Volcanion and the Mechanical Marvel is the nineteenth Pokémon film, the final film for the XY saga and the second to be written by Atsuhiro Tomioka. As the title says, this movie stars Volcanion and Magearna — the latter debuting ahead of its appearance in Pokémon Sun and Moon. It was released on July 16, 2016.
While on their journey, Ash and friends are surprised by the Mythical Pokémon Volcanion falling from the sky. Though the human-hating creature tries to leave, it and Ash are bound together by a mysterious force generated by cuffs attached to both of them. Volcanion's goal is the gear-littered city of the Azoth Kingdom, where Alva, a corrupt cabinet minister, has kidnapped Magearna from the plains where it and Volcanion reside, with the intention of using the power of the Pokémon's Soul-Heart to take control. Volcanion's none too chuffed about this, and plans to take Magearna back, even if it means having a human tag along with it.
Since Pokémon: I Choose You! explicitly takes place in an Alternate Continuity, Volcanion and the and the Mechanical Marvel is also the last film to take place in the main continuity that began with Pokémon: The First Movie in 1998. In many European markets and the United States, the film premiered on TV, and in many cases was packaged with the first two episodes of the Sun & Moon anime. In the U.S. specifically, this marked the series' move to Disney XD on December 5, 2016.
Volcanion and the Mechanical Marvel provides examples of the following tropes:
- Adaptational Wimp: Magearna is a powerful Mythical Pokémon which is a Mighty Glacier with a unique ability called Soul-Heart that increases its already high Special Attack stat when a Pokémon faints. In this movie, Magearna is a Damsel in Distress Living MacGuffin so that Volcanion can represent a Knight in Shining Armor; and uses its signature move, Fleur Cannon, only a single time to no avail. Averted in the manga where it more actively fights to defend the Plateau before surrendering to Alva.
- Adaptation Deviation: The manga has a large number of differences such as Ash and Pikachu being the only protagonists, Alva having several unnamed assistants instead of Levi and Cherie and Alva being arrested by Officer Jenny at the end.
- Advertised Extra: While it was the Pokémon featured in the first teaser trailer for the film, Zygarde Complete Forme only appears in the film for one minute, and none of the cast even see it.
- Amusing Injuries: The shackle that accidentally binds Ash to Volcanion forces the latter to pull the other harshly around whenever he moves, and this lasts more than half the movie! All attempts of trying to get it off only make things much worse for Ash.
- A Friend in Need: Jessie and James fall under this trope for good reasons: They waste no time in devising a plan to rescue Meowth from Alva knowing he was in danger. As annoying as Meowth is at times, they really do love him and care for his saftey.
- Artistic License – Physics: Zig-zagged with Volcanion — while it's shown it must refill his water supply (and as such it doesn't generate water naturally like most Water-types), it is able to fire off more water than its body should logically be able to hold. And there's no way it should be able to get off the ground by expelling its own water, let alone fly around.
- Beam-O-War: Near the end of the film, Alva decides to eradicate the Nebel Plateau and all its inhabitants with a Wave-Motion Gun powered by a despairing Magearna's Soul-Heart. Not ones to sit idly by as their home faces the threat of total annihilation, multiple Pokémon living in the highlands band together to try to prevent the laser from reaching its intended target, resulting in this. Though it looks like they'll eventually tire out and get wiped out in the process, Squishy/Zygarde pulls a Big Damn Heroes and assumes its Complete Forme to help the Nebel Plateau Pokémon successfully overpower Alva's attack.
- Big Bad: Alva.
- Brainwashed: The Mega Wave not only forces Pokémon to Mega Evolve with a Painful Transformation, but they also lose control of themselves. When Ash smashes the staff, the Pokémon flee from Alva, with Alakazam carrying Levi and Cherie with them.
- Broken Pedestal: Alva to Prince Raleigh. How devastating it must've felt when the very person who was his mentor for years only cared about the Soul-Heart, required to power the fortress's laser cannon.
- The heap of abuse Ash suffers while stuck to Volcanion would probably remind us of his Original Series and/or Best Wishes! days (and prepare us for his upcoming Sun and Moon days). To put it into perspective, here are some of the things he deals with:
- Constantly slamming into Volcanion.
- Being blasted by Volcanion's attacks.
- Having a suit that's supposed to cushion these impacts blow up and leave him in his underwear.
- During the battle against the Mega Evolution Army, Mega Sharpedo is nearly squashed by Ash and his friends' flying airship and has to dodge alongside Mega Alakazam, gets blown away by a shockwave after Ash-Greninja hits Mega Pidgeot with a Water Shuriken and gets kicked away by Hawlucha's High Jump Kick, all within a few seconds.
- The Cameo: There's a brief snippet of Alain and Korrina's battle, used to demonstrate Mega Evolution. In addition, in the manga, Officer Jenny is the one to arrest Alva since Kimia was Adapted Out.
- Chained Heat: Ash and Volcanion are tied together via some unknown force. Volcanion's pressing on with its goal anyway, damn the human-shaped baggage it's acquired.
