Pokémon: Mewtwo Strikes Back Evolution is the next film in the franchise, and with it comes a new era for the Pokémon anime. Ash, Misty, Brock, Pikachu, and everyone else we remember from way back when are stepping into a third, computer-generated dimension. And they look very weird.
A 30-second teaser for the upcoming movie, which premieres in Japan this summer, is here for the rest of us to gaze at in equal parts horror, equal parts regret. For lo, this is not our beautiful Pokémon anime. Instead, the video suggests a remake of Pokémon: The First Movie, released in 1999, which tells Mewtwo’s origin story and also features Ash dying for a hot sec.
For this 20th anniversary redux, the Pokémon Company has gone with a slick animation style that turns our cartoony friends into talking dolls.
Perhaps I’m being too harsh on what’s really just a brief, quick-cutting look at this movie. The Pokémon we see in it, for instance, look really good; there’s some nice texturing to them — certainly preferable to the dramatically … realistic textures in Detective Pikachu. The background environments are nice, too. But I can’t shake the feeling that there is something very wrong with the human cast here.
I think this tweet from Did You Know Gaming’s Liam Robertson puts it best so far:
Mewtwo Strikes Back Evolution is in Japanese theaters on July 12. No Western release has been confirmed yet.