Pokemon: Mewtwo Returns (2001) (NTSC)

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Released 12-Mar-2002

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Anime Featurette-The Uncut Story Of Mewtwo's Origin
Featurette-Johto League Champions
Trailer-Pokemon: The First Movie; Pokemon 2000: The Movie; Pokemon 3
Rating Rated G
Year Of Production 2001
Running Time 63:03
RSDL / Flipper No/No Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 1,4 Directed By Masamitsu Hidaka
Studio
Distributor

Warner Home Video
Starring Veronica Taylor
Ikue Ootani
Rachael Lillis
Eric Stuart
Maddie Blaustein
Case Amaray-Transparent
RPI $24.95 Music Ralph Schuckett
Shinji Miyazaki


Video (NTSC) Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame Full Screen, not known whether Pan & Scan or Full Frame English Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
French Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
Spanish Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio None
16x9 Enhancement No
Video Format 480i (NTSC)
Original Aspect Ratio Unknown Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English
French
Spanish
Smoking No
Annoying Product Placement Yes, Pokemon (tm) Nintendo
Action In or After Credits No

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

    MewTwo was a primary protagonist of the first Pokemon movie. This movie is a sequel. This sequel was clearly so popular that it went direct to video in this country (it may have had theatrical release in Japan and the USA - but it appears not).

    You didn't see the first Pokemon movie? No, neither did I. That's OK. This movie starts with a summary of what happened, so you can still appreciate the deep intellectual nature of the plot. The introduction is clearly distinguished from this movie, because the intro is presented in roughly 1.85:1 (not 16x9 enhanced) - the movie proper is presented full-screen.

    MewTwo was the big baddie in the first Pokemon movie. Here, he is a heroic character. The story begins with Ash and his crowd stumbling across the hiding place of MewTwo and his cloned Pokemon as they pursue the Team Rocket idiots (Jesse and James) after they kidnap Pikachu.

    I was unaware that there were other members of Team Rocket (I said I hadn't seen the first movie...) - in particular, I was unaware of the Team Rocket Combat Unit - we get to meet them in this movie, plus Giovanni and a couple of new characters, including The Black Tulip.

    Interestingly, there is not a single Pokemon contest in this movie - that surprised me. And there isn't a Pikachu short before the movie, either.

    There are, as in each Pokemon movie, some morals in this movie. The morals are rammed down our throats with a typical lack of subtlety - the heavy-handed emphasis on a clean and pure natural environment gets a bit tiresome. MewTwo's deep voiced ponderings on moral problems are a bit heavy, too. There are also a couple of serious holes in the plot.

    This disc includes a full history of the origin of MewTwo - you might watch it by yourself before letting the children see it, because it contains some sad material that might upset some children.

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Transfer Quality

Video

    Warning: this is an NTSC disc. You'll need a display that can display NTSC (not too uncommon, today), or a DVD player that will convert NTSC to PAL (quite uncommon).

    The movie is presented in an aspect ratio of 1.33:1, not 16x9 enhanced, except for the intro segment, which is 1.85:1, not 16x9 enhanced.

    The foreground picture is clear, and quite sharp (unfortunately this leads to aliasing). Some of the backgrounds (and a couple of stills) appear to be watercolours, so they are naturally soft. A discussion of shadow detail is irrelevant to this kind of animation. There's no trace of low-level noise.

    Colour is bright, but there are traces of colour bleed. There's no oversaturation, though.

    There are no significant film artefacts. However, there is an awful lot of aliasing - the black lines around each character alias horribly. There's no moire, no pixelization, and no background shimmer.

    There are subtitles in three languages, including English. The English subtitles are accurate, easy to read, and well-timed - I didn't spot any errors.

    The disc is single-sided and single layered. With such a short movie and not a lot of extras, there's no problem fitting everything into a single layer.

Video Ratings Summary
Sharpness
Shadow Detail
Colour
Grain/Pixelization
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts
Overall

Audio

    The English soundtrack is in Dolby Digital 2.0, surround encoded.

    The dialogue is clear and easily understood. Audio sync cannot be judged on this kind of animation.

    The score is attributed to Ralph Schuckett, but there's also a credit for Rave Music, and for Shinji Miyazaki. It's fairly standard Pokemon fare.

    The subwoofer is given nothing to do. The surrounds get nothing significant, either.

Audio Ratings Summary
Dialogue
Audio Sync
Clicks/Pops/Dropouts
Surround Channel Use
Subwoofer
Overall

Extras

Menu

    The menu is static with music.

Deleted Scene - the Uncut Story of MewTwo's Origin (10:22)

    Interesting stuff - the tale of MewTwo's origin narrated by MewTwo and a scientist.

Music Video - Johto League Champions (0:49)

    This is a short music video. Note that it is not a Pokemon rap.

Trailer - Pokemon - the first movie (1:21)

    A full-screen trailer for the first movie.

Trailer - Pokemon 2000 (1:17)

    A full-screen trailer for the second movie.

Trailer - Pokemon 3 (1:19)

    A full-screen trailer for the third movie.

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

    The R1 version of this disc sounds as if it is identical to this one (no surprise there) - the one big difference is that the R1 is in a snapper case (let's have a small cheer for Warner Home Video Australia for giving us transparent Amaray cases instead).

Summary

    One for big Pokemon fans who don't mind heavy morals.

    The video quality is good, except for the constant aliasing.

    The audio quality is good.

    The extras are OK.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Tony Rogers (bio-degrading: making a fool of oneself in a bio...)
Tuesday, June 18, 2002
Review Equipment
DVDPioneer DV-S733A, using Component output
DisplaySony VPH-G70 CRT Projector, QuadScan Elite scaler (Tripler), ScreenTechnics 110. Calibrated with Video Essentials. This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Video Essentials.
AmplificationDenon AVC-A1SE
SpeakersFront Left, Centre, Right: Krix Euphonix; Rears: Krix KDX-M; Subwoofer: Krix Seismix 5

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