Generally unfavorable reviews - based on 25 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 5 out of 25
  2. Negative: 10 out of 25
  1. 50
    It's just a sound-and-light show, linked to the marketing push for Pokemon in general.
  2. A dismayingly impersonal piece of anime, genial yet chaotic.
  3. So sloppily made that it's barely coherent.
  4. The film is obviously a long-form episode of a show better digested in 22-minute segments.
  5. There is a new definition of the term, "critic-proof movie," and it goes by the name Pokémon: The First Movie.
  6. The favorable three-star rating I'm giving the animated Pokémon: The First Movie is based at least partly on the fact that I expected to dislike it and didn't.
  7. 25
    With its incomprehensible plot, flat visual style and indecipherably mixed messages (violence is good; no, wait, violence is bad!), this movie seems chiefly to be an excuse to sell even more trading cards.
  8. Essentially, the film functions as a holiday catalog, introducing fans to a new Pokemon whose effigy they can collect in trading cards.
  9. An unoriginal warming over of a skimpy Japanese production that has been re-edited, rescored and rewritten for American tots and padded out to feature length with a plotless short called "Pikachu's Vacation."
  10. Reviewed by: Mike Clark
    Plays a little like a pacifistic variation on Bruce Lee's "Enter the Dragon."
  11. Possibly the most deranged, pointlessly complex, automatic-writing-like cultural manifestation outside the cosmologies of the more creative psychotics.
  12. 70
    By the time the fighting between clones and their originals turned to fraternal bonding, I was quite moved, even blissed out.
  13. Reviewed by: Robert Koehler
    Girls -- a big part of the Pokemon crowd and what makes it such a humongous commercial success -- will feel left out in the cold.
  14. It isn't terrible. It's far from a milestone in Japanese animation, and not an especially memorable entertainment. Yet it doesn't try to be either of those things.
  15. Reviewed by: Robert Horton
    There isn't a moment of wonder or poetry in its very long 69 minutes.
  16. Reviewed by: Steve Simels
    This totally sucks.
  17. 13
    First the TV show, then the video games, the playing cards, the books, the clothes, and now the movie -- the dreaded movie.
  18. 50
    Strictly a kids' movie, but parents may be relieved to sit back and enjoy the fact that for two full hours, they won't have to hear the kids asking them to buy any more Pokemon trading cards.
  19. Reviewed by: Besty Sherman
    The Japanese animation is beautiful, and the script adaptation for the English-speaking audience is well-paced, clever, and absorbing enough to keep parents from squirming.
  20. Reviewed by: Christine Dolen
    What a mere adult reviewer has to say about this 70-minute film is probably irrelevant. Pokémon fans will see it -- and love it -- regardless.
  21. Reviewed by: Marc Caro
    The sense that the movie serves mostly to showcase a slew of purchasable cartoon figures loses nothing in the translation.
  22. Reviewed by: Bill McLochlin
    Why do I keep having to see such awful movies?
  23. Reviewed by: Anita Gates
    But the animation, with its rich colors and stylized angles, is fun to watch and at times does seem like a psychedelic "Sesame Street."
  24. Reviewed by: Nicole Campos
    Are the little ones really getting anything more out of this slightly flashier, exceedingly louder 75-minute version of their usual 30-minute dose of anime hijinks?
  25. Reviewed by: Robin Rauzi
    Pokémon isn't even good animation, unless the standard of measure is the crude LCD graphics of a Game Boy.
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 102 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 18 out of 25
  2. Negative: 3 out of 25
  1. Elizebeth
    Apr 26, 2006
    Mewtwo is a really cool character idea. It's a cool story line and I really like it. The only thing that I'm commenting on the bad side is that Pikachu's vacation is cheesy. Full Review »
  2. Mar 12, 2013
    This review contains spoilers, click full review link to view. With terrible story and ending. Pokemon The First Movie is probably the worst "Pokemon" experience you can get! Why MewTwo gave up on the end? Just because Ash got in the middle of the clash? I thought he hated humans,because they're "traitors". And why did he killed the people who created him? This movie has SO MUCH issues, i would give it a 2/10 or 3/10 but it's one of my childhood movies and i love the nostalgia feeling so my final score is 4/10
    Not recommended especially if you're not a pokemon fan!
    Full Review »
  3. Aug 30, 2013
    Despite the childish source, the material is rather bleak, and centric on the meaning of one's life with the questioning of being. Perhaps best viewed as expanded episode of the earlier Pokemon anime, Mewtwo Strikes Back works as an abecedarian to Pokemon, and an amateur pedagony in philosophy. Full Review »