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Anime / Pokémon: Lucario and the Mystery of Mew

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Our fellow Mew returns, but meets a guardian of the aura within.
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Pokémon: Lucario and the Mystery of Mew, known in Japan as Mew and the Wave-Guiding Hero: Lucario, is the eighth Pokémon: The Series film, and the last to be dubbed by 4Kids Entertainment before they lost the rights to the series.

In ancient times of Rota Town in the Kanto region, two armies warred against each other, threatening the safety of all the people who lived there as well. Because of this, a Knight named Sir Aaron, who could use a mysterious power called Aura, and his apprentice, a Pokémon named Lucario, were sent by the queen of Rota to quell the fighting. On their way, Sir Aaron told Lucario that he's leaving the kingdom and never coming back, before sealing Lucario away in his magic staff. Sir Aaron stopped the war and was proclaimed a hero, but no one ever knew what happened to him. Flash forward to the present where Ash Ketchum and friends are visiting Cameran Palace in the middle of Rota Town for a Pokémon tournament. Being The Hero and all, Ash naturally wins, and so is presented with the Staff of Sir Aaron. Because Ash wore a costume identical to Sir Aaron's clothes and Lucario sensed an Aura coming from him, Lucario escaped from the staff, only to wind up distraught by his new surroundings and distrusting of humans. Later that night during a party, a Mew enters the Palace, seeming to want to play, but is then attacked by a mysterious thief. While fleeing, Mew accidentally takes Pikachu (and Meowth) away to a nearby landmark called the Tree of Beginnings. So it's up to Ash and friends, along with Lucario's help, to rescue Pikachu.

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The film is generally considered among the best of the series, as it makes a breakaway from the mostly derivative plot of the many Pokémon movies by featuring much more engaging characters and story. As of January 2022, it has the highest IMDb rating of the film series, 6.9/10 from over 4500 votes.


This movie provides examples of:

  • 2D Visuals, 3D Effects: During the ballroom scene, any dancers not in the immediate foreground are very obviously CG (to the point of being early Playstation 2 game-level graphics).
  • The Ace: Kidd. To quote Brock: "Kidd Summers has set a world record for setting the most world records ever a~~~nd, she's soared higher, dived deeper, and space-traveled farther than any human being in history. Kidd's also a surfing expert, a gourmet cook, and a badminton champ. To call Kidd Summers a superwoman is the understatement of the century! She's super-duper!". The only reason Brock knows all of this is because he's her "biggest fan".
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  • Action Girl: As opposed to other women like May, Kidd is very adventure-oriented and packs an assortment of gadgets that help her to achieve her goals and avoid at least some of the dangers posed by the Tree of Beginning's defensive system for some time.
  • Action-Hogging Opening: Most of the actual action is provided by the prologue and the tournament in the opening. The rest of the movie is mostly a road trip and the "action" of the final act consists of fruitlessly trying to fend off The Juggernauts inhabiting the Tree of Beginnings.
  • Ambiguously Brown: Kidd is brown-skinned, but her hometown and region of origin are unknown.
  • Ambiguously Related:
    • Ash and Aaron are not only similar in appearance (as highlighted by Ash spending a day in Aaron's knightly uniform), but their Aura is basically identical—Lucario initially mistook Ash for Aaron the instant he emerged. However, no connection is ever elaborated on.
    • This retroactively expands to include Riley of Pokémon Diamond and Pearl and Pokémon the Series: Diamond and Pearl, whose appearance is identical to Sir Aaron's.
  • Apocalyptic Log: The Time Flowers reveal multiple events from the end of the war and the last moments of Sir Aaron.
  • Applied Phlebotinum: Aura can be used to do things like shoot Pure Energy explosives, stimulate time flowers, and seal Lucario in Aaron's crystal staff.
  • Arc Words: Characters such as Lucario use the phrase "The Aura is with me" several times during the movie.
  • Artistic License – Animal Care: Max offers Lucario some chocolate. Lucario is a canine Pokémon, and in real life, chocolate is poisonous to dogsnote 
  • Aura Vision: A long time prior to the movie's events, Sir Aaron taught his partner Lucario how to sense auras.
