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Pokémon Movie 13: Zoroark – Master of Illusions (a J!-ENT Anime DVD Review)

October 10, 2011 by  



The 13th Pokémon film features improved CG and animation but also a much more deeper storyline than any previous Pokémon film.  Exciting, action-packed and a bit sad, fans of “Pokémon – Zoroark – Master of Illusions” will definitely enjoy this latest film!

DVD TITLE: Pokémon Movie 13: Zoroark – Master of Illusions

FILM RELEASE DATE: 2010

DURATION: 95 Minutes

DVD INFORMATION: Dolby Digital, English Stereo

COMPANY: Viz Media

RATED: A for All Ages

RELEASE DATE: September 20, 2011

Directed by Kunihiko Yuyama

Screenplay by Hideki Sonoda

Music by Shinji Miyazaki

Original Concept by Junichi Masuda, Ken Sugimori, Satoshi Tajiri

Art Director: Minoru Akiba

Chief Animation Director: Kazuaki Mori, Kazumi Sato

Anime Production: Oriental Light and Magic

Featuring the following voice talent:

Bill Rogers as Brock

Eileen Stevens as Zorua

Emily Bauer as Dawn

Ikue Ohtani as Pikachu

Sarah Natochenny as Ash

Jimmy Zoppi as James/Meowth

Michele Knotz as Jessie

Rodger Parsons as Narrator

Alyson Leigh Rosenfeld as Peg

Bella Hudson as Rowena

Emily Williams as Officer Jenny

Marc Thompson as Goone

Michele Knotz as Nurse Joy

Sean Schemmel as Kodai

Wayne Grayson as Karl

The Pokemon Baccer World Cup. It is the most anticipated event of the year, and as hundreds flock to Crown City to watch the exciting competition unfold, Ash, Pikachu, and his friends encounter a mysterious new Pokemon they have never seen before.

When the three Legendary Pokemon Raikou, Entei, and Suicune suddenly arrive and begin rampaging through the streets, it’s up to Ash and his companions, along with their new Pokemon friend Zorua, to uncover the secret behind the immense and powerful forces at work.

What strange and dangerous powers are afoot in Crown City? Why did Celebi suddenly return after vanishing for twenty years? And why is the mighty Zoroark unleashing its fury upon the town? The quest for these answers leads down an uncertain path filled with peril. Can Ash and his companions find enough courage, strength, and friendship to unearth the mystery in time to save Crown City?

In 2010, “Pokemon Diamond & Pearl the Movie: Phantom Ruler: Zoroark” was released in Japan.

The thirteenth film in the franchise and the fourth “Diamond & Pearl” film in the series arc, the US release “Pokémon Movie 13 – Zoroark – Master of Illusions” aired in the Cartoon Network on February 5th and was released on DVD courtesy of Viz Media in Sept. 2011.

For the latest film, Ash, Pikachu and Dawn are in a Pokemon Center where they watch a Pokémon Baccer World Cup Match.  During the match, they see a team featuring legendary Pokémon Raikou, Entei and Suicune, where the disguised Team Rocket are excited and vow to capturing them.

Meanwhile, Ash and friends plan on going to Crown City where the next Baccer World Cup match will be held.

Somewhere in the air, a Zoroark is being imprisoned along with its Zorua.  Immediately, they are let out and Zoroark appears to be going against the three legendary Pokémon seen at the World Cup Match.All part of the plan by Crown City’s leader Kodai.  As Kodai and his assistant Rowena watch Zoroark, they see how he can create illussions and become anything he wants, including one of the three legendary Pokémon.  But while everyone is under the Zoroark’s illusion, Kodai has a device that helps him see through the illusions and it is learned that the legendary Pokémon were also illusions created by Kodai.

As Kodai’s bodyguard and pilot Goone plans to have their plane descend to Crown City, the young Zorua manages to escape the plane using its illusions and descending to where Ash, Brock and Dawn happen to be walking.  After the two meet and hear about Zorua’s story about how Zoroark is being imprisoned by an evil person, the three decide to help Zorua.

