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Dogasu's Backpack | Episode Comparisons | Movies

Movie Stats:

Japanese Movie DP 01:  "Dialga vs. Palkia vs. Darkrai"
American Movie 10:  "The Rise of Darkrai"

Japanese Air Date:  July 14th, 2007
American Air Date:  February 24th, 2008
Important Characters:  Alice (Alice), Tonio (Tonio), Alberto-Danshaku (Baron Alberto), Gaudí (Gaudí), Alicia (Alicia), Dai (???), Katsumi (???), Maki (???)
Important Places:  Álamos Town (Alamos Town)

Satoshi and his friends are on the way to Álamos Town so Hikari can compete in the Pokemon Contest there.  As they try to figure out a way to enter the town, a young woman named Alice appears in a hot air balloon and offers to take them across the moat.  After they arrive, Satoshi-tachi meet Tonio, a young scientist with whom Alice is smitten, and Baron Alberto, a man who blames the pokemon Darkrai for a series of strange occurrences in town.  The legendary pokemon appears shortly after, but after a brief battle it vanishes.  Later, Satoshi-tachi learn about the Space-Time Tower, a giant structure in the middle of the town built by a man named Gaudí.  As they learn about the tower's remarkable ability to play music, a number of disturbances continue to be felt throughout the town.  Darkrai reappears, but this time the rest of the town joins in on the attack.  Alice, however, is convinced that Darkrai is not at fault and is only trying to help.  Before long, Tonio deduces that an inter-dimensional battle between the pokemon gods Dialga and Palkia are the true cause of the disturbances!  Eventually, Dialga and Palkia appear in Álamos Town to continue their battle.  Everyone figures out that the key to quelling the pokemon's anger is a song passed down to Alice known as oración, so Satoshi and Hikari decide to climb the Space-Time Tower to play the song.  As they reach the top, they witness Darkrai being defeated in battle, but they continue their climb regardless.  Luckily, they are able to play oración in the knick of time, putting an end to the destructive fighting.  After the town is returned to its former beauty, the two pokemon return to their homes, leaving Álamos Town in peace.

After ten years, the pokemon movie franchise reaches the double digits.

When a movie series lasts as long as this one has, you sort of get a sense of déjà vu since the producers are bound to reuse some ideas along the way.  With this particular movie, we get an epic battle between two pokemon (Deoxys vs. Rayquaza) in an alternate universe ruled by the Unown (Entei) who can only be stopped by a song (Lugia), a fact relayed to us by a number of flashbacks dispersed throughout the movie (Lucario).  Oh, and I can't forget about the three trainers who only exist to show off the starters' evolved forms (Myuutwo), a forced romance that really doesn't play out until the end (Jirachi), pokemon-to-human transformation (Latios and Latias), and an ending that requires Satoshi to solve some puzzle in order to save the day (Manaphy). 

I'm sure some of that is meant to be a sort of "homage" to the franchise's ten-year history, but at the same time it just feels really lazy.  That's not to say that the movie isn't entertaining (because it is).  It's just that the whole thing has this "been there, done that" feeling to it.  That, and the ending sucks.

Now, I don't really care that the anime producers don't explain why Dialga and Palkia were fighting since there wasn't any way for them to include that in the script without it feeling all clunky and expositional.  And, realistically, Satoshi and the others probably wouldn't ever had an opportunity to find out anyway.  No, the thing that annoys me about the ending is that Darkrai pulls a Pell on us and manages to survive without any explanation whatsoever.  It just comes back, body and all. 

And then, if that's not enough, the movie cuts straight to the end credits!  While I do like this movie better than some of Mr. Yuyama's previous efforts, the abrupt, almost Sopranos-like ending in this one made it lose a lot of points with me.

I also find it funny that the movies are falling into this pattern of having everyone run around to solve some kind of RPG-ish puzzle.  I mean, look at the Deoxys, Manaphy, and Darkrai movies...all of them have the characters running around, performing some Legends of the Hidden Temple bullshit puzzle in order to save the day.  I fully expect Satoshi to be running around in the Giratina movie trying to put together the parts of a silver monkey statue or something.

The movie wasn't all bad, though.  I really liked the fact that a lot of the characters actually got to do something.  Takeshi got to battle (when was the last movie he did that?  The Celebi one?), and Hikari got to help Satoshi do the hero thing instead of getting shoved into an escape pod with Pikachu at the end of the movie.  I also like that a lot of the pokemon got to do something, from Mimirol and Buoysel making ice steps to Pachirisu powering up the big music thingee to Greggru stopping that one attack from the Dialga and Palkia battle.  A Pocket Monsters movie with actual pocket monsters?  Craziness.

The dubbed version is the first to be dubbed by DuArt instead of TAJ Productions one really tells the difference.  Surprise surprise.  Overall, this dub is pretty much on-par with the last movie; it's shown in its proper aspect ratio, keeps the original music, and has a really solid script that's most closer to the original than the TV series tends to be.  All the voices are pretty good this time around except for Darkrai, who really sounds too much like Trekkie Monster (not safe for work, by the way) for my tastes.   Other than that, it's hard to see how this dub could have been any better.