  • Awesome Personnel Carrier: Kate drives Ash and the gang to the Tree of Beginnings in one.
  • Background Magic Field: Aura, which exists in all things animate or inanimate and is rarely usable save by specialists like Aaron and Lucario capable of sensing and using it. Even better, not only do Aaron and Lucario belong to an order of knights, the Arc Words, "The Aura is with me," directly recall, "May the Force be with you."
  • Bait-and-Switch: A Ho-Oh appears in the very first part of the prologue and is later revealed to be a transforming Mew in disguise before the prologue ends.
  • Beam-O-War: Lucario's Aura Sphere vs Regirock's Hyper Beam. The Aura Sphere wins, but it barely slows Regirock down.
  • Beast of Battle: The flashbacks to the war Lucario and Sir Aaron were in show humans and Pokémon fighting side-by-side.
  • Berserk Button: Do not insinuate that Ash would abandon Pikachu.
  • Bittersweet Ending: Lucario sacrifices himself to save the Tree but is shown to be reunited with Sir Aaron in the afterlife and is recognized as a hero in the kingdom.
  • Both Sides Have a Point: While May was right when she chastised Ash for tackling Lucario, Ash is also right when he points out that Lucario shouldn't have insulted his friendship with Pikachu like that. (Shown in What the Hell, Hero? below.)
  • Break His Heart to Save Him: The reason Sir Arron lied to Lucario about abandoning the kingdom and then sealed him away in the staff. He knew that if Lucario followed him to the Tree of Beginning, he would try to stop him from performing his Heroic Sacrifice, or he would just join him in it.
  • Broken Bird: Lucario, after he's sealed away by Aaron. He thinks Aaron betrayed him and the queen, feeling hurt and distrust towards humans.
  • Breakout Character: Lucario. He is the first non-Legendary Pokémon note  to have a feature-length film. After the film's success...well, just look at Super Smash Bros. for its impact on the franchise.
  • Broken Pedestal: Lucario's present opinion of Sir Aaron. He learns the truth later.
  • Call-Back:
    • To the first movie. They are the first two of three movies set in the Kanto region Where It All Began, both contain a Mew as one of the main characters, and both involved Ash dying.
    • Ash reminisces about the confrontation with the Spearow flock from the first episode of Pokémon: The Original Series over dinner during the road trip.
  • Casting Gag: With that familiar pose when charging Aura Sphere, no wonder Goku's American VA was cast for Lucario. Ditto for the Japanese version, where Lucario uses a mystical power similar to the Force, and his Japanese VA is the dub voice of Anakin Skywalker.
  • Chekhov's Gun: During the movie, the main cast encounters several Time Flowers. The first one doesn't offer much insight besides showing the cast its function (it shows a vision of Ash falling off the cliff it was on and accidentally picking it in the process), but then the ones encountered later help piece together the story of what happened in Lucario's past.
  • Chronoscope: The Time Flowers allow those who can make use of the power of aura to get a vision of what had once happened in the flowers' presence.
  • Continuity Nod:
    • The ending credits shows Kidd visiting Forina, the setting of Jirachi Wishmaker, and meeting Butler and Diane.
    • Also two in the Diamond and Pearl seasons of the anime: Ash's Aura abilities come up in the Riolu special, and he is able to recognize Aura Spheres on sight.
    • Listen closely to the song played by the Lapras music box that Mew is playing for Meowth and Pikachu. Recognize that tune? It's Jigglypuff's song.
  • Covers Always Lie:
    • There are at least two pieces of cover art featuring Ash and Sir Aaron both appearing behind Lucario to lend him their support in an apparent crisis. In the movie, Aaron never meets with Ash and his friends, and indeed becomes a Posthumous Character after the prologue, centuries before Ash is born.
    • In one piece of promotional art, Ash and his friends appear in Gorgeous Period Dress during the crisis Lucario appears to be confronting. In the movie, they only wear costumes for the tournament and ball. No crisis occurs until long after the costume ball is over.
    • In this same art, Ash is wearing a uniquely red variation of Sir Aaron's uniform. In the movie, Ash's costume is blue.
