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Fridge / Pokémon: I Choose You!

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Fridge pages are Spoilers Off by default, so all entries have been folderized as a security measure. Proceed with caution. You Have Been Warned!

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    Fridge Brilliance 
  • The movie is going to have Pokémon from across the generations appear, most prominently Ho-Oh from Gen 2, Piplup and Lucario from Gen 4, and Marshadow and Incineroar from Gen 7. This makes sense, since this movie seems to be making an effort at updating the original Pokémon stories for a modern audience.
  • Ash is shown having a battle against Erika in this movie, but only her. Why did they choose her of all the Kanto Gym Leaders, especially over possible Misty and Brock cameos? Think about it: Erika hands out the Rainbow Badge to victorious challengers. Now, what is Ho-Oh, the main legendary of focus in this movie, associated with?
  • On the topic of Gym Leaders, when Ash beats Erika she asks him how many Gym Badges he has. He responds that this is his third badge. From Pallet Town, there's four gyms on the path before Celadon: Viridian, Pewter, Cerulean, and Vermilion. We may as well assume that Giovanni wasn't present in Viridian, and Ash, wisely, ignored Lt. Surge in order to go through Erika, which is a path many players seem to take in mono-Pokémon runs.
  • Pikachu talking to Ash with human language at one point makes sense when you realize that, in the series proper, it's implied, if not outright stated, that Ash can understand what Pikachu's saying due to their close bond (albeit Rule of Funny sometimes temporarily does away with this). Pikachu talking to Ash in this movie could be us seeing, from Ash's point of view, the moment their bond became close enough that he became able to understand Pikachu.
  • Verity smirking at Ash talking with his mom and making fun of him later makes sense when you learn that her own mother is never impressed with Verity's accomplishments. She could have interpreted Ash's frustration with his mother over the phone as him having similar issues and projected onto him.
  • The reason for Ash's Adaptational Intelligence can be explained by him rarely encountering antagonistic characters - Misty's not around to belittle him, Team Rocket doesn't directly confront him, and he never interacts with Gary to get the Always Someone Better treatment. As a result, he doesn't act as brashly to try and prove himself or make up ground, and so properly learns from his mistakes. The only antagonistic character he deals with is Cross, and only a handful of times.
  • Unlike the original continuity, Charmeleon and later Charizard stay obedient to Ash. This is because the circumstances behind Charmander's abandonment are different; in the original continuity, Charmander was ordered to stay on a rock by its trainer when he chose to abandon it. Not knowing it was abandoned, Charmander in its loyalty nearly dies from the rain storm as a result. But in the I Choose You! continuity, Charmander already knew it was abandoned after being bluntly told by Cross to stop following it. Because Charmander of knowing its abandonment already, ICY Charmander doesn't develop the same trust issues with people after being rescued by Ash and company that the original Charmander likely developed after being unknowingly and practically left to die by its former trainer that influenced original Charmeleon/Charizard's disobedience to Ash after evolving.
  • The cameos of all of Ash's pre-Alola traveling companions during the end credits are written and structured very interestingly. They all consist of them looking directly at the camera with various reactions, there are some points where their placements are arguably out-of-order (Misty's cameo, for example, comes after Brock's, even though she met Ash before him), and they are all wearing their original clothes rather than the ones we last saw them in. One may wonder why their cameos would be written like that. However, it makes more sense when you realize these cameos are seconds-long representations of the times they first met and (chronologically) befriended Ash. In fact, one could argue the audience is viewing those cameos from Ash's viewpoint.
    • Brock has a serious reaction to the camera, because he met Ash while he was still a Gym Leader adhering to his responsibilities.
    • Misty has a reaction of surprise to the camera, because she was surprised by Ash while fishing. She is also on her bike, representing Ash stealing her bike during their first encounter.
    • Tracey is sketching during his cameo, because his first interaction with Ash was when he was sketching Pikachu and positively contrasting him with other Pokémon.
    • May is first seen tying up her bandanna and being excited, representing the excitement she had when she was starting her journey, right before she met Ash. She is then surprised by the camera, which represents the time she was surprised by Ash when he was finding treatment for his sick Pikachu.
    • Max has a curious reaction to the camera, representing his inquisitive nature when he first met Ash.
    • Dawn is first seen warming up for something, representing her first scenes where she is preparing to pursue her goal as a Pokémon Coordinator. She is then surprised by the camera, which interrupts her warm-up, thus representing her having to temporarily drop everything to help Pikachu when she first met him.
    • Iris is literally hanging out on a tree branch, representing her first scenes where she is in a tree. She is then surprised by the camera but then quickly smiles. This seems to represent her surprise when Ash threw a Poké Ball at her, followed by her smiling in the next scene.
    • Cilan is very excited but then gets surprised by the camera during his cameo, representing his initial excitement towards Ash, followed by his surprise when Ash wanted to challenge all three Striaton City Gym Leaders at once.
    • Clemont and Bonnie are interacting with one another before they are surprised by the camera, representing how they were minding their own business before Ash literally dropped into their lives.
    • Serena is the only one who is immediately happy upon noticing the camera, representing her crush on Ash and how she was quickly able to recognize him from her childhood.
  • A bit of a meta reason things changed between Ash and Ho-Oh compared to Episode 1: back when Takeshi Shudō was the head writer, he wrote Ash specifically as a Vanilla Protagonist, an everyman that stronger personalities could bounce off on and not meant to be anything special. However, after Shudo left, Ash was gradually rewritten to have more put to his way, including Aura and the status as a hero tied to Zekrom and the salvation of Kalos, as well as being a subject of interest to the Alolan Guardians. This film is set in an alternate timeline where Ash has been subject to this "post-Shudo" interpretation from the very beginning. As a result, Ho-Oh chose post-Shudo Ash to carry his Rainbow Wing back, because this Ash, unlike Shudo Ash, was meant to be this from the start. This Ash by concept could be a Rainbow Hero, while the first Ash to go through Episode 1 was never meant to be.
  • The world shown in the High School AU sequence is much more urbanized and industrialized, like our own. This is because the creator of Pokémon was inspired when he learned that children of the newer generations were unable to catch insects like he had, because of urban sprawl. Therefore, the Pokémon world is largely untouched wilderness to preserve that dream, and when Ash imagines a world without Pokémon, he envisions the opposite.
    • As to why that seems to be Ash's version of a nightmare, there is more than just Ash's status as an adventuring protagonist at play. Pocket Monsters: The Animation, while non-canon, is the prequel that the series has, and one note it made is that school was very much hell for Ash. Being stuck in school would not just be a nightmare for him, but also a gray, miserable existence.

