Pokémon the Movie: I Choose You!

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Pokémon the Movie:
I Choose You!
Japanese release poster, designed and illustrated by Yoshitoshi Shinomiya[1]
Japanese 劇場版ポケットモンスター キミにきめた!
Hepburn Gekijō-ban Poketto Monsutā Kimi ni kimeta!
Literally Pocket Monsters the Movie: I Choose You!
Directed by Kunihiko Yuyama
Produced by Satoshi Shimohira
Susumu Matsuyama
Atsushi Chiku
Hidenaga Katakami
Screenplay by Shoji Yonemura
Based on Pokémon: Indigo League
Narrated by Unsho Ishizuka
Music by Shinji Miyazaki
Cinematography Aya Aoshima
Edited by Toshio Henmi
Distributed by Toho
Release date
  • July 6, 2017 (2017-07-06) (Japan Expo)
  • July 15, 2017 (2017-07-15) (Japan)
Running time
98 minutes
Country Japan
Language Japanese
Box office ¥3.18 billion
(US$29.1 million)[2][3]

Pokémon the Movie: I Choose You!, known in Japan as Pocket Monsters the Movie: I Choose You! (劇場版ポケットモンスター キミにきめた!, Gekijō-ban Poketto Monsutā Kimi ni kimeta!) is a Japanese adventure anime film produced by OLM. Released as the twentieth Pokémon movie and the first film in the Sun and Moon series, it acts as a loose retelling of the original Indigo League saga of the show, released to commemorate the anime's twentieth anniversary. It premiered at Japan Expo in France on July 6, 2017[4] and was released in Japan on July 15, 2017.[5] Fathom Events will release the film as a limited theatrical run in the rest of the world on November 5, 2017.[6]


There is a world that is inhabited by mysterious and powerful creatures called Pocket Monsters, or Pokémon for short. For the time eternal, both humans and Pokémon have interacted with each other, befriended each other and fought alongside each other in tournaments. In the small town of Pallet Town in the Kanto region, a brash 10-year old trainer named Ash Ketchum dreams of becoming a Pokémon Trainer to travel across the world and earn the title of "Pokémon Master". But when he is late to picking up his first Pokémon from the town's local Professor and ends up with an unruly Pikachu, his life as a Pokémon Trainer begins in a rather fun but challenging way as Ash must forge his bond with his new friend as well as discovering the secrets of the world they're living in.

As Ash begins to earn Pikachu's trust on the first day of their journey together, they witness the Legendary Pokémon Ho-Oh fly overhead, and pick up one of its feathers. From there, Ash and Pikachu promise to find Ho-Oh again as they travel the Kanto region, meeting up with new friends Sorrel and Verity on Ash's journey to become a Pokémon Master.


Returning cast[edit]

Character Voice Actor (Japan) Voice Actor (US)
Ash Ketchum (Satoshi) Rica Matsumoto Sarah Natochenny
Pikachu Ikue Ōtani
Professor Samuel Oak (Professor Yukinari Okido)
Unshō Ishizuka Carter Cathcart (Oak)
Jessie (Musashi) Megumi Hayashibara Michele Knotz
James (Kojiro) Shin-ichiro Miki Carter Cathcart
Meowth (Nyarth) Inuko Inuyama Carter Cathcart
Nurse Joy Shoko Nakagawa N/A
Jigglypuff (Purin) Mika Kanai Rachael Lillis
Giovanni (Sakaki) Kenta Miyake N/A
Narrator Unsho Ishizuka Rodger Parsons

New characters[edit]

  • Ho-Oh, the mysterious Rainbow Pokémon who is once seen by Ash and Pikachu. Known extensively in legends, it was sought after by some Trainers, including an old man named Bonzi.
  • Kōichi Yamadera as Marshadow, the Gloomdweller Pokémon who is not known to show itself to people and thus a few only knew its existence. It mysteriously travels with Ash and his friends.
  • Kanata Hongō as Sorrel (Souji), a young Trainer who aims to become a Pokémon Professor. He is seen with a Lucario.
  • Shiori Sato as Verity (Makoto), an energetic Trainer who travels alongside Ash and Sorrel. She has a Piplup as her starter Pokémon.
  • Arata Furuta as Bonzi, a mysterious old man who knows about the Legendary Pokémon Ho-Oh and is determined to chase it at any costs.
  • Ryōta Ōsaka as Cross, an arrogant trainer who believes strength is everything and aims to become the ultimate Trainer. He is seen with an Incineroar and Midnight Form Lycanroc.


