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Dogasu's Backpack | Episode Comparisons | Movies

Lord of the "Unknown" Tower ENTEI

Movie Stats:

Japanese Movie #3:  "Lord of the "Unknown" Tower ENTEI"
English Movie #3:  "Spell of the Unown: Entei"
Japanese Release Date:  July 8th, 2000
American Release Date:  April 6th, 2001
Important Characters:  Mii (Molly), Sully Snowden (Spencer Hale), Rin (Lisa), John (Schuyler), David (N/A)
Important Places:  Greenfield (Greenfield)

In a mansion located in a place named Greenfield, a five-year-old girl named Mii is left alone after her father is spirited away by the mysterious pokemon Unknown. Some time later, Mii inadvertently summons those same Unknown to her house! She then cries out that she wants her father back and so the Unknown respond by creating an Entei that will act as her surrogate father. Mii states that she wants a mother now so Entei runs out and finds the nearest mother it can find; Hanako! Satoshi isn't happy about this kidnapping, of course, so he enters the mansion and starts to search for his mother. The Unknown use their powers to create various obstacles to stop Satoshi from reaching his mother but he manages to overcome them all and make it to where she's being kept regardless. Before long a battle between Entei and Satoshi begins during which Satoshi's Lizardon returns to fight the Unknown's illusion. The battle ends when Mii realizes that she can't continue living in a fantasy world anymore and orders Entei to stop its attack. Greenfield is still covered in crystals, however, so our heroes go to the mansion's other tower to where the Unknown had gathered. The barrier that the Unknown had put up is eventually broken, leading to the mysterious pokemon retreating and the Entei they had created to disappear. Now that Greenfield is back to normal and Satoshi's mother has been rescued our heroes resume their journey through the Jouto Region.


Thoughts
For the third Pocket Monsters movie, Lord of the "Unknown" Tower ENTEI, screenplay authors Shudou Takeshi and Sonoda Hideki gave us a film about a lonely little girl who has to deal with the loss of her father. It's not just some dumb kids' movie designed to sell toys; it's a very personal film that deals with a lot of themes that you don't typically see in children's entertainment.

At the heart of said film is Mii and how she copes with loneliness. How does a five-year old react the loss of both of her parents in a world where magical creatures with god-like powers exist? The answer is kind of unsettling, actually. While I do understand Mii feels sad and alone and that she's only five but I think the depths that she's willing to go to avoid dealing with her feelings - kidnapping someone else's mother, seeing a big dog / lion thing and calling it "Papa," kicking out the housekeeping staff that's presumably been looking after her her whole life - make me wonder if Mii's a little psychopath in the making. This is not a normal, well-adjusted little girl here.

Another big theme in the movie is the relationship between parent and child. Shudou Takeshi noticed how there are a lot of movies out there that deal with mothers and daughters but that there weren't that many that deal with dads. So he made a movie about a dad...who disappears about five minutes into the film and gets replaced by an Entei...? From what I've read on Mr. Shudou's blog it seems like the movie production staff was only drip fed new pokemon and so they basically had to work with what they had. And so, Mii's father gets replaced by an Entei. It's weird that Game Freak apparently didn't give them Suicune's information during the film's pre-production but at the same time it's hard to imagine a Suicune taking Entei's place in this film, y'know?


I think one of the other things this movie gets remembered for is how well it treats Satoshi's traveling companions. This film's primarily about Satoshi trying to get his mother back and so it would have been reeeeeeally easy to just ignore Kasumi and Takeshi and have it be all about him, wouldn't it? But instead, they actually make the effort to give everyone who's not a member of the Rocket-Dan a decent amount of screentime.  The titular pocket monsters get plenty of screentime as well, a
nd it's not just some nothing lunchtime scene at the beginning of the movie, either; their appearances actually contribute to the story. It really is amazing that the movies managed to balance things this well on only their third try and it's a shame they haven't figured out how to do it again since.

Animation-wise this movie is pretty hit-or-miss for me. There are some really gorgeous shots that couldn't have been done on a TV budget but I feel like the majority of the movie ends up just looking OK. Not bad, really, but not great either. The second movie has a lot more interesting camera work  and the more varied locations to work with and so when I see the third movie, which is set primarily in a single tower that's covered in CG crystals, it's a bit harder to feel the same amount of awe. At least none of the CGI in this film stands out as much as Geraldan's garish flying fortress did in the second film, huh?

