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Dogasu's Backpack | Movies & Specials Guide | "Mewtwo Strikes Back Evolution"
The first trailer for the film Mewtwo Strikes Back Evolution provides a wealth of information about the new film just waiting to be unearthed by its viewers. Luckily, I'm here to do the digging. Let's break down the first trailer and see what we can find out, shall we?
First, a bit of context. This trailer debuted on the Japanese morning show Oha Suta on February 28th, 2019 before eventually being posted online later that day. Here's the video of said trailer:
And here's a translation:
I took the above trailer and compared the scenes to see how it matches up to the 1998 original, Pocket Monsters The Movie "Mewtwo Strikes Back!" Turns out the two are nearly a 1:1 match.
For starters, almost every piece of dialogue you hear in the trailer is a newly recorded reading of dialogue from the 1998 original. With the exception of a single line (which I'll get to below) everything we hear in this trailer is word-for-word the same as the original.
The narration that starts off the trailer is a truncated version of the opening of the Kanzenban version of 1998's Mewtwo Strikes Back! in which the various researchers talk amongst themselves.
By the way, if you read any of the dialogue above and are thinking to yourself "wait a minute, I don't remember any of this!" then that would probably be because you only ever saw 4Kids' dumpster fire of a dub. In their version of the first movie everything on the left up there got rewritten to:
"August 6th. Today my colleagues will reach the site where an ancient civilization may have created a shrine to Mew, the most powerful Pokémon to have ever existed, now believed to be extinct. Giovanni is financing the expedition. When he learned of my work in the field of cloning, he agreed to fund my research."
The visuals, meanwhile, match up more or less with similar scenes in the original.
Next, we hear a voice that sounds a bit too young to be Yousuke Akimoto, the guy who played Dr. Fuji in the 1998 original, deliver one of Dr. Fuji's most well-known (at least in Japan anyway) lines from the film:
(English dub: "Oh, our experiment isn't over yet, it's just beginning! Now the serious testing begins!")
We then get a bunch more shots from the beginning of the film:
So there are a few things going on here. One, Dr. Fuji apparently goes along with the researchers to the Mew temple in the 2019 version while there was never any indication that he ever left his lab in the original. Dr. Fuji seems more like the type of guy to hire other people to go out into the field and gather materials for him, you know? Two, the above line - the humans and God one - is spoken after Mewtwo breaks out of its tube in the original but is made to look like it's being said out there on the field instead. Of course we won't actually know how this line is going to be used until we see the final version of the movie but it does raise the question about whether or not certain lines will be rearranged for the new version.
Next we get to see Kamextwo, Fushigibanatwo, and Lizardontwo.
We also get this brief shot of a Mew carving at the end there that I'm guessing is meant to be that temple from the beginning of the movie. In the original we only see that one single shot of a Mew carving (which is why I repeated it above) but I guess we'll be getting several unique views of it in the remake.
After the American Pokémon logo we get this line:
(English dub: "Radio Giovanni's helicopter! Tell him what's happened!")
This is the one line of dialogue that seems to have been changed for the trailer, though it's such a tiny change (from "oh it" to "it finally") that it's hard to know what exactly's going on. Was it intentional? Did this voice actor ad-lib this, or misread the script? Or was the line changed for some bizarre reason?
At the moment Takeshi Shudo, the man who wrote the 1998 original but who has also been dead for nearly a decade at this point, remains the only screenplay writer attached to the new movie. If they're changing lines then doesn't that mean they'd also have to credit those other, still alive writers as well? Not necessarily. We do know that actors sometimes ad-lib things in the studio - the Rocket trio's ya na kanji (English dub: "We're blasting off again!") wasn't originally scripted, for example - but those in-booth changes never get reflected in the end credits. It's possible that 2019's Mewtwo Strikes Back Evolution will contain tiny little changes here and there that'll be deemed too insignificant to bother adding to the movie's end credits.
After the names of a bunch of the film's staff flashes on screen (including the aforementioned solo writing credit) we see Joy opening the door to the inside of Pokemon Castle. In the original the doors are two large wooden French doors while in the new version they open up in a somewhat more unique way.
The rest of the dialogue we hear in the trailer is a truncated version of the speech Mewtwo gives right before the original movie's title screen. With the exception of Satoshi's and Pikachu's line in the middle, which was plucked from much later in the film, everything else is from that early monologue:
(English dub: "I will find my own purpose...and purge this planet of all who oppose me...human and Pokémon alike! The world will heed my warning. The reign of Mewtwo will soon begin.")
The Satoshi and Pikachu there is actually from the scene much later in the movie when Mewtwo first introduces itself to the Trainers in Pokemon Castle.
The English dub version of this scene in the original movie is literally the only piece of dialogue quoted in this thing that wasn't rewritten, by the way.
Next we see a pod that at first I thought looked like the columns that lead to the cloning machine down below but based on the images seen earlier in the trailer we know these are the cloning pods. It seems like the clones in the new version are going to come out a slightly less interesting way than the "tearing themselves out of amniotic sacs" thing the original had going.
Mewtwo introduces itself to the Trainers gathered there, with the shot of Lizardon attacking taken from a bit later in the film:
Next we get to see the main cast. The composition of characters we see in the new movie doesn't really match up with anything in the old one but I found a shot that's sorta-kinda similar? The Mewtwo scene in the trailer, I think, is taken from right after Mewtwo uses its powers to block Lizardon's Flamethrower attack seen above.
After the movie's title screen shows up in the trailer we get this shot of Nyarth and Mew in the sewers below Pokemon Castle.
And that's it! After dissecting the trailer this way I think this first look does a pretty good job of setting up what we should expect from 2019's film: a nearly shot-for-shot remake of the 1998 classic. But of course, that final judgment will have to wait until the film actually comes out on July 12th.
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