The first act of the show compresses several episodes of the anime into one: Ash receives his first Pokémon, Pikachu, tangles with Gary Oak, and meets Misty and Brock. However, Team Rocket is determined to capture Pikachu and deliver him to their boss, Giovanni. The second act breaks away from the episodic formula as Ash journeys to find Pikachu even as his friends think he's pushing himself too far. An unlikely alliance may be the only thing that saves the day, but will Ash ever overcome his daddy issues?
Not to be confused with Pokémon Live!, which was an official Pokémon musical.
This show contains examples of:
- A Twinkle in the Sky: Jessie, James and Meowth rather confuse their Team Rocket bosses when they incorporate this into their plans."You're going to take this gun, and you're going to grab the Pikachu. And if the kid does anything to stop you, you're going to shoot him."
"At what point does the ding come into the plan?"
- Big Damn Heroes:
- Mr. Mime helps Ash and Gary free themselves after Giovanni captures them in the Team Rocket base.
- Later on, they're saved again by Misty and Brock, who defeat Giovanni before he can escape with Pikachu.
- Black Comedy: A lot of the edgy stuff is played for laughs.
- Boastful Rap: Brock's song.Haters blowing smoke,
But all this hatin' is pollution.
God is in my future:
He's my next evolution.
- Cerebus Syndrome: Act 2 is slightly more serious than Act 1.
- Chair Reveal: Giovanni tries to do this with a folding chair.
- Chekhov's Gun: Professor Oak gives Ash a turkey baster, saying he'll know when the time is right to use it. He attempts to use it to free himself and Gary after they're captured by Giovanni, but drops it.
- Cloudcuckoolander: Professor Oak and Giovanni. Oak asks everyone if they're a boy or a girl, thinks he's a Pokemon, and overall is both excitable and not very smart. Giovanni is more competent, but he's in denial about his Pikachu's death from when he was a child and is convinced Ash's Pikachu is his, to the point of dancing in joy when they're "re"united.
- Jessie and James have some weird ideas about how things are supposed to work, even including the part where they go blasting off again as part of their plans. Meowth is slightly more with it, occasionally playing the Only Sane Man of the trio, but even he is unable to see the ridiculousness of some of their schemes.
- Cross-Cast Role: Pikachu is repeatedly referred to as male, but is played by the obviously female Jen Mulrow.
- Deconstruction Fic: The show deconstructs Ash's bond with Pikachu — when Team Rocket successfully kidnaps Pikachu, Ash goes crazy, and becomes willing to stop at nothing to get him back. Though Ash recovers Pikachu and all is right at the end, the implication is clear that, if he had failed, Ash would have become just like Giovanni (whose reason for villainy in this is because he himself lost his own Pikachu) in time.
- Distant Duet: "Without Chu," sung by Ash and Pikachu when they're separated in the second act. It's a heartfelt Melancholy Musical Number... where half of the lyrics are just variants of "Pikachu, pi pika" because that's all Pikachu can say even when singing.
- The Ditz: Jessie and James, who have apparently been trying to steal Pokemon for years and not realizing that they were breaking the law. James takes the prize here, though; there isn't a statement made that he can't miss the point of.
- Eyes Always Shut: Brock's actor closed his eyes for the entire show, since Brock in the anime and games always had his eyes shut.
- Freudian Excuse: Giovanni's mother killed his pet Pikachu, prompting him to capture Ash's, as he wants to believe it's his old Pikachu.
- Just Shoot Him: Giovanni tells Jessie, James and Meowth to do this to Ash if he tries to stop them from getting Pikachu. They don't take to the idea."We're not criminals!"
- Overly Narrow Superlative: Team Rocket don't completely suck a hundred percent of the time.
- Precision F-Strike: Ash says the F-word when Gary is shot. It's the only time it's said in the show.
- Quarreling Song: Ash and Gary often get these kinds of songs.
- Running Gag:
- Giovanni shooting people. ("One a day, Giovanni, just one.")
- Gary ordering Eevee to use Leer, following the command with "SICK!"
- Short-Lived Aerial Escape: Giovanni tries to escape with Pikachu in a helicopter at the end, but is promptly stopped and beaten up by Misty.
- Time-Compression Montage: Seen with Ash, Misty, and Brock as Ash encounters a man who wants to trade his Farfetch'd, captures Squirtle, Charmander, and Bulbasaur, and encounters Team Rocket.
- Token Evil Teammate: Meowth is a strange version of this for the Team Rocket trio. While all three of them are supposed to be the bad guys, and play the Card-Carrying Villain for all the comedy it's worth, Meowth is apparently the only one of them who actually realizes that stealing Pokemon is against the law, and the only one who isn't horrified by Giovanni's Just Shoot Him orders. It might have something to do with him being the Only Sane Man of the trio... or at least he's less of a Cloudcuckoolander than Jessie and James.
- Too Dumb to Live: Several Rocket Grunts annoy Giovanni and are shot as a result.
- One Grunt reports that an agent fought a boulder for twenty minutes because they mistook it for a Graveler.
- Trigger Happy: Giovanni has a very itchy trigger finger.
- True Companions: Ash, Misty, Brock and Pikachu become this during the show. Jessie, James and Meowth are already there from the get-go.
- Villain Song: Giovanni gets "To Be Boss" and "Finally," while Jessie, James and Meowth get "The Plan." (They also get "We Don't Completely Suck (100% Of The Time)," but that's less a Villain Song and more a slightly unorthodox Friendship Song.) Gary gets several villainous parts as well in different songs.