The English dub for this movie is a lot better than the first two. Oh, it's still a below-average product with ridiculous rewrites, forgettable replacement music, iffy voice acting, and a bunch of changes made simply for the sake of change, but despite all that the end product is still more faithful. One of the (many, many, many) problems with the first two movies was 4Kids' weird insistence of shoehorning these extra morals into the films that didn't exist in the Japanese version; the first movie had a bunch of kids who who participate in cockfights for a living talking about how fighting is wrong while the second movie added a "one person can make all the difference!" theme to a story that actually argues the exact opposite. But 4Kids resisted that urge for this movie and more or less left the story alone. There's no message squeezed in about respecting your parents or how anything's possible if you just use your imagination. It's just "here's the story Japan got, the bad with the good." It's actually surprisingly nice.

The Unknown keep their Japanese voices.

Music Edit
Spell of the Unown: Entei is the last movie to replace the Japanese music...sure was a nice thing to be able to say for about thirteen years or so, wasn't it?

Yep, the entirety of the soundtrack for the Pokemon movie is replaced for the third time in a row. The Pichu short that came packaged with this movie kept the Japanese music but I guess 4Kids wasn't ready to take the plunge with the main feature just yet, huh? To their credit, though, 4Kids at least decides to have some scenes where there isn't any music playing so at least they seem to be getting over their wall-to-wall music craze they had going for a while there.

The thing that people watching the Japanese version of this movie for the first time will probably notice right away is how the original soundtrack contains a number of remixes of music from the Gold & Silver video games. The battle between Mii and Takeshi, the battle between Mii and Kasumi, and the battle between Entei and Pikachu all use brand new arrangements of battle music from either Gold & Silver or Red & Green and they sound great. The dub replaces all of them with generic battle music that has no connection to the video games whatsoever which is actually kind of strange when you consider how they were usually pretty decent about that when it came to the TV series. 


There are other highlights to the Japanese soundtrack as well, such as the music that plays during the battle between Entei and Lizardon and the various piano melodies that play whenever Mii's feeling sad. Unfortunately a lot of the music was never released on CD meaning that there's no way to enjoy a lot of this music without any voices / sound effects getting in the way.


This movie also does a lot of interesting things with silence. There's a scene early on in the movie when Mii finds out that her father is gone and the music editor decides that, instead of playing kind of sad piano melody or something, that it would be better to just not have any music in there at all. Instead, all we hear is the sound of an old grandfather clock ticking away, its sounds echoing throughout the giant mansion. There are a bunch of other scenes like that too where silence is used as a tool to help emphasize how sad little Mii is all alone in this giant, cruel world. Every film in this franchise uses silence as a tool at times but I feel like the soundtrack to this film, in particular, understood how to use it effectively. It's too bad 4Kids didn't share that same understanding.

Dialogue Edit
Let's get this show started.

Molly and Spencer look through Molly's picture book:

Molly:  "This is the one you're looking for, isn't it?"
Spencer:  "Yes...I've been looking for it ever since...for a long time now."

One of the big changes the dub makes to this movie is to offer its own explanation about where Molly's mother is during all this. In their version Molly's mother was sucked into another dimension while researching the Unown and that her disappearance is what led her husband to start researching the Pokémon in the first place.

This line up here is 4Kids laying the groundwork for the explanation they'll offer later in the movie. Originally Sully simply says that these are the mysterious pokemon Unknown that he's been looking for for a long time.

Side Note
I wanted to bring up this line from when Molly's and Spencer's play date gets interrupted:

Molly:  "Another e-mail! It must be Schuyler again. It's always him."

I'm only bringing up this line to draw attention to Schuyler's name. One of the reasons English dubs (not just Pokémon, mind you, but English dubs in general) give characters names that are different from the ones used in the original version is because it's believed that kids would find the original Japanese names too "foreign." They're thought to be too difficult to pronounce, or spell, or remember, and giving someone with a comparatively easy Western name instead is often seen as a necessary evil to help make a show marketable to Western audiences.

So what was Schuyler's name in the original version? What crazy, impossible mixture of vowels and consonants resulted in 4Kids deciding to rename him into something Western kids in the U.S. could relate to more easily?

John.

