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Pokémon 3: Spell of the Unown

Threat advisory: Elevated - Significant risk of entertaining activities

Movie propaganda

Young Pokémon trainer Ash Ketchum (Veronica Taylor) and his loyal friends journey to the beautiful mountain town of Greenfield, where they will encounter the Unown, the most mysterious of all Pokémon in Pokémon 3: Spell of the Unown.

The third big-screen instalment in the infinitely popular Pokémon mythology is really two stories in one. The feature-length adventure, Spell of the Unown, is accompanied by a bonus 22-minute short, Pikachu and Pichu, starring the much-loved Pikachu in its own adventure with the mischievous Pichu brothers, with a Dixieland jazz-inspired score imported from the original Japanese release.

The most interesting new Pokémon showcased in Pokémon 3: Spell of the Unown are the ultimately mystifying and elusive Unown, 26 cryptic entities shaped like letters of the alphabet ("like alphabet soup, without the soup," according to Pokémon Meowth) that have the power to bring human thoughts and dreams into reality.

It is the Unown that create a challenge for Ash far greater than any Pokémon battle he has ever experienced before. With help from Pikachu and all his faithful Pokémon, plus friends Brock and Misty and even a little unexpected assistance from Team Rocket, Ash must rescue the young orphan Molly from the mystical forces that threaten to transform her life into a dreamworld prison. At the same time, Ash must also struggle to bring his own mother back from the realm of the Unown before she is lost forever and he becomes an orphan himself.

No-one is sure what the Unown are capable of once they unleash their full power, but Ash and his friends are about to find out.

Also starring Eric Stuart, Rachael Lillis, Maddie Blaustein, Ikue otani, Ken Gates, Dan Green and Stan Hart. Written by Norman J Grossfeld and Michael Haigney from the original screenplay written by Takeshi Shudo and Hideki Sonoda, based on characters created by Satoshi Tajiri, directed by Kunihiko Yuyama and Michael Haigney.

Cinematic intelligence sources

Intelligence analyst

Special Agent Matti

Theatrical report

Well, I am entirely the incorrect demographic to be watching a movie about Pokémon and their trainers, let alone to be playing the game or watching the TV series, but that doesn't stop me from being able to exercise my critical skills and imagination.

Skills: the story is Japanese despite the appearance of the characters (West is best) so it has some unusual shapes to it; it's a good thing because exposure to other cultures will broaden your child's mind. Spell of the Unown also lets you learn about accepting people for who and what they are, not who and what you think them to be. The animation is adequate for the genre, mostly two-dimensional with the occasional three-dimensional object or background thrown in for special meaning.

Imagination: it's fun, with lots of Pokémon challenges, including some in Fantasyland.

Conclusion: the youngsters will like it.

Media intelligence (DVD)

  • Audio: Dolby Digital 5.1
  • Disc: double sided
  • Picture: pal 1.85 Widescreen
  • Languages: English
  • Subtitles: English, Dutch, French, Greek, Italian, Hebrew, English SDH, Italian SDH
  • The filmmakers say (audio commentary for feature only)
  • Making of To know the Unown
  • Johto pokerap music video performed by Johto

Security censorship classification

PG (Frequent violence, some themes may upset young children)

Surveillance time

88 minutes (1:28 hours)

Not for public release in Australia before date

DVD rental: 1 October 2001
VHS rental: 1 October 2001
DVD retail: Undated March 2002

Cinema surveillance images

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