Pokémon Movie 8: Lucario and the Mystery of Mew
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Lucario and the Mystery of Mew, the eighth Pokémon movie, ranks as one of the best features in this popular franchise. Director Kunihiko Yuyama and writer Hideki Sonoda sensibly keep the adventures and threats to a scale that's appropriate for the characters. (The first movies put the world at risk, and while Ash Ketchum is a good kid, he's not someone who can credibly save the planet.) Ash, Brock, Max, and May Journey to Cameron Palace for a tournament that celebrates the valor of Prince Aaron, who saved the realm from destruction 1,000 years ago. Ash and Pikachu win, but the mischievous Mew kidnaps Pikachu, whom he's befriended. Prince Aaron's Pokémon companion Lucario awakens from the victor's staff to lead Ash and the gang to the Tree of Beginning, a mountain that is also a living entity. Ash risks his life to rescue Pikachu, proving the depth of their friendship to Lucario. The film includes lots of CG effects, most of which work well with the drawn animation: the earlier Pokémon films tended to look like two different movies spliced together.
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