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'Pokemon 3: The Movie'

By Michael O'Sullivan
Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, April 6, 2001


    'Pokemon # The Movie' "Pokemon 3" features Molly, Ash and Pikachu. (2001 Pikachu Projects)
Forget "Pokemon 3 The Movie." I first want to talk about "Pokemon 3 The Line," which at a recent Saturday morning screening stretched across the lobby and out the door into a cold, steady rain.

Clearly, after three animated feature films, a TV series and uncountable collectible product tie-ins, the popularity of the video game-inspired phenomenon is showing no signs whatever of abating.

The scariest thing about this latest installment? It's not the fact that it's subtitled "Spell of the Unown" in an apparent effort to get children to misspell perfectly good words like "unknown."

Nor is it the on-screen cartoon mayhem as hero Ash Ketchum and pals continue to do battle – all in good fun, of course – with other Pokemon trainers.

Nor is it the troubling prospect of a 5-year-old girl named Molly about to be orphaned by . . . well, by what exactly? By a mass of swirling hieroglyphs described by one character as "alphabet soup without the soup."

In a nutshell, these enigmatic flying runes (the "Unown" of the title) have swallowed up renowned Pokemon scientist Spencer Hale, single father to young Molly. In his place, they send Entei, a so-called "legendary" Pokemon of leonine appearance who plays daddy to the now parentless girl while her home gets buried under a mysterious crystalline growth that only Ash & Co. can save her from.

Creepy, yes, and confusing as heck, but not half so fearsome as the three little words ("Until next time!") spoken by whom I don't recall.

Maybe it was one of the several Pokemon characters – whose names to my adult ears sounded like NyQuil and Zoloft – making, as the ads breathlessly tout, "their first ever animated appearance."

"Pokemon 3: The Movie" (G, 93 minutes) – Contains interminable (albeit bloodless) Pokemon battle and a seemingly parentless tyke.


Copyright 2001 The Washington Post Company

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