Anime / Pokémon: The First Movie

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"We dreamed of creating the world's strongest Pokémon... and we succeeded."
Dr. Fuji's last words

The very first movie in the Pokémon series of films. Because even at that point it certainly wasn't going to be the last, so why mince words? note 

A team of scientists create Mewtwo, a superior clone of legendary Pokémon Mew. Angry at having been created to serve and be used by humans, he decides he's Gotta Kill 'em All.

It should be noted that this Pokémon movie is one of the few that is alluded to in the actual series,note  having plot elements set up throughout the first season of the show. Furthermore, there is a made-for-television sequel called Pokémon: Mewtwo Returns that continues the plotline and themes.

The film came packaged with a short called Pikachu's Vacation, which featured the Pokémon enjoying themselves in a holiday resort with little presence of any human characters, with Ash, Misty and Brock only making faceless cameos at the beginning and end, and Meowth and the Pokédex narrator being the only prominent characters with lines.


This movie provides examples of:

  • Adaptation Origin Connection: In both this movie and Pokémon Adventures, Team Rocket is responsible for Mewtwo's creation. In the original games, it was a project by an independent group of scientists. As a consequence, that Team Rocket made Mewtwo has been a strong piece of Fanon ever since.
  • Affably Evil: Mewtwo, prior to his Heel–Face Turn.
  • All There in the Script:
    • The three other trainers who made it to New Island (Corey, Neesha and Fergus) go unnamed throughout the whole movie.
    • As does the blue-haired woman with Officer Jenny at the ferry port. The novelization gives her name as "Miranda" and the Japanese version labels her "Voyager."
  • Ambiguous Gender: No one's quite sure what gender this particular Mew is; most fans consider it to be a girl, especially because of all the pink and liking to ship the two, although it's voiced by Koichi Yamadera (not to mention that, the one time a Mew ''is'' referred to with gendered pronouns, it's referred to as male). A weirder, in-universe example would be the fact that Mewtwo is referred to as an "it" by just about everyone in the dub, despite his obviously masculine voice. Then, more confusion was caused when it appeared with a obviously feminine voice in Pokémon: Genesect and the Legend Awakened .
  • A Nazi by Any Other Name: Mewtwo conspired to bring a world dominated by a master race (clones, in his case), wished to purge the world of members of a race he despises (humans, as well as non-clone Pokemon), and his villainy is caused by a tragic backstory. Unlike the Fuhrer, however, he does redeem himself in the end.
  • Angst Nuke: Twice within the first 10 minutes, Mewtwo blows up everything around him in rage over apparently being created to serve humans.
  • Anti-Villain: Mewtwo is dead-set between Types II and III.
  • Animal Wrongs Group: Mewtwo is an Animal Wrongs Activist. Its original goal is to save the Pokémon by killing all humans, but it believes Pokémon that already live alongside humans are a lost cause.
  • Apocalyptic Log: Dr. Fuji makes a voice log entry while Mewtwo is blowing up the laboratory. Screams and explosions can be heard in the background when it's played.
  • Avoid the Dreaded G Rating: Inverted. It was rated G despite its strong violence and its disturbing themes and images. (However, it was rated PG in Canada, where standards are actually more lax in general.)
  • Award Bait Song: Up to Eleven, The whole music soundtrack is filled with Award Bait Song material, including "It Was You", "Somewhere, Someday" by *NSYNC, "We're a Miracle" by Christina Aguilera, "Makin' My Way", "If Only Tears Can Bring You Back" and "Brother, My Brother"; a total of six of these, when a movie usually has one or two at most. "Together with the Wind", the Japanese ending, also qualifies.
  • Back Blocking: During the clone battle, the clone Blastoise is pushing the real one against the wall and the back of his shell fills the screen.
  • Badass Adorable: Mew and Pikachu.
  • Badass Baritone: Mewtwo, particularly in the English dub.
  • Badass Boast: The Japanese version of Mewtwo only does occasional boasting. His English incarnation, on the other hand, does enough boasting to possibly fill a small page.
