18 Best Pokémon Movies, Ranked According to IMDb

Since debuting in 1997, the Pokémon anime has turn into one of the profitable animes on the planet. It follows the adventures of Ash Ketchum on his quest to turn into the best Pokémon coach on the planet by catching new Pokémon and difficult the assorted leagues. At all times by his facet is Pikachu, his first Pokémon, and closest buddy. Particularly with over 25 years of tales having been instructed within the Pokémon world, there have been a large number of iconic tales which have captivated followers over time.

The anime’s success has resulted in a number of films that function Ash and his pals encountering legendary Pokémon and infrequently serving to to save lots of the world. Whereas these Pokémon films do not have many followers outdoors the franchise, they do their job of entertaining long-term and new followers alike. Particularly with the primary adventures of Ash Ketchum in the primary collection having come to an finish, the movies act as a terrific timeline of the wild historical past that the franchise has gone by way of over time.

Pokémon (1997)

Launch Date
September 8, 1998

Junichi Masuda, Ken Sugimori, Satoshi Tajiri

Veronica Taylor , Rachael Lillis , Eric Stuart , Ikue Ôtani , Rica Matsumoto , Megumi Hayashibara


18 ‘Pokémon 3: the Film – Spell of the Unown’ (2000)

IMDb Ranking: 5.8/10

A deeply thematic and resonating movie that a number of followers contemplate to be the height of the movie franchise story-wise, Pokémon 3: The Film – Spell of the Unown tells the tragic story of a younger lady, Molly Hale. After a traumatic response to her father’s disappearance, Molly unknowingly makes use of the ability of the psychic Pokémon Unown to create a dream world, protected by the legendary Pokémon Entei, who she believes to be her father. When Entei kidnaps Ash’s mom to present Molly a mom, Ash and his pals should traverse the dreamscape to save lots of her.

Whereas nearly all of different Pokémon films are extra targeted on a flurry of vibrant colours and exhibiting off the then-newest and coolest Pokémon, Spell of the Unown weaves collectively a story of tragedy and mourning. It is one of many few films the place Ash and pals play a significant position within the story and themes, and total, the movie does a terrific job of building Molly’s ache and Entei’s intimidating power. Whereas many die-hard Pokémon followers contemplate this to be one of many franchise’s most interesting moments, this stage of reward merely is not mirrored by the IMDb person base.

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17 ‘Pokémon the Film: Hoopa and the Conflict of Ages’ (2015)

IMDb Ranking: 5.9/10

To a number of followers, all that they need out of a Pokémon film is to see as many large and highly effective Pokémon on display without delay, and on this case, no different movie rivals Hoopa and the Conflict of Ages. The movie follows Ash and his pals having traveled to a desert metropolis, the place they arrive into contact with the trickster legendary Pokémon Hoopa, who can summon any variety of Pokémon and people utilizing its magical rings. After a mistake causes Hoopa’s full energy to be unleashed, he can’t cease as he summons harmful legendary Pokémon from throughout dimensions unexpectedly.

Whereas the film is relatively sparse plot-wise in comparison with different Pokémon movies, Hoopa and the Conflict of Ages makes up for it with its continuous barrage of fan service and highly effective legendary Pokémon from throughout the franchise. From the god of Pokémon, Arceus to the then-new Primordial types of Kyogre and Groudon to the notorious Mega-Rayquaza, the movie is stuffed with the strongest and most iconic titans of the collection at that time.

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16 ‘Pokémon Ranger and the Temple of the Sea’ (2006)

IMDb Ranking: 5.9/10

The ultimate movie through the Superior period of the collection and tying in instantly with the Pokémon Ranger spinoff collection, Pokémon Ranger and the Temple of the Sea sees Ash and his pals misplaced on their journey. They miraculously cross paths with Pokémon Ranger Jack Walker, inadvertently getting concerned along with his mission of saving a legendary Pokémon egg from the harmful pirate captain, The Phantom. It would not take lengthy earlier than the egg hatches into the legendary Manaphy and begins imprinting onto Could.

Very not often do the Pokémon films disclose into the ideas and characters of the spinoff titles, so it was thrilling for followers to see the idea of Pokémon rangers being absolutely explored in a cinematic scope. The precise adventure of the film is stuffed with excessive stakes, a lot of cute Pokémon, and genuinely thrilling moments that permit the heroes to turn into superhero-esque figures. It has the distinct pacing and continuous adrenaline of an motion film and acts as an ideal sendoff to the Superior period of characters, together with Could and Max.

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15 ‘Pokémon the Film: Volcanion and the Mechanical Marvel’ (2016)

IMDb Ranking: 5.9/10

The ultimate movie within the X&Y saga of Pokémon movies, Pokémon the Film: Volcanion and the Mechanical Marvel sees Ash go head to head with the legendary Volcanion after it crashes down from the sky. A mysterious power finally ends up binding the 2 collectively, but Volcanion’s hatred of people has it try to get away, unintentionally dragging Ash alongside on its rescue mission. Now in an historical metropolis of gears, Ash should cease a corrupt official who seeks to take over the world utilizing the bogus Pokémon, Magearna.

