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YMMV: Pokémon: The First Movie
  • Animation Age Ghetto: Defied for the Japanese version, according to Word of God. Takeshi Shudo states that he made the movie to entertain children and their parents/guardians as well, and that he'd be "slightly embarassed" by parents who'd just take their children to see the movie as chaperones. It's a shame that, not only did 4Kids Entertainment dub this as a straight-up kids' film (as opposed to a family film), but later movies in the series would fall squarely into this trope.
    Takeshi Shudo: Perhaps this anime is not only for children but also for their guardians: Where is this? Who am I? If you answer, "This is a movie theater where I seldom come. I am a parent who has a child. —Ah, child rearing is an expensive, tiring job," I'll be slightly embarrassed by your answer.
  • Anvilicious: Whether the film's aesop is "all life is equal" (Japanese version) or "killing/fighting (to the death) is wrong!" (English version), there's a scene with all the characters preaching about it from the sidelines.
  • Are You Sure This Is For Kids: Many fans unfamiliar with the Japanese version tend to be rather surprised at the "meaning of life" themes, Mewtwo's greater complexity as a character, and the occasional mentions of God in relation to said themes. Which becomes Hilarious in Hindsight when you realize that now, there actually is a god in the Pokémon world.
  • Awesome Music: Tears of Life. That is all.
  • Cant Unhear It:
    • If you watch the Japanese version, try not to hear Masachika Ichimura as Mewtwo. Lots of fans had trouble adjusting to Reiko Takashima's performance as M16's "female" Mewtwo for this reason, with Dogasunote  noting that he kept lapsing into reading Newtwo's dialogue in Ichimura's voice when going through the M16 manga adaptation.
    • For the English version, this can either be subverted or played straight depending on your point of view, in that both Philip Bartlett and Dan Green seem to be equally well-remembered as Mewtwo's voice.
  • Creepy Awesome: Mewtwo.
  • Critical Dissonance: Did poorly with critics, but ended up being the highest grossing anime film released in the United States.
    • However, the Japanese version is usually considered outright good.
  • Draco in Leather Pants: Yes, Mewtwo is incredibly tragic and yes, he learns the error of his ways in the end. But some fans take this too far and use it to excuse his blatantly twisted and hypocritical actions throughout most of the movie.
  • Ear Worm: "Vacation" by Vitamin C. Good luck getting it out of your head.
  • Ensemble Darkhorse: The movie played a huge role in making Mewtwo into this; he's well-loved by the fanbase both as a Pokémon species and as a character. This left many fans disappointed when the 16th movie would feature a Mewtwo, but not the same Mewtwo.
  • First Installment Wins: Most people know there were at least two movies, but most people (at least outside of Japan) don't know that there is a 15th movie, and counting.
  • Fridge Horror: What happened to all those trainers that didn't make it through the storm?
    • They might still be alive, due to Mewtwo pressing the Reset Button.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
  • Jerkass Woobie: Mewtwo.
  • Love It or Hate It: The English dub qualifies; some have fond memories of it and still enjoy how it took a darker turn from the TV series, while others dislike how watered-down and generic it was made from the Japanese version.
  • Magnum Opus: The entire Mewtwo saga is considered one of the highest points of the Pokémon anime (actually, one of the few high points), especially in the original Japanese. No wonder the reaction to the 16th movie was so vitriolic when it was discovered that the movie would be a new story with an Expy Mewtwo rather than a continuation of the saga.
  • Narm: Alot due to 4kids editing and script changing.
    • One person's narm is another person's Narm Charm.
    • During the sad scene where all of the Pokemon are crying over Ash's body, the Dewgong start making sounds that are downright hilarious, especially in the Japanese version. Mood Whiplash at its finest.
  • Nightmare Fuel: Mewtwo. While Pokémon who are abused usually grow afraid or mistrustful towards humans, this one was driven half insane by it and decides to use his extremely powerful psychic abilities to exact his revenge, human and Pokémon alike. Given his game counterpart's ability in the later series to take on, and possibly even beat, other Legendaries, including Arceus, the god of all Pokémon itself, it's a very good thing for the universe in the animé that Mewtwo eventually decides to take a more productive approach to finding his purpose in life. The last thing Ash and his friends need is a Pokémon version of Kratos or Sephiroth running amok.
  • The Scrappy: Not a character, but people critical of the English dub hate the "Brother My Brother" song and find it to be a case of Soundtrack Dissonance.
  • So Bad, It's Good: Similar to Transformers: The Movie, a lot of people enjoy the English dub due to nostalgia, the pop soundtrack, and Mewtwo's Badassery as a villain, despite everyone acknowledging that the movie isn't one of the best around (as evidenced by its very, very low Rotten Tomatoes rating).
  • Vindicated by History: To some extent. The movie used to be on the IMDb Bottom 100 when it debuted, but now sits at an average rating. Most of the votes were initially from disgruntled adults taking their kids to see the movie, but they later became dominated by grown Pokéfans (the series' Popularity Polynomial definitely helped).
    • Easier (but not outright "easy") access to the original Japanese version of the movie also helped, as it motivated quite a few Pokémon fans who aren't too fond of 4Kids' dub to revisit the movie and develop a more positive opinion.

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