I'm not kidding. The dude's name in the original is John (ジョン). A man who already had a Western name in the original version got his name changed to a different Western name for the English dub, because reasons.  And there weren't any other Johns (or Jons, or Jonathans) in the dub at the time either so it's not like that was a factor here. This is just change for the sake of change.

Oh and also this movie has a Lisa and a Liza in it as well so, y'know, great job naming department.

Dialogue Edit
Molly finds the Unown blocks her father left behind:

Japanese Version
English Dub
Mii:  "Papa...they're like souvenirs from you"
Molly:  "They look....just like letters. 
Mii:  "..."
Molly:  "I can spell our names with the Unown. Papa...and Mama..."
Mii:  "I'm lonely...Papa..."
Molly:  "They're together, with me..."

Basically every shot of Mii we see from behind (aka every shot where 4Kids doesn't have to worry about mouth flaps) was silent in the original. She doesn't narrate what she's doing to nobody in particular in the original; she just sits there all by herself, trying to hold back tears as she silently reflects on the fact that her papa is really gone.

Right as the Unown are about to create Entei:

Voiceover:  "I'm like Entei am I? Well, then I am Entei! ROAR!!"

There was no voiceover here in the Japanese version because it wasn't necessary. Anybody who watches this movie
knows that Mii sees Entei as her Papa because she says as much and then proceeds to call him "Papa" about a million times throughout the rest of the movie. Several other characters comment on this as well. Did 4Kids not think things were clear enough as they were?

Side Note
Entei has this echo filter effect added to his voice in the English dub that isn't there in the Japanese version. I guess because he's speaking telepathically? Originally Takenaka Naoto just speaks in his normal voice with no filter whatsoever.

The thing with the dub is is that when you put an echo filter over Dan Green's voice it makes him sound just like his Mewtwo from Mewtwo Returns which, as you can imagine, is just all kinds of distracting.

Dialogue Edit
Molly sees Entei for the first time:

Molly:  "Papa...it's you! You look just like the Entei in the storybook but it's you! Papa!"

Mii's original line here is "Papa...you're Papa, aren't you? Papa turned into an Entei and came back to me, right? Papa!" In other words the storybook isn't mentioned in the Japanese version here.

Cut - 8 seconds
The title screen in the Japanese version is eight seconds longer than the title screen in the English dub.

Dialogue Edit
That opening narration tho:

Japanese Version
English Dub
Narrator:  "Satoshi is far away from his hometown of Masara Town, journeying together with his friends to enter the Jouto League. His journey continues today as well."
Narrator:  "Step by step, Ash, Misty, and Brock continue their Pokémon journey, wondering what adventures await them as they travel into unknown territory, never suspecting that's exactly where this road leads!"

This is what is known as "punching up" a line of dialogue. Why just say things normally, like a real human would, when you can make one cringe-inducing pun after the other instead? Here, the dub takes the Japanese narrator's straightforward dialogue and adds in joke-y lines like "step by step" (GET IT THEY'RE GOING UP STEPS AS HE SAYS THIS) and "as they travel into unknown territory" (more like UNOWN amirite?). It's...ugh.

This isn't anything new with this dub but for some reason this instance seemed a bit more cringe-worthy to me.

Brock flirts:

Lisa:  "Are any of you guys Pokémon Trainers?"
Ash:  "Yeah!  I'm Ash Ketchum from Pallet...and I wanna be a Pokémon Master!"
Brock:  "I'm Brock from Pewter City...and I wanna be your boyfriend!"
Lisa:  "Thanks, but no thanks. I'm a Trainer too. Wanna battle?"

Damn she sure did change the subject quick didn't she? Poor Brock.

Originally Takeshi asks this young woman what her name is and she responds by saying it's Rin. He doesn't suddenly ask her to date him the way Brock does.


Opening Theme
The opening theme to the Japanese version is OK! 2000, a remix of OK! that was made in - wait for it! - the year 2000. It gets replaced in the dub by
Pokémon Johto.

Pok
émon Johto is actually the only English dub theme I even come close to liking but the movie version just doesn't do it for me. It's a lot more mellow than the regular version used in the TV series so maybe that's it? A sleepy song like this doesn't really fit match an opening battle scene and the whole thing just falls flat when compared to Matsumoto Rika's super energized performance.

