Pokémon Ranger and the Temple of the Sea
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This is the 9th movie based on the Pokémon TV series, but I think it's the fifth one I saw, so I still have a few more I need to see.
Anyway, it all begins with an egg. You know, just blissfully floating around under the sea with all the water pokemon. And then the egg is captured by a group of pirates, led by a man called the Phantom. However, one of the pirates in his crew turns out to actually be a Pokemon Ranger, Jack "Jackie" Walker, who grabs the egg and makes a totally cool and daring get-away.
Later we see Ash walking with his friends May, Brock, and Max. They're lost, and thirsty. Then they come across a young woman named Lizabeth, who is performing with a group of water and psychic pokemon, doing really neat tricks that kinda resembles waterbending (as in Avatar: The Last Airbender). Ash and company are happy to get some water from Lizabeth, and they end up joining her and her family and watching their "Marina Underwater Pokemon Show." Oh, and in a way Lizabeth's granddad kind of vaguely reminded me of Iroh from Avatar. But not really.
Anyway, it turns out that the family are in possession of the egg. And a clown who seems to be part of the show turns out to be none other than Ranger Jackie, who is protecting the egg from the Phantom, who's still looking for it. And of course, soon enough he attacks, and in the midst of a chase to capture the egg, it hatches into a Manaphy, a very rare pokemon known as the Prince of the Sea. Since May is the one holding the egg when it hatches, Manaphy thinks of her as its mother, and the two quickly form an unbreakable bond. But Phantom isn't ready to give up yet. He needs that Manaphy to guide him to the hidden Temple of the Sea, which is constantly drifting around the world, underwater. It was built long ago by the People of the Sea, of whom Lizabeth's family- and apparently May's- are descendants. The Temple contains a crown, the wearer of which will be known as the King of the Sea, and the Phantom is desperate to find that crown. He's already gone to great lengths in its pursuit, and I get the feeling there'd be another really interesting movie just seeing what he's done to get to this point, but I don't suppose we'll ever see anything like that....
Well... what to say? Lots of stuff happens. Um, Team Rocket got involved with Phantom for awhile, though their part was relatively minor. Funny, though (loved the "diamonds and pearls" joke). Well, there was lots more chasing, lots of bonding between May and Manaphy, lots of beautiful imagery... Oh yes, I loved the animation (a lot of it seemed to be computer generated, but it meshed perfectly with the traditional animation). And it was all very dramatic and emotional, and it had a great story. Anyway, the whole movie was really pretty cool, I thought. Okay, there was one part near the end that I thought was kind of over-the-top, but acceptable, I guess. And definitely fun. And of course Ash gets to be the big hero, as usual, but really, May totally owned this movie. If it doesn't tug at your heartstrings, then I'd say that's because you haven't got any. Yep, I'd say this is my favorite Pokemon movie I've seen so far (though to be fair, there are several I haven't seen yet). Well, I feel like I should say more, but I can't think what, right now...