    • Multiple pieces of promotional art feature the armor-clad pokémon soldiers along the edge of the image to suggest that they are the threat Lucario will be facing—these monster soldiers only appear in the prologue and in the vision provided by a time flower.
  • The Cynic: Lucario's experience with Sir Aaron apparently abandoning the kingdom in its greatest hour of need and then trapping him in his staff for seemingly no reason makes it one of this, even picking a fight with Ash by telling Ash that he would have abandoned Pikachu in a second if he felt threatened and Pikachu may have ran away because he didn't want a weak master like Ash. Ash does not take the opinion very well.
  • Dead Hat Shot: Ash's hat is what was left of him after he gets devoured by the Tree of Beginning's defense mechanism.
  • Deus ex Machina: The Tree of Beginnings is able to do this, but Heroic Sacrifices are required.
    • During the prologue, Sir Aaron goes to the Tree to somehow stop the war threatening to crush Rota. He never comes back.
    • Mew is able to save Ash and the gang from being eaten by the Tree, but it immediately starts to die and the Tree begins to crumble as well.
    • Lucario saves Mew and the Tree of Beginnings from dying and is voluntarily encased in crystal next to Sir Aaron.
  • Disney Death: The human cast end up being "eaten" by the Tree's self defense mechanisms. When Mew sees how sad this makes the Pokémon, it reverses the process, bringing everyone back.
  • Dramatic Irony: The prologue clearly establishes that Sir Aaron made a Heroic Sacrifice to save the kingdom, but Lucario spends the movie not believing it until he sees proof for himself.
  • Early-Bird Cameo: A standard for Pokémon movies, Lucario, Bonsly, Mime Jr., and Weavile all appear in this movie, quite some time before the first Generation IV games would introduce them properly.
    • The concept of a war in which Pokémon and humans fought alongside each other in organized mass combat would reappear later as a major story element of Pokémon X and Y
  • Expy: Sir Aaron bears a striking resemblance to Riley, a character from Pokémon Diamond and Pearl who wears a similar Cool Hat, wears the symbol on Sir Aaron's gloves as a necklace, and whose Signature Mon is also Lucario. However, because this movie was produced while the Gen IV games were in development, it's unknown if Riley is a Call-Back to Sir Aaron or if Sir Aaron is meant to Foreshadow Riley.
  • Failed a Spot Check
    James: Meowth? Never to be seen again?
    Jessie: We're the ones who are supposed to be doing all the stealing.
    James: Did you miss the "never to be seen" part?
  • Famed in Story: Sir Aaron is celebrated as a hero in the present day, though Lucario views him quite differently, due to the fact that the last time he sees Sir Aaron is him apparently abandoning the kingdom in its hour of need. Turns out to be a case of All Myths Are True.
  • Fanservice: The gang takes time from their roadtrip for a Swimsuit Scene, which includes a brief shot of Ash relaxing in swim trunks and a slightly-less-brief sequence where May emerges from the carrier and walks down to the spring in the two-piece she just changed into.
  • Final Speech: Lucario is able to hear Sir Aaron's final words through the Time Flower, culminating in Aaron calling Lucario his friend as he dies and hoping they can meet again someday.
  • Fish out of Temporal Water: Lucario, though no actual time travel is involved. He winds up trapped in Sir Aaron's staff, and is released centuries later.
  • Flat Character: Mew, whose only purpose and thought is to have fun and see others having fun. Mew immediately makes a Heroic Sacrifice that nearly kills it and destroys the Tree of Beginnings, a habitat for many other pokémon, merely because it sees how miserable Pikachu is after the Tree's Seeker White Blood Cells have eaten the trainers.
  • Formula-Breaking Episode: After a string of movies involving apocalyptic crises precipitated by humans meddling with pokémon or forces beyond their comprehension, this movie is mostly just a road trip to reunite Ash with his lost Pikachu.
  • Four Is Death: The four Time Flowers the gang finds. The first shows Ash falling down the mountain after grabbing it, the second shows a vision of the stampeding armies and Lucario being sealed in the staff, the third shows Sir Aaron giving Mew his Aura, and the fourth delivers Sir Aaron's final words.
