Mewtwo Strikes Back—EvolutionMewtwo Strikes Back: Evolution
Year: 2019
Rating: PG
Length: 98 minutes / 1.63 hours

Growing up with the Pokémon franchise during the peak of its fervor, I definitely remember going to see the first movie when it came out in theaters. Consequently, there is an amount of nostalgia that I associate with this first forray of the franchise onto the big screen. When I saw that Netflix had recreated the 2D anime of my childhood with their style of CGI animation, I was intrigued enough to check it out.

Much like in the recent CGI version of The Lion King (2019), just because a movie was faithfully recreated using newer animation technology does not make it a better movie. Additionally, I believe the fact that I had aged since I first watched this movie made it so I could see it through a more objective lens. What I found was that the story was incredibly light, and the only thing that made it worth watching in the original was the fact that the Pokémon I had seen on the small monochromatic screen of my Game Boy were on the enormous screen of the movie theater.

I do have a feeling that Netflix has a certain style for their CGI anime reboots, and I don’t know if I entirely like it. For example, the Knights of the Zodiac CGI reboot they did looks really sharp, but has a few weaknesses when it comes to the human characters. This weakness was even more pronounced in this Pokémon movie because they tried to retain the same animation style of the humans from the original, which made them look really weird. My eyes were amazed at all the inorganic textures—like rocks and water—but the human characters were well within the uncanny valley for me and made it difficult to watch.

A nostalgia-filled remake that fell into the uncanny valley, I give Mewtwo Strikes Back: Evolution 2.5 stars out of 5.

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