTS of tie-ins to it. Games, Trading Cards, EVERYTHING. Now, Just sit back, relax, and enjoy this movie like I did! P.S: Victini is very cute! Pokeon12345, Signing off.
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Too much violence
Too much consumerism
Kid, 12 years old October 18, 2014
age 4+
 

It's Pokemon. So it's good.

I have been a Pokemon fan ever since I began watching Pokemon: Indigo League on Netflix. No minds were changed the day I first saw this movie. My brother and sister, who were at the time 4 and 8/9, respectively, enjoyed the movie equally. Victini is adorable and the characters and Pokemon, as always, are so in-depth and likable it's almost insane. If you have kids or are a Pokemon fan, you should definitely watch this.
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models

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