  • Badass Pacifist: Pikachu becomes this when pitted against Pikatwo. It refuses to raise a paw against its clone, and just stands there while Pikatwo wears itself out hitting it.
  • Berserk Button: In the Pikachu's Vacation segment, Pikachu's is shown to be other Pokémon bullying Togepi, and Charizard's is when other Pokémon step on his tail.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: Mew's generally pacifistic, but if you do manage to hurt it in an unprovoked attack, it will retaliate with extreme prejudice.
  • Big Bad: Mewtwo, who starts off a Tragic Monster, but becomes a villain thanks to Giovanni's influence (Not that Giovanni ends up benefiting from this at all.) He gets better after witnessing Ash's sacrifice and realizing that maybe not all humans are bastards.
  • Big Badass Battle Sequence: The clones vs. their originals. Very much Played for Drama to deliver An Aesop about fighting. Even includes a bit of Soundtrack Dissonance. (The undubbed version uses "all life being equal" instead of "fighting" and a more suitable One-Woman Wail for the music.)
  • Big Damn Movie: The anime series up to this point consists of a young boy followed by his True Companions traveling around the region on a journey To Be a Master. They frequently deal with some small-time criminals who are stalking them, but otherwise the heroes are on a long, light-hearted adventure. Then, this movie's plot comes along and they have to save the world from a Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds's revenge plot against all of humanity and non-cloned Pokémon.
  • Born as an Adult: Mewtwo was genetically engineered and only emerged from his tank when he was full grown. Although in an intro cut from the American release we do see Mewtwo as a "child" interacting telepathically with the other clones in the facility, though he doesn't remember this as an adult.
  • Bowdlerize: The intro was severely shortened to remove references to death and human cloning. Also a case of Executive Meddling, as the original part of the intro dealing with baby Mewtwo and Amber was actually completely dubbed by 4Kids at the time of producing the American version of the movie, but was forced to be cut out by Kids' WB. It was later put as an extra in the Mewtwo Returns DVD.
    • This creates an odd moment at the end of the movie. The American version goes with the "fighting is wrong" Aesop, but they forgot to change Mewtwo's dialogue, so in the moment where he learns his lesson he states that it's not how you're born but how you live your life that matters. If they were willing to keep that line of dialogue in, why not just keep the original Aesop altogether?
    • With the events of The Birth of Mewtwo taken into consideration, Mewtwo wasn't born evil. It's indicated that the reason he became so vicious and unpredictable was because the drugs the scientists injected into him while he was still developing inside the cloning tube, in order to erase his memories of Amber (fearing that the psychological trauma of her death would kill him), permanently warped his brain and broke his mind.
    • Miranda's tale of "the legend of winds" was added to the dub to provide an explanation for why Pokémon tears had the power to bring people back from the dead. In the original, she just didn't want anyone's lives to be endangered by the storm. This explanation was also mentioned by Amber in "The Birth of Mewtwo" dub, when she was dying and young Mewtwo began to cry, which was all cut from the film.
  • Broke Your Arm Punching Out Cthulhu: Not a good idea to physically punch a psychic-powered clone, Ash...
    • This marks the first in a long line of instances in the Pokémon movies where Ash attempts to punch or manhandle powerful Psychic types.
  • Broken Ace: Mewtwo was designed to be the strongest Mon ever. Unfortunately, he had some issues with the "designed" part.
  • Broken Aesop: It's a Downplayed case. The dub version's "Fighting Is Wrong" message sounds strange in a series that has glorified dog fighting, but there's a fine distinction. In this movie, the clones and originals have fight to the death while the rest of the series is supposed to be a friendly sport.
  • The Cameo: Gary Oak appears briefly during Mewtwo's training montage. His sole purpose in the film is to show how ludicrously powerful Mewtwo is by getting defeated. Doubles as a Perspective Flip of a scene in the TV series.
  • Captain Ersatz: Dr. Fuji to Dr. Tenma, the creator/father of Astro Boy.
  • Capture and Replicate: Mewtwo captures the Pokémon of the trainers he lures to his island so that he can clone them all.
  • Cheaters Never Prosper: The pirate trainer releases three Pokémon at the same time in a one-on-one battle. Pikachu wastes all three at once (despite one of them being a Golem, which being a Ground-type Pokémon should be immune to electricity).
