A Special Interview with
Director Yuyama Right Before
the Movie Comes Out

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Dogasu's Backpack | Movies & Specials Guide | The Archdjinn of the Rings, Hoopa

"A Special Interview with Director Yuyama Right Before the Movie Comes Out" (映画公開直前企画湯山監督スペシャルインタビュー) is, as the name implies, an interview posted on the official website for Pokémon the movie XY "The Archdjinn of the Rings Hoopa" & "Pikachu and the Pokemon Band".

Release Date
Part One
July 14th, 2015
Part Two
July 15th, 2015
Part Three
July 16th, 2015
Part Four
July 17th, 2015

Part One

Originally Posted July 14th, 2015

This weekend Pokémon the movie XY "The Archdjinn of the Rings Hoopa" and "Pikachu and the Pokemon Band" finally hit theaters!  To commemorate the release of the movie we've interviewed Director Yuyama about the movies' themes and things to look out for!  There will be four parts altogether!

Parts One and Two will be about the short movie Pikachu and the Pokemon Band!

Q:  We couldn't think of what "For the first time ever! A performance made up entirely of pokemon cries!!" would be like other than something to do with music!  What kind of movie will this be?

To understand the reason why we're making Pikachu and the Pokemon Band we really have to go all the way back to when the TV series first started.  Back then we decided that each pokemon would have its own unique cry and had a lot of fun when the voice actors would find the "sound" their pokemon would make.  I was already wondering if it was possible to make music using just these cries even back then.

Even though I had these thoughts I had no idea how to make any of it happen.

Fast forward to today where this idea finally became a plan for the first time.  However, I decided not to tell the production staff how that I wanted the music made from pokemon cries to be this way or that way.  I'd come in and listen to the demo tapes made by the voice actors and when I heard something that sounded right it would get added into the script.

It's already been...more than ten years? since the desire to create a musical with only the pokemon voices was conceived?  Well if I'm talking about the very beginning then it's really been a movie nineteen years in the making (laughs)

Q:  This year's short movie has a very different feeling to it than the others!  Could you tells us more about the trial and error process that went into making this film?

Our approach to making this year's film is completely different from the way we've made the others.  The biggest difference is that we recorded the voices before animating film, not after.  We usually don't record the voices until the very end of production but this time we ended up taking all the demo tapes and combining them to make a recording in the beginning.  We didn't just go off of one recording, either; we took around three demo tapes and combined them to make one.

This time we made songs that went along specifically to this movie's story.  We then needed a track for the animators to base their lip syncs off of.  This recording was re-divided into three or four sections.  We had one recording that just had the regular story stuff on it and the other two or three (had the songs on it).  This is the first time we've ever done anything like this!

We didn't really know what we were doing and so we fumbled around quite a bit.  Every week or so we'd see something we needed and in the process of getting that ready we'd find something else we needed. 

Part Two

Originally Posted July 15th, 2015

Here is an interview with Director Yuyama about the movie that hits theaters this weekend, Pokémon the movie XY "The Archdjinn of the Rings Hoopa" & "Pikachu and the Pokemon Band"!  The second part of this interview tells us even more secrets about the short "Pikachu and the Pokemon Band."

Q:  Since it's a "Pokemon Band," it sounds like almost all the music is provided by the pokemon's voices.

That's because there aren't any music tracks (the BGM that plays during the movie) in this short.  The only music we have is the song "LittGlee" (Little Glee Monster, who's also doing the short's theme song) did for us for the title sequence, but even that was done a capella with a chorus.

This is a "Pokemon Band" there are parts where each pokemon takes on the role of a particular instrument but since they're singing with their cries its also like a vocal song.  This is called "vocal percussion."  All we hear throughout the entire short are the voice actors' voices.  Oh, that and the sound effects.

Q:  What kind of story does Pikachu and the Pokemon Band have?

The story is that there's going to be a concert to go along with the "Berry Blooming" Harvest Festival that's taking place in the pokemon's forest.  Hijinks ensue.  It's a simple story about putting on a show before the berries bloom.  The pokemon will sing songs during the course of the story and you'll be able to enjoy it as a musical.

Q:  It sounds like you guys really had fun trying something new!  Do you have a message for the viewers who are going to the theater to see Pikachu and the Pokemon Band?

Since all the pokemon in the movie will be having a lot of fun singing I think a lot of the viewers will sing and dance together with them especially since the narrator, Yamamoto Mizuki, will be singing along too.  I'll be happy if the children in the audience sing along.

I hope the people who come to see this movie feel like they're experiencing something they've never imagined possible since those of us who made the thing couldn't imagine it either.  Please enjoy being surprised at what it'll be like to see the pokemon sing.  A few nostalgic pokemon will be showing up as well so look forward to that too!

In Part Three we'll ask what to look out for in the feature film The Archdjinn of the Rings Hoopa.

Part Three

Originally Posted July 16th, 2015

There are two days left until the opening of the movie!  In this third part of our interview with Mr. Yuyama we'll be looking at the main feature The Archdjinn of the Rings Hoopa by asking the director what we should pay attention to and what the movie's main themes are.

Q:  What kind of movie is The Archdjinn of the Rings Hoopa?