The film was officially revealed during the December 15 broadcast of TV Tokyo's Oha Suta program, revealing a teaser trailer and poster of the film.[7] This early content revealed Ash and Pikachu alongside the Legendary Pokémon Ho-Oh, showing that the film would act as a retelling of the first season, exploring some of the important plot points of the series. Ho-Oh's appearance in the film was also detailed to be important to the film's storyline.[8] A second trailer for the film was revealed at the March 1 broadcast of Oha Suta, revealing remade scenes from the first episode and its official English title.[9] It was then officially posted on the official YouTube page the next day.[10]

Later on, the film's second official trailer, which also featured a new version of the original Japanese opening theme, "Mesaze Pokémon Master", was previewed on April 7, 2017. The next day, the producers announced that the current last Pokémon in the Pokédex, Marshadow, would debut in the film alongside several other brand-new characters.[11] As the film is not a direct remake, it diverts itself from the original season that it is based on, and features an original story.[12] Two days before the film's release, Yoshitoshi Shinomiya, who draw background art for Kara no Kyoukai: Mirai Fukuin and Fate/stay night: Unlimited Blade Works released a new poster for the film.[13]

With the film confirmed to be initially released at the French Japan Expo 2017, Western fans requested for the film to be released in theaters in the United States. This was eventually confirmed to be released by Fathom Events as a limited release across November 4 and 5, 2017. In Australia, the film was also confirmed to be released by Event Cinemas across November 11 and 12, 2017. Some fans also requested that voice actress Veronica Taylor should reprise her role as the English voice of Ash Ketchum for the film,[14] but it was later confirmed that the current set of voice actors would stay on. The title of the film is also a reference to the first episode of the anime, "Pokémon - I Choose You!".


Shinji Miyazaki, who had composed the anime and collaborated with Yuyama on the movies, composed the film's musical score. The film's opening song is titled Aim to Be a Pokémon Master -20th Anniversary- (めざせポケモンマスター -20th Anniversary-, Mezase Pokemon Master -20th Anniversary-) by Rica Matsumoto while the ending is titled Oración's Theme ~Let's Walk Together~ (オラシオンのテーマ ~共に歩こう~, Orashion no Tēma ~Tomoni Arukou~) by Asuca Hayashi.[15]

For the international version, Ed Goldfarb composed the film's musical score, replacing the tracks in the original Japanese version.[16]

Release and promotion[edit]

The movie premiered at Japan Expo in France on July 6, 2017, and officially released in Japanese theaters on July 15, 2017. Advanced pre-orders the movie tickets across limited time periods (from September 19 to October 30, 2017) allowed moviegoers to receive a serial code to obtain one of the six special Pikachu in Pokémon Sun and Moon, each wearing one of Ash's signature hats from each anime season. These Pikachu were holding an exclusive Pikashunium Z-Crystal.[17] Also, both Marshadow and Ho-Oh were distributed during the film's release in Japan.

Merchandise coinciding with the film was also released. Bandai will release official Poké Ball Breath Mint Cases in both regular and Premium-Bandai versions to coincide with the film's release.[18][19] The first set is released in August 2017, and the second is released in September 2017, with pre-orders started on April 23, 2017.[20] Bandai also released S.H.Figuarts figures of Ash and the Team Rocket trio on July 2017,[21] while Good Smile Company also announced they will release a Nendoroid of Ash in December 2017.[22][23]


Some older fans of the anime expressed negative criticism over the film on social media[24] due to the exclusion of Misty and Brock in favor of two new companions, with one saying "It's almost like Brock and Misty never existed".[25] As shown at the film's first screening at the 2017 Japan Expo, most of the main characters from the first six series were delegated to cameos, which also caused some criticism from older fans.[26]

Despite this, reviews of the movie were mostly positive. Callum May of Anime News Network called the film a "Pokémon movie for classic Pokémon fans" and "While it features new Pokémon from Sun and Moon like Lycanroc and Incineroar, many of the stories and references are from the series 20 years ago, repurposed into far more emotionally moving encounters." It was also praised for having a stronger narrative than the other movies in the franchise, but often criticized on Sorrel and Verity's personalities, calling them "more like bystanders of someone else's story, and the attempts at creating backstories for them aren't built up at all."[27]

The film also topped Japanese box office records, earning first place and grossing more than 516 million yen (US$4.61 million) in the first two days, beating Gintama on its premiere.[28] The movie earned ¥2.14 billion ($19.6 million) in its fourth week and remained at the sixth position.[29] In its fifth week it grossed US$22 million and climbed up to the fourth position before being dethroned by Transformers: The Last Knight.


