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The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
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What 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.
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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 awakening the long-dormant dragon Zekrom (Marc Thompson), who represents "ideals." But what Damon doesn't know is that moving the castle again will lead to certain disaster.
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).
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about Pokemon the Movie: White'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?
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