  • Childhood Brain Damage: Possibly the reason Mewtwo is rather "unhinged." He was not allowed to come to terms with Ambertwo's passing away naturally. The scientists desperate to control him inject a lot of sedatives and memory-wiping serum to calm him down. Disturbingly, Mewtwo spends the rest of the Japanese original film giggling.
  • Conspicuous CG: Several examples, but the most conspicuous is the huge door to Mewtwo's arena. The original Japanese theatrical cut was almost wholly hand-drawn; the CG was added to the Japanese video release and that cut is the one that was adapted internationally.
  • Continuity Nod: Mewtwo's battle with Gary Oak in the anime is shown briefly. His explosive exit from Giovanni's base is shown in the anime as a lead-up to the movie.
  • Covers Always Lie: Ash's Pidgeotto is seen among his Pokemon participating in the battle on one promotional card. In the film proper, Ash's Pidgeotto doesn't appear at all.
  • Crucified Hero Shot: When Ash gets hit by the oncoming blasts of both sides of the Mew and Mewtwo fight, his arms stretch out to his sides before he collapses and dies.
  • Cultural Translation: Songs by American pop bands were inserted into the dub, and the orchestral score was entirely changed.
    Norman Crossfield: We also rescored the entire movie with all new music that would better reflect what American kids would respond to.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle:
    • Mewtwo's first three clones (of the three Kanto starters' fully evolved forms) easily beat the real starters (Ash's Charizard lasts the longest, but then, he only lasts about a minute as opposed to 10 seconds like the others).
    • Footage is shown of gym leader Giovanni using Mewtwo in its training armor against several trainers, including Gary Oak.
  • Cut-and-Paste Translation: The English dub, especially when compared to later movies and the regular series. Even the dubber's DVD commentary has them admitting to having trouble during translation. There is quite a Broken Base as to how this affects the film's enjoyability.
  • Darker and Edgier: Than the TV show. Human characters die and Pokémon are cloned and forced to fight to the death.
    • The Japanese version takes this a step further with its complex existentialist themes, in a similar vein to the Pokémon Black and White video games with its moral themes.
    • Taken further Up to Eleven in the Japanese CD dramas, in which one scene involves Giovanni stealing a defeated trainer's Pokémon, then ordering Mewtwo to attack the trainer. Said trainer lampshades the cruelty.
    • The "Mewtwo's Origin" prologue is this in spades, as it deals with Mewtwo's tragic childhood. He has to deal with his only friends in the world "disappearing" before his eyes (in real life, they're dying). This is actually a condensed adaptation of the above CD dramas.
  • Deus ex Machina: Ash brought back to normal by Pokémon tears after being turned into stone in the original version. At least the dub gave it a set-up early on, but it implied Ash died instead.
  • Didn't See That Coming: Mewtwo owns the heroes big time, but he is surprised when the Pokémon he captured are freed. He also didn't expect Mew to not be a pushover.
  • Disney Death: Ash gets caught in the crossfire trying to stop the fighting, is killed, and is turned to stone. However, Pikachu, and all the other Pokémon (save Mew and Mewtwo) begin crying over his death and their tears of sorrow bring Ash back to life. Surprisingly, in the Japanese version, he's only turned to stone; it isn't specified whether he actually dies or not.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: Though Mewtwo's early life wasn't what you would call pleasant, wanting to destroy everyone on the planet because of it, even though they never knew of his existence, let alone have a desire to deliberately want to hurt him, is not something a sane individual would do.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: Watch closely at how the clones exist their tubes in Mewtwo's lab—doesn't it seem like newborn infants existing their mothers' wombs?
  • Early-Bird Cameo: Marill and Snubbull (in the tie-in short movie), and Donphan. Mewtwo's Signature Move (in this movie, at least) Shadow Ball. Corey (the Pidgeot trainer) may also count, as he greatly resembles the Cooltrainer design from Pokémon Gold and Silver.