At the end of the day it's a movie where a lot of legendary pokemon appear.  That was the main idea we had and what prompted us to start production on this year's film.  We were going to gather together all these legendary pokemon who starred in the previous movies but we had real trouble figuring out what we should have them do.

The one who allows this to happen in the first place is the star of this year's movie, Hoopa.  This is all thanks to Hoopa's ability to pull anything it wants from faraway places using its Rings.  This pokemon and its power were a perfect match to our desire to gather all the legendary pokemon together in one place.

Q:  What kind of pokemon is Hoopa, the star pokemon with this unique power?

Its giant "Hoopa Unbound" form is its true form but after something called the Confinement Urn was used on it its power was stolen and it became the cute and small "Hoopa Confined" form.  However, Hoopa's the same whether it's in its small form or its big form.

The giant Hoopa rampaged about a long time ago but this rampage wasn't an attack with any sort of malicious intent; it was more like a little kid playing around and letting things get out of hand.  It simply loves to play pranks without any mean intent and doing things that are fun, just like it does when it's in its small form.

Q:  But on the other hand, after being sealed up in the Confinement Urn the "Hoopa Unbound" appears as a sort of antagonist to Satoshi and his friends, doesn't it?

What was sealed away in the Confinement Urn was Hoopa's true power.  After this power was sealed away it felt rage at what had just happened.  This rage was turned into a second "Hoopa," a Hoopa that represents this fury.  This is how we staged the battle with Satoshi and the real Hoopa.

Q:  The small Hoopa meets Satoshi and can go on an adventure with him but what about the relationship between Satoshi, Pikachu, and Hoopa?

Hoopa really is a simple-minded child and is one who can't retrieve its true power.  In that respect Satoshi has a more straightforward Satoshi-like relationship with Hoopa than any relationship based on logic or experience.  When compared to the Satoshi in 2012's Kyurem vs. the Sacred Swordsman Keldeo, who looked over Keldeo like a mentor as it tried to fulfill its duty, we think the Satoshi in this movie has a much more basic relationship with Hoopa in which the two of them are just two friends who like to play together. 

Hoopa doesn't have any real duties and doesn't know what it wants to do but since it overcomes crises with Satoshi then their friendship is a simple and pure one.  Hoopa can make people happy by making anything "Appear~!" with its Rings but it turns out there are some important things it can't pull through its Rings after all.  And that was one of the big themes of this movie.

One of those things is the relationship it built up in its daily life with Balza and Mary.  Another is the relationship it has with Satoshi. 

Whether or not Hoopa discovers this for itself is something I think you'll have to go to the theaters to see.

In Part Four of this interview we'll be looking at the big battle that unfolds over this movie's setting!

Part Four

Originally Posted July 17th, 2015

It's the interview with Director Yuyama!  Tomorrow's the big day when the movie comes out!  The thing to look out for in the feature film The Archdjinn of the Rings Hoopa is "Legendary vs. Legendary!"  We asked Mr. Yuyama about the battle between legendary pokemon and the stage on which all of this is taking place.

Q:  The movie takes place in a desert city so you went to Dubai for location scouting.  Can you tell us about the setting of the film, Dessert City?

The vision we had was to have this ultra-modern gathering of buildings out in the middle of the desert being the best kind of place to let the legendary pokemon let loose.  When we were doing research on somewhere like that we discovered that Dubai was pretty much exactly what we were looking for and so we chose to go there for location scouting.

Dubai is made up of both ultra-modern districts and old-timey districts with many old buildings from the past still left over.  Since this year's movie starts off with Hoopa rampaging about in the past and turns into this story that spans a hundred years we wanted a place that had history to it but was also modern.  This mix of the past and present would be a good place for the legendary pokemon to appear and so we had the story take place here.

Q:  What's the model for the symbol of the city, Dessert Tower?

Well, you see, "that building" has a big ring on the top of it.  So instead of saying it's based on any one building in Dubai let's just say that it's based on a certain pokemon instead, shall we?  I think you'll know what I'm talking about when you see the movie for yourself.

Q:  "Legendary vs. Legendary!"  Can you tell us more about this intense battle?

When we decided on Dubai, we wanted to have the legendary pokemon come out and fight Satoshi and the others among the buildings.  We rendered the districts where they battled completely in 3D and had Satoshi riding on top of Latios as an aerial battle unfolds.  That battle scene is the highlight of the film.

The sandstorm scene is another such scene.  When we were location scouting we climbed to the top of the Burj Khalifa (the world's tallest building at 828 meters tall) and right when we got to the top we looked down and saw a sea of clouds pop up and it got cloudy all of a sudden.  It was as if a sandstorm was being whipped up.

It had just become evening and as we watched the sun go down we thought it would be cool for the legendary to fly about somewhere like this.  We think we were able to create some really intense scenes.

Q:  And finally, please give a message to all the people going to the theaters to see this movie!

This year's movie is a large-scale movie where generations of feature-film legendary pokemon appear and battle each other.  We're looking forward to seeing how people react to this movie that's basically a compliation of eighteen years' worth of pokemon movies.  Please go out to theaters and see this film!

Pokemon the movie XY "The Archdjinn of the Rings Hoopa" and "Pikachu and the Pokemon Band" will finally be coming out tomorrow, July 18th (Saturday)!

Summer is Pokemon!  Set out on a journey with Hoopa, Pikachu, and Satoshi in theaters!




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