Arguing about the best Pokemon movie can sometimes be a bit like using Flamethrower on a Blastoise: Not very effective. Surely, we all know that every Pokemon movie can’t hold a Litwick to the original Pokemon The Movie back in 1999, right? Not so fast. For some, it may the best like no one ever was, but there are 20 more Pokemon movies in the mix for the top spot. Below, we’ll Dig(lett) through and list every single Pokemon movie from Arceus and the Jewel of Life to Zoroark Master of Illusions and rank them, determining the best Pokemon movies ever. Yes, there are 21 Pokemon movies now. Good luck catching ‘em all.
Best Pokemon movie ever | 21–15
21. Hoopa and the Clash of Ages
It’s at this point where you realize that the team behind the Pokemon anime had swiftly ran out of ideas. With a soft cinematic reboot still a few years off, this sixth Generation outing puts Hoopa, hardly one of the most iconic Legendaries, front-and-centre in this turgid affair that drags Ash and pals through the desert city of Dahara.
With plot consistencies abound (why, oh, why can certain ‘Mon Mega Evolve at will?) and Hoopa’s irritating talkative persona grating as soon as it appears on-screen, this is one best to avoid entirely, unless you’re a Pokemon movie completionist.
20. Diancie and the Cocoon of Destruction
Talk about a letdown. The entirety of Diancie and the Cocoon of Destruction’s plot is built around getting to see an epic battle between the legendary Pokemon Xerneas and Yveltal. However, that never actually occurs in the film. Instead, the two monsters basically engage in a staring contest. It’s an underwhelming finale that ruins any of the interesting elements, such as learning more about the mysterious underground kingdom that serves as Diancie’s home.
19. Kyurem vs. the Sword of Justice
Another disappointing film, Kyurem vs. the Sword of Justice starts off extremely interesting and then falls off a cliff. The opening moments focus on Keldeo, a Pokemon that is attempting to become a member of a group called the Swords of Justice. However, he attempts to circumvent a lot of the work needed to earn that title and winds up upsetting the legendary ice dragon Kyurem in the process.
Instead of watching him earn his own redemption, he winds up getting plenty of help from Ash and Pikachu as the story progresses. Not only does it take away from the main story, but it makes the anime mainstays feel like secondary characters in a film they’re supposed to star in.
18. Black and White: Victini and Zekrom/Victini and Reshiram
Considering how every main Pokemon game is released in two different versions, it was only a matter of time until they tried the same things with the films. Both of the movies carry the same plot with minor differences, as it either revolves around the legendary dragon Zekrom or Reshiram. That makes watching both of them an utter bore, as you’re just watching the same film twice with a slightly different cast. Not helping matters is that the script is rather pedestrian and uninteresting in the first place.
17. Genesect and the Legend Awakened
This film is largely a mess. From its handling of Mewtwo that retcons the first film (how dare you!) to Genesect being one of the least interesting characters to base a film around, there’s no shortage of problems. On the bright side, there is a strange Pokemon-version of New York City shown in it. Called New Tork City, players get to see the series’ take on an American metropolis and some of its signature spots like Central Park (which is renamed Pokemon Hills). It’s also one of the better films visually, but the story being so rubbish makes it hard to recommend.
16. Volcanion and the Mechanical Marvel
Pokemon movies always tend to go a little more all-out compared to their TV anime cousin. A bigger budget, more time, and scope will work wonders for Ash’s adventures when the pieces fall perfectly.
Unfortunately, while Volcanion and the Mechanical Marvel presents a beautifully-realized Steampunk kingdom and a hilarious concept with Ash being literally tethered to the eponymous Volcanion, it can do little to shake the feeling that this is very much a by-the-numbers tale.
It’s a release that struggles to do anything beyond offering up a typical good vs. evil scrap that’s become frustratingly predictable in terms of the overall latter-day Pokemon movie opus.
Oh, yes. Volcanion talks, too. So, there’s that.
15. Giratina and the Sky Warrior
In the majority of trilogies, the second film is really where the series comes into its own and delivers a great experience. That isn’t the case with Giratina and the Sky Warrior, which is sandwiched between The Rise of Darkrai and Arceus and the Jewel of Life. This is the extremely boring middle chapter where nothing really of note happens but still has to be watched in order to fully enjoy the two better films, of which you’ll see further down in this list.