Review | Pokémon The Movie: Secrets Of The Jungle

Secrets of the Jungle is a nice and entertaining addition to the Pokémon franchise.”

Last Friday, Netflix released the newest Pokémon movie worldwide (except in Japan where it was released in December 2020). Pokémon The Movie: Secrets of the Jungle takes Ash Ketchum on a new journey.

STORY
Image courtesy of the Pokémon Company

Ash’s story continues with Secrets of the Jungle but it’s also Koko’s story who is as much the lead as Ash. Koko is a human raised in the jungle by a Zarude. In many ways, he reminds me of Tarzan. Indeed, he doesn’t know the human world until he meets Ash. He lives in the jungle and speaks the language of Pokémons. And even, the plot follows similar beats. So, I see it as a retelling of Tarzan’s story with a Pokémon twist. And that’s not a bad thing. It’s an entertaining story. Plus, there’s a beautiful ecological message – we should live in harmony with our world and not try to harness all its ressources.

As for the villains, Dr. Zed is a classic villain. When you see him, you can immediately tell who he is. Obviously, the movie also features Team Rocket. Even though, they barely do anything as most of the time. We don’t need them all the time. I do think they should appear only when they have something revelant to do. Otherwise, they are stealing screentime to other plotlines that would be more interesting.

KOKO’S JOURNEY
Image courtesy of the Pokémon Company

Koko is the heart of this movie. His journey is emotional but empowering too. I didn’t expect some scenes to be that moving. So it’s a good surprise. He belongs to the world of the Pokémons but he is also a human. Therefore, he has to find his place in all of this. That’s what makes his journey compelling. In fact, he represents the best of both worlds, he is the link between Pokémons and humans because he knows the language of the Pokémons. He can fully communicate with them. It would be a shame if we never saw him again. His story has a lot of potential.

VISUALS
Image courtesy of the Pokémon Company

This movie returns to the 2D animation of The Power of Us and I Choose You! It was the right decision. Mewtwo Strikes Back Evolution was a disappointment. The animation team doesn’t handle CGI animation well so it’s better if they go back to what works. The animation quality is always better with the movies than with their series. This one has some striking visuals in the jungle. The fireworks scene is always one of the visual highlights of the movie. I just love the way they created the scene.

Image courtesy of the Pokémon Company
VERDICT

Secrets of the Jungle is a nice and entertaining addition to the Pokémon franchise.

Pokémon The Movie: Secrets of the Jungle is now streaming on NETFLIX!

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