  • Early Installment Weirdness: Not in the movie itself, but the CD drama has Giovanni steal a defeated trainer's Pokémon. It was later established that a Pokéball refuses to work if used on a Pokémon that already belongs to someone.
  • Evil Cannot Comprehend Good: Thanks to his own bad experiences, Mewtwo flat out refuses to believe people and Pokémon could ever stand as equals and be friends. Anyone who says otherwise usually angers him more. After Ash's sacrifice he finally reaches an epiphany.
  • Evil Counterpart: Mewtwo to Mew.
    • Almost all the clones to the originals, the only exception being Meowth.
  • Expy: Dr. Fuji is one of Dr. Tenma, with similar hair, beard, and the same beak-ish nose. The themes of cloning (for Mewtwo and a Replacement Goldfish child from "The Story of Mewtwo's Origin") are also present between the two.
  • Flat "What.": Mewtwo's reaction in the Japanese version when Ash and the "original" Pokémon bust out of the cloning facility. The dub replaces this with yet another Badass Boast.
  • Floating in a Bubble: How Mew and Mewtwo fight.
  • Freak Out/Go Mad from the Revelation: When told in the beginning of the movie that he is nothing more than a science experiment and/or a tool for the humans who created him, Mewtwo doesn't take the news very well.
  • Future Copter: A particularly cool example transports Giovanni to New Island.
  • George Lucas Altered Version: The aforementioned re-animated version used internationally.
  • Giggling Villain: Mewtwo in the Japanese version.
  • Glowing Eyes of Doom: Mewtwo.
  • Gone Horribly Right: The page quote is a scientist's last words as Mewtwo destroys his lab. It's even the page quote for this trope.
  • Gratuitous English: The pirate trainer who challenges Satoshi (Ash) in the Japanese version speaks with this mixed into his Japanese, complete with a hilarious "Oh my God!" when he loses, thanks to his VA being Pokémon singer Raymond Johnson.
  • Greater Scope Villain: Giovanni is the head of Team Rocket, the criminal organization of the Pokémon world. He's downright evil and is a bigger menace in the setting as a whole, but he's mostly uninvolved in the current story. He only contributes to the immediate conflict indirectly, in his role as part of Mewtwo's backstory.
  • Humans Are the Real Monsters: Mewtwo's belief. Justified in that it only really deals with a few humans before the main plot: the scientists who made it, Giovanni, who tricks Mewtwo and treats it as his slave, and Team Rocket mooks, who generally think of pokémon that way. Mewtwo might not have even thought so about the scientists if it'd had more perspective on them and not started destroying everything a minute after birth.note 
  • I Lied: Giovanni's response to Mewtwo when the latter confronts the former's early declaration that they were equal partners. Not surprisingly, Mewtwo is royally pissed at the betrayal and decides to blow the joint - figuratively and literally. Unfortunately, Giovanni turns out luckier than the scientists, and survives.
  • Inconsistent Dub:
    • When the scientists manage to calm down Mewtwo before he awakes in the lab, Dr. Fuji shouts that his daughter is gone forever, since her clone died. However, it is clearly stated before that Fuji was cloning her as many times as he wanted to until making a successful clone.
    • Mewtwo's questioning everything about itself from the original version was left in the dub, but some lines were changed to make Mewtwo say that it is stronger than Mew. It still doesn't know almost anything about itself at that point, so there is no way it could know that or even believe it if it's so confused.
    • Whereas in the series it is heavily implied that Jessie can't and won't cook at all, a rewritten line in the movie has her offering to cook something.
    • When the Trainers decide to go to New Island, Fergus says in the dub that all of his Pokémon are Water-types, but he has a Nidoqueen.
    • When Ash reaches Mewtwo's castle, Corey says that "Hurricane winds are a breeze for Pidgeotto, here." He actually has a Pidgeot.
    • Scyther is called Alakazam and Sandslash is called Sandshrew in the dub, but they already know about those Pokémon from the main anime.
    • In the dub, after the explosion near the castle's battlefield, Mewtwo says that "his clones shall inherit the world" as they get out from the laboratory, inconsistent with his confused and worried expression. This is because in the original he asks what happened, since the explosion was clearly unexpected.