Comic Sans

Oh and also all the opening credits are all typed out in Comic Sans font because of course they are.

Dialogue Edit
After the battle:

Misty:  "Just over the mountains in...everyone's heard of Greenfield! I've wanted to see it ever since I was a little girl!"
Lisa:  "Me too! And I know the quickest way to get there!"

Kasumi's knowledge of Greenfield is a bit different in the Japanese version. Originally she knows Greenfield as "the place chosen as the number one place girls want to go to in the Jouto district!"  Rin then replies by saying that she was just on her way there.

The Rocket trio join the movie:

Jessie:  "Greenfield's just as I imagined it: beautiful fields of flowers that turn into a bizarre crystal wasteland that obliterates the entire...Hey what's going on!?"

I know I just complained about how the dub punches up dialogue but I'd be lying if I said this line from Jessie didn't give me a chuckle.

Originally Musashi says how happy she is that they followed Pikachu because it led them to a beautiful place like Greenfield. She then notices that, hey, something's off about this place isn't it? It doesn't really produce the same kind of laugh-out-loud reaction as the English version does but it's good enough, I suppose.

The news reporters arrive on the scene:

Japanese Version
English Dub
Reporter:  "Here at Greenfield an unprecedented phenomenon you have to see to believe is taking place.  It is believed that this strange phenomenon is originating from the Sully Snowden residence though details are sparse at the moment."
Reporter:  "But these green fields have suddenly undergone a disturbing transformation. Officials are baffled by this shocking phenomenon which appears to have originated from the hilltop mansion of renowned Pokémon researcher Spencer Hale. His wife mysteriously disappeared two years ago during a Pokémon..."
Hanako:  "Sully...Snowden...?"
Delia:  "How much more can Spencer go through!?"

The dub continues to sprinkle hints about what happened to Spencer's wife while the Japanese version continues to ignore it altogether.


But let's look at this for a minute. Mama Hale disappeared two years ago according to the English dub. Molly's five years old when this movie starts. That means that this picture...

Picture

...was taken when she was about three at the latest, as far as dub canon goes? Which makes Ash (in his adorable little Misty outfit there) about eight years old? I guess it works but I do think it would have been better if the dub had avoided giving any specific timeframes altogether.

But then we get this, from after Delia reunites with her son in the Johto Region:

Japanese Version
English Dub
Hanako:  "A long time ago Sully-Hakase used to come over to Orchid-Hakase's place to study."
Delia:  "I've known Professor Hale for years.  He used to study Pokémon at Professor Oak's lab."
Satoshi:  "He's the one who used to help you out with your homework, isn't he?"
Ash:  "Then he moved away and became a big famous Pokémon expert, right Mom?"
Hanako:  "Yes, and after that he would often came back to Masara Town to visit."
Delia:  "Yes, but he and his family came back to Pallet Town for a visit a few years ago, don't you remember?"
Satoshi:  "I remember...from that time..."
Ash:  "Uh, yeah...sort of..."
Hanako:  "That's Sully-Hakase's house back there. I'm really quite worried..."
Delia:  "First Spencer's wife disappeared...and now all this happens."

The official story in the Japanese version, as told through guide books and blog posts and other sources like that, is that Mii's mother is in the hospital during this movie for some undisclosed reason. We also don't know how long she's been away, either; maybe it's been a year, maybe it's been a month, maybe it's only been a few weeks...we don't know.

Norman Grossfeld, one of the men responsible for this film's "localization," explains this part of the film in the DVD commentary present on the Warner Bros. release of Pokémon 3 The Movie:

"The Japanese story, which didn't actually make their own movie, this is a story they told each other, uh, I guess was a backstory that they eventually got edited out of the script was that the mother was upset with the the father being such a workaholic so I think she was institutionalized and she was away somewhere...in their backstory and that's why she wasn't around."

...except this isn't true at all.

Now there are two ways you could take Mr. Grossfeld's comments here. One, this is what Japan really did tell them this bogus story, for some reason, and that 4Kids had no choice but to take their word for it. Later on in the commentary they also talk about promises made to them by the Japanese staff that we'd find out who Ash's father is by the end of Season 5 but that obviously didn't happen either.  Maybe the Japanese producers had this habit of lying to 4Kids, for some reason?

