The trailer for “Pokémon: Detective Pikachu” has been released, and Pokémon fans everywhere are feeling emotions ranging from excitement to nervousness.
The Pokémon Company dropped the long-awaited trailer for “Detective Pikachu” Mon. Nov. 12, and it immediately shot up the trending charts on YouTube and Twitter. “Detective Pikachu” will be the first “Pokémon” film to receive a wide theatrical release in the United States, opening up the video game franchise to more opportunities. There are a few concerns on the creepiness of real-life Pokémon and Hollywood’s anime adaptations, but the general mood seems to be excitement.
Little of the plot was revealed in the trailer other than Tim Goodman (Justice Smith) discussing the search for his father, Harry Goodman, a detective that disappeared in a car crash. The trailer shows a number of Pokémon, and plenty of nods are given to the “Pokémon” franchise as a whole. The trailer saw the character of Tim alarmingly find a Pikachu that speaks (Ryan Reynolds) in a chill, bro-like voice that only Tim can hear.
There has been false alarm and anger over the basic idea of a talking Pikachu, but that is silly when considering the Pikachu from the “Detective Pikachu” game spoke in a deep detective-like voice. It is hard to deny the cuteness of Pikachu’s furriness even when trying to be angry about the appearance of other Pokémon. Pikachu as a cute, yellow guinea pig and the voice of Ryan Reynolds on top of that makes for a funny combo.
Other Pokémon featured in the trailer have gained a significant amount of attention because of their portrayal in a real-life setting. The renderings of Mr. Mime and Psyduck have garnered quite a bit of attention and rightfully so because they are very disturbing. Psyduck looks like something out of a bad dream, and the sight of Mr. Mime’s hairy face is off-putting.
Ideas of what a real-life Pokémon would resemble have been around since the games have been around. Plenty of these hyper-realistic drawings are beautifully done, while others are nauseatingly creepy. Fan artists have even gotten jobs working on “Detective Pikachu,” and considering this factor made it easier to stomach the weird look of a lot of the Pokémon.
Some find the portrayal of Jigglypuff to be odd considering the human-like hairs. Jigglypuff has always had a furry curl, so this should be expected. Making Jigglypuff a balloon or giving it the dodgeball-like texture of Mr. Mime’s shoulders would seem even more off-putting. It might resemble a pig with the color and hair on the ears, but Jigglypuff looks better than it could have.
It will definitely be interesting to see how each of the Pokémon are portrayed in the movie and how these portrayals will inadvertently impact fans’ perceptions. This idea of finding the Pokémon creepy is most likely due to people’s first impressions considering how fans are so accustomed to Pokémon being smooth cartoons. With this in mind, it just feels off when seeing a Charizard with scales.
The mix of animation and live action is rarely an exciting moment. “Alvin and the Chipmunks” and “The Smurfs” are garbage films meant to capitalize off beloved children’s characters while adding nothing to the lore, and it is concerning that this will be the same.
Even when ignoring those train wrecks of the Western animated world, the transition of anime to Hollywood has always been questionable. The vomit-worthy, white-washed “Ghost in the Shell” and “Dragon Ball Evolution” should be enough to let any Hollywood studio know that anime should be adapted with care. Some fans are nervous about “Detective Pikachu,” but those nerves should calm when realizing the absence of Scarlett Johansson.
The trailer of “Detective Pikachu” might have garnered some concern, but the general consensus seems to be hopeful. However, it is likely that this concern would have been present no matter what happened in this trailer as this is a long-running franchise with a rabid fanbase.
“Detective Pikachu” starring Ryan Reynolds and Justice Smith is expected for release May 10, 2019.