- Character Development: Volcanion overcomes his distrust with humans during the course of the movie.
- Chekhov's Gag: Volcanion is allergic to the flowers Magearna can produce from its hands, resulting in a very violent sneeze. When Volcanion collapses after apparently surviving the destruction of Alva's airship, Magearna calmly walks up to Volcanion and lets it get a whiff of the bouquet. Volcanion promptly sneezes, revealing it was simply fatigued and not dead like everyone thought.
- Clock Punk: The Azoth Kingdom is littered with cogs and gears.
- Clothing Damage: Happens to Ash twice. Volcanion damages his normal outfit, leaving him rather dirty and unkempt. The second time was with a suit that was supposed to cushion Ash. This leaves him stranded in his tank top and boxers. Luckily, Serena was there for Ash to actually have clothes.
- Cool Airship: Alva has one.
- Corrupt Politician: Alva is a cabinet minister and looks Obviously Evil.
- Cut Lex Luthor a Check: Through neo-arcane science, Alva has discovered a means to make several Pokémon Mega Evolve at once while bypassing the whole "bond with Pokémon" process. He could just patent all this and get rich from it, but as he already is a man of wealth and influence, he only thinks about using it for conquest.
- Damsel in Distress: While technically it has no gender like most Legendary and Mythical Pokémon, the feminine-looking Magearna fills this role, and Volcanion is playing the Knight in Shining Armor by attempting to perform a rescue.
- Distressed Dude: Meowth falls under the trope for the second half of the movie. After he's kidnapped by Alva, he's tortured and forced to translate the agonized screams of a suffering Pokemon. It only ends when he's rescued by Jessie and James.
- Decapitated Army: Alva's Pokémon army ditches him and his cronies once they're free of their Brainwashed states.
- Defrosting Ice King: Volcanion warms up to Ash and his friends during their journey, the former having had a serious distrust with humans.
- Demoted to Extra: Magearna winds up being sidelined in its own movie, as it doesn't go through much development like Volcanion does. Once Alva obtains its Soul-Heart, it becomes a mere object for the other characters to retrieve, and it isn't restored until the very end.
- Disney Death: Volcanion appears to die near the end, but is swiftly proven to be alive. Magearna itself undergoes a Disney Death of personality (a la WALL•E) at the same time.
- Disney Villain Death: Alva has this when Greninja destroys his jetpack. He lives to see the credits, though.
- Early-Bird Cameo: The Mythical Poké mon Magearna makes its debut ahead of its native game, Pokémon Sun and Moon.
- Even Evil Has Standards: The Team Rocket trio, being the scoundrels they are, at first ally themselves with Alva and his mission, solely in the hopes of finally stealing Pikachu. However, after Alva takes Magearna's Soul-Heart and dismisses the value of its life other than being a tool in his own plot, and Meowth hears Magearna's voice from within the Soul-Heart, the trio becomes horrified and disgusted by Alva's callous ruthlessness and turns against him, only for Alva to eject Jessie and James from his ship mid-air and take Meowth hostage to use as a monitor for Magearna's voice. The former two then spend the rest of the film trying to rescue their comrade and best friend from Alva and help stop his plans. They end up suceeding by the end, and once everything is fixed and resolved, they slip away without bothering Ash and the others.
- Expy: Alva is an Obviously Evil sociopathic megalomaniac who manipulates a boy of royal position and does terrible things to Pokémon to achieve his goals, and he also carries a staff. Sounds a lot like Ghetsis. Meanwhile, his wealth, scientific ingenuity, and flying fortress call to mind Lawrence III.
- Fantastic Racism: In the grand tradition of the anime, Volcanion hates humans. Also in the grand tradition of the anime, it gets over this by the end.
- Forced to Watch: Alva does this to both Meowth and Raliegh in this movie. He forces Raleigh to watch as he destroys and kills his sister and friends. He AGAIN does it to Meowth after he kidnaps him. Meowth, however, is more crushed than Raliegh as Jessie and James, who are on the ship trying to rescue him when Alva attempts to kill Ash and the others again after realizing they survived his attack.
- Grand Finale: For the Pokémon XY film saga, and since the next film takes place in a Continuity Reboot-slash-Alternate Continuity, this is also the final entry of the main Pokémon film series as it has been from Day 1. The only characters that remain from this original continuity are Ash, Pikachu and Team Rocket.
- Hate Sink: Alva, for good reasons: Pretends to be Raleigh's loyal mentor just to deceive him into trusting him with Magearna so he could get a hold of her Soul-Heart, tortures helpless Pokemon in the Nebel Plateau just to blackmail Ash and his friends into handing Magearna over to him then blasts them all away anyway with his Pokemons' combined hyper beams, all just to take over Azoth Kingdom. Not to mention he was going to crash the entire flying fortress on the plateau when his plan failed. It would be impossible not to hate someone who didn't give any shits about the plateau and the innocent helpless Pokemon that have seeked sanctuary there.
- Heroic Sacrifice: Volcanion decides to blow up Alva's fortress with him inside it to stop it from damaging the Nebel Plateau. Despite this, it lives.
