For those who are fans of "Pokémon", especially when it comes to the video games, there are always simultaneous releases of the games. While they appear similar in gameplay, there are often a change in Pokemon or setting. But what if they treated the films the same way?
In July 2011, children and fans of "Pokémon" were treated to two different versions of the 14th "Pokémon" film. One titled "Pokémon the Movie: Black - Victini and Reshiram" and the other "Pokémon the Movie: White - Victini and Zekrom". The plot of both film are the same, the major difference is one would focus more on the legendary dragon Pokémon, Reshiram or Zekrom.
While the film was a major success in the box office in Japan, in America, both films received a limited 2- day theatrical release in select theaters in December 2011 and it would be the first Pokémon animated film release since the 2002 film "Pokémon Heroes: The Movie". "Pokémon the Movie: White - Victini and Zekrom" would later air on the Cartoon Network in February 2012.
And now, both films will be released in a 2-DVD courtesy of Viz Media.
VIDEO & AUDIO:
"Pokémon the Movie 14: Black - Victini & Reshiram / White - Victini & Zekrom" definitely improves in overall animation and CG with the latest film. With each newer film, there is much better detail in the paintings and better use of CG.
If anything, more detail and vibrant colors, compared to the previous two Pokemon films, considering those the last two films, "Pokémon Movie 12: Arceus and the Jewel of Life and "Pokémon Movie 13: Zoroark - Master of Illusions" look fantastic.
Of course, with this being DVD, you are going to see mild artifacts and some banding but nothing to bothersome and I doubt the children will even care. It's a beautiful looking film!
As for the audio, the audio is presented in 2.0 and 5.1 Dolby Digital. Dialogue is clear and understandable, special effects sound very good coming through the center and front channels. I don't really recall hearing the surround channels being utilized all that much but for the most part, dialogue and music are quite clear. It's important to note that only the English dub is featured and the Japanese soundtrack is not included.
Subtitles are available in English.
"Pokémon the Movie 14: Black - Victini & Reshiram / White - Victini & Zekrom" comes with trailer for both films.
As a father who has grown up with a child who enjoys "Pokémon" and having been in Japan during the time of the Pokemon merchandise explosion, it's always intriguing for me to see how "Pokémon" remains innovative and how it manages to attract the attention of a new generation of young (and older) fans for over a decade.
And with the release of both "Pokémon" films, it's another way to attract viewers to the films as "Pokémon Black/White" have done for those who purchased the Nintendo DS video game. And considering the film made over $53 million in the box office, it goes to show that "Pokémon" is not slowing down any time soon and the momentum and excitement continues to thrive as it did many years ago.
While both films have the same story, the key difference is how it integrates Reshiram or Zekrom to the film. Especially the activity of the character of Damon in trying to revive a world that is no longer there. With that being said, for me, I enjoyed "Pokémon the Movie: Black - Victini and Reshiram" as it appeared to have a slightly different back story which I enjoyed more. Once again, they are the same storyline, same ending but it's different in terms of how Reshiram and Zekrom are incorporated into the film.
But what I enjoyed about the overall storyline is the character of Victini, definitely unlike other Pokemon who are great fighting Pokemon, if anything...Victini is just overall cute. And it's just fun to see how fun this Pokémon can be, may it be eating macaroons or helping Ash and his Pokemon. But there is also an emotional side to this film as Victini was tragically left behind by its owner and he is stuck in town due to a barrier and you realize how lonely Victini has been all this time. And you root for Ash and friends to help Victini, but at the same time knowing that Damon needs Victini in order to revive the town, and unfortunately it's an ambition that can not only harm Victini but also the people that Damon wants to help.
As for parents who are considering buying this DVD for their child, there is really nothing violent about the storyline, while some younger children may find one scene where it looks like Ash got badly hurt (don't worry, he was just exhausted).
As mentioned in the video quality section, the film looks absolutely vibrant and fantastic! I would not be surprised if "Pokémon the Movie 14: Black - Victini & Reshiram / White - Victini & Zekrom" someday receives a Blu-ray release because it looks so good... but as for the DVD itself, it does have its share of artifacts (as expected from a DVD) but nothing to disrupt viewing and for the most part, for the audience its intended for, I doubt they would even care. But this is the most beautiful Pokémon film by far and each year, the look of the films just continue to get better and better.
Overall, if you or your child (or if you are an adult fan) loves the Pokémon series whether on TV series, collectors cards or video games, I definitely recommend Pokémon the Movie 14: Black - Victini & Reshiram / White - Victini & Zekrom". You get both films in one release and for the most part, it's a heartwarming family film worth watching and owning if you are a fan of "Pokémon".