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| Dogasu's Backpack
| "This Is Animation" Screenplay Writers' Comments
guide book This Is Animation:
Pocket Monsters The Movie "Mewtwo Strikes Back!" & "Pikachu's
Summer Vacation," released September 20th, 1998, is a book in
the long-running "This Is Animation" series dedicated to the first Pocket Monsters double feature. The
page of the book provides us with exclusive comments from the
screenplay writers of the films, Takeshi Shudo ("Mewtwo
Strikes Back!") and Hideki Sonoda ("Pikachu's Summer Vacation").
English translations of those comments can be found below.
|"Mewtwo Strikes Back!" Screenplay: Takeshi
Born in Hakata. Grew up in Tokyo, Sapporo, and Nara, among other
cities. Currently lives in Odawara. His first screenplay was,
incredibly, for the ultra popular TV period drama "Oedo Dragnet." His
most important works include "Manga, The First Story," "Folk Tales from
the World of Manga," "Toshishun," "Magical Princess Minky Momo," the
stage musical "The Adventures of Pinnochio," and many others. In the
summer of 1998 Mr. Shudo has been busy working on the science and
technology science musical "Ah, Teplas."
|"Where am I? Who am I?"
The (original theatrical cut of the) movie "Mewtwo Strikes Back!"
abruptly starts with Mewtwo asking these questions. But I'm fully aware
this isn't some Shakespearean tragedy or anything like that, and I also
realize that a summer kids' movie isn't really the place to be asking
difficult questions about one's own existence.
But still, what should I do if someone complains this movie's too much
for its target audience? I know! What if I spin it to say this movie's
also aimed at those of you accompanying your kids to the movie theater?
That could work!
But that could also backfire, couldn't it? If those adults hear Mewtwo
go "Where am I? Who am I?" and then reply with "Where am I? Well, I'm
sitting in a movie theater I almost never go to. And who am I? I'm a
parent here with my kid...ah, they sure are a drain on my wallet and
energy, aren't they?"...well, then that wouldn't be any good, right?
So I thought...I want adults to also enjoy themselves at the movie too,
even if just a little bit…
If you're making a movie for the whole family, then you can't just make
a movie that just the kids will like, or a movie that just the adults
who already love animation will like; it has to be a movie where people
feel like they've gotta watch it because everyone else is watching it
But wait, that's not really it, either.
Well, um, I guess it should be a movie where people can watch it at
least once and not feel like their time's been wasted. If we can make
an animated movie where those of you with kids can feel that way then
that'll be enough.
I have the feeling that questions about one's own existence are ones
that every child asks themselves, all the way back from when they're
old enough to start asking questions like "Why?"
If you watch this movie with your child and they ask questions like
"What's going on?" and that then creates even the tiniest spark of a
conversation between the two of you, then I feel like that will have
given this film value as an animated film that parents can watch with
|"Pikachu's Summer Vacation" Screenplay:
as an apprentice of the children's author Mr. Tadaaki Mori. Mr. Sonoda
has not only lent his talents toward screenplays, novels, song lyrics,
video games, and original comics, but he's also in charge of his own
acting troupe Kien Fuujinsha and is currently working as one of its
His most important works include "Matchless Raijin-Oh," "Reideen the
Superior," and "The Detective of Time and Space DD," among many others
too numerous to count. For the Pokémon TV series, Mr. Sonoda
works as one of the show's head writers, working on episodes where new
characters first appear and other important stories.
|I'd like to thank you for
watching the movie "Pikachu's Summer Vacation."
In the beginning there were 151 Pokémon, but then new ones like
Bulu and Maril, and of course Togepy, all got added to the mix, making
things even more interesting than before. The world of Pokémon's
been a lot of fun lately, right? And while we do have characters like
Nyarth, a special Pokémon who can speak human language, for the
most part Pokémon are normally not able to have dialogues the
way we can.
And so my assignment was to write a story that shows off how fun the
world of Pokémon is while using a bunch of characters who can't
Normally, my job involves me using clever dialogue to make my stories
interesting, and so for this assignment, not being able to use human
dialogue was like having one of the greatest weapons in my arsenal
stolen from me.
To be honest, when I first got the assignment I was at a loss of what
But in the end, I didn't have anything to worry about because this is
Pikachu and its Pokémon friends we're talking about.
Once I got them moving around they were able to provide me with an
exciting performance in spite of, or maybe even because of, their
inability to speak.
I think that must be because Pokémon have this energy, a certain
je ne sais quoi about them.
If we were dealing with any other types of monsters then I think this
whole thing probably wouldn't have turned out quite so well.
So thank you, Pikachu and friends.