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Pokémon the Movie 14: Black – Victini & Reshiram / White – Victini & Zekrom (a J!-ENT Anime DVD Review)

April 17, 2012 by  



The 14th Pokémon film “Pokémon the Movie: Black – Victini & Reshiram / White – Victini & Zekrom” on DVD features two films, same plot but a different take on the featured legendary Pokémon.  A heartwarming family film full of action and fun that Pokémon fans of all ages will enjoy.  Definitely recommended!

DVD TITLE: Pokémon the Movie 14: Black – Victini & Reshiram / White – Victini & Zekrom

FILM RELEASE DATE: 2011

DURATION: 95 Minutes

DVD INFORMATION: Dolby Digital, English Stereo

COMPANY: Viz Media

RATED: A for All Ages

RELEASE DATE: April 3, 2012

Directed by Kunihiko Yuyama

Screenplay by Hideki Sonoda

Music by Shinji Miyazaki

Original Concept by Junichi Masuda, Ken Sugimori, Satoshi Tajiri

Character Design: Toshiya Yamada

Sound Director: Masafumi Mima

Director of Photography: Hisao Shirai

Executive Producer: Masakazu Kubo

Producer: Shigehiro Tanaka, Takemoto Mori

Anime Production: Oriental Light and Magic

Featuring the following voice talent:

Eileen Stevens as Iris

Ikue Ohtani as Pikachu

Jason Griffith as Cilan

Sarah Natochenny as Ash Ketchum

Nana Mizuki as Victini

Jimmy Zoppi as James, Meowth

Michele Knotz as Jessie

Rodger Parsons as Narrator

Alyson Leigh Rosenfield as Audino and Nurse Joy

Bill Rogers as Panpour, Pansear

Billy Bob Thompson as Burgh, Luke

Brittney Lee Hamilton as Georgia

Dan Green as Pierce

Darren Dunstan as Stephan

A Hero must choose: the Power of Ideals… or the Courage of Truth?

When Ash and his friends enter a battle competition in Eindoak Town, they meet the Mythical Pokemon Victini, who becomes their newest friend. But disaster strikes when the misguided wanderer Damon seizes Victini for his own plans! Can Ash prove himself a hero and earn the help of the Legendary Reshiram – or Zekrom – to rescue Victini and save Eindoak Town?

Two legends… and two versions of the story!

For those who are fans of “Pokémon”, especially when it comes to the video games, there are always simultaneous releases of the games.  While they appear similar in gameplay, there are often a change in Pokemon or setting.  But what if they treated the films the same way?

In July 2011, children and fans of “Pokémon” were treated to two different versions of the 14th “Pokémon” film.  One titled “Pokémon the Movie: Black – Victini and Reshiram” and the other “Pokémon the Movie: White – Victini and Zekrom”.  The plot of both film are the same, the major difference is one would focus more on the legendary dragon Pokémon, Reshiram or Zekrom.

While the film was a major success in the box office in Japan, in America, both films received a limited 2- day theatrical release in select theaters in December 2011 and it would be the first Pokémon animated film release since the 2002 film “Pokémon Heroes: The Movie”.  “Pokémon the Movie: White – Victini and Zekrom” would later air on the Cartoon Network in February 2012.

And now, both films will be released in a 2-DVD courtesy of Viz Media.

“Pokémon the Movie: Black – Victini and Reshiram” and “Pokemon the Movie: White – Victini and Zekrom” begin with either Reshiram or Zekrom, but the story begins with a man named Damon who had to save the village and called upon Reshiram or Zekrom (depending which version of the film was being viewed).

Meanwhile, Ash Ketchum and his friends Iris and Cilan arrive at the town of Eindoak Town.  The three spot two Deerling who are in danger of falling off a cliff and Ash goes to rescue both of them.  But while rescuing the two, Ash touches Victini and instead of falling off the cliff, somehow Ash was able to jump off the cliff to the other side, saving the Deerling.

Ash enters a cave and ends up inside the cellar of the town’s castle, the Sword of the Vale. And as Cilan provides Macaroons for Ash and Iris, unbeknown to Ash is that a hungry Victini is hiding and wanting some to eat as well.  And thus, taking his macaroons when he isn’t watching.

The group are escorted by Damon who brings them to the town’s festival and they meet Damon’s sister Carlita (who challenges Ash in a Pokemon battle) and their mother Juanita.  Meanwhile, the town sells merchandise of a legendary Pokémon known as Victini, but no one believes Victini exists anymore.   The trio are explained by Mayor Mannes that Victini is important tot he town as the legendary Pokemon once belonged to the king of the Kingdom of the Veil.  The kingdom was empowered by the Dragon Force, which brought harmony to the world.

