Pokémon Live! is, in simple words, The Musical stage show based on the Pokémon anime. It ran late in 2000 and is one of the first Pokémon-based productions made entirely in America. It's not canonical to the anime it's based on, but the story does seem to fit the bill of a Musical Episode. The soundtrack was made of songs from the Image Song album 2.B.A. Master, as well as a few songs from the later album Totally Pokémon and some exclusive musical numbers not heard anywhere else.The story begins with a mysterious Gym Leader challenging all trainers to battle him for his one-of-a-kind Gym Badge, the Diamond Badge. Ash Ketchum, protagonist of the anime, is determined to win this Badge. However, he is also put through a dilemma of sorts; his friend Misty is upset that he never made good on his promise to take her to the movies for her birthday three weeks ago, which she points out is an example of him focusing so much on his Pokémon training that he is ignoring his friends.What Ash doesn't realize, though, is that the mysterious Gym Leader is in fact Giovanni, leader of Team Rocket. He has been using the Diamond Badge as bait to make trainers unwittingly come face his new super-robot Pokémon, MechaMew2, based off of the powerful Mewtwo he used to own. MechaMew2's ability is that it can learn, amplify, and return the attacks of its challengers, thus making it unstoppable. By a strange coincidence, the only two techniques it hasn't yet learned are Thundershock and Thunder, two abilities possessed by Pikachu. Thus, Giovanni once again sends his Terrible Trio, Jessie, James, and Meowth, to capture Ash's Pikachu (which, surprisingly, they actually manage to accomplish!). During this, he also kidnaps Professor Oak and Ash's mom, Delia.If you'd like to know how it ends, you'll have to watch the whole thing on YouTubestarting here. An earlier transcript can be found on this site. A Making Of featurette can be seen here.
The Chessmaster: Giovanni orchestrates the entire plot and manipulates just about everyone.
Darren Dunstan: He manipulates a whole lot of people during the show, and it makes him a lot of fun to play.
Circling Monologue: Ash and Giovanni circle each other as they sing/fight in "You Just Can't Win."
Rocket Grunts circle Ash and Giovanni as the latter gets the upper hand.
Contrived Coincidence: MechaMew2 has learned every single move... except for Thundershock and Thunder. This gives Giovanni the perfect excuse to have Jessie and James kidnap Ash's Pikachu for him. Keep in mind that Giovanni keeps referring to the total amount of moves as 251, which it is in the second generation. This means that MechaMew2 has somehow learned the signature moves of twolegendary Pokémon (Lugia's Aeroblast and Ho-oh's Sacred Fire) but is yet to meet one that uses either of the two rather common Electric-type moves.
Good Old Fisticuffs: When MechaMew2 defeats Pikachu, Ash tries to fight Giovanni himself, with his fists. Giovanni responds in kind.
Help, I'm Stuck!: Jessie and James fall into their own pit trap and Meowth has to fetch a rope to rescue them.
Hey, It's That Guy!: Professor Oak and Delia are portrayed by Patrick Frankfort and Dee Roscioli (the latter of whom went on to star in Cats and later became world-famous as Elphaba in Wicked). The fact that the actors were dating in real life leads to an Actor Allusion in which Ash tells Oak "Don't bring my mom home too late!"
James is played by Elder Price and later went on to play Harley in the Pokemon anime.
Hey, That's My Line!: Jessie and James are confused when Ash demands to be taken to Giovanni, claiming those are their lines.
Hoist by His Own Petard: Giovanni gave MechaMew2 the ability to "learn", which results in it "learning" the difference between good and evil thanks to Mewtwo and Ash. Having learned right from wrong and which one Giovanni is, MechaMew2 tries to take Giovanni with it by blowing up.
Earlier, Jessie and James fall into their own pit trap.
I Want Them Alive: Giovanni instructs Team Rocket to bring him Pikachu alive and unharmed so it can fight MechaMew2.