The other way you could take this is that Norman Grossfeld and Michael Haigney (the other guy in the commentary) have no idea what the hell they're talking about. The rest of the DVD commentary for Pokémon 3 The Movie kind of helps support this. It has them talking about how Ash caught a Hoothoot but that it hadn't evolved into a Noctowl by the time this movie came out. The two of them constantly refer to Entei as a "Psychic-Type" even though it's a pure Fire-Type. Hell, they even misidentify Charizard as "Charmander" during the end credits (by the very man who used to voice Charmander no less!). The two also has this weird tendency to take credit for things they had no hand in such as introducing all those new Pokémon in Gold & Silver ("When we added the extra 100 Pokemon") and for making the brilliant decision to give Entei and Spencer the same voice actor as if the Japanese version didn't do the exact same thing.

Their bogus story about what happens to Mii's mother seems to be more of the same. Now the conclusion they eventually reach - that her disappearance creates a problem because if Molly knew her mother was alive somewhere she wouldn't have been wishing for a new mother - .is accurate and logical. But their headcanon about why she's missing is complete bull.


After Entei makes off with Ash's mom:

Ash:  "She's gone...I couldn't save her."

In the original Satoshi asks "Why...why did it take my Mama...?"

Liza watches the news:

News Reporter:  "The mystery at Greenfield has taken an even more disturbing turn as early this afternoon our camera shot this startling video of a woman identified as Delia Ketchum being abducted by a mysterious creature as her son gives chase."

The news reporter in the Japanese version knows some things that the news reporter in the English version doesn't know, and vice versa. She doesn't know the name of Satoshi's mother, referring to her as a "woman on the scene" (関係者の女性) but she does know that the creature who took her away is a pokemon named Entei.

Team Rocket's next scene has very few mouthflaps to worry about so the dub writers went nuts:

Japanese Version
English Dub
Nyasu:  "Those guys are really working hard Nya"
Meowth:  "Hey it's the twerps...they're walking through a stream coming from that wacky building!"
Musashi:  "We're the Rocket-Dan and we're aiming for outer space!"
Jessie:  "There must be some valuable Pokémon inside!"
Kojirou:  "If we can't go by land then we'll get there by air."
James:  "And the only way to get there must be by wading!"
Musashi:  "Our goal is the treasure in those towers!"
Jessie:  "That's right!"
Meowth:  "But they're walkin' through the water!"
James:  "They're wading!"
Meowth:  "No, they're walking!"
Rocket trio:  "Ii kanji~!" Jessie:  "They're wading!"
...
Meowth:  "How could they be wading if they're walking?!"
James:  "They're walking through the stream!?"
Meowth:  "Yeah..."
Jessie and James:  "THEN THEY'RE WADING!"
Entei appears
Nyasu:  "What's that?"
Meowth:  "What's that!?"
Kojirou:  "That's the thing that was on TV, isn't it?"
James:  "It looks scary. Do you think it'll attack us!?"
Musashi:  ""Entei" or something like that..."
Jessie:  "It's probably...harmless."

Haha, it's funny because Meowth's accent is so ridiculous that he easily mishears common words and phrases!

But anyway, the Japanese dialogue shows that the Rocket-Dan know Entei's name from TV while dub viewers don't get the same information.

After the trio lands:

Japanese Version
English Dub
Musashi:  "But what is all this!?"
Jessie:  "What is all this!?"
Kojirou:  "It doesn't seem like there's any treasure here."
James:  "Well it's not my idea of decorating!"
Musashi:  "Treasure isn't usually put out in the open where just anyone could see!"
Jessie:  "Will you be serious James? We've got to find a way to get out of this predicament!"
Nyasu:  "In that case the treasure should be in that tower over there Nya."
Meowth:  "Do you think we could shimmy up to the tower?"
Musashi:  "If we go to that tower..."
Jessie:  "It might take us hours to get to the top."
Nyasu:  "We'd have to climb up or climb down."
Meowth:  "We could try to go to the bottom."
Kojirou:  "How can we climb up or down?"
James:  "That's where we usually wind up anyway."
Musashi:  "Isn't there an elevator or something like that?"
Jessie:  "Wonder how long it would take."
Nyasu:  "Of course there isn't!"
Meowth:  "About three seconds...if we jump!"

This comparison is just going to be me mostly transcribing all of Team Rocket's dialogue, isn't it?