In addition to the regular cast's pokemon, Myuu, Fire, Thunder, Freezer, Entei, Celebi, Suicune, Groudon, Rayquaza, Regirock, Registeel, Regice, Manaphy, Hou'ou, Dialga, Palkia, Pigeot, Pelipper, Fuwante, Fuwaride, Nuoh, Upah, Yamikarasu, Donkarasu, and Mojumbo all keep their Japanese voices.

Dialogue Edit
As was the case in the last movie, the narrator in this movie is a lot more talkative in the English version than he is in the original. 

Cut--5 seconds
The movie's title screen is five seconds shorter in the dub than it is in the Japanese version.

Side Note
So my copy of the English version omits this shot of Pikachu's shadow on the ground that's shown after the title screen.  The audio from the scene can still be heard, but the screen is just black in my copy.  I'm assuming it's a problem that only exists in my copy and isn't really an edit, but I thought I'd mention it here anyway just in case.

Music Edit
As predicted, the movie's opening theme, Together 2007, is replaced by an extended version of the DP rap.

OK, that's not true.  But can you imagine?

Instead, the movie remix of the TV series' opening is replaced with a new song called "We Will Be Heroes - The Rise of Darkrai."  It's a song that's pretty much on-par with the 4Kids dub themes, which means I'm not a huge fan of it.  Especially the ridiculous way they shout the words "Pokémon" (mispronounced, no less!) and "Darkrai!" over and over and over. 

I'm not a fan of Together at all, but it's still better than this drek.

Dialogue Edit
The script was pretty faithful throughout, but there were still a number of aural oddities.

For one thing, the dub can't really seem to settle on a pronunciation for oración.  Sometimes the characters say oh-rash-eon, but then Tonio up and changes his pronunciation toward the end of the movie to make it sound more like oh-rah-she-on.  I don't know enough Spanish to be able to say which pronunciation is correct, but I'm leaning more toward the second one just because it's closer to the phonetic pronunciation used in the Japanese version.

Later in the film, Baron Alberto mispronounces "Gyro Ball."  He says it correctly when he turns into a Lickylicky later in the movie, though.

There's also this line:

Baron Alberto:  "I am not Lickylicky!  *shakes head*  I am the Baron Alberto!"

Lickylicky's Japanese name is Berobelt.  What's going on here is that in the Japanese version, Berobelt's name (which, in Japanese, is pronounced Beroberuto) sounds an awful lot like Alberto's name (pronounced Aruberuto).   So, the baron-turned-pokemon trips over the similarities over his names.

It's a joke that really doesn't translate into English since NOA went with the ridiculously childish sounding "Lickylicky" for the pokemon's name, so PUSA had to kind of ignore it.

Lastly, I love how this movie is able to get away with saying words like "deity," "demon," and "prayer."  It's funny, really...TV-Y7 FV Pokémon is allowed to say deity while TV-PG V One Piece has to use the word "king" all the time.  Ha.

Side Note
If you look at Tonio's computer screen throughout the movie, you'll notice a number of non-edits; both BEROBERUTO and ARAMOS TOWN appear in English letters.  4Kids would have slapped some digital paint on them, but apparently not PUSA! 

Cut--1 second
The shot of Berobelt waking up from its nightmare is shortened by a second in the dub.

Dialogue Edit
At the very end of the movie:

Ash:  "Palkia, can't you see what you've done!?  You've destroyed the whole town!  All the...Pokémon.  You bring this town back to the way it was!"

Satoshi says the same thing in the Japanese version; the only difference is that he calls Palkia an idiot.  Well, that and his voice actress actually knows how to emote. 

Music Edit
Cartoon Network did not air the ending theme to this movie; instead, they squashed the credits while the opening theme to the next show (Bakugan) played.  What this does is deprive dub viewers of a number of plot points that are wrapped up / addressed by the ending animation, such as Hikari's Contest (y'know...the whole reason everyone went to
Álamos Town in the first place):

And the whole wrap-up of the Rocket-Dan's subplot:

As for the song, it looks like Where The Lost Ones Go has been replaced by a song that the credits list as I'll Always Remember You.  A lot of people assumed the song was going to be kept intact since it's already in English and everything, but I guess the rights were too expensive or something. 

One last thing...I just love how the Japanese producers have no problem putting a foreign language song, with subtitles, as the movie's end theme while the American producers just change everything.  And before anyone says "Jirachi movie," that song was only half Japanese and didn't have any subtitles.  It doesn't count.

Final Thoughts
Overall, we have a solid dub of a not-so-great movie.  There are a few things I wish PUSA would do (dub English versions of the Japanese songs instead of flat-out replacing them, include a Japanese language track on the DVD, etc.), but for the most part, the movies seem to be in much better hands than they were when 4Kids were calling the shots. 

Onward to the Giratina movie!

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