The Comparison Trailer for Pokemon: Mewtwo Strikes Back—Evolution Does Not Have the Intended Positive Effect

The Comparison Trailer for Pokemon: Mewtwo Strikes Back—Evolution Does Not Have the Intended Positive Effect

Two worlds collide with messy consequences.

If you possess two eyes and even a vague interest in animation, then you already know computer animation overtook cel-based animation through the aughts. Some animation fans who grew up on hand-animated feature films are still a little bitter about the takeover; a popular claim is that computer animated cartoons don't contain the same color, energy, and soul as a classic cel-based cartoon.

I'm an insufferable fence-sitter who thinks both forms of animation are of equal value. I'll say this much, though. The Pokemon Company's attempt to show off the computer-animated Pokemon: Mewtwo Strikes Back—Evolution by putting its footage side-by-side with the original animation is underwhelming.

The Pokemon Company posted the comparison trailer yesterday, and it didn't do much to impress old farts like myself. Scenes from 1998's Pokemon: The First Movie are matched with identical scenes from Mewtwo Strikes Back—Evolution, and the latter teeter on the edge of the uncanny valley.

I think the main problem are the human yet not-human designs for Ash, Brock, and Misty. They're more or less correctly proportioned, but they still have doe-like anime eyes that don't fit well on their faces. Also, I can't stop looking at Ash's teeth.

The humans are unsettling against the computer-generated Pokemon, who generally look good. I like seeing Mewtwo with textured skin, and the scene where a water slicked Dewgong jumps out of the sea is cool. That said, watching the comparison trailer for Mewtwo Strikes Back—Evolution makes me realize more clearly than ever why Detective Pikachu opted for live actors against "realistic" Pokemon.

Mewtwo Strikes Back—Evolution is currently streaming on Netflix. Even if you're not a fan of the new movie's animation, its message still holds up. Pokemon: The First Movie isn't on Netflix, but you can find it on Amazon, iTunes, and other streaming platforms.

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Nadia Oxford

Staff Writer

Nadia has been writing about games for so long, only the wind and the rain (or the digital facsimiles thereof) remember her true name. She's written for Nerve, About.com, Gamepro, IGN, 1UP, PlayStation Official Magazine, and other sites and magazines that sling words about video games. She co-hosts the Axe of the Blood God podcast, where she mostly screams about Dragon Quest.

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