So something some of the more eagle-eyed viewers have noticed is that Mii's mansion actually has two towers, not just the one. Most of the action in this film takes place in one tower (the titular ""Unknown" Tower") but this part of the movie, in which the Rocket-Dan get blasted out of the sky, takes place in the other tower. The dialogue in the Japanese version makes this explicitly clear but the English dub makes that a bit more difficult to figure out.

(That might have actually ended up being a good thing in the long run since movies that make a big deal about towers weren't going to get all that much airtime anymore come September)

The Japanese version also has the Rocket trio single-mindedly going after treasure but the English dub does not.

The Rocket trio sneak past the Unown:

James:  "I haven't seen this many strange letters since the last time I placed a personal ad!"

James' Tindr profile attracts all sorts of freaks.

Oh wait, I forgot, this is the 4Kids dub we're talking about here. James' Grindr profile attracts all sorts of freaks. Sorry for the mix-up everybody, won't happen again.

Originally Kojirou (along with his other teammates) just say "tiptoe" to themselves over and over.

Molly wants to be in a Pokémon battle:

Molly:  "That would be so great Mama. A Pokémon Trainer...I could just imagine it."

Originally Mii states that she's still just a little girl and that if she was bigger she could finally join in on a pokemon battle.

The Rocket trio runs through the Spring Room:

James:  "It's like a storybook land invented by a five-year old."

Originally Kojirou wonders if there's really treasure in a place like this.

Oh look, it's someone other than the Rocket trio:

Brock:  "If I even wanna have a chance at beating you...I better start to really rock'n roll! And my Onix is just how I like to "rock 'n roll!""
Molly:  ""Rock 'n roll" huh...that's funny."

No eye-rollingly terrible pun in the Japanese version! Originally Takeshi tells Mii that he's training to become a Pokemon Breeder and that the way pokemon are raised is important for both the pokemon and the Trainer. Mii then repeats "important" back at Takeshi before smiling in agreement.

Toward the end of the battle:

Molly:  "My little Phanpy's stronger than Brock's giant Onix!"

In the Japanese version Mii instead tells Takeshi not to underestimate her Gomazou just because it's small.

Oh, look who it is again:

Japanese Version
English Dub
Kojirou:  "And now we've got all this."
James:  "How can we breathe underwater?"
Musashi:  "Don't worry about the small stuff. Just keep moving forward."
Jessie:  "Go with the flow. Sometimes it's better not to ask questions!"
Nyasu:  "We're the Rocket-Dan and we're aiming for outer space! Our single goal is to aim for the top...or something like that Nya!" Meowth:  "Hey Jessie I got a question that's better I shouldn't ask: do you think we're gonna get a bigger part in the next movie?"

The Rocket trio get a few fourth wall breaking lines like this in the movie. All of them are dub-added.

I've seen theories online that suggest that the Rocket trio scene that 4Kids has added to the fourth movie is created because of this line here in the third movie and even though we don't have any proof of that I can't help but think that sounds plausible.

As soon as Ash arrives in Molly's room:

Ash:  "Mom!"
Delia:  "Ash...is it really you!?"

Originally there's no dialogue here in the Japanese version.

The movie's script is actually pretty decent for most of the fight against Entei. The dub decides to translate nakama (仲間), which I think most people would translate as "friends," as "family" instead, but other than that the script's pretty alright.

The next change I'll talk about is - surprise! - from Team Rocket. This time it's from after they help everyone pull Ash back up into the tower:

Japanese Version
English Dub
Kasumi:  "The Rocket-Dan..."
Misty:  "Why are you helping out?"
Satoshi:  "But why are you...?"
Ash:  "You're bad guys!"
Musashi:  "You see..."
Jessie:  "Uh well..."
Nyasu:  "It just so happens..."
Meowth:  "You see..."
Kojirou:  "...that our hands just reached out on their own..."
James:  "...it's really very simple!"
Nyasu:  "Even though we're enemies we've been together a long time."
Meowth:  "If anything ever happened to you we'd be out of show business!"

The dub loves to use Team Rocket to break the fourth wall and I'm not entirely sure why. Maybe the writers feel like their lines are the most disposable and easy to rewrite? Maybe 4Kids gets some weird thrill out of constantly reminding its audience that they are indeed just watching a movie? Who knows!

