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Dogasu's Backpack | Episode Comparisons | Movies

"The Cocoon of Destruction and Diancie"

Movie Stats:

Pocket Monsters XY Movie #01:  "The Cocoon of Destruction and Diancie"
Pokémon Movie #17:  "Diancie and the Cocoon of Destruction"
Japanese Release Date:  July 19th, 2014
American Release Date:  November 8th, 2014 (Cartoon Network USA)
Important Characters:  Marilyn Flame (Marilyn), Ninja Riot (Riot), Argus Steel (Argus Steel), Millis Steel (Millis Steel), Majima (Merrick), Di (Dace), Knight (N/A), Joke (N/A), Ayaka (Astrid), Uschi (N/A),
Important Places:  Allearth Forest (Allearth Forest), Avignon Town (N/A)

The Diamond Ore Kingdom is an underground domain that survives off the energy produced by a giant crystal known as the "Sacred Diamond."  The current "Sacred Diamond" will reach the end of its life soon and so the kingdom's ruler, Diancie, sets out on a journey to find the legendary pokemon Xerneas and receive the power needed to create a new diamond.  Her journey eventually puts her in contact with Satoshi and his friends who quickly befriend her and join her on her quest to find Xerneas.  After a long journey our heroes reach the Allearth Forest where Xerneas is said to dwell.  Diancie meets the legendary pokemon and is given the power to create a new Sacred Diamond when another legendary pokemon, Yveltal, awakens from a long slumber!  Yveltal is known as the "Destruction Pokemon" and uses its "Death Wing" attack to spread destruction throughout the forest!  After a long battle, during which Diancie evolves into Mega Diancie, Xerneas steps forth and puts an end to the fighting.  It then restores everyone and everything back to the way they were.  Now that Diancie's journey is finished, she returns to her kingdom and uses her new power to save it.


Thoughts
So part of the problem with the last Best Wishes! movie was that people had already decided that it was a terrible piece of garbage before the thing had even came out.  The whole Mewtwo thing really pissed people off but I also think people were kind of over Best Wishes! at that point and were just ready for it to end already.  Regardless, people never gave the movie a fair chance and it got a bad rap despite being a pretty decent film.

None of that happens this go around.  People didn't come into this movie with a hate boner, painstakingly looking for things to validate their totally rational and level-headed hatred of a movie they hadn't seen yet but just knew was going to be awful.  They instead looked forward to it, waiting for new details about Diancie and the thieves and Mega Diancie and the legendary pokemon who star in it.

Diancie was a character that could have been extremely annoying if handled incorrectly but the movie managed to find a way to make her fun to watch.  I liked that she didn't spend the movie as a damsel in distress; she actively tries to free herself (and sometimes succeeds!) throughout the entirety of the movie.  Her "princess who doesn't know about basic human ideas like "friendship"" thing was kind of "meh" but thankfully the movie didn't dwell on that side of her too much.  Diancie making its own Keystone was weird but it's at least better than the non-attempt to explain Mewtwo's ability to Mega Evolve back and forth in the last movie.

When I heard that the movie was going to have a gajillion characters in it I was worried that it was going to have trouble balancing everyone's screentime.  But I think it did alright?  They weren't the most developed characters we've gotten in one of these movies or anything but at least no one felt like a waste of space.  Marilyn and Riot were fairly interesting and I liked how Millis and Argus were playing the long game by appearing to be Diancie's allies all while waiting for the right moment to kidnap her.  I also really, really loved how the movie hinted at Millis' true intentions by showing her sword pokemon hanging around in the foreground throughout the first two thirds of the movie, keeping an eye out on the progress of our heroes' journey.

I'm a bit confused about the ending of the thieves' stories, though.  According to the end credits they all get regular jobs: Millis and Argus work at a chocolatier, Marilyn works at a clothing store, and Riot...does something that enables him to afford a nice suit and an engagement ring?  Which means that after the big adventure in the Allearth Forest everybody decides to reform and not steal anymore?  I mean these were people who were all just trying to kidnap a living creature to force it to create diamonds for them.  I suppose you could say that their "death" caused them to reform but maybe the movie could have made that a bit more clear?

As a Rocket trio fan I was also super happy with how much they got to do in this film.  It's the biggest role Musashi, Kojirou, and Nyasu have gotten since...I wanna say the Darkrai movie, from seven years ago?  It's been a while.  Bakeccha's omission is weird especially since Ma'iika got to appear in both this and the Pikachu short that accompanied it but I guess it's just not as popular as the other Rocket pokemon for whatever reason.

