The CGI remake of Pokemon: The First Movie is coming to Netflix worldwide as Pokemon: Mewtwo Strikes Back – Evolution. A trailer for the film released today shows just how different it looks from the source material.
Pokemon: Mewtwo Strikes Back – Evolution released in Japan last July, but worldwide distribution was unannounced until now. The streaming giant will be bringing the film to all territories except for Japan and South Korea. Surprisingly, Mewtwo Strikes Back did better in the box office in Japan than Detective Pikachu and was narrowly beat by Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker to close out 2019 as the #16 highest-grossing film of the year.
The story in Mewtwo Strikes Back seems to be a relatively direct translation of that seen in the original movie. Giovanni of Team Rocket hires some scientists to create a living weapon based on the legendary Pokemon Mew. Mewtwo is born, escapes, and plots revenge against humanity.
As far as looks go, instead of bright, colorful animation, Pokemon: Mewtwo Strikes Back – Evolution seems to go for a darker tone. However, instead of the more realistic CGI style used by Detective Pikachu, Mewtwo Strikes Back follows the designs seen in the games and anime more closely. The result is a bit of a jumble of realistic grass and lighting with characters who look a bit like diorama figurines.
I can’t say I’m a huge fan of the art style. Maybe it’s just the nostalgia I have for the original film, but I vastly prefer the animation to this CG. The Pokemon look okay, but Misty, Brock, and Ash just look off to me. The elaborate lighting and effects also clash with the relatively simple designs of the Pokemon and give the whole thing a real jumbled aesthetic.
Do you like the older 2D style or the new CGI? We can find out how the whole thing turns out when Pokemon: Mewtwo Strikes Back – Evolution releases on Netflix on February 27.