Ash and his friends try to convince Molly to come with them:

Ash:  "If you come with us...you can have real Pokémon!"
Molly:  "I already have real Pokémon...now go away!"

Originally Satoshi doesn't try to lure Mii away with promises of real live pokemon; he just asks her to come along with him. Mii responds that she doesn't want to and adds that she already has real friends right there with her. It's a small change - making the whole thing about pokemon vs. making it about friends in general - but it's one I think is worth bringing up regardless.

Later, during the battle between Lizardon and Entei, Satoshi orders Lizardon to use Fire Spin. The dub rewrites this command to "Don't hold back! Give it everything you've got!" I have no idea why.

Ash tries to reason with Entei:

Ash:  "We've gotta do something Charizard. We've gotta get Molly out of here!"

In the dub Ash is talking to his Charizard but in the original here he's trying to convince Entei that if things keep up the way they're going then Mii will end up all alone. He actually gets pretty emotional here (in no small part to Matsumoto Rika's excellent vocal performance) and the whole thing is helped by the look on Satoshi's face as he says this:

All alone!

This face, meanwhile, doesn't really fit with what Ash is saying to Charizard does it?

Later, Molly yells at Entei to stop the battle. Our heroes run up to her and:

Japanese Version
English Dub
Takeshi:  "Mii-chan, I lost to you. Gomazou's Rollout attack was really powerful."
Brock:  "You're a great Pokémon Trainer, Molly! A big part of battling is knowing when to stop."
Kasumi:  "So was Mantain's Whirlpool. You definitely have what it takes to become a Gym Leader."
Misty:  "You already have the right instincts. I bet you could be a Gym Leader easy...if you wanted to."
Satoshi:  "When the battles are over we're still all people who love pokemon. We're all friends, you see."
Ash:  "You see Molly? We always battle hard but...we always stay friends. Because we all love Pokémon."

I mentioned before how the dub doesn't try to shoehorn any additional morals or plotlines into the movie that weren't there in the original. And for the most part that's true. But there are still tiiiiiiiny instances like this where a normal conversation about friends and friendship gets mutated into a conversation about how totally awesome Pokémon are. Again, it's a small difference but it's something I definitely noticed while watching the two versions back to back.

This above change, apparently, was made because of this line:

Molly:  "I want things real again."

Despite what Norman Grossfeld and Michael Haigney say in the DVD commentary, the line in the Japanese version here is "Your hand's so warm..."  The English line isn't bad or anything and it makes sense but at the same time so did the Japanese one. So why go one way over the other?

Later, when Satoshi is helping Mii escape from the tower, he puts her on top of his Lizardon and tells her to hold on tight (しっかりつかまってるんだぞ). Oddly enough the dub doesn't have Ash say anything during this scene despite the fact that he's not even facing the camera as he says this. Weird.

Meanwhile, back at the Pokémon Center:

Schuyler:  "The crystallization is heading straight this way!"
Professor Oak:  "Listen to me...get out of there or you could be trapped forever!"
Ash:  "Right."

Originally Orchid-Hakase tells Satoshi to stop the Unknown's rampage which, when followed by John's observation about the crystals coming their way, reads like a cry for help. The dub has Oak more worried about Ash than he is of himself or any of the other people there.

During the battle between Entei and the Unknown at the end of the movie, Molly stops calling Entei "Papa" and starts referring to it as "Entei" instead. In the Japanese version, however, Mii pretty much keeps using Papa throughout the rest of the movie.

Entei tries to break through the Unown's barrier:

Entei:  "Believe in me, if that is what you wish."

There's no dialogue at this part in the Japanese version.

Moved Footage - 21 seconds
The big visual edit in this film involves 4Kids moving the shots of Sully-Hakase returning to our world from the end credits to much earlier in the film.

Here's the order of the scenes in both versions.  Japanese is on the left, English is on the right:




















And now, from the horses' mouths themselves:

"See now a lot of people are already getting up out of their seats"
"Yeah because what happens in these movies is...there are many endings. So we wanted to move some of the endings into the movie to have a little closure."
"And the moms and dads are trying to get...three or four kids together..."
"...Get to the bathroom before all the other families so..."
"...Or the parking lot are wherever they are."