    • The dub adds lines about "fighting is wrong" during the Pokémon battling to death scenes. The franchise is based on fighting.
  • Island Base: After ending his "partnership" with Giovanni, Mewtwo returns to New Island and makes it his lair, complete with a castle that looks like a Miyazaki-esque version of Minas Morgul.
  • Killed Off for Real: The scientists who created Mewtwo.
  • Knight of Cerebus: The movie takes a dark turn from the anime with the debut of Mewtwo.
  • Kung-Fu Sonic Boom: During the Mewtwo vs Mew fight. With Psychic Powers, and it is awesome.
  • Laser-Guided Amnesia:
    • After a young Mewtwo was distraught over Amber's death, the scientists pacified it by injecting a serum that as a result forced it to forget about her.
    • Mewtwo uses his Psychic Powers to do this to Ash, Misty, Brock, the other three trainers, and all of their Pokémon as he, Mew, and his clones leave New Island for greener pastures.
  • Lighter and Softer: As dark as Mewtwo's origin story is here, it is still considerably less grim than the origin for Mewtwo in the games, in which Mew gave live birth to it (as opposed to Mewtwo being grown in a tube), the experiments done to create it are described as "horrific", and it is implied that Dr. Fuji is the same as Mr. Fuji, having lived to regret his actions. It also serves to humanize Mewtwo more from the compassionless Blood Knight its game self is.
  • Little "No": Misty's reaction to Ash's "death" and Pikachu's failed attempts to revive him with electricity is an incredibly quiet, saddened whisper of: "Please, no..."
  • Lost in Translation: The English dub translation completely changes the character of Mewtwo. Originally, Mewtwo was less outright evil, and more confused and lost than anything else. He was a tragic character; audiences were supposed to feel sorry for him. Mewtwo had no intentions of using the storm to destroy humanity, it was merely a method to filter out weaker trainers. The genetic Pokémon simply wanted to prove that as a clone, he was equal, if not stronger, than any original Pokémon.
  • Magical Gesture: Mostly played straight with Mewtwo, but averted with Mew.
  • Martial Pacifist: The English version of Mew does not believe that fighting is the only way to resolve an issue and tries to avoid it whenever it can. The Japanese incarnation, on the other hand, is a bit of a Blood Knight.
  • Meat Puppet: The local Nurse Joy is one. Mewtwo takes control of her mind and uses her as an interface for the trainers it invites until it reveals itself to them, controlling her actions and sometimes speaking through her. Once Mewtwo is done with her, it releases its control on her mind and she's back to normal.
  • Merchandise-Driven: Of course. The Japanese version definitely had this, but it was played up a bit in the English dub, complete with a well-known Burger King promotion which offered about 50 different blind-bagged Pokémon toys in Poké Balls. Unfortunately, several children died by choking on these. Nevertheless, Pokémon's popularity was relatively untarnished by the incidents.
  • Messianic Archetype: The conflict is resolved by Ash sacrificing himself, and being revived soon after.
  • Mirror Match: The whole plot of the movie revolves around Mewtwo luring trainers to his island and making clones of their Pokémon, leading to a climax which sees each Pokémon fighting its clone. The downside to this is that, because of Mewtwo making the fight even by suppressing his clones' enhanced strength and both sides' elemental powers, they're killing each other. Well, all except Pikachu, who won't even lift a paw to defend himself against his clone's attacks.
    • Meowth and his clone are another subversion; the original restrains himself from starting a fight and the latter has no interest in proving himself at all, not even seeming to mind that he was born a clone.
  • Missing Steps Plan: Mewtwo's ambitions seem very confounded and hard to follow. Initially he desires to rule over the world. Self explanatory. But, then he reveals that he wants to simultaneously liberate Pokémon and enslave Humans. However, he deems humans "dangerous" and that they should be destroyed rather than controlled. When he's all but won the battle, he's become an Omnicidal Maniac, who now desires to wipe out Pokémon and people altogether without mercy, save for his clones.