But Kodai uses Zoroark’s illusions to create fear in Crown City.  Twenty years ago, Crown City was devastated by the loss of all plant and tree life but thanks to a Celebi Pokémon, plant and tree life was restored over time.  And with Celebi back again, Kodai wants to make Crown City think that he is the savior by using Zoroark to pretend he is destroying the city by disguising itself as the legendary Pokemon.

But the real legendary Pokémon who are the defenders of Crown City have a sense that something is wrong in the city and plan to see what is wrong.

As Ash and friends arrive in Crown City, they see faked news footage of Zoroark destroying Crown City, but Zorua doesn’t believe any of it and tells them that Kodai is the real bad guy.  Their discussion is overheard by a journalist named Karl who feels that something is amiss and wants to help them find Zoroark.

We start to learn that Kodai was responsible for the problems in Crown City 20-years-ago when he tried to penetrate a time ripple where Celebi came from and by doing so, he killed the plants and trees in the area but received supernatural powers to see into the future.  But his power is waning and now he wants more of it!  And with Celebi back in Crown City, Kodai knows the time ripple is back and he can take back its power but needs Zoroark for his plans.

Will Ash and friends reveal the true evil plans of Kodai and will Zorua ever reunite with Zoroark.  Meanwhile, the three legendary Pokémon mistakenly think that Zoroark is destroying Crown City and will do what it takes to stop it.

VIDEO & AUDIO:

“Pokémon Movie 13: Zoroark – Master of Illusions” definitely improves in overall animation and CG with the 13th film.  More detail and vibrant colors, compared to last year’s film “Pokémon: Arceus and the Jewel of Life”, because of the city landscape, water effects look more realistic, there are more city locations and for the most part, there are a lot of scenes that are shown throughout the film, keeping the overall look of the film fresh and vibrant.

Of course, with this being DVD, you are going to see mild artifacts and some banding but nothing to bothersome and I doubt the children will even care.  It’s a beautiful looking film!

As for the audio, the audio is presented in 2.0 and 5.1 Dolby Digital.  Dialogue is clear and understandable, special effects sound very good coming through the center and front channels.  I don’t really recall hearing the surround channels being utilized all that much but for the most part, dialogue and music are quite clear.

Subtitles are available in English.

SPECIAL FEATURES:

“Pokémon Movie 13: Zoroark – Master of Illusions” comes with no special features.

Entertaining, fun and action-packed! “Pokémon:  Zoroark – Master of Illusions” is probably the best looking animated Pokémon film by far.  It’s probably the deepest storyline as things look a bit tragic at first (but since this is a children’s animate film, of course, you always have a happy ending with a Pokémon film.

As mentioned, this is the fourth installment of a “Diamond and Pearl” film and there are a good number of Pokémon characters shown throughout the film.  And in combination with that, you get awesome animation and CG animation and painted backgrounds all in one.  It’s definitely one of the deeper animated Pokémon films as it deals with Zoroark (possibly a parent) to Zorua, who are kept apart.  And Zoroark, doing all he can to protect his little one.

And while there have been a good number of antagonists in a Pokémon film, I don’t think I have ever seen one like Kodai who really goes out of his way to hurt not just the Pokémon but really trying to cause true devastation to his home area. Possibly the most vile character I have seen in a Pokémon film.

As for parents who are considering buying this DVD for their child, there is really nothing violent about the storyline in terms of people getting hurt, but there are Pokémon being hurt as there are moments where we see Kodai hurting the young Zorua and also choking and inflicting pain on a few of them.  Once again, this is possibly the most vile villain of a Pokémon film by far.  But because of this, I appreciated the film much more but for those looking for something a bit cheerful for the children like the first film, this thirteenth film is more action-based and a bit darker in storyline.

As mentioned in the video quality section, the film looks absolutely vibrant and fantastic!  I would not be surprised if “Pokémon: Master of Illustions” someday receives a Blu-ray release but as for the DVD itself, it does have its share of artifacts but nothing to disrupt viewing and for the most part, for the audience its intended for, I doubt they would even care.  But this is the most beautiful Pokémon film by far!

Overall, if you or your child (or if you are an adult fan) loves the Pokémon series whether on TV series, collectors cards or video games, I definitely recommend “Pokémon:  Zoroark – Master of Illusions”!

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