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Anime / Pokémon 2000

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No, it isn't the 2000th movie.

Disturb not the harmony of Fire, Ice, or Lightning,
Lest these Titans wreak destruction upon the world in which they clash.
Though the Water's Great Guardian shall arise to quell the fighting,
Alone its Song will fail. Thus the Earth shall turn to ash.
— The opening lines of the prophecy, Pokémon: The Movie 2000

Pokémon: The Movie 2000: The Power of One, commonly shortened to Pokémon 2000 and also known as Pocket Monsters Revelation - Lugia in Japan, is the second Pokémon: The Series film, released on July 17, 1999. It was once again directed by Kunihiko Yuyama and written by Takeshi Shudō.

A collector, Lawrence III, plans to capture the three Legendary Birds—Moltres, Zapdos, and Articuno—in order to collect his prize, the Beast of the Sea. The initial capture of Moltres begins to throw the balance of nature out of order as the remaining birds begin vying to expand their power, just as legend had foretold.

Said legend has become the center of an annual celebration on Shamouti Island, where Ash, Misty, and Tracey are roped into taking part in the climactic ritual journey to obtain the three treasures associated with each of the three elements. The paths of Lawrence and Ash intersect and soon a great battle erupts to prevent one man's obsession from throwing the planet into chaos.

This movie marked the franchise-wide debut of the Pokémon Lugia, who was designed specifically for this movie and later incorporated into Pokémon Gold and Silver.

This movie provides examples of:

  • 2D Visuals, 3D Effects:
    • Lawrence's flying castle is done in CGI.
    • During the long-shot pan of all the Pokémon gathered at the icy sea, if you look closely, you can see the Pokémon are all CGI.
    • The ocean current is obviously CG when contrasted with the ocean surface during the ending. It also casts a shadow on anything under it that doesn't look quite natural.
  • Adaptational Badass: While the birds are no slouches in the games, there's no indication that they're anything more than rare stronger-than-average Pokémon. Pokémon 2000 depicts them as borderline Physical Gods and briefly took down Lugia.
  • Affably Evil: Lawrence is impeccably polite while causing this movie's conflict.
  • All There in the Manual:
    • The villain of the film is never referred to by any sort of name, and so the name Lawrence III came from the English novelization of the movie. The closed captions, however, call him Gelarden, which comes from his Japanese name Jiarudan (which itself only comes from the film's program book and soundtrack.)
    • According to a production sketch, he's also a scientific genius. This is never brought up in the movie, although the common assumption is that he designed the capture devices he uses. Which WOULD go along with another tidbit from the production line—he aided in the design of his airship.
    • Lawrence is the only movie antagonist to have an image song, and in it we learn that his entire life revolves around serving his collection. He thinks highly of himself, but even higher of it. It also establishes his utter detachment from the world outside his ship.
    • In addition, the Shamouti chief is only named in the closed captions—Tobias. He has no Japanese name.
  • Anachronic Order: The movie takes place after the events of Charizard Chills, given that Charizard obeys Ash during the movie. However, the movie premiered in Japan before Charizard Chills aired.
  • Animalistic Abomination: All three of the Legendary Birds, plus Lugia—Articuno, Zapdos and Moltres are giant birds with godlike power over the elements of ice, lightning and fire respectively and are so powerful that their clashing nearly causes the end of the world. Lugia is friendlier than they are, but it too is an enormous, vaguely avian creature with Psychic Powers and a godlike control over water, and implicitly, the sea itself.
  • Anti-Villain: Lawrence III. He's selfish and ego-maniacal, but also very polite and dignified.
  • Apocalypse How: The Natural Disaster Cascade triggered by Moltres, Zapdos and Arcticuno's imbalance threatens to ultimately cause at least a Class 4 — probably even a Class 5 or Class 6.
  • Arc Words: "Disturb not the harmony of fire, ice and lightning..."
  • Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: In the English dub and subsequent dubs based on it.
    Jessie: (when the legendary birds are fighting) I'd hate to get burned by their fire.
    James: I'd hate to get zapped by their lightning.