  • A Friend in Need: This, along with The Power of Friendship, are the driving forces of the movie - Pikachu gets whisked away by Mew, which motivates Ash and his friends to find him.
  • Goo-Goo-Godlike: Mew, who, despite being centuries old, spends its days content to play around like a child or small animal.
  • Gorgeous Period Dress: Everyone at the party. May chooses a pink Pimped-Out Dress with Girlish Pigtails, and shows off with a Girly Skirt Twirl and a curtsy.
  • Guttural Growler: Lucario in the English dub has a deep, gravelly voice.
  • A Handful for an Eye: Lucario ends up with dirt in his eyes, stopping him from seeing properly. Thankfully however, he can still detect his surroundings with the help of his Aura Vision.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Both Sir Aaron and Lucario give their lives to stop a war and save Mew's life, respectively. Ironically, Mew sacrificed its own health to save Ash and his friends after being absorbed by the Tree's cells.
  • Hero Antagonist: The Golem Trio are the protectors of the Tree of Beginning, and only pursued Ash and company after they "invaded".
  • Hot Springs Episode: Partway through, the main cast stops at a hot spring where they take a break and unwind for a bit before continuing their adventures.
  • Identical Grandson: Lady Ilene is very similar to Lady Rin who is her ancestor, to the point where Lucario mistakes her for the queen he knew.
  • Idiot Ball: Sir Aaron's method of preempting Lucario from interfering with his Heroic Sacrifice in the prologue is needlessly complicated and traumatizing—rather than do something like send Lucario to some safe but out-of-the-way location, Aaron lies to Lucario and claims to have turned traitor and then, when Lucario balks at this news, seals Lucario In A Can. All this does is isolate Lucario for hundreds of years, only to wake up and dwell on his newly Broken Pedestal.
  • Intellectual Animal: Lucario, like some of his other movie Pokémon companions, can communicate with humans via telepathy.
  • The Juggernaut:
    • The Regis. They're virtually unfazed by the many attacks thrown at them and continue to pursue the heroes until Mew saves all the trainers from the Tree of Beginning. Especially impressive is the fact that they do this despite Lucario attacking them with Aura Spherenote  every time they show up.
    • The Tree of Beginnings's Seeker White Blood Cells are completely immune to pokemon attacks, which pass right through them.
  • Kamehame Hadoken: Lucario's Aura Sphere, of course. It manifests as a blue glowing ball that then gets launched towards its target.
  • Killed Off for Real: Late in the movie, Sir Aaron is revealed to have died to stop the ensuing war by giving up his aura to the Tree of Beginning. Lucario meets the same fate, saving the Tree itself this time.
  • Late to the Punchline: During the festival, Brock is wearing a pastor's outfit.
  • Made of Explodium: Regirock blasts something with Superpower? Explosion. Lucario uses Aura Sphere? Explosion. Grovyle and Corphish use Bullet Seed and Bubblebeam? EXPLOSION.
  • Mistaken Identity: When Lucario is first set free, he initially believes Ash is Sir Aaron because their Aura is the same. Not knowing this at the time, Ash believed the mistake was due to wearing an outfit similar to Aaron's. Lucario also thinks at first that Lady Ilene is Lady Rin, due to her being similar if not identical to her ancestor.
  • Mood Whiplash: After a tense moment where Ash and Lucario fight, we are reminded that Ash was thrown into the water when he starts sneezing.
  • Mythology Gag: The fact that the two warring armies are Red and Green is a direct reference to the original two Pokémon games.
  • Never Say "Die": Played straight with a human and then immediately averted with the 'tree' and Pokémon.
    Kidd Summers: You'll end up destroying yourself!
    Ash: If I don't do this, the Tree will die, and so will the Pokémon who live here!
  • Never Trust a Title: The English title of the movie is Lucario and the Mystery of Mew, when the story is actually about Lucario and the Mystery of Sir Aaron.
  • No Antagonist: Team Rocket doesn't really do much this time around, and the entire rest of the plot is set in motion by well-meaning characters who are just spectacularly poor at communicating.
