After decades of gathering fans through video games, trading cards, animation and merchandise, Pokemon is finally making their live action debut next year. Only instead of adapting the anime adventures of Ash Ketchum as he gathers gym badges and tries to catch ’em all, the first live action Pokemon movie is taking its cue from the Great Detective Pikachu video game. For months, fans have been curious about what’s in store for Detective Pikachu, and now we finally have some footage to chew on thanks to the first trailer.
Judging by the reaction on the internet, this Detective Pikachu trailer was a pleasant surprise, which ideally bodes well for the movie itself. More importantly, there will be plenty of Pokemon appearing in Detective Pikachu besides just the eponymous, electrically-charged mouse. Upon studying the trailer closely, you’ll notice quick appearances from critters like Charmander, Dodrio, Squirrel and Pidgeotto, to name just a few. However, for the sake of this feature, let’s go over all the Pokemon who get more significant screen time.
Let’s just get the obvious one out of the day. For decades Pikachu has been the Pokemon franchise’s mascot, recognizable even to folks who barely know anything about the Pocket Monsters. From its mouse-like appearance to its powerful electric attacks, there’s a lot to like about Pikachu, but for Detective Pikachu, many will be seeing the creature in a new light. With one notable exception, Pikachu are like nearly every other Pokemon in that they can only say some augmentation of their name. Now, just like in the Great Detective Pikachu video game, we get to hear a Pikachu speak like a human.
Detective Pikachu‘s eponymous Pokemon is being voiced by Ryan Reynolds. Like his video game counterpart, he’s more intelligent than your average Pikachu and uses his brains to solve mysteries, hence why he’s wearing that Sherlock hat. For this movie, he’s partnered up with Justice Smith‘s Tim Goodman, who is the only human who actually hears this Pikachu speaking English. Pikachu will help Tim track down his missing father, and their journey will be rife with shenanigans.
Those of you who watched the Pokemon anime in its earliest years will remember Psyduck as being a hilarious source of frustration for Ash’s pal Misty. Her Psyduck (which she accidentally caught) would frequently come out of its Pokeball in place of the Pokemon Misty actually wanted to send out, and the few times she did purposefully pick it, it would basically be useless. However, in moments when the Psyduck’s headache got bad enough, it could unleash powerful Psychic attacks that neutralized opponents.
For Detective Pikachu, a Psyduck will be accompanying Kathryn Newton‘s Lucy Stevens, a reporter who crosses with with Tim Goodman. It’s hard to tell specifically what we can expect from this Psyduck, but like others of its kind, it rocks a stupefied look on its face. While it’s highly unlikely that Detective Pikachu will evolve into Raichu in this movie, part of me does wonder if Lucy’s Psyduck might evolve into Golduck, thus making it more competent, but less cute.
Bulbasaur And Morelull
In most of the main Pokemon video games, i.e. the ‘versions,’ you’re given the choice to pick a Grass-type, a Fire-type or a Water-type for your starter Pokemon. In Generation I, a.k.a. Pokemon Red and Blue (and its remakes), Bulbasaur was the Grass-type, and would evolve into Ivysaur and then Venusaur. Ash Ketchum also caught a Bulbasaur early into his time as a Pokemon trainer. In the Detective Pikachu trailer, we see a group of Bulbasaur walking down a creek, with Tim and Pikachu (whose either sleeping or injured) trailing behind.
Accompanying the Bulbasaur are several Morello, Grass/Fairy-type Pokemon that evolve into Shiinotic. Morello were introduced during Generation VII, the Sun and Moon era. They’re plenty cute to look at, but like the Bulbasaur, it’s hard to tell if they’ll be in any way significant to the plot or if they’re just there for decoration, so to speak.
Here we have another Pokemon that provided comedy in the early years of the Pokemon anime. Jigglypuff (which evolves into Wigglytuff, and was later given the pre-evolution form Igglybuff) is a Normal/Fairty-type that’s chiefly known for its Sing attack, which puts any opponent to sleep. In the anime, there was one particular Jigglypuff that followed around the main characters and try to show what an amazing singer it was. Unfortunately, its soothing voice would always put people to sleep, and angered, the Jigglypuff would then use its microphone-looking marker to draw on their faces.
It looks like the Jigglypuff in Detective Pikachu has the same M.O., as we see a guy asleep at his table at a cafe, and the Jigglypuff looks irritated that its audience is catching some z’s. I really hope this cafe didn’t hire Jigglypuff to be the talent for the night, because that thing singing in a public space ensures that your customers aren’t going to order anything else for the rest of the night.
Remember when I was talking about starter Pokemon? Well, in Generation I, if you wanted a Fire-type, Charmander would have been your pick, with it evolving into Chameleon and then, as seen above, Charizard. While not at Pikachu’s level, Charizard is among the more popular Pokemon, appreciated for its incredible fire attacks and resembling a dragon (though it is not also a Dragon-type, to be clear). Ash Ketchum’s Charmander became a Charizard, and while that monstrosity originally didn’t follow Ash’s commands, it eventually became loyal to the lad.
For Detective Pikachu, a Charizard will be competing in an underground Pokemon fighting ring, and I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s the reigning champ. That doesn’t bode well for the starring Pikachu, as we see at the end of the trailer that it will be fighting this Charizard. Fortunately, Charizard is a Fire-Flying-type, and Electric moves are super effective against Flying types. So one well-timed attack from Pikachu might be enough to bring the Charizard down.
Like Morelull, Greninja is a newer Pokemon, debuting during Generation VI, the X and Y era. A Water/Dark-type, Greninja evolves from Frogadier and is the final form of Flroakie. If you’ve ever wondered what a frog humanoid ninja would look like, this is what you get. Ash caught his own Froakie in the Kalos region, which has since evolve into a Greninja.
Three Greninja are shown leaping into action in the Detective Pikachu trailer, and that by itself isn’t much context. But later in the preview, we see these Greninja chasing after the Pikachu, so one can surmise that they’re working for whoever the movie’s main antagonist is, or at the very least someone who’s interests clash with Tim and Pikachu’s.
Finally, we have Mr. Mime, a Psychic/Fairy-type (and retroactively made the evolved form of Mime Jr.) that’s one of the original 151 Pokemon. The most famous Mr. Mime is the one belonging to Ash Ketchum’s mother in the anime that does housework for her in exchange for having a place to stay.
Although Mr. Mime can speak in the anime and has its own noise in the video games, Detective Pikachu appropriately, and hilariously, has rendered it mute. You know, like an actual mime! This is much to the chagrin of Pikachu, whose “told” to shove it by the Mr. Mime, and when Pikachu tries to go “bad cop,” he immediately runs into the Mr. Mime’s Barrier. This Pokemon is going to be one tough nut to crack.
Detective Pikachu hits theaters on May 10, 2019, so stay tuned to CinemaBlend for continuing coverage. In the meantime, look through our 2019 release schedule to learn what other movies are coming out this year.