They say all this during the shot where Molly looks up into the sky and sees an Entei-shaped cloud. Which is about three minutes before the movie's end credits even start.

Now 4Kids defends this change by saying that people tend to leave the theater as soon as they can (I mean, they're watching the 4Kids Pokémon dub, can you really blame them?) and that moving this scene to the actual movie itself helps ensure that audiences don't leave the theaters thinking that Molly was left an orphan.

But like, is that a thing that people do? Do people actually get up and leave a movie like five minutes before the end credits even start? I mean if you were one of the parents in the scenario Mr. Grossfeld and Mr. Haigney paint and you tried to leave when the house lights were still down and the movie was obviously still playing then wouldn't your kids loudly complain about you making them leave too early? Whose parents are that big an asshole?

Leaving once the credits start up and the ending theme starts playing, sure. But five minutes before the movie ends?

Am I the only one who doubts this problem 4Kids was trying to prevent is a real thing that actually happens?

Dialogue Edit
Of course the final dialogue edit is a Team Rocket one:

Japanese Version
English Dub
Kojirou:  "Well anyway,"
James:  "We should be happy!"
Nyasu:  "There's now one less lonely little girl out there Nya."
Meowth:  "How could we be happy? We didn't capture one new Pokémon!"
Musashi:  "But there's still one lonely girl right here...Musashi!"
Jessie:  "I'm happy for that little girl. She was adorable yet indomitable...just like me!"
Kojirou:  "A young man who stands alone...Kojirou!"
James:  "And that Entei was powerful and inscrutable...just like me!"
Nyasu:  "And up next is one more who will always be all by himself...Nya!"
Meowth:  "And that Meowth was lovable just like...ME!"
Musashi:  "Listen up Mii! Go along with the winds in Greenfield!"
Jessie:  "What does it matter if we failed at catching a Pokémon this time!?"
Kojirou:  "You still have friends even if you're alone!"
James:  "We'll get another chance to fail next time!"
Rocket-Dan:  "And yet somehow it all feels very...greeeeeat~!"
Team Rocket:  "And so until next time...Team Rocket's fading out again!"

4Kids' quest to avoid translating ii kanji at all costs continues.

Cut - 1 second
What is now the first shot of the ending theme to the English version is shortened by one second.

Ending Theme
The ending theme to the original movie is Niji ga Umareta Hi (虹が生まれた日), or "The Day a Rainbow Was Born." It's sung by Mori Kumiko, an opera singer / TV celebrity / comedian with a really powerful voice who delivers a hauntingly beautiful performance.

She also apparently knows English because she recorded an English version of the theme song called "Just Like a Rainbow." It's not used in the movie itself (the film uses the Japanese one, obviously) and it isn't on the film's soundtrack either but it can be found on the CD single release that came out in 2000. And her English isn't half bad! There are a few parts that are kind of difficult to make out but to be fair a lot of native English singers have the same problem; that's why mondegreen is a thing.

The 4Kids dub didn't use this song that was already in English and instead decided to use To Know the Unknown by a girl group named Innosense. They're one of the most 90s girl groups I've ever seen and their official website is also hilarious.

To the dub's credit, they do at least stick to one song for the ending theme instead of doing that "cram as much of the film's soundtrack into four minutes as we can" thing they did for the first two movies. And doesn't having one song play throughout the entirety of the ending just sound so much better than having a bunch of different songs belonging to various music genres all clashing together awkwardly?

As to why 4Kids didn't use a perfectly acceptable English version of the song...? I dunno. It definitely wasn't a name recognition thing because really, who the hell knew who Innosense was at the time? (quick, name one other song the group did throughout their career without looking it up!) So maybe it was just a rights issue? I mean, they probably didn't even make the effort to get Ms. Mori's song in the first place but if they had I imagine it would have been at least a tiny hurdle for them to cross.

But oh well. The English language song 4Kids did end up using is decent enough, I guess, so I'm not too bent out of shape over it.

Final Thoughts
"Cautiously optimistic" is the best way I can describe my feelings after watching this movie. 4Kids takes a few significant steps toward producing a better dub and while they're still a long, long ways to go they're at least showing signs of improvement. As of this writing the English dub is actually getting worse the longer it goes on so it's nice to take a look back and observe a time when dubs actually got better as time went on. We don't know how spoiled we were.

The next movie's dub, though...

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