    Meowth: I'd hate to get hit by...their droppings!
  • Barrier Warrior: Lugia can create a shield around itself that is able to reflect the Legendary Birds' attacks back at them and keep Lawrence III's forcefield generators off of it long enough to use Aeroblast. It gets a more mundane use whenever Lugia needs to knock one of the birds aside.
  • Betty and Veronica: Misty is the Betty to Melody's Veronica while Ash is the utterly oblivious Archie.
  • Big Bad: Lawrence III is the main antagonist of the film who kicks off the plot by capturing Moltres.
  • Big Bad Ensemble: Lawrence may have royally ticked them off, but the three birds also stir up a conflict with the destruction they're causing.
  • Big Damn Heroes:
    • Lugia enters to save the cast from the three birds.
    • Team Rocket! Yes, they "protect the world from devastation" by helping Ash.
  • Blow You Away: Lugia.
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall:
    • Jessie and James do it when they first confront Ash:
      Jessie: Prepare for more trouble, than you've ever seen!
      James: Make it double, we're on the big screen!
      Ash: ...I'll have to catch this on video.
    • Occurs at the end of the movie with Team Rocket and Slowking. Team Rocket is upset that nobody saw how good they were in helping Ash, and Slowking directs their attention to the audience, starting the "That's good/That's bad" gag below. Fans weren't happy about this, and DVD commentary explains that 4Kids didn't know how else to handle the scene.
  • Broken Aesop: The dub attempts to force in a message about how one person can make all the difference (hence the title, "The Power of One"), but it doesn't work because throughout the story Ash is consistently getting help from his friends, his Pokémon, Lugia, and even Team Rocket.
  • The Cameo: Brock makes a brief appearance while Professor Ivy is contacting Professor Oak. Happens again in the end credits, when he photobombs himself into the movie...a little bit too late.
  • Captain Oblivious: Lawrence III, so very much. The entire reason he wreaked so much havoc was due to him being clueless he was doing anything wrong in the first place. The film's writer even stated on a blog that it's total egomania, not a desire to do evil, that drives his actions.
  • The Chessmaster: Lawrence uses Chess Motifs to illustrate The Plan for catching Lugia.
  • The Chosen One: Mentioned by the prophecy. The old guy (Tobias) says "It's just for the tourists" and they have a new one every festival but then it turns out that Ash really is the one to fulfill the prophecy. Lawrence III seems to view himself as The Chosen One, interpreting it as him capturing Moltres, Zapdos and Articuno in order to draw out and capture Lugia.

  • The Collector: Lawrence III (Jirarudan), who aims to collect the three legendary birds and Lugia.
  • Color-Coded Eyes: Lawrence III has somewhat striking violet eyes and has a kingly bearing around him. He certainly sees himself as a king in his chess match with Lugia (which is ironic because the very first line of his image song is "I am nobody's king").
  • Continuity Nod:
    • One of the opening themes in the Johto saga references the relationship established here between Lugia and the three Birds, even drawing a parallel with Ho-oh and the three Beasts. Lugia's connection to the birds was again alluded to in Pokémon X and Y, where Articuno, Zapdos and Moltres can be met, battled and caught in a place named Sea Spirit's Den.
    • A stone tablet depicting a carving of Mew (from the previous film) can be seen near the ending.
  • Cool Airship: Lawrence III's is huge and powerful enough to trap legendary birds.
  • Cosmic Keystone: Articuno, Zapdos, and Moltres serve this function to Lugia, though the orbs of fire, ice, and lightning also qualify.
  • CPR: Clean, Pretty, Reliable: Ash ends up drowning after he and Pikachu fall off Lugia before the film's climax. Misty ends up having to resuscitate him, though only the dub is explicit that he stopped breathing. Although he revives quickly, he has to be helped up the mountain to bring the last MacGuffin.
  • Deconstruction: Similar to the previous film, the movie breaks down one of Pokémon's core tenets. This time, it's "Gotta Catch Them All"; and boy, does he gotta.
  • Disney Death: Team Rocket, specifically, when they let go of Lugia so it can keep with only Ash and Pikachu. They were certainly resigned to their fate. Subverted in that they survived falling into the ocean.