  • No Pronunciation Guide:
    • It's Bon-sly, not Bon-slee. Pokémon USA were reached for comment after the movie was premiered at a convention and confirmed that 4Kids were doing it wrong.
    • Also, Regice's name makes it look like it should be pronounced Reg-ice, not Reg-i-ice. Although it is pronounced Reg-i-ice in the Japanese version and in most later appearances of the character.
  • No-Sell: When Lucario is captured in one of the Tree of Beginning's Seeker White Blood Cells, he is released unharmed almost immediately. Apparently, this is because the Tree doesn't consider Pokémon a threat.
  • Not So Above It All: Grovyle, usually the serious one in Ash's Hoenn roster, eagerly joins in the "party" Mew throws for the Pokémon in the castle's attic. And then, at the climax of the movie, he is not sparing any tears when Ash seemingly dies by being eaten.
  • Paper-Thin Disguise: Lampshaded during the ballroom scene, where James suddenly finds himself as May's dance partner, and he repeatedly and frantically avoids eye contact, thinking that (for once) he might actually get recognized, which only confuses her.
  • Pimped-Out Dress: May's dress in the party.
  • Plot Device: Mew has almost no characterization beyond the desire to have fun, but its actions alone both drive the main crisis of the movie by kidnapping Pikachu and Meowth and resolve it by turning off the Tree's defense mechanism and reuniting Ash and Pikachu.
  • Poor Communication Kills: They could have called this Poor Communication Kills: the Movie.
    • Sir Aaron kicks the whole thing off by Sealing Lucario away, after not only not explaining his intentions to make a Heroic Sacrifice to save the kingdom but also lying to Lucario and claiming to be a traitor to the same kingdom. This needless lie is the last thing Lucario hears, and he spends hundreds of years trapped and stewing over it.
    • Kidd Summers is so eager to capture Mew that she sends her two Weavile into the middle of the party Mew was having with the heroes' pokémon; the Weavile attack Mew without explaining themselves and naturally only manage to start a fight.
    • In its rush to get away, Mew decides to bring Pikachu and Meowth home with it, but neglects to return them or alert anyone as to their whereabouts.
    • Ash and company learn of Mew's involvement from Kidd and set out for the Tree of Beginnings to retrieve Pikachu; however, as they reach the tree, not only are they attacked by Regirock, Registeel, and Regice, Kidd accidentally manages to trigger the tree's Blob Monster defense mechanism by analyzing the materials in the tree. As neither the tree or the Regis appear to be sapient, nobody even tries to talk things out. The Blob Monsters inevitably catch up to the humans and consume them.
  • Posthumous Character: Sir Aaron only appears in the opening flashback, but his acts are the driving question of the movie.
  • Prehistoric Monster: The Tree of Beginnings's Seeker White Blood Cells all look like Fossil pokémon for some reason, despite these pokémon all being oceanic lifeforms and the Tree of Beginnings having no obvious connection to the ocean.
  • The Promise: When Ash tries to console Lucario after it believes it was abandoned and asks if he can help, it only wants him to do one thing: promise he will never abandon Pikachu. Ash swears he will not.
  • Red Herring: Kidd Summers, who wants to capture Mew and is surprisingly generous to Ash the gang by offering to take them to the Tree of Beginnings, enters the final act in a prime position to become a Twist Villain by taking another shot at Mew, hang the consequences. She turns out to be a Sheep in Sheep's Clothing, never tries to capture Mew, and only triggers the Seeker White Blood Cells on accident.
  • Rescue Arc: Although, ironically, Pikachu wasn't in any real danger until the cavalry arrived and set off the traps. Plus, even with the Tree's defenses the humans are the ones in any real danger, not the Pokémon.
  • Ret-Gone: Inverted. A painting displayed in the palace shows Sir Aaron alone. During the end credits, when the heroes return to the palace, they find that the painting now shows Lucario standing next to Sir Aaron.
  • Road Trip Plot: Kidd drives Ash and the gang all the way to the Tree of Beginnings in her Awesome Personnel Carrier—the trip is interspersed with scenes of Bonsly stealing the group's food, the gang relaxing at a hot spring, Ash and Lucario sniping and then fighting with each other, and Regirock attacks.