  • Mood Whiplash: Before the movie proper, viewers were treated with a happy little short about the heroes' Pokémon having a vacation in a park. Within a couple of minutes, the movie has skidded into an uncharacteristically dark and heart-wrenching account of a scientist losing his wife and daughter and Mewtwo going nearly insane with rage and sorrow until his memories are forcibly wiped.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: As nuts as Mewtwo was in this movie, there was enough good left in him to question his actions when Ash nearly died trying to stop the battle between the clones and the originals.
  • Nasty Party: Mewtwo's invitation to his island turns out to be this.
  • Never Trust a Trailer: The first Japanese trailer for the movie is quite infamous for this. It consisted almost entirely of Missing Trailer Scenes that never made it into the actual movie, the most well-known of which depicted what appeared to be a Distant Finale focusing on a grown-up Misty and a suspiciously familiar-looking child.
  • Nietzsche Wannabe: Mewtwo believes cloned Pokémon are superior to their originals and wants to eliminate all humans and non-cloned Pokémon from the world.
  • Oh Crap!: The scientists right before being blown up by Mewtwo.
  • Ominous Pipe Organ: In the original Japanese version, Mewtwo's Leitmotif is punctuated by a pretty ominous organ.
  • Omnicidal Maniac: Pre-Heel Face Turn in the English dub, in the vein of Karl Stromberg and Hugo Drax, where he plans to destroy all life on earth and repopulate it with his clones.
  • Out-Gambitted: When Mewtwo is using dark pokeballs to catch everyone's pokemon, Ash decides that Mewtwo can't catch them if they're already in their pokeballs. Mewtwo shows that he planned ahead of time by doing exactly that.
  • The Paranoiac: Mewtwo exhibits several paranoiac traits. His primary motivation is an utter distrust of all humanity for enslaving Pokémon (stemming from being himself a scientific experiment Gone Horribly Right and later used as a weapon by Giovanni), to which end he seeks to Kill All Humans and save Pokémon by enslaving all of them, the idea being that since he cares more about them than their trainers do (in his mind at least), it's for their own good.
  • Perpetual Frowner: Mewtwo has a perpetually stoic face except for the occasional frown or smirk.
  • Person of Mass Destruction: Mewtwo is an extremely powerful Pokémon. It can psychically blow up machinery and has telekinesis strong enough to allegedly create a storm that will destroy all human life on Earth.
  • Please Wake Up: Pikachu's reaction to Ash's death.
  • The Power of Love: It helps win the final battle and bring Ash back from the dead.
  • Precision F-Strike: In the Japanese version: "Discharge, damn machine!"
  • Psychic Powers: Mewtwo displays extremely potent psychic abilities of all kinds. Its telekinesis can whip up a huge storm, repel all forms of attack, and carry dozens of pokémon (some of which are quite heavy) at a time. It overpowers an Alakazam, which are known for their immense psychic power, in a psychic battle while at Giovanni's gym. It speaks to others telepathically, and can suppress people's minds to make them do its bidding and speak through them. It's also able to erase events from people's memories and teleport them back to where they were before they arrived on the island. Mew displays great psychic power in its limited screen time, as well, when it fights evenly with Mewtwo.
  • Psychopathic Manchild: Some fans of Mewtwo's Japanese incarnation have likened him to a scared, confused and angry child, placing him in types B and C of the trope. His motives basically amount to a psychic-powered temper-tantrum as a result of his mistreatment and even some of his dialogue is childish in some aspects, saying "Don't tell me what to do!" when Ash and co. confront him on taking their Pokémon. The English dub averts this, glossing over most, if not all, of Mewtwo's childish mannerisms from the Japanese version.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: Cute, cheerful Mew in comparison to the badass, angsty Mewtwo. Their force-fields are even color-coded to match.
  • Replacement Goldfish: The scientists who created Mewtwo did so in the hope that it would help find a way to clone one scientist's daughter.
  • Reset Button: Mewtwo apparently hits one at the end; not only are all memories of his plot wiped out, but the crew ends up back at the ferry station...during the storm. Effectively, he turned back time.
  • Restraining Bolt: Kinda-sorta-not-really. The armor serves its purpose (hey, Mewtwo didn't kill the trainers' Pokémon) up until Giovanni told Mewtwo exactly what his purpose was after Giovanni found him. Then Mewtwo goes Harrison Bergeron on the restraints and blows up Team Rocket's base.