  • Dub-Induced Plot Hole: Sort of. Professor Oak had an extra line theorizing that lightning striking volcanic seawater began a chemical reaction that created life on Earth. And in the scene on Lawrence's ship, Tracey had an obvious line not dubbed in that went something like this:
    Tracey: Electricity plus fire plus water...electricity separates water into hydrogen and oxygen, which is then recombined using fire which means - EVERYBODY GET DOWN!
    • The same scene takes out audio from Togepi using Metronome, which may have had a hand in that explosion.
  • Early-Bird Cameo: Lugia and Slowking appear here before the release of the Pokémon Gold and Silver video games. Pikachu's Rescue Adventure had appearances by Elekid, Hoothoot, Ledyba, and Bellossom as well.
  • Enemy Mine:
    • The Team Rocket trio assists Ash when he attempts to grab Articuno's sphere, claiming that if the world were to come to an end, there'd be "no one left to steal from". However, it becomes clear that they've got more noble motives when they sacrifice themselves to help Lugia and Ash escape later, because it also makes it really hard to steal if you're dead. Luckily, though, the three survive the plunge.
    • The three birds also team up against Lugia when it tries to interfere in their battle, ceasing hostilities against each other until its down. They immediately go back to it afterwards, however.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: Even the Team Rocket trio of Jessie, James, and Meowth can't the stand of sight of seeing Moltres and Zapdos in the spherical cages and decide to save the legendary birds.
  • Exact Words: Only present in the English dub. "Thus, the earth shall turn to ash." This line from the prophecy is not referring to The End of the World as We Know It, but rather, name-drops the one who would save the world.
  • Fire, Ice, Lightning: The three legendary birds. Moltres represents fire, Articuno represents ice, and Zapdos represents lightning.
  • Foreshadowing: When Ash and his friends reach the Shamouti shrine, Slowking greets him with "So, you're Ash" despite our boy not having introduced himself. Slowking already knows who he is because the prophecy specifically named him as The Chosen One.
  • Funny Background Event: Brock's cameo has him running around in a frenzy while Professor Ivy talks on the phone with Professor Oak. Also, the Krabbys comment listed below.
  • Gilded Cage: The Hikoukyuu is this for Jirarudan, although he enjoys it and clearly doesn't see it as a prison.
  • Gondor Calls for Aid: Subverted; according to Lugia, all of the Pokémon in the world show up in the climax, but they don't actually do anything to help in the battle. Of course, few Johto and no Hoenn-onwards Pokémon appear. Mainly because Hoenn and the later regions didn't exist yet when the movie was made.
  • The Great Flood: Professor Oak explains that this will be the final end result if the Natural Disaster Cascade unleashed by Moltres, Zapdos and Arcticuno's imbalance isn't corrected.
  • Green Aesop: A selfish collector disregards the balance of nature, and as a result causes some severe climate change.
  • Green-Eyed Monster: Misty, of course, denies every aspect of it, but she still gets very jealous of all the attention Melody provides Ash.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: The Team Rocket trio let go of Lugia to lighten his load and let him fly faster. Disney Death is averted though; in fact, they fared better than Ash, who drowned and needed CPR after he fell off Lugia.
  • Hope Spot:
    • Lugia awakens, ready to fight the Legendary Birds and set things right! ...and they overpower him, making the global storm rage even further out of control.
    • Ash and Lugia successfully evade the Legendary Birds and are almost back to Shamouti Island when Lawrence III makes his attempt to catch Lugia, completely screwing things up even more.
  • Hostile Weather: Both the movie and the short feature this. In the movie, it's caused by the antagonist disrupting the Legendary Birds. In the short, it's just a random (though still dangerous) storm.
  • Ice Queen: Articuno.
  • Ironic Echo Cut: In the English dub, after Ash accepts he's The Chosen One, we cut to a snowy mountain.
    "Right now I feel more the frozen one."
  • It's Always Mardi Gras in New Orleans: Our heroes arrive at Shamouti Island on the night before their annual festival.