Volcanion and the Mechanical Marvel simply options among the biggest motion sequences and visuals of the whole franchise, with loads of enjoyable sequences all through its runtime. On high of this, Volcanion as a personality continues the pattern of cinematic legendary Pokémon having the ability to discuss (voiced by the impeccable Mike Pollock), including a real character and dynamic between himself and Ash. Particularly when in comparison with the opposite X&Y movies, Volcanion and the Mechanical Marvel is actually a pleasing shock to behold.

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14 ‘Pokémon the Film: Future Deoxys’ (2004)

IMDb Ranking: 6.0/10

Ash and the gang arrive at a totally automated metropolis and meet Tory, the son of a scientist who works within the metropolis. Tory is afraid of Pokémon on account of an incident on his father’s final expedition, and Ash desires to assist him overcome it. Nonetheless, town comes underneath assault by a Pokémon from area named Deoxys, who begins rounding up the individuals and Pokémon for an unknown purpose. Even 20 years later, Deoxys continues to be thought-about to be one of the mysterious and awe-inspiring legendary Pokémon, with this movie doing the character nice justice.

Tory’s arc gives one thing that hadn’t been seen within the franchise up up to now. Loads of Pokémon films and episodes targeted on Pokémon who mistrust people however not often was there one about people distrusting them. The Pokémon movie can also be very artistic due to its setting and features a wide cast of side characters who really contribute to the plot. As if it wasn’t thrilling sufficient to see the long-lasting Deoxys on display, the movie additionally makes the anime debut of Rayquaza, one of the highly effective and well-regarded legendary Pokémon of all time.

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13 ‘Pokémon: Giratina and the Sky Warrior’ (2008)

IMDb Ranking: 6.0/10

Pokémon: Giratina and the Sky Warrior sees Ash and his pals uncover an odd feud between legendary Pokémon Shaymin and Giratina, seemingly brought on by a misunderstanding. Nonetheless, as Giratina reveals off its skill to have the ability to create parallel dimensions on a whim in capable of journey between, it sparks the eye of the dastardly villain Zero, who plans to seize and harness these powers for evil. It quickly turns into as much as Ash and his pals to not solely put a cease to Giratina’s unfounded tirade but additionally save him from the upcoming wrath of Zero.

Giratina and the Sky Warrior has quite a bit going for it so far as Pokémon films go, from a strong animated movie villain in Zero to seeing the on-screen debut of Giratina, thought-about to be the literal satan of the Pokémon universe. Regardless of its quite a few excellent motion sequences and efficient rising motion, the one factor stopping the movie from being the most effective within the franchise comes within the type of Shaymin. Shaymin’s annoying voice and whiny character screeches the whole movie to a halt, hindering the whole movie from being an all-time nice, even regardless of its different large qualities.

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12 ‘Pokémon: Zoroark – Grasp of Illusions’ (2010)

IMDb Ranking: 6.1/10

Zoroark: Grasp of Illusions sees Ash and his pals tasked with stopping a grasping media mogul from utilizing the mysterious shape-shifting powers of Zoroark with a purpose to accomplish his evil duties. Utilizing Zoroark, he has plans to seize the legendary time-traveling Pokémon, Celebi, and use its skills to form the world in his personal dastardly picture. Nonetheless, it proves to be tougher than anticipated, particularly due to Zoroark’s skill to remodel not solely into different Pokémon however people as effectively.

Zoroark is among the most intrinsically distinctive and genuinely terrifying Pokémon of all time, making him the proper topic for his personal feature-length movie. The movie makes use of Zoroark’s distinctive powers to have the ability to inform a surprisingly efficient story of false data and deception, together with a message that also rings true even to at the present time. The movie additionally contains a shock look from shiny variations of the legendary beasts trio of Pokémon, one of many few occasions the franchise has had a shiny legendary Pokémon on-screen.

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11 ‘Pokémon Heroes’ (2002)

IMDb Ranking: 6.1/10

The ultimate movie from the unique run that includes the trio of Ash, Misty, and Brock, Pokémon Heroes sees the trio try to cease a pair of thieves hiding out within the canals and alleyways of the water capital Altomare. Whereas on their journey, they find yourself being accompanied by the sibling duo of legendary Pokémon, Latios and Latias, who function the peacekeepers and protectors of the Soul Dew. Nonetheless, the thieves have their eyes on the Soul Dew, with the legendary Pokémon’s lives changing into at risk in consequence.

Pokémon Heroes is very elevated due to the inherent appeal and sweetness issue that comes from Latios and Latias as a complete. Latias particularly is such an plain supply of healthful vitality all through the whole movie, to the purpose that it makes the remainder of the movie extra pleasurable in consequence. It makes the stakes that a lot greater when the duo finds themselves at risk, serving to Heroes turn into an ideal sendoff movie for the iconic animation core trio.

