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 The World of Film in Australia - on the Internet Updated Tuesday September 15, 2020 

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Five year old Molly’s father, an expert on Pokemon, suddenly disappears. He has discovered a chest full of tiles containing the mythical “Unknown” Pokemon before being swept up in their power. The Unknown are found by Molly and become activated, swirling in a room in her palatial house. She then meets Entei, another mythical Pokemon. She imagines Entei to be the incarnation of her father. Molly’s dearest wish is to be reunited with her mother, who is (apparently) dead. Entei is determined to do Molly’s bidding, so goes out to find a “mother” for her. But Entei chooses the mother of Ash Ketchum. He takes her back to the growing crystalline cocoon which has engulfed the house and is threatening the whole town. Now Ash, his friends and his Pokemon must unlock the secret of the Unknown.

Pi-ka-chuuu! For those not versed in Pokemon (I am however becoming quite the expert), it means it’s time for another foray into the peculiar world of Pokemon. After two fairly average efforts, Pokemon 3 is basically a reprise of Pokemon 1, with a little extra complexity and a few variations on the basic theme. In this outing, Ash has to – you guessed it – save the world from the ravages of a clutch of ancient Pokemon accidentally released into the present. The Unknown (curiously spelt “Unown” at the start of the movie) at the source of the mayhem are neither good nor bad. They just are. This may be a little difficult for youngsters to grasp, as none of the creatures is an identifiably “bad” character. So those looking for a clear-cut black versus white battle will be disappointed. Still I guess that’s part of the charm (albeit largely lost on me) of the franchise – no matter how dire the situation, we can all be friends in the end. It’s pretty simplistic stuff, although its heavy borrowing from fairy tales helps. The animation is a relatively crude version of the anime style, certainly not in the league of Princess Mononoke or other recent efforts from Japan. If you have youngsters who are into Pokemon, you’ll no doubt be dragged (kicking and screaming?) to this. It’s not as bad as it might at first seem, and it may even prove to be something of an intellectual stretch for first-graders. For adults, there’s little to recommend here; but for kids, Pokemon 3 may well prove to be their must see of the school holidays.
David Edwards

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CAST: Veronica Taylor, Eric Stuart, Rachael Lillis, Maddie Blaustein

DIRECTOR: Kunihiko Yuyama, Michael Haigney

PRODUCER: Norman J. Grossfeld

SCRIPT: Michael Haigney, Takeshi Shudo, Norman Grossfeld (based on characters created by Satoshi Tajiri)

RUNNING TIME: 90 minutes


AUSTRALIAN RELEASE DATE: June 21, 2001 - Qld; Jun 28 - Vic; Jul 5 - NSW, SA, WA)

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