  • It Kind of Looks Like a Face: The giant tree that Pikachu's Rescue Adventure takes place in looks very vaguely like a smiley face. At the end, it looks more clearly face-like due to the storm clearing out some of the branches and a more distant shot immediately after gives it an actual smiley face.
  • Loser Has Your Back: Team Rocket while mostly Enemy Mine cover this trope as well with their assistance since it's usually Ash and Co. that beat them throughout the entire series.
  • Lost in Translation:
    • The Swedish dub, which is a translation of the English dub, has the prophecy say that the world will become aska, which means "ash." Misty figures out that Ash's the one the prophecy is talking about, since aska means "Ash" in English. But since the Swedish language makes it impossible to keep the double-entendre where "turn to" can mean "become" as well as "turn for help to," Misty's reasoning feels like Insane Troll Logic. The prophecy mentions a word that means "ash" in another language, so therefore Mr. Ketchum is supposed to save the world? That's reaching at straws. This translation is also used in the Norwegian dub.
    • In the Croatian dub (which was based on the 4Kids dub), the sentence "thus the earth shall turn to ash" was changed to instead say "thus only the Chosen One will save the earth", likely because the translation team caught on to the fact that a direct translation could cause problems due to the nature of the language it was being translated to. However, this caused the twist to stop existing altogether and led to a confusing exchange between Slowking and Ash's company as the same thing about the Chosen One winds up being reiterated during the part where the prophecy twist is supposed to come to light and reveal Ash as the one who will save the day, revealing nothing new in the process and yet somehow making Ash out as the one that the prophecy was talking about without any visible evidence.
  • Love Triangle: Downplayed. Ash is too dense to notice Misty's feelings for him and barely acknowledges Melody's flirtatious behavior. This doesn't stop the two girls from having a catty rivalry.
  • Magic Music: Melody's ocarina can heal Lugia's injuries and is the final key to restoring the world's balance.
  • Meaningful Background Event: Pay attention to Togepi when the gang's trying to break the birds free (particularly in the dub, where its voice is accidentally taken out) — its Metronome may have sped up the explosion process (which of course, they don't notice).
  • Meaningful Name: Melody plays music. Pointed out very early on, by Ash.
  • Męlée ŕ Trois: Articuno vs Zapdos vs Moltres, with Lugia trying to be the Conflict Killer, and Lawrence III awaiting his chance to capture the latter.
  • Merchandise-Driven: Pretty egregiously, even for this franchise; the card that started Lawrence on his obsession is the same one that was given away with tickets for the film.
  • Mike Nelson, Destroyer of Worlds: Lawrence III isn't trying to destroy the world and in fact he's shocked when such a thing starts. He's just "collecting them all".
  • Mineral Macguffin: Played With. They aren't exactly gemstones so much as they are perfectly-rounded transparent orbs, but in order to stop the end of the world, Ash is tasked with collecting each of the three "treasures"note  from their respective shrines on Moltres, Articuno and Zapdos' native islands, and bringing them to the shrine on Shamouti Island.
  • Misfit Mobilization Moment: All of Ash's Pokémon on-hand coming out to encourage him in fulfilling his role as The Chosen One. Yes, even Charizard. This movie aired in Japan a week prior to the episode where Charizard began to obey Ash, meaning that the movie chronogically takes place after it.
  • Mon: Of course. The focus of the plot is a guy collecting Olympus Mons.
  • Mundane Made Awesome: Normally, fetching the orbs of fire, ice and lightning wouldn't really be a big deal. Ash would go fetch them, come back, the Shamouti Islanders throw a party and play some music...but what with the legendary birds fighting, it's much more important, as is the song Melody's meant to play.
  • Musical Theme Naming: The sisters Carol and Melody.
  • My Significance Sense Is Tingling: After Lawrence III captures Moltres but before the weather disturbances begin, Pikachu is looking up at the sky with a concerned expression, sensing that something is very wrong. This then extends to numerous other Pokémon.