The movie's non-ending with Xerneas just sort of starting Yveltal into not killing everything anymore is pretty lame especially since it's almost an exact copy of the ending to last year's movie.  Maybe there could have been more to it if the movie had the extra runtime that the ones that weren't coupled with Pikachu shorts were afforded?  I know a common complaint about these last few films is that they're way too short now that they have to share part of their runtime with a silly Pikachu short.  But then I think "Well...the first six movies had short runtimes and none of them  had problems with rushed non-endings like this."  I feel like the solution isn't to get rid of the Pikachu shorts and tack on extra minutes to the film's runtime but to instead focus more on telling stories that actually fit in the runtime that they are given.  Maybe don't try to cram a billion things in one movie and instead focus on simpler, less convoluted stories?

So, the English dub, something I've been more or less ignoring since Season 14 or so.  Here's what happened to get me here:
  • I heard that the background music in a Pokémon movie not released during the Clinton administration had been replaced for the English dub.
  • "I'm going to go online and complain about it!"
  • "But waitaminute...I'd better actually watch the damn thing so I actually know what the hell I'm talking about."
  • "Ugh, I just spent a little over an hour of my life watching the English dub, might as well turn it into website content."
I will say, though, that at least voice acting wise the English dub is pretty decent, for the most part.  This movie was my first exposure to Inkay's dub voice, though, and my poor ears are still recovering.

Music Edit
Nearly all the background music in this movie has been replaced for the dub.  In a movie that came out in the year 2014.

The Cocoon of Destruction and Diancie

Instead, we get a brand new soundtrack made just for the dub.  It seems like the music was made specifically for the movie (the way it Mickey Mouses the action on-screen at certain parts is what leads me to that conclusion) but I've heard there's some stock TV stuff mixed in there as well, though I wouldn't know because I stopped watching the English dub of the TV series years ago.  What I do know, however, is that the English composer didn't leave any moments of silence in there at all and made the movie wall-to-wall music.

Now there is a tiny bit of the original Japanese soundtrack left in.  The music that plays during the movie's title screen (Track 1 "Main Title"), the three pieces that are played during the "World of Pokemon" segment (Track 6, "Pocket Monsters, or "Pokemon" for Short"; Track 7, "Carnet vs. Ganpi"; and Track 8, "That Boy, Satoshi from Masara Town"), and the music that plays when Citron takes out that ladder thing in the shopping mall (Track 20, "Citron's Invention") are all kept.  But the other 37 tracks on the movie's soundtrack, plus whatever else didn't make it to the CD release?  Gone.

It's insane to think that the English dub of a Japanese movie would actually replace the instrumental background music
in the year 2014 .  Think about it for a second.  This is something that hasn't been done to a Pokémon movie since Pokémon 3 The Movie way back in 2001.  How much of this movie's target audience was even alive back then?  This is something that 4Kids - 4-freaking-Kids, ladies and gentlemen! - decided was too stupid to continue doing.  And yet here we are.

What if Pokémon Origins had been dubbed in 2014 instead of 2013?  Would it have gotten a brand new score as well to match TPCI's new policy of just straight up not giving a fuck?  Is the next movie going to be cropped to 4:3 because nostalgia?  Do we have any reason, whatsoever, to think that things will ever get better?

Some have theorized that the rescoring was due to the large number of cuts that were made to this movie for the Cartoon Network broadcast, with the idea being that leaving the original music intact and then cutting all the footage that they did would have made the music skip around too much.  And yet that happens anyway.  The English soundtrack skips around whenever there's a cut, indicating that this movie was completely rescored and then edited down.  The music wasn't replaced to cover up the edits; the replacement soundtrack would have been there even if the movie had aired uncut.

It's also worth remembering that the dub for Destiny Deoxys, which was cut to ribbons for its initial broadcast on Kids' WB! back in 2005, managed to keep its Japanese soundtrack anyway.

No matter what happened with the TV series we could at least count on the movies being dubbed well.  "At least the movies keep the Japanese score," we could say.  Unfortunately, those days are over.

I urge anyone who's a fan of this series to get the Japanese Blu-ray or DVD of this movie.  It's not cheap (Amazon Japan has the Blu-ray for 4,266 yen; CD Japan has it for 4980 yen but their shipping is cheaper) but it's absolutely worth it.  You get the uncut movie, the Pikachu short (which, as of this writing, still hasn't been confirmed as getting dubbed), that five-minute Diancie special that aired back in July, and a slew of extras (production artwork, textless opening and ending, etc.) and you can get them now.  The Region 1 DVD, by comparison, is garbage.

