Pokemon: Zoroark - Master of Illusions

  • Review Date: September 26, 2011
  • Rated: NR
  • Genre: Family and Kids
  • Release Year: 2011
  • Running Time: 96 minutes

Common Sense Media says

Better but more violent than the usual Pokemon entry.
  • Review Date: September 26, 2011
  • Rated: NR
  • Genre: Family and Kids
  • Release Year: 2011
  • Running Time: 96 minutes





What parents need to know

Educational value

The movie has subtle messages about combating bullying, protecting the environment, and resolving conflicts, though these aren't the main point of the story.

Positive messages

As usual with the Pokemon titles, the overall theme here is that good battles evil through fighting. However, sprinkled throughout the tale are little messages such as "you shouldn't tell a lie," "bullying is wrong," and "I'm glad we avoided a fight." There's also a subplot about protecting the environment.

Positive role models

Despite the tendency to capture and collect Pokemon, as well as use them for violent battles, the main characters here are very concerned with doing the right thing: protecting the environment, preventing bullying, showing bravery, helping, teamwork, showing empathy, etc.

Violence & scariness

This is one of the more violent Pokemon movies. There's the usual fighting and battles, and this time characters cry out in fury, terror, anguish, and pain. The main bad guy attacks with a metal claw, stabbing and choking the Pokemon. There are huge explosions. A Pokemon's mother is attacked and nearly killed. She returns to life at the last second, but it's touch and go for a while.

Sexy stuff

As usual in this series, some of the female characters wear skimpy skirts. Brock is constantly declaring his love for every cute girl that turns up.

Not applicable

A promotional movie in 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: Zoroark - Master of Illusions is a full-length Pokemon feature that includes all the usual Pokemon stuff: capturing and collecting Pokemon, plus battling and violence. However, this movie is both more elaborate and more violent than the usual Pokemon fare. Besides fighting and explosions, there are vicious attacks and cries of fury, terror, anguish, and pain that can be shocking. Parents might be concerned with the consumer aspect of the Pokemon franchise, which encourages kids to collect cards and toys. Expect some skimpy skirts on female characters and a character who declares his love for every cute girl. Parents might appreciate the quick and subtle -- but positive -- messages about the environment, bullying, and fighting.

Parents say

Kids say

What's the story?

Everyone is excited about the Pokemon Baccer World Cup in Crown City. Ash, Dawn, and Brock are on their way there, with Pikachu and the other Pokemon in tow. Unexpectedly, they meet a Pokemon they've never seen before, a shape-shifter called Zorua that can speak via telepathy and is looking for \"Mema.\" Meanwhile, three legendary Pokemon begin rampaging through Crown City, requiring a complete evacuation. Refusing to comply, Ash and company instead discover a sinister mystery. What is the connection between Zorua and the rampaging Pokemon? Why has Celebi, the guardian of the forest, suddenly returned after 20 years? And what does it all have to do with Kodai, the businessman that controls all the media in Crown City?

Is it any good?


The Pokemon movies aren't usually about quality of animation or artistry; they're produced quickly and in a rather slapdash manner to fulfill the demand of a legion of fans and collectors. Happily, the feature film POKEMON: ZOROARK - MASTER OF ILLUSIONS is a cut above the rest, using gorgeous computer-rendered backdrops, as well as some surprisingly majestic and lovely moments. Unfortunately, it's also a bit more violent than we usually get from this series.

It's also very complex, with a dozen human and Pokemon characters to remember, as well as a 20-year timeline, time travel, predictions of the future, illusions, and more. Despite the extra effort that the filmmakers put into the movie's look and feel, their storytelling skills are a bit lax. Younger viewers are liable to get lost in the movie's labyrinthine plot but will probably enjoy it moment-by-moment; parents may find it tolerable as well.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the movie's violence. Why did the filmmakers feel it was necessary? Does it make the movie more thrilling or less appealing?

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

  • What is the movie's message about the environment? Why do movies like this use political or cultural issues in their plot?

Movie details

DVD release date:September 20, 2011
Cast:Emily Bauer, Sarah Natochenny, Sean Schemmel
Director:Kunihiko Yuyama
Studio:Warner Home Video
Genre:Family and Kids
Topics:Magic and fantasy
Run time:96 minutes
MPAA rating:NR

This review of Pokemon: Zoroark - Master of Illusions was written by

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  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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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, 8 years old April 14, 2012

It's decent

Now, I LOVE Pokemon. (I forgot the m in my username) But... Dawn is so annoying I want to burn my ears. Now, let's start with the good stuff: There's a bit of education... and a postive message. Be nice to your animal friends. And, there are role models. Take.. Hmm... Zoura for example. Zoura stays strong when his mother is captured, and gets help to free her. Ash is a GREAT role model. He respects all of the Pokemon. The bad stuff: Quite a bit of violence, but it doesen't scare me. Zoroark is captured, Pokemon battle, Main characters get trapped in one scene, But.. It's just a cartoon! It's not real-life! Pokemon is not Animal Abuse, either. Pokemon are just made-up creatures living in a made-up world. And oh, everybody likes Mario? Mario is lame to me now. I recommend Pokemon more then Mario, It's SOOO much fun then Mario, and has easier play then Mario. Now, Look, and you'll like this movie.
What other families should know
Educational value
Great messages
Great role models
Too much violence
Too much consumerism
Parent Written byWhatTheyMissed September 30, 2011

Program would be PG-rated if rated.

If this program was rated, it would be PG-rated due to the peril.


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