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  2. ^ "Pokémon the Movie: I Choose You! Film Opens at #1, Live-Action Gintama at #2". Anime News Network. July 18, 2017. Retrieved July 19, 2017. 
  3. ^ "Pokémon the Movie 20: I Choose You!". www.boxofficemojo.com. Retrieved 2017-09-02. 
  4. ^ "World Premiere: The 20th Pokémon Movie". Japan Expo. SEFA Event. 24 May 2017. Retrieved 21 August 2017. 
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  8. ^ "劇場版ポケモン新作タイトルは「キミにきめた!」、ポスターにホウオウの姿". Natalie (in Japanese). Natasha, Inc. 15 December 2016. Retrieved 22 August 2017. 
  9. ^ Frank, Allegra (March 1, 2017). "Pokémon's next movie takes Ash back to the beginning". Polygon. 
  10. ^ Baseel, Casey (2 March 2017). "Here's the first trailer for the Pokémon reboot/remake anime movie【Video】". SoraNews24. Retrieved 22 August 2017. 
  11. ^ "Pokémon I Choose You! Anime Film's 2nd Trailer Reveals Guest Cast, New Mythical Pokémon". Anime News Network. 8 April 2017. Retrieved 22 August 2017. 
  12. ^ Frank, Allegra (April 10, 2017). "Pokémon's next movie revisits the show's first season before shaking everything up". Polygon. 
  13. ^ Yoshitoshi, Shinomiya (13 July 2017). "映画『劇場版ポケットモンスター キミにきめた!』(7月15日公開)「ポケモン映画20周年記念ビジュアル」の情報が解禁されました。". Shinomiya Yoshitoshi (in Japanese). Retrieved 22 August 2017. 
  14. ^ Hoffer, Christian (14 May 2017). "Fans Clamor for Veronica Taylor to Return as Ash Ketchum for New Pokemon Movie". WWG. Pop Culture Media. Retrieved 22 August 2017. 
  15. ^ Chapman, Paul (3 July 2017). "Pokémon Reprises "The Rise of Darkrai" Song for 20th Summer Movie". Crunchyroll. Retrieved 22 August 2017. 
  16. ^ Goldfarb, Ed (2017-09-02). "For 20 years of Pokémon, Ash and Pikachu’s origin story is in theaters 11/5 & 11/6. Excited to be part of it.http://bit.ly/pokemon-film". @edgoldfarbmusic. Retrieved 2017-09-08.  External link in |title= (help)
  17. ^ Casey (15 March 2017). "A Special Hat-Wearing Ash Pikachu Is Headed To Japan For Pokémon Sun & Moon". Siliconera. Curse. Retrieved 22 August 2017. 
  18. ^ Baseel, Casey (20 April 2017). "Poké Ball breath mint holder series will keep you from being a smelly Pokémon otaku". SoraNews24. Retrieved 22 August 2017. 
  19. ^ "Become a Pokémon Master with Bandai's Poké Ball Collection!". Tokyo Otaku Mode. 21 April 2017. Retrieved 22 August 2017. 
  20. ^ Dennison, Kara (23 April 2017). "Premium Bandai Now Offering Real* Pokéballs". Crunchyroll. Retrieved 22 August 2017. 
  21. ^ "S.H.Figuarts Brings Ash and Team Rocket Together Again!". Tokyo Otaku Mode. 2 March 2017. Retrieved 22 August 2017. 
  22. ^ Kahotan (12 July 2017). "Nendoroid Ash & Pikachu (Pokémon)". Kahotan's Blog. Retrieved 22 August 2017. 
  23. ^ Sounders, Mike (13 July 2017). "Still not a Pokemon champion Ash Ketchum is now available in Nendoroid form, with a catch". Destructoid. Retrieved 22 August 2017. 
  24. ^ Hoffer, Christian (10 July 2017). "New Pokemon Movie Just Erased Two Key Characters from Ash's Past". WWG. Pop Culture Media. Retrieved 22 August 2017. 
  25. ^ Ashcraft, Brian (10 July 2017). "New Pokémon Movie Rewrites History, Ditches Brock And Misty". Kotaku. Retrieved 22 August 2017. 
  26. ^ Hemmings, Hannah Mylrea (11 July 2017). "Brock and Misty are being written out of Pokémon, and these people’s childhoods are ruined". NME. Time Inc. Retrieved 22 August 2017. 
  27. ^ May, Callum (17 July 2017). "Pokémon the Movie: I Choose You!". Anime News Network. Retrieved 22 August 2017. 
  28. ^ "国内映画ランキング : 2017年7月18日発表(毎週火曜更新)" (in Japanese). Eiga.com. Retrieved September 9, 2017. 
  29. ^ "国内映画ランキング : 2017年8月7日発表(毎週火曜更新)" (in Japanese). Eiga.com. Retrieved September 9, 2017. 

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