Pokemon is first and foremost an anime. But it's different from the typical anime licensed in America. It is mainstreamed, so that little kids will enjoy it and not get turned off by the Japaneseness that older people like.
Most of the time, an anime is released on video or DVD, and so the translators and writers keep in everything from mature themes to the original stories and characters. Then, if it is decided that the anime will be shown on TV, they will censor it and air it.
Pokemon is different, they don't dub the original thing, they dub a censored and dumbed down version and air that. What you see on TV and in the theater is the American Producers spin to the original thing.
You're not watching Pokemon, you're watching an Americanized version of Pokemon. What's more, the Americanized version is the version that all English-Language countries see, which upsets the poeple not living in America. (i.e. the Minnesota Vikings joke).
The Americanization of Pokemon is at an all time high in this movie, the story and dialogue is way off from the original. They even composed an entirely different score. (The new score isn't necissarily bad, but it's the thought that they are taking someone else's work and determining themselves how and that they must change it so that the narrow-minded American children will be able to enjoy it).
And so, the movie is terrible.
My biggest gripe is the inclusion of evil pop music. Pop music is evil, and no one really seems to know that. If the American version had alternative rock in it, I'd be happier, but that's just my personal opinion.
As I mentioned before, the dialogue is dumbed down seriously so that the movie is easier to understand. Exposition in this movie is multiplied by five from the original Japanese version. Another odd thing about the dialogue is that in the original Japanese version, the guy dressed as a pirate that Ash battles in the opening credits speaks English. But the American version dubbed over him anyway. Why? Why do they waste their time? Because they still changed the dialogue. Even in the movie theaters, they still feel that Pokemon must be censored. While in the Japanese version, the character said "Oh my God!" in the American version, he says "Oh no!"
The worst translation change is this: in one scene, Mewtwo says "What's happened here," in the Japanese version. In the English version, he says, "Behold. With pokemon and humans eliminated, the clones shall inherit the world." Why?
Back to the music, while the original score in the dub version is no better than the Japanese version, it's not very bad either. But they decided to add in some vocal tracks to increase their money with deals with record companies. But come on! There is a horrible horrible song called "Brother, My Brother" played during a FIGHT SCENE! Sure, the pokemon were fighting clones of each other, but the Japanese version had real symphonic music playing. Battle music. Duel of the Fates sort of thing. But 4Kids decided that they had to endear the parents with some sort of allegorical song so that they'd think their kids would learn something from it.
You know, that's all well and sweet and everything, but that sort of thing is for soliloquys at the end of the film, not fight scenes. Movies need to have a kind of artistic value, even ones for young kids. The addition of that song took away the emotion and power of the original scene and replaced it with an advertisement for the singer and a disclaimer to parents.
And don't get me started on the pointless M2M song "Don't Say You Love Me." No little kid would understand or like that song, and no self-respecting anime watcher would enjoy any pop song at all. It's a song for pubescent girls. Why?
That's it really. My only real problem is that the movie is too different from the better Japanese version. They are just too determined to mainstream it. While that's all I can really say about the movie, the bottom line is that it's just plain boring. I'm sure that little kids will love the battles and such, but for older people, it's like sitting there doing nothing.
They changed the Pikachu's Vacation movie too. How? You ask. There isn't any dialogue to change. Well, they changed the narrator from a sweet-sounding woman to the Pokedex, and they messed the music up like in the main film.