Pokemon the Movie: Black & White DVD Review: One of the Better Entries in the Franchise

Ash Ketchum is still on his long journey to become the world’s greatest Pokémon trainer. During his many travels he has experienced many great adventures, made a lot of friends, and found all kinds of wondrous Pokémon. And this time is no different.

Ash and his two friends, Simon and Iris, have reached the city of Eindoak. The city is accentuated by a giant castle in the shape of a giant sword. Legend has it that a mighty king moved the Sword of the Vale to stop the feud between his two sons. One had the power of Zekrom, the white dragon, while the other was the master of Reshiram, the black dragon.

The two feuding sides had put the balance out of order and the king aided by the power-granting Pokémon, Victini, was the only one who could restore the balance to the vale while leaving it devoid of life.

But all of that happened more than a thousand years ago. The story was not much more than a legend and nobody had ever seen Victini in all that time, yet they believed he was there and would grant his power to those who needed it.

In usual Ash fashion, he stumbles across the mysterious Pokémon and tries his best to befriend it. His efforts are not lost upon his friends and Damon, one of the descendants of the vale people trying to restore the land to its original state, who realizes that he needs Victini’s help to accomplish his lifelong goal by returning the sword to its original place.

In this newest DVD release, there are two versions of the film. One version has Damon teaming up with the white dragon to help him in his quest to restore the vale to its original state while in the other version he uses the black dragon.

The two films are almost identical to one another, which is unfortunate. It would have been much more refreshing if it really had used a second perspective instead of just rehashing the exact same film with small variations and a couple of scenes that were different.

One perspective would have been from Team Rocket’s viewpoint. They show up in the movie, but only so briefly and with no real added value to the overall film. One of the things lacking in most of the Pokémon films is Team Rocket. In the television series, their silly antics and constant failure adds a little humor and levity, which complements the seriousness and intensity that Ash brings to the table. It’s difficult to maintain an audience’s attention without a sense of balance.

One other thing that would have made this film even better would have been more tournament battles. The small tournament that was included was done as a montage with music. Some of the most interesting and exciting moments is watching Ash finding a way to beat the odds and defeat his opponents with Pikachu at his side.

Even though there are some issues in the storytelling, this is one of the better films in the Pokémon franchise. It has an interesting plot. You aren’t overwhelmed by the randomness of throwing in various Pokémon like you are being set up to purchases cards. But one thing that I would recommend is not watching both films back to back. Instead give it some time so it doesn’t feel like you’re just watching the same movie twice.

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Todd Karella

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