  • Samus Is a Girl: During the introductory tournament, Ash's knightly opponent turns out to be none other then a beautiful woman named Kidd, who reveals herself with a voluminous cascade of Compressed Hair—Ash and the gang are utterly shocked at the development.
  • Sealed Badass in a Can: Sir Aaron seals Lucario into his staff and leaves him there. Flash-forward to the present, and Ash's aura allows him to be released.
  • Seeker White Blood Cells: The orange blobs within the tree are described as its equivalent to white blood cells. They specifically home in on any nearby humans.
  • Sheep in Sheep's Clothing: Kidd is introduced to the main characters as a pleasant stranger who turns out to be a well-funded, thrill-seeking member of a secret organization whose very interested in the Soul Tree and some of the local Pokemon. Ultimately, that interest turns out to be harmless, and she and her mysterious boss never do anything villainous.
  • Shout-Out:
  • Spear Carrier: The dashing young Megane at the costume ball, who dances with both May and Jessie, much to their delight—Jessie's ecstasy proves to be more than the gentleman can handle and she ends up whirling him about through the air, oblivious to his distress.
  • Spider-Sense: Lucario senses Regirock's presence shortly before it attacks.
  • Synchronization: Mew and the tree seem to be linked together in this way, as disabling the tree's Seeker White Blood Cells seems to disable its own immune system, causing it to become sick almost instantly which in turn causes the tree to start dying.
  • Tagalong Kid: The wild Bonsly, which has no relevance to the plot whatsoever. It is later seen playing with Mew, at the end of the movie.
  • Talking Animal: Zigzagged with Lucario; it doesn't truly "talk", but can communicate with humans via telepathy. Still, it's one of the few Pokémon that can do this in any way.
  • Tastes Like Friendship: Max earns Lucario's trust by offering him some chocolate. He is seen at the end of the movie sharing some with Sir Aaron. And thus chocolate became Lucario's Trademark Favorite Food. At least in the fandom.
  • Tears of Remorse: After the Time Flower reveals Sir Aaron's supposed betrayal of Lucario, Ash realizes his past behavior (tackling Lucario after he insults Ash's friendship with Pikachu) was wrong, and tearfully apologizes.
  • Time Abyss: The Mew that visits Cameran Palace has been around since the days of Sir Aaron, but it hardly seems to notice the passage of centuries and just visits Cameran Palace to play around.
  • Together in Death: A platonic example with Sir Aaron and Lucario. The latter doesn't mind dying, as at least it meant he would finally be with his friend again.
  • Took a Level in Badass: Ash is at his best in this movie, considering that he almost made a conscious Heroic Sacrifice to save all the Pokémon living under the Tree of Beginning - only to be stopped by Lucario.
  • Trademark Favorite Food: This movie led to chocolate being seen as this for Lucario. In one episode of the Diamond and Pearl saga where the group arrives in Veilstone City and meets Maylene. After seeing Maylene's Lucario dissatisfied with her, Team Rocket tries to tempt Lucario into joining them by offering it a chocolate bar.
  • Victory Is Boring: A humorous example where Ash wins the festival tournament, but would find out that he has to sit out the rest of the celebrations because of it, to his lament.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: May gives a minor one to Ash after his argument and fight with Lucario and Ash pointed out that Lucario was no better than him.
    May: That was so uncalled for.
    May: Well, you said some pretty terrible things to Lucario too.
    Ash: Hmm...Yeah.
  • Wolverine Publicity: Mew, despite being the first mythical pokemon, sharing title-space with Lucario, and being featured in all the marketing, proves to be little more than a Plot Device that causes the movie's main crisis by separating Ash and Pikachu and resolves it by reuniting them.
  • World Tree: The Tree of Beginning is a massive structure that many Pokémon call their home, and it looks like it has a life of its own. When the Tree gets in danger, everything within and around it seems to be affected.

 
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Lucario and the Mystery of Mew

Ash and the gang choose clothes for the Cameran Palace competition while Pikachu encounters a transformed Mew.

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