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10 ‘Pokémon the Film 2000’ (1999)

IMDb Ranking: 6.1/10

When Ash and his pals arrive on the island of Shamouti, he will get roped into their ceremony and instructed to gather three orbs from the close by islands. Sadly, a Pokémon Collector is within the space making an attempt to seize the legendary birds Moltres, Zapdos, and Articuno, with a purpose to deliver out Lugia. His actions trigger a disturbance within the pure order, so now it is as much as Ash to save lots of the world. Because the second theatrical Pokémon film and the follow-up to the long-lasting Mewtwo Strikes Again, Pokémon: The Film 2000 had quite a bit to stay as much as within the eyes of followers and audiences worldwide.

Whereas Ash being the chosen one feels arbitrary, the movie presents a large-scale story, persevering with to boost the bar and the stakes for the franchise’s theatrical outings. It boasts spectacular animation for its time, significantly through the legendary fowl battles, and was the primary Pokémon film to indicate a legendary from the upcoming video games. It is also one of many few films to present Group Rocket, Ash’s persistent antagonists, an lively position within the plot, versus nearly all of films that merely have them in their very own disconnected comedian reduction story.

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9 ‘Pokémon the Film: The Energy of Us’ (2018)

IMDb Ranking: 6.2/10

Annually, Fula Metropolis holds a competition to present due to Lugia, who granted them the ability to stay in concord with the wind. A number of colourful characters are attending this 12 months’s competition, together with an ex-runner, a power liar, a scientist missing self-confidence, the mayor’s daughter, an older lady who dislikes Pokémon, and Ash. They meet up and be taught to beat their flaws with the assistance of Pokémon.

The film’s largest power is its characters, who take heart stage in comparison with Ash, which is a rarity on the subject of Pokémon movies. Much more uncommon is when this deal with new characters works so effectively. Every new character is fleshed out and performs an lively position within the plot, not like different Pokémon films the place the movie characters tend to spout exposition or function transportation. This does trigger pacing points in locations since all of them should be established, however the payoff of them coming collectively is value it.

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8 ‘Pokémon: Arceus and the Jewel of Life’ (2009)

IMDb Ranking: 6.2/10

Arceus and the Jewel of Life simply options among the highest stakes of any Pokémon movie, because it acts because the debut for the almighty god of the Pokémon universe, Arceus. In historical occasions, Arceus, the creator of the Pokémon universe, created a jewel from its energy to assist restore the land of its human buddy, Damos. When it was time to return the jewel, nonetheless, Damos stored it, and Arceus swore revenge. In fashionable occasions, Arceus has awoken to deliver humanity to justice, and it is as much as Ash and pals to find the reality.

Since this film includes the Pokémon equal of gods, it is solely pure that it presents some highly effective themes. One of many main ones is reconciliation, as a descendant of Damos joins the group to undo the errors of her ancestors. It additionally gives an fascinating look into Pokémon’s previous, the place they have been referred to as magical creatures and stored subservient to people as an alternative of companions. Even with out its deeper themes in thoughts, it makes for an efficient visible spectacle to see one of many most powerful Pokémon of all time gracing the massive display.

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7 ‘Pokémon: The Rise of Darkrai’ (2007)

IMDb Ranking: 6.3/10

100 years in the past, the architect of Alamos City wrote down a prophetic dream the place he witnessed Dialga and Palkia, two Pokémon who management area and time, doing battle. Within the current day, unusual occurrences occur across the city, and the locals blame a shadow Pokémon referred to as Darkrai. As Ash and his pals examine, the city is swallowed right into a pocket dimension created by the clashing titans.

Rise of Darkrai is Pokémon’s first try at horror, which it achieves with blended outcomes, having the ability to excel drastically by way of visuals and ideas. The ambiance of the film displays traditional gothic horror themes splashed with the works of H.P. Lovecraft, and determining Darkrai’s allegiances makes for a compelling thriller. It is sadly squandered by the pacing, which has an excessive amount of filler and inconsequential moments.

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6 ‘Pokémon the Film: I Select You!’ (2017)

IMDb Ranking: 6.3/10

To have a good time the Pokémon anime’s twentieth anniversary, their twentieth movie serves as a re-imagining of how Ash turned a Pokémon coach and noticed the legendary fowl, Ho-Oh. Nonetheless, as an alternative of merely repeating the very same sequence of occasions as the start of the anime, this movie options features and adjustments all through Pokémon’s complete historical past. This time, Ash was gifted a Rainbow Wing from Ho-Oh, which means he’s destined to face Ho-Oh in battle. With two new companions, Ash makes his option to the Rainbow Rock whereas a shadowy determine watches his progress.

Whereas the movie options quite a few strange and arguably Lynchian elements, I Select You! nonetheless succeeds in being a love letter to the anime by condensing among the first season’s most iconic moments and Ho-Oh into its plot. For probably the most half, it succeeds, although the choice to incorporate new companions for Ash over his long-time pals, Misty and Brock, is questionable. Nonetheless, the animation is attractive, and most of the battle scenes are fast-paced and well-choreographed.

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5 ‘Pokémon: The First Film – Mewtwo Strikes Again’ (1998)

IMDb Ranking: 6.3/10

Because the title conveys, Pokémon: The First Film – Mewtwo Strikes Again was the primary Pokémon film ever created, and as such holds a particular place within the eyes of followers worldwide. Utilizing a fossil of the Pokémon progenitor, Mew, scientists are capable of create Mewtwo, the world’s