  • Natural Disaster Cascade: Lawrence III disrupting the balance of Zapdos, Moltres and Arcticuno at the Orange Islands by disturbing the three Pokémon causes a gigantic underwater current to snake out from the islands and cause global freak weather disasters. For a hint about how bad it can get, Professor Oak and Ash's mother witness sunny weather abruptly give way to an eight-second rainstorm which immediately turns to a forty-second light snow, and an aurora briefly appears in the sky before the clouds clear again for the time — and that was just the early onset. Professor Oak predicts that if the balance isn't restored, the calamity will ultimately flood the entire planet.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: Ash and co release Moltres and Zapdos from the gallery, and prevent Lawrence III from pursuing Articuno. But the legend never said that the birds had to be free, only in balance. If Articuno had been captured, the balance would have been restored.
  • Ninja Pirate Zombie Robot: Shamouti seems to be the most multicultural island ever. They wear Aztec-like outfits, dance around a Native American totem pole, play Caribbean music, have a parade involving a Gyarados styled like a Chinese dragon, and hang out in Greek temples.
  • Novelization: Like the last movie, Tracey West wrote novelizations for this and the Pikachu's Rescue Adventure short.
  • Obliviously Evil:
    • Lawrence, though this is pretty much his own fault. In true oblivious villain fashion, he sees the destruction happening around him...and is blissfully unaware that he caused it to begin with.
    • Possibly the legendary birds — they're causing untold destruction all over the place, but mostly because someone woke them up and royally ticked them off.
  • The Obi-Wan: Lugia might be "The Beast of the Sea", but he's a fairly eloquent and benevolent one, and his conversations with Ash are nothing but positive reinforcement and gentle guidance. Then the elemental birds take him down on the way back from getting the third orb and he goes crazy, firing off two Aeroblasts in a last-ditch attempt to take down Lawrence's ship and stop the fighting before crashing into the ocean, fainting, and sinking.
  • Oh, Crap!: The computer on Lawrence's ship wastes no time yelling "Mayday!"s when it crashes on Lightning Island.
  • Old Maid: In the Japanese version, Jessie claims that Ash and Misty (who are 10) are about ten years too early for romance. James then goes on to say that he and Jessie are five years too late.
  • On Second Thought: In the opening, Ash retracts his decision to let two of his Pokémon out for fresh air: Charizard (out of control) and Snorlax (he nearly capsizes the party's boat).
  • Overly-Long Gag: In the dub, Team Rocket's dialogue during the ending, contemplating on whether they decide to permanently be good guys or not. Topped by James saying "That's good/bad" each and every time...
  • Platonic Life-Partners: Misty's arc throughout the movie is essentially her trying to come to terms with her feelings for Ash, and by the film's end she decides that, yes, despite all their bickering, she does care deeply about him.
    Misty: Ash is never really alone because he's
  • Playing with Fire: Moltres.
  • Pragmatic Villainy: Team Rocket would be out of a job if the world gets destroyed, so they give Ash a lift to the last orb's location.
  • Prophecy Twist:
    • Only present in the dubbed English version: through a clever bit of wordplay, the line "thus the earth shall turn to ash" in the legend was originally thought to reference the world's destruction; however, the heroes later realize the legend is talking about Ash. Ash then wished he had the name "Bob".
    • Lawrence III interprets the prophecy's reference to "The Beast of the Sea" as meaning Lugia and the "three treasures" to mean the three titans of Moltres, Zapdos, and Articuno - he thus enacts a plan to capture the Legendary Birds, believing that by doing so he'll be able to awaken then "tame" Lugia. In actuality, "The Beast of the Sea" refers to the climate disruption caused by separating the birds from their respective islands, and the three treasures are the orbs that Ash must bring to Shamouti Island to remedy the catastrophe.
  • Red Baron: Averted. Lawrence III thinks that the "beast of the sea" is Lugia. The prophecy was actually referring to the ocean current caused by the Legendary Birds being disrupted. That said, Lugia is far from unworthy of the title.
  • Scenery Porn: The Orange Islands.
  • Screw Destiny: The Japanese version didn't specify that Ash had anything to do with the prophecy. note  He decided to do it anyway.