    Fridge Horror 
  • The For Want of a Nail that sets off this alternate continuity is Ash receiving the Rainbow Wing from Ho-Oh. Cross bemoans at the end how he also saw Ho-Oh, but didn't get a Rainbow Wing, and so tried to become stronger to prove he was worthy. So if, in the original series, Ash had known more about the legend of Ho-Oh or been more determined to learn about it, he could have ended up like Cross.
    • Possibly, though it is equally as likely Ash would have continued on his own path regardless. He's a tad stubborn like that.
      • Prime!Ash, without knowing about the legend of Ho-Oh, vowed to meet him again somewhere in his future. Most likely, he would have just done so, expecting to receive the Rainbow Wing at his own pace.
    • Another bit of related Fridge Horror: the nail that changed the story was the Rainbow Wing, right? So up until then, events should have played out the exact same as they did in the first episode, and for the most part they do... but Misty isn't where Ash met her in the main timeline. What happened to her? Admittedly, it's probably nothing too horrible, but it's still curious that she isn't where she should be.
  • What would have happened to Charmander if Sorel hadn't been in the cave Ash and Verity ran to?
    • Speaking of Charmander, when Ash encounters it, it's sitting in the rain fully exposed (by comparison, its main series counterpart had hidden under a leaf to protect its tail from going out). This Charmander was going to wait there for Cross until it died, not even trying to protect itself.
  • The legends about Ho-Oh and Marshadow already detail what would happen if a darkened soul got hold of the Rainbow Wing: did someone have to die at the hands of a bunch of Pokémon like Ash and Cross almost did to prove the point?
  • When Cross steals the Rainbow Wing, the evil in his heart turns out to be too much for Marshadow to absorb, causing it and the wild Pokémon to be Brainwashed and Crazy and leading to Ash’s Disney Death. Yet Cross still turns out to be redeemable. So imagine what could have happened had someone far more evil than he gotten a hold of it...
  • A bit more of Fridge Sadness, but this is a world where Ash never met any of his friends from the show, and therefore, all of the positive impacts he had on their lives would be gone as well;
    • Misty is still stuck in her sisters's shadow as the Cerulean Gym no longer challenges trainers and just gives them the badge without earning it.
    • Brock is stuck at the Pewter Gym without his parents, being forced to care for his abandoned siblings instead of pursuing his dreams of becoming a breeder or doctor.
    • Tracey remains on the Orange Islands, never getting to work with Professor Oak.
    • May possibly still hates Pokémon and won't discover her passion for Contests.
    • Max won't get to see the greater world for himself and grow as a person before he starts his journey.
    • Dawn doesn't have her mentor figure and friend, leaving her without a source of inspiration when things go wrong for her, as they often do.
    • Iris is stuck with one Pokémon that's too weak to battle and another that won't listen to her, making her goal of becoming a Dragon Master even tougher to reach.
    • Cilan remains at the Striaton Gym with his brothers, unable to expand his horizons as a connoisseur.
    • Clemont and Bonnie are still banished from their home. Clemont won't be inspired by Ash to boost his confidence and become a better Gym Leader, and Bonnie may never meet Dedenne or Squishy. On that note, Squishy, and by extension half of Zygarde, no longer has a protector from Team Flare...
    • Serena is stuck at home doing something she hates, has no idea what she wants to do with her life, and remains separated from the boy she loves that helped make her a stronger person.
    • Lillie is still afraid of Pokémon, and the Aether Foundation will get away with the trauma they inflicted on her.
    • And for that matter, Ash's Pokémon that he didn't catch in this timeline. Is Bulbasaur still distrustful of humans? Is the Squirtle Squad still terrorizing that town? Will Lapras be reunited with its family? Do Chimchar and Tepig continue to suffer their abusive trainers? Is Froakie still searching for a worthy partner, never to fulfill the prophecy of the Battle Bond? Is Goomy still unable to save his homeland?
    • However, the credits do hint that Ash is going to meet his friends at some point.