  • Ridiculously Cute Critter: Mew, who also passes for Cute Bruiser. She looks like a pink kitten with rabbit feet and a long, thin tail, squeaks her name in a high-pitched voice, and is curious like a little kid. When she first sees the giant fans on the island, she plays on one and giggles.
  • R-Rated Opening: The main anime is aimed at a younger audience, with the story revolving around Ash's quest to become a Pokémon Master. The movie, however, opens with the birth of Mewtwo, who blows up a laboratory filled with scientists after learning that he is a clone created by humans. Mewtwo is then greeted by Giovanni, who offers him a chance to find his purpose in the world. The next scene features Mewtwo under the service of Team Rocket, demonstrating the organization's darker themes that the main show rarely touches upon. After realizing that Giovanni is using him as a tool, Mewtwo proceeded to blow up the Rocket base and flee to his island, swearing to strike back at the humans.
  • Science Is Bad: How Mewtwo views the scientists who created him, or at least how they use science.
  • Screw the Rules, I Have Supernatural Powers!: When one of his human guests says that a Pokémon can't be a trainer, Mewtwo counters this argument by tossing him into a fountain via telekinesis and later proceeds to do the same with said human's Gyarados.
  • Sheathe Your Sword: Pikachu and Psyduck refuse to fight their clones. It...doesn't really work. Weirdly enough, Meowth has more success with his.
  • Shout-Out: The subtitles for the movie (it actually has two, both are seen as correct however) are references to The Empire Strikes Back and Char's Counterattack.
  • Shut Up, Kirk!: Pikachu tries to convince Mewtwo that Ash views him (Pikachu) as a friend, not a slave. Mewtwo is not convinced and tries to hurl him to the back of the room, only for Ash to jump in the way and cushion Pikachu's fall.
  • The Social Darwinist: Mewtwo.
  • Soundtrack Dissonance: Despite the film's dark and troubling themes and near-constant violence during the third act, its soundtrack is made up almost exclusively of late-'90s bubblegum pop.
    • For clarity, the songs featured on the soundtrack deal with themes such as a Childhood Friend Romance or a relationship moving too fast. M 2 M's "Don't Say You Love Me", more or less advertised as the theme to the film, was relegated to being the last 40 seconds of soundtrack music featured in the credits.
  • Status Quo Is God: Pretty much the entire ending where Mewtwo erases everybody's memory of the events on the island.
  • Stealth Pun: The English dub has Brock say that he didn't know Vikings were still around while Team Rocket (disguised as Vikings) are attempting to ferry them to New Island. Ash responds that "They mostly live in Minnesota!" This went over the heads of more than a few British and Canadians. note 
  • Swiss Army Tears: The climax of the movie. Ash is revived thanks to these. Somewhat doubles as a Clap Your Hands If You Believe.
  • Taken for Granite: Ash, see Disney Death above.
  • Take Over the World: This appears to have been Giovanni's motive for manipulating Mewtwo. Mewtwo then tries to pull this off himself with his cloned Pokémon... sort of; everyone would be wiped out prior to this, so he wouldn't really be "taking it over" from anyone.
  • Talking the Monster to Death: Averted. The main characters are unable to dissuade or reason with Mewtwo or get him to abandon his reckless course of action.
  • Theme Tune Extended: The theme song for the first season of Pokémon receives a remix here, featuring the additional verses of the original theme.
  • Throwing Down the Gauntlet: "You can't do this. I won't let you."
  • Too Dumb to Live: As per usual Pokémon tradition, Ash and company actually fall for Team Rocket's Viking disguises and are foolish enough to accept the ride in an antiquated wooden longboat against Mewtwo's violent storm. Needless to say, this lack of common sense would've doomed them all if not for their Water-Type Pokémon.
    • Team Rocket themselves, for disguising themselves in such a manner long after the Vikings have been committed to history and for not being equipped to tackle such a violent storm.
    • Easily all of the trainers who elected to brave the storm, endangering their own lives for a Pokemon battle and making themselves Mewtwo's unwitting pawns for world domination.