- Horrible Judge of Character: Prince Raleigh completely trusts Alva, even when he's clearly threatening Magearna not to react to Volcanion being frozen in his first scene and disagrees when Chymia warns him not to spend time with him. Ash calls him out on trying to calmly explain the situation to Volcanion even after he just froze him solid (in the Japanese version, at least. The dub version doesn't). He doesn't even question the extreme torture Alva's men inflicted on innocent harassed Pokémon and Ash! It's not until Alva mercilessly rips out Magearna's Soul-Heart, carelessly disposes of its body, and then attacks Raleigh's sister, Ash and his friends, and all the Nebel Plateau Pokémon, that the prince finally sees Alva for the manipulative monster that he truly is.
- Humans Are Bastards: Volcanion is a firm believer of this, to the point of completely ignoring the presence of Ash and company. Justified,, given that it lives with Pokémon abused by humans, and it's a human who took Magearna for his own ends (for which it refuses to forgive humans).
- I Will Punish Your Friend for Your Failure: Alva does this to Team Rocket after they failed their mission to capture and secure Magearna by kidnapping Meowth.
- Jerk with a Heart of Jerk: Alva becomes a young Prince Raleigh's mentor, educating him on arcane science. But all this was just to earn his trust and loyalty so that he could get a hold of Magearna's Soul-Heart to power the fortress's laser cannon, without the slightest concern of Magearna's well-being.
- Jet Pack: Volcanion is able to use its arms as one to fly around. Alva attempts to use one to get away once everything swings south, but is stopped by Ash-Greninja.
- Light Is Not Good: One of the Mega Evolved Pokémon under Alva's command is a bright-white shiny Gengar.
- Living MacGuffin: Magearna (more specifically, its Soul-Heart) is the object of desire for both Alva and Volcanion.
- MacGuffin Super-Person: Magearna has a thing called the Soul-Heart, and Alva wants it for it.
- Magic by Any Other Name: The movie involves "neo-arcane science" which can be described as "magic, except we're not calling it that." Aside from creating Magearna in this continuity, it's also used by Alva to Mega Evolve multiple Pokémon.
- Magic Staff: Alva has a staff with the Mega Evolution symbol on it and a Key Stone embedded in it. Through neo-arcane science, he can induce Mega Evolution in several Pokémon at once.
- Mirrored Confrontation Shot: One poster depicts the XY gang with their Pokémon on the left, and Alva and his army of Megas on the right.
- No Endor Holocaust: Despite Volcanion blowing up the falling fortress to prevent the Navel Plateau being destroyed, somehow the falling debris made doesn't pose a similar threat over a wider area.
- Non-Serial Movie: The movie cannot fit into the anime continuity, as Squishy transforms into Complete Forme Zygarde on its own despite the series later establishing that this requires both cores. Also, the Magearna Ash meets in the movie is said to be the only one of its kind, but Lillie has a shiny Magearna in Pokémon the Series: Sun & Moon and Ash does not recognize it.
- Obviously Evil: Masked face, sinister staff, purple goatee, evil laugh... Alva looks very trustworthy, doesn't he?
- Running Gag: Volcanion sneezing from Magearna's flowers, as well as Ash being magnetically (and forcibly) attracted to the electronic band on Volcanion's leg without warning.
- Screw This, I'm Outta Here: Once Ash breaks Alva's Mega Wave Staff and frees Alva, Levi and Cherie's Pokémon from their control, Alva's Gengar flees by sinking though the floor and Levi's Alakazam uses Psychic to carry the other Mega Evolution Pokémon army (except for Heracross and Pinsir) as well as Levi and Cherie away from the castle to freedom with the credits showing that Levi and Cherie got dropped off at prison.
- Shoo Out the Clowns: In the third act, Jessie and James get booted out after having second thoughts over teaming up with Alva, while Meowth is tied up and used as a translator for Magearna.
- Shout-Out: At one point in the trailer the walls outside the Gear Kingdom are shown making weird movements while Ash looks on from below, at sundown, very much like the signature scene from Attack on Titan.
- Sir Not-Appearing-in-This-Trailer: The teaser for the movie at the end of Hoopa and the Clash of Ages showcased Zygarde, in particular its Complete Forme and a Zygarde Core. It took until the second full trailer for the Complete Forme to actually appear.
- Spectacular Spinning: When Alain and Korrina use Mega Evolution, their Pokémon glow and spin before taking their Mega forms. Strangely enough, no such movement ever presented itself in the anime.
- Teeth-Clenched Teamwork: Volcanion and Ash, by virtue of getting literally stuck together.
- Trailers Always Spoil: The first trailer showcases a Noivern among Ash's Pokémon... and was aired before the episode where his Noibat evolves. Whoops.
- Weight Woe: Magearna is embarrassed at being called heavy by Clemont.
- What Happened to the Mouse?: Jessie and James's loaned Heracross and Pinsir don't appear after their failed attempt to steal Magerna but it's likely the duo escaped after Ash destroyed Alva's Mega Wave Staff.