Later, when Ash surrenders to Team Rocket, his friends and family try to follow them—but Meowth specifies the Boss only wanted Ash.
Idiot Hero: Ash comes across as this since he is solely focused on obtaining the Diamond Badge, oblivious to Misty's feelings, and seemingly obsessed with Pokémon. However, in "I've Got A Secret", Ash sings about how he must move on from Pikachu's departure to follow his dream and become an adult. He gets over his idiocy by the end of the musical.
Just Between You and Me: Defied. Delia wants to avoid this trope, so she tells Ash about her past before Giovanni can.
Keet: Brock gets the most high-energy, elaborate dancing in the show.
Kneel Before Zod: Giovanni's reprise of "You And Me and Pokemon" mentions this. On stage, Rocket Grunts kneel before him as he sings.
One fight/Then after that/You'll all be at my feet!
Large Ham: Giovanni, the Team Rocket trio, Brock and Professor Oak.
My God, What Have I Done?: Delia has this reaction after she tells Ash about her past; the revelation combined with Team Rocket stealing his Pikachu made Ash surrender to them to be taken straight to Giovanni—something Delia desperately tried to avoid.
Mythology Gag: Jigglypuff scribbles drawings on Ash and co. when they fall asleep after she sings.
A Dodrio can be heard giving a morning crow like one does in episode one of the anime.
Neck Lift: Sort of. In "You Just Can't Win" Giovanni grabs Ash by the chin/neck, lifts his head and shoves him away; it'd probably be closer to an actual neck lift if they weren't the same height.
Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: Pikachu's Thundershock and Thunder were the last two moves MechaMew2 needed to learn; with the list complete, nothing can stop Giovanni from conquering the world.
No Nonsense Nemesis: After Pikachu teaches MechaMew2 its electric moves, Giovanni decides to kill Ash and Pikachu with Hyper Beam.
Nonchalant Dodge: During "You Just Can't Win," Giovanni tries to punch Ash, who dodges and taunts him about it.
Ash: Guess you're slowin' down, old man; can't hit what you can't catch!
The Other Darrin: None of the human characters are portrayed by their anime voice actors. This is averted with the costumed Pokémon. Ikue Otani and Maddie Blaustein were confirmed by the production manager that they recorded their lines in the musical.
Parent Service: During several of the songs, there were dancers in the background wearing skin-tight leotards.
James delivers a joke about employment benefits and "Don't Ask Don't Tell".
Quarreling Song: "You Just Can't Win," sung by Giovanni and Ash after Pikachu's defeated by MechaMew2.
Rule of Cool: The MechaMew2 robot, the entire last 15 minutes, and the helicopter were probably written to invoke this.
Self Restraint: Upon hearing Team Rocket has Pikachu, when Jessie and James arrive to capture him Ash lets them. They're put off by this.
Serious Business: Besides Pokemon being a cornerstone of the world, Giovanni seems horrified when Team Rocket's motto interrupts his villain song.
Ship Tease: Between Ash and Misty, Delia and Professor Oak, and there used to be a relationship between Delia and Giovanni.
Taking You with Me: MechaMew2 tries to do this to Giovanni; sadly, the Rocket boss escapes before it blows up.
Talking the Monster to Death: This is how MechaMew2 is defeated. Mewtwo hitting it with Ash's memories give it sentience and an understanding of right and wrong, which it uses to try and take out Giovanni.
Villain Song: Giovanni's "It Will All Be Mine" and his Dark Reprise of "You and Me and Pokémon". Also, Team Rocket's "Double Trouble".
The Villain Sucks Song: "The Best at Being the Worst" is Team Rocket doing this to themselves, except they twist it around to make it sound like they're great for sucking so much and how it's their claim to fame.
What the Hell, Hero?: A comical version. Brock gets the group lost when he chucks away the map to Viridian City to deliberately talk to a pretty girl and ask for directions. Needless to say, Misty is not happy.