  • Tragic Villain: MEWTWO is perhaps the most tragic villain in the anime's universe. The short written for it makes it even more tragic, which makes you feel sorry for the poor guy.
  • Trailers Always Lie: Well, exaggerate. Previews that mentioned the soundtrack album would heavily promote the M 2 M song "Don't Say You Love Me" as if it were a major part of the film, which it isn't. That said, it does appear in the film... specifically, the last eight seconds of the credits.
  • Turn the Other Cheek: Pikachu refuses to attack his clone or defend himself against the blows. A literal example, as the clone eventually starts smacking Pikachu on either side of the face.
  • Turned Against Their Masters: Mewtwo. It took him all of 12 seconds to do so.
  • Unguided Lab Tour: Team Rocket, when they sneak onto the secret island and discover the cloning lab that Mewtwo built there.
  • Unstoppable Rage: Upon learning the circumstances of his birth, Mewtwo flips and goes all Carrie White on the scientists and laboratory. He does it again when Giovanni taunts him about being equal partners.
  • Vocal Dissonance: Young Mewtwo has the voice of a very small child in the CD dramas. This was replaced by a young teenage male voice in the animated prologue.
  • Voice of the Legion: Mewtwo has a deep sounding voice, though he possibly actually communicates through psychic means.
  • Victory-Guided Amnesia: None of the trainers or their Pokémon remember the events of this movie. See Reset Button above.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?:
    • Early into the film Mewtwo has a Dragonite in his service who delivers the invitations to worthy trainers and a Fearow with a camera around its neck to observe said trainers. Neither of them are ever seen again.
    • When the trainers are leaving the harbor to New Island, a trainer with a Fearow leaves as well... to never been seen again. She mostly didn't make it to the island. The worst: she doesn't reappear in the ending at all!
  • Weather Manipulation: Mewtwo conjures a storm as a test so that only the strongest of the trainers would be able to make it to his island.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: Mewtwo, though the English version teeters dangerously close to Knight Templar territory.
  • Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds: Mewtwo, again. Even moreso in the Japanese version.
  • The Worf Effect: The montage of Mewtwo while under Giovanni's control shows him curb-stomping, among other things, an Alakazam in seconds, helping to capture a large herd of Tauros and trouncing Gary Oak's Pokémon. Gyarados, previously shown as one of the most vicious Pokémon there is in episodes like Pokémon Shipwreck, is the first Pokémon Mewtwo defeats on New Island, reflecting its Hyper Beam back at it and OHKOing it.
  • Would Hurt a Child: In the Japanese CD dramas, after Mewtwo takes down another trainer's Magmar, Giovanni steals the Magmar, then orders Mewtwo to attack the trainer.
  • Wowing Cthulhu: Mewtwo, the Big Bad of the movie, is locked in relentless combat with Mew, determined to prove he's the superior one. Ash however sees all the violence between the Pokémon and the legendaries as pointless and horrible and is desperate to stop it. This leads to him performing a Heroic Sacrifice which leads to him being petrified. Fortunately, all the other Pokémon and their clones are brought to tears by this and the tears revive him. Amazed by this, Mewtwo decides the battle is pointless now, finally seeing value in himself and the clones, and decides to stop his storm which would have destroyed the planet otherwise.
  • Writer on Board: This movie was released at the height of both Pokémon's popularity and controversy in the United States. To appease the parents in the audience, the last leg of the movie turned into a lecture over why fighting is bad.
    • The Japanese original took a very different approach to appeal to parents; instead of going "hey, this movie has a great Aesop for your kids!", it actually dealt with more complex moral and existential themes while retaining a related Aesop of its own.
  • You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: Mewtwo to Nurse Joy; downplayed in that he simply lifts her from his mind control instead of killing her. Although given his intentions for...the world, pretty much (in the dub, at least), it seems he was going to kill her along with all the other humans once he had the chance. He even says this trope nearly word-for-word in the dub.
    Mewtwo: Your usefulness has ended.

Alternative Title(s): Mewtwo Strikes Back

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Anime/PokemonTheFirstMovie