But as the king’s sons were both bestowed each with Reshiram and Zekrom, the princes became enemies and thus a war took place between both sides, also pitting Reshiram and Zekrom against each other.  Both were wounded in combat and both legendary dragon Pokemon turned to stone in order to heal during a long sleep.

But the Dragon Force became unstable and destructive, so the king used the power of Victini to move the castle to its current spot in order to contain the Dragon Force energy and create a barrier.  Unfortunately, the King sacrificed his life and Victini was sealed inside the barrier to be protected.

And for Damon, his dream was to restore the dead kingdom’s valley using Victini’s powers and reunite the scattered People of the Veil, as it was his mother’s wish.  But while Victini has never been seen, Damon and Mayor Mannes have found one of the dragon Pokemon beneath the castle.

During a friendly battle between Ash and Carlita, somehow Ash is able to pull off some intriguing moves and Carlita wonders if Victini is actually helping Ash and sure enough, she sees Victini helping Ash’s Pokemon.

And eventually Ash and friends discover that Victini has been with them all that time and was responsible for eating the Macaroons and giving Ash and his Pokémon some of his power.  But Ash starts to learn that Victini has been all alone for hundreds of years and his dream is to go to the ocean, but unfortunately he is trapped due to the barrier.

So, Ash makes a promise to Victini that he will help it get to the ocean, but Damon also has his plans with Victini to use his power to restore the dead kingdom’s valley…but what Damon doesn’t know is that by doing so, it will once again unleash the destructive and unstable power of the Dragon Force.

Now it’s a race against time as Ash and friends must stop Damon from causing harm to Victini and the entire town.

VIDEO & AUDIO:

“Pokémon the Movie 14: Black – Victini & Reshiram / White – Victini & Zekrom” definitely improves in overall animation and CG with the latest film.   With each newer film, there is much better detail in the paintings and better use of CG.

If anything, more detail and vibrant colors, compared to the previous two Pokemon films, considering those the last two films, “Pokémon Movie 12: Arceus and the Jewel of Life and “Pokémon Movie 13: Zoroark – Master of Illusions” look fantastic.

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.  It’s important to note that only the English dub is featured and the Japanese soundtrack is not included.

Subtitles are available in English.

SPECIAL FEATURES:

“Pokémon the Movie 14: Black – Victini & Reshiram / White – Victini & Zekrom” comes with trailer for both films.

As a father who has grown up with a child who enjoys “Pokémon” and having been in Japan during the time of the Pokemon merchandise explosion, it’s always intriguing for me to see how “Pokémon” remains innovative and how it manages to attract the attention of a new generation of young (and older) fans for over a decade.

And with the release of both “Pokémon” films, it’s another way to attract viewers to the films as “Pokémon Black/White” have done for those who purchased the Nintendo DS video game.  And considering the film made over $53 million in the box office, it goes to show that “Pokémon” is not slowing down any time soon and the momentum and excitement continues to thrive as it did many years ago.

While both films have the same story, the key difference is how it integrates Reshiram or Zekrom to the film.  Especially the activity of the character of Damon in trying to revive a world that is no longer there.  With that being said, for me, I enjoyed “Pokémon the Movie: Black – Victini and Reshiram” as it appeared to have a slightly different back story which I enjoyed more.  Once again, they are the same storyline, same ending but it’s different in terms of how Reshiram and Zekrom are incorporated into the film.

But what I enjoyed about the overall storyline is the character of Victini, definitely unlike other Pokemon who are great fighting Pokemon, if anything…Victini is just overall cute.  And it’s just fun to see how fun this Pokémon can be, may it be eating macaroons or helping Ash and his Pokemon.  But there is also an emotional side to this film as Victini was tragically left behind by its owner and he is stuck in town due to a barrier and you realize how lonely Victini has been all this time.  And you root for Ash and friends to help Victini, but at the same time knowing that Damon needs Victini in order to revive the town, and unfortunately it’s an ambition that can not only harm Victini but also the people that Damon wants to help.

As for parents who are considering buying this DVD for their child, there is really nothing violent about the storyline, while some younger children may find one scene where it looks like Ash got badly hurt (don’t worry, he was just exhausted).

As mentioned in the video quality section, the film looks absolutely vibrant and fantastic! I would not be surprised if “Pokémon the Movie 14: Black – Victini & Reshiram / White – Victini & Zekrom” someday receives a Blu-ray release because it looks so good… but as for the DVD itself, it does have its share of artifacts (as expected from a DVD) 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 and each year, the look of the films just continue to get better and better.

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 the Movie 14: Black – Victini & Reshiram / White – Victini & Zekrom”.  You get both films in one release and for the most part, it’s a heartwarming family film worth watching and owning if you are a fan of “Pokémon”.

Definitely recommended!






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