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Dogasu's Backpack | Episode Comparisons | Movies

Movie Stats:

Japanese Movie 5:  "Mizu no Miyako no Mamori Gami Ratiasu to Ratiosu"

    ("The Water Capitol's Protector Gods Latias and Latios")
American Movie 5:  "Pokémon Heroes"
Japanese Air Date:  July 13th, 2002
American Air Date:  May 16th, 2003
Important Characters:  Zanna (Oakley), Lyon (Annie), Bongore (Lorenzo), Kanon (Bianca), Rossi (Ross)
Important Places:  Alto Mare (Altomare)

The pokemon thieves Zanna and Lyon are in the water capitol of Alto Mare where they hope to steal the precious "Drop of the Heart."  They know that Latias, one of the legendary pokemon who protects the city, will lead them to it, so they begin to track her down.  Satoshi witnesses the thieves' attempt to kidnap the pokemon, disguised as a young girl, and succeeds in rescuing her.  Later, Satoshi-tachi are at the city's museum when Satoshi sees the young girl again.  He chases her for a while to find out why those thieves were after her, and he winds up in a secret garden.  There, it is revealed that the young girl was really a Latias, and she protects the city with her brother Latios.  It is also revealed that the Drop of the Heart rests in the garden, a fact that one of Zanna and Lyon's spy robots picks up on.  The thieves break into the garden at night and steal the treasure while kidnapping Latios, who they take to the museum to power the city's defense system.  Latias informs Satoshi of her brother's capture, and the young trainer rushes to the scene to rescue him.  After dismantling the machine, Zanna accidentally disturbs the Drop of the Heart, causing massive tidal waves to come toward the city.  Latios throws himself to the wave, sacrificing his own life to save the city.  The pokemon has become the new Drop of the Heart, and after it is placed in the garden Satoshi-tachi depart for their next adventure.


Thoughts
Y'know, when the Pocket Monsters movies were handed over to Miramax, it was believed that the movies would turn out better.  Sure, Pokémon 4Ever had its added scenes, but other than that it was alright, right?  And then there's Pokémon Heroes--why, they didn't add any scenes, they kept the Japanese music (including the insert song The Secret Garden), they kept in all references to death--it's pretty much a perfect dub, right?

Wrong.

The problem with the Pokémon Heroes dub is that the script is really off.  For whatever reason, 4Kids decided to completely throw out the movie's backstory and create their own, which is strange considering how they haven't had any script changes this major since Mewtwo Strikes Back

What makes all of this worse is the fact that Miramax completely effed-up on the video for the DVD.  First of all, it's fullscreen (as expected), which people are just now realizing is bad and cuts out almost half the picture.  But what makes things even worse is that the color in the movie is really messed up.  For some unknown reason, the brightness in this movie was turned way down, and in some scenes there even seems to be a blue tint to it.  The strange thing is, the color on the scenes in the Animation Stages extra elsewhere on the DVD is fine, so it doesn't seem to be any problem with the film itself. 

The movie itself happens to be my favorite movie of the first five.  I think the backdrop of Alto Mare (which, by the way, is consistently mispronounced in the dub) is beautiful, and the animation is top-notch.  The movie's pacing is a lot better than the last one's, and there really aren't any scenes that feel wasted or unnecessary.  And the villains are quite interesting, and I'd love to see Zanna and Lyon used some more (if nothing more than to explain why they have those lips as their little logo).  Come on, wouldn't YOU want to see them again, perhaps trying to pilfer Jirarudan's collection?

Pikachu and Togepi are pretty much the only pokemon in this movie to keep their Japanese voices.  Latias and Latios are given these really high-pitched squawking noises that gets on your nerves after a while, and the rest of the pokemon are given new voices as well.

Cut--1 minute, 54 seconds
Let's start the movie off by having the largest non-episode cut in the history of the franchise! 

Basically, the entire opening scene is cut.  The dubbed version starts with Annie and Oakley flipping through the last few pages of the book they steal, but in the Japanese version we see a number of pages from the book as the legend of Latios and Latias is narrated to us.  We're told that a young couple was walking on the beach one day when they happened upon two young children--a young girl and her older brother.  The couple took the children in as their own and showed them a lot of love and affection.  One day, a horrible rain came from the sky and spread its evil across the city.  All seemed lost for the people until the two children revealed themselves to be the legendary pokemon Latias and Latios!  Using their combined powers, they were able to repel the evil rain and saved the city.  They then gave the couple the "Drop of the Heart" as thanks for raising them all that time, and the two pokemon departed.  Since then, the city has revered the two pokemon as gods. 

Serebii.net has pictures of the missing scene in question, so if you want to see what you missed, go there.

Dialogue Edit
Dub script change number one:  4Kids made Annie and Oakley members of Team Rocket.

Contrary to popular belief, Zanna and Lyon have no affiliation with the Rocket-Dan whatsoever.  While in the dub they're called "spies for Giovanni," in the Japanese version they're identified merely as the number one thieves.  Being a thief doesn't mean that one's a member of Team Rocket.

In all fairness, I don't really blame 4Kids for doing this.  Fansites across the Internet reported that they were members of the Rocket-Dan probably long before the dubbed script was being worked out, so it's not too unlikely that 4Kids heard the same thing all the fansites heard. 

Of course, there's still the fact that neither Zanna nor Lyon have the big Rocket "R" anywhere on their uniform, but what are ya gonna do?

Music Edit
The opening theme is dubbed, of course.  What's odd is that, while the Japanese use yet another remix of Mezase Pokemon Master (because apparently 80 remixes of the same song isn't enough), the American version remixes the fifth opening theme, Master Quest (or whatever that song's called).  The remix is incredibly lazy, as the songwriters didn't bother to write any additional lines from what you hear on TV, so there's lots of gaps in the song where nobody's singing.

Also, just like in the first movie, they added speaking parts during the opening theme.  Because we really needed to know what Brock was saying to that young lady beside him. 

Dialogue Edit
This edit bugged me for some reason.  It occurs when Ash first meets Latias (in Bianca's body):

Ash:  "Pikachu, don't you want any ice cream?"
Pikachu:  "Pika-Pika."
Ash:  "Come on.  Let's go."

Originally, during that last line, Satoshi thanked Latias/Kanon for turning on the water for Pikachu.  However, in the dub, Ash doesn't even acknowledge the girl's presence until she steps about an inch away from his face.  I don't know why that bothered me so much, but it just seemed rude how Ash didn't even notice that she was there.

Dialogue Edit
Let's just rewrite the entire movie, why don't we?

Lorenzo:  "Long ago, the Aerodactyl and Kabutops were taught by an evil trainer to attack people.  So, everyone lived in fear until Latios came and brought water to the town, drowning the evil pokemon and turning our streets into canals.  That's when the town was named Altomare, which means "high sea."  That's also when they built the D.M.A.  They wanted to make sure that no one would ever disrupt their peace again."

Basically, the Japanese legend is completely different.  There was no attack by ancient pokemon, and water wasn't just brought to the town.  Bongore was originally telling the kids about the legend that Zanna and Lyon read earlier in the movie.

Why 4Kids decided to change the legend is beyond me.  The thing is, the movie is translated by the same guy who translates everything for 4Kids (Paul Taylor), and his work is usually top-notch.  Why he/the company decided to change so much of the movie's backstory is beyond me.

Dialogue Edit
If you're going to rewrite a Pocket Monsters movie, you can't not have the main villains aim for world domination.  This is right before Oakley puts the city on lockdown:

Oakley:  "I can control the whole world from in here!"

Sorry to burst your bubble, Oakley, but no you can't.  In the Japanese version, she merely boasts about how much power she has, and while she does go a little power hungry as she spends more time in the control unit thingee, she never declares any ability to control the world.  She can, at most, control the city of Alto Mare. 

I guess 4Kids wanted to up the stakes of the movie or whatever because they have her declare he desire to rule the world on several occasions.  While Zanna and Lyon are the world's top thieves, they're still only thieves and we only really see them want to capture rare and precious treasures. 

Music Edit
And, to no one's surprise, the ending theme (Hitori Bocchijanai) is replaced with a bunch of American music.  It's a shame, too, because Hitori Bocchijanai is pretty much my favorite song in all of Pocket Monsters

Here's an interesting note--during the end credits, the insert song "Secret Garden" is listed as Currently on "The Pokémon 2002 Music Collection".  However, to my knowledge, there is no such CD released in the U.S.  One can assume that they're talking about the Japanese soundtrack (as that was released in 2002), but even that is nothing more than a guess.  Odd.

So anyway, this ends the last of the Pocket Monsters movies.  The first Pocket Monsters Advanced Generation movie ("Jirachi Wish Maker" in the U.S.) is set to be released straight to VHS/DVD by an unknown distributor, so hopefully by then we'll get a widescreen DVD with a Japanese language track and no color oddities. 

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