|Category||Anime||Theatrical Trailer(s)||Yes, 1 - 1.85:1 4x3 DD 2.0|
|Year Released||1998||Commentary Tracks||Yes, 1 - Michael Haigney (Director) & Norman Grossfeld (Producer)|
|Running Time||19:35 + 71:54 minutes||Other Extras||Featurette-The Story Of MewTwo's Origin (2:20)
Music Video-Don't Say You Love Me-M2M
Featurette-Ash's Journey (2:02)
DVD-ROM Extras: Web Site, Essays (2)
Warner Home Video
|Pan & Scan/Full Frame||Pan & Scan||MPEG||None|
|Widescreen Aspect Ratio||None||Dolby Digital||5.1|
|16x9 Enhancement||No||Soundtrack Languages||English (Dolby Digital 5.1, 384Kb/s)
English Audio Commentary (Dolby Digital 2.0 , 192Kb/s)
|Theatrical Aspect Ratio||?1.85:1||
English for the Hearing Impaired
|Annoying Product Placement||Yes|
|Action In or After Credits||Yes|
Pokémon: The First Movie has been nicely targeting at the Pokémon-loving youth of today, as well as not forgetting the older folk that will inevitably be dragged along for the ride, usually unwillingly.
Theatrically, and on this DVD, the movie is shown with a preceding short feature entitled Pikachu: The Movie-Pikachu's Vacation. In essence, this exists to introduce the neophyte viewer to the world of Pokémon and its characters and rules. Following this, the movie proper starts. A word to the uninitiated: Pokémon are role-playing creatures that human Pokémon trainers capture and train, pitting them in battle against other Pokémon. In essence, Pokémon is a role-playing game of sorts for 10 year olds.
Ash is our hero. He is a 10-year-old Pokémon trainer who is invited to a Pokémon match to determine the best Pokémon trainer in the world. The invitation is issued by MewTwo, a genetically-engineered Pokémon created by the Bad GuysTM. MewTwo is extremely powerful and has a very nasty streak, and is seemingly invincible until the original Mew makes an appearance.
Don't get me wrong. This is not a cinematic masterpiece. It is full of blatant product promotion, saccharine sweetness and moral messages that are rammed down your throat, and yet, somehow, I actually enjoyed it, despite my best intentions not to.
The transfer is quite sharp throughout, with the animation being rendered marvellously. Any and all details in the original image are clearly discernible. Some very minor grain appears in the background of some scenes, but this never becomes intrusive. Shadow detail is not an issue - whatever the animators intended you to see is seen. Nothing more and nothing less. There was no low level noise in the blacks.
The colours were vibrantly rendered, with bright eye-popping colours being the order of the day except during the somewhat darker scenes at the start of the movie.
There were no MPEG artefacts seen. Aliasing was more-or-less non-existent, and film artefacts were conspicuous by their absence.
This disc is a dual-layered DVD, but I could not detect a layer change in the main feature with two different DVD players, so it is reasonable to assume that the movie itself has been placed on one layer of the DVD and the extra features on the other layer.
The dialogue was always clear and easy to understand, and matched up remarkably well with the lip movements of the characters, given that these movements were originally animated for Japanese dialogue.
The score by Ralph Schuckett and John Loeffler is very effective in creating the appropriate mood for the on-screen action, and is present almost continuously, only interrupted on occasion for the insertion of a contemporary pop song which was also quite appropriate for the on-screen action. All-in-all, this is a very decent soundtrack indeed which is very enjoyable to listen to.
The surround channels are remarkably well used for a children's animation title. The musical score goes a long way towards this by being present nearly continuously, and being mixed nicely into the rears, but a substantial number of sound effects and even the voice of MewTwo make their way into the rear channels. All-in-all, this is a remarkably immersive effort which belies expectations.
The .1 channel was continually in use to support the music and the more dramatic special effects without ever calling attention to itself. It was very nicely integrated into the overall soundtrack.
The video is of very good quality.
The audio quality is of very good quality.
The extras are comprehensive and interesting.
© Michael Demtschyna
(read my bio)
17th June 2000
|DVD||Denon DVD-1500/Loewe Xemix 5006DD, using S-Video/RGB output|
|Display||Loewe Art-95 95cm direct view CRT in 4:3 mode, via the S-Video/RGB input. Calibrated with the NTSC DVD version of Video Essentials.|
|Audio Decoder||Denon AVD-2000 Dolby Digital AddOn Decoder, used as a standalone processor. Calibrated with the NTSC DVD version of Video Essentials.|
|Amplification||2 x EA Playmaster 100W per channel stereo amplifiers for Left, Right, Left Rear and Right Rear; Philips 360 50W per channel stereo amplifier for Centre and Subwoofer|
|Speakers||Philips S2000 speakers for Left, Right; Polk Audio CS-100 Centre Speaker; Apex AS-123 speakers for Left Rear and Right Rear; Hsu Research TN-1220HO subwoofer|