Side Note
You know the zoom shot of the kingdom that opens the movie?  The one that has about a million credits rushing through in the space of like five seconds?  It probably seems like CN sped that scene up, doesn't it?  Well believe it or not that scene actually wasn't shown any faster for the TV broadcast!  It seems that way because of how fast the credits rush by but that shot lasts twelve seconds no matter what version you're watching.

Cut - 5 minutes and 4 seconds
By my calculations, there are 39 cuts made to this movie that total 4 minutes and 54 seconds worth of footage were removed from the TV broadcast.  If you add the ending theme (4 minutes 44 seconds) then you get 9 minutes and 38 seconds.

Here are pictures of every single cut made to the film, divided into eight pages:

Opening / World of Pokemon Avignon Town
On the Road Pursued by Thieves
Return to the Diamond Kingdom Allearth Forest
Yveltal's Reign of Destruction Life is Restored

I've also put them all onto one page, for those of you who prefer to look at them that way.

To their credit, TPCI or Cartoon Network or whoever it was who was responsible for the TV edit didn't just carelessly hack away at the movie the way the aforementioned Deoxys movie was.  Instead they carefully chose small scenes - three seconds here, two seconds there - that could be removed without hurting the movie too badly.  With a few exceptions the removed footage doesn't really affect the film one way or the other.  Are Cartoon Network viewers really missing out by not seeing Bonnie and Diancie looking at bread before the latter's captured by Team Rocket?  I don't think so.  Is Uschi's omission from the TV broadcast the worst thing ever?  Not really.  Is removing the shots of Yveltal flying through the sky that big a deal?  No.

The uncut version of the movie isn't bloated or anything like that but the abridged TV cut of the film doesn't feel too rushed, either.

It is assumed that this removed footage will be restored when the DVD hits North American retailers in February. 

Dialogue Edit
Diancie's name is changed to Dai-ahn-shee.  The dub's pronunciation of the name is so different from what's in the Japanese version (Dee-ahn-shee) that they might as well have just come up with brand a new name altogether.  Why did Dialga's name get pronounced correctly back in Generation IV but Diancie's doesn't?  Why has TPCI been changing the pronunciation of pretty much every legendary pokemon that's come out in the last few years, for no reason?

I'm calling it now:  Volcanion is going to be pronounced "Vohl-sann-eon" because fuck you that's why.

The maddening thing is that the very first teaser trailer for the English dub actually did go with the Japanese pronunciation but then at some point after that someone decided to change it to the current one.  The trailer got redubbed and re-uploaded on the official Pokemon YouTube channel and Dee-ahn-shee - aka the actual, correct pronunciation - got retconned away.

Also, the "Sacred Diamond" is renamed the "Heart Diamond," I guess because the word "sacred" is too religious or whatever.

Majima and Dii get renamed to Merrick and Dace for some odd reason.  And apparently Joke and Knight are called Bort (are you effing serious?) and Alatrome?  Everyone else who debuts in this movie keeps their names so I'm not sure why the Carbink got singled out.

The movie doesn't shy away from the subject of death as much as I thought it would.  Merrick's "I know that someday the diamond will die out and lose its sustaining shimmer" at the beginning of the movie, his "No~!  The forest is dying once again!" after Marilyn and Riot get turned to stone, and Xerneas' "This is not death.  This is the promise of life and the beginning of hope" all confirm what the Lucario movie taught us about death being OK as long as we're talking about plants and not humans or pokemon.  What's interesting is that the second line - "No~!  The forest is dying again!" - was originally just "The forest is disappearing again" in the Japanese version (また森が消えてしまう), meaning that the death mention was actually added for the dub.  Weird.

Music Edit
The opening theme in the Japanese version was Mega V (Mega Volt).  This gets replaced by the English dub equivalent Pokémon Theme (Version XY).  What's weird is that for the Cartoon Network airing the lyrics are taken out, leaving an instrumental version of this song instead.  Reports from those who have seen the dub in theaters elsewhere in the world (Australia, Canada) says that the version they saw did have lyrics, so this seems to be a weird Cartoon Network only edit that will probably be fixed for the DVD release.

Dialogue Edit

Argus refers to Diancie as a "her" during his introductory scene ("If Diancie gets back underground we'll never be able to find her again").  This doesn't happen in the Japanese version.

The "Great Destruction" is referred to as "The Great Catastrophe" a grand total of one time in this movie.  The rest of the time everyone acts as though this major event was never given a specific name.

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