  • Self-Fulfilling Prophecy: Lawrence III accidentally set the events of the prophecy in motion by trying to capture the three legendary birds because he believed that in doing so, it would lead to him taming "the Beast of the Sea."
  • Series Fauxnale: This film is often considered this for the early years of the anime. Ash becomes a prophesised chosen one and saves the entire planet from an impending disaster, he masters cooperation with four legendary Pokemon, and his relationship with Misty is resolved, as she vows to stand by his side always. Team Rocket even hint at the end they'll turn over a new leaf and debate the pros and cons of such a decision.
  • She Cleans Up Nicely: Melody first appeared wearing modern clothes, but, at the night of the festival she's garbed in festival clothes. Ash's reaction clearly irritated Misty on the spot since this is one of few times Ash truly seemed to demonstrate attraction.
  • Ship Tease:
    • Many Pokéshippers (Ash/Misty) cite this movie as their favorite.
    • Melody is not subtle in any way showing that she is really interested in Ash.
    • Upon hearing Misty and Melody arguing about Ash:
      Jessie: Listen to me, kid: when you get involved with the opposite sex, you're only asking for trouble!
      James: Yes, and that's the kind of trouble...I stay out of.
      Meowth: Youse two don't need the opposite sex cause youse got each otta. *laughs like a maniac*
    Oddly (considering that the Team Rocket trio's lines get re-written most of the time), these lines are fairly similar to the Japanese dialogue, with Meowth originally saying "Whatever you say. You guys get love-love all the time!"
  • Shoo Out the Clowns: Team Rocket blast off for good just before the climax in an attempted Heroic Sacrifice. Although they are immediately shown to have survived, they aren't seen again until the final scene of the movie, once all the action is over.
  • Shout-Out: The concept of misaligning three divine beings (or in this particular case, legendary Pokémon) and it causing a major calamity as a result is extremely similar to Final Fantasy VI, the two major differences are that the main villain in that game, unlike here, is fully aware that his actions would cause the world to be ravaged, and yet did it anyways simply because he could, and that unlike in the game, here the destruction of the world was averted, although just barely.
  • Soft Water: When Team Rocket lets go of Lugia, they fall through a hole in the ice. They're stunned momentarily, but swim right back to the surface. Not that this is unusual for them, though.
  • Spell My Name With An S: Lawrence III's Japanese name has been spelled as Jirarudan (the preferred Romanization amongst his fans), Gelardan, Girardian, Gelarden (what the closed captioning on the English dub calls him), and Geraldine. Add into it that there's no official Romanization of his Japanese name, and that phonetically the J sound is closest although the name is (most likely) based off Rene Girard (which is pronounced as a J but such a thing is difficult to get across in the Roman alphabet).
  • The Stoic: Lawrence has about four facial expressions in the entire movie. Most of them are variations on "smug". Even at the end when he's standing in the ruins of his vaporized collection, he expresses nothing. It's clear that he feels things, and he's not trying to hide his emotions. They just don't manifest.
  • Super Drowning Skills: Team Rocket fell through ice, and were unharmed. Ash fell straight into the water, and promptly drowned, needing to be resuscitated by Misty.
  • Take That!: Lawrence III is basically a real world obsessive collector-type fan transplanted into the fictional world and he's the antagonist.
  • There Is No Kill Like Overkill:
    • In order to get Moltres' attention, Lawrence III bombs its home island with ice.
    • When Lugia first appears, the three Titans shoot it down quickly and then proceed to seal up the hole that Lugia came out of. As Linkara said in the review of the movie, "I think you got him!".
  • Title by Year: Titled Pokemon 2000; was released in 1999.
  • Wave-Motion Gun: Lugia's Aeroblast levels what's left of Lawrence III's ship and knocks the Legendary Birds out of the sky without even hitting them.
  • Weather Dissonance: Early in the movie, a brief snowfall hits Pallet Town during the summer, an early hint that something bad is happening. Later on, there's weird weather all over the place when two of the three legendary birds have been captured by Lawrence III.
  • Why We Can't Have Nice Things: Lawrence III's ship has little force fields around all of his treasures to keep them from being broken. Not that it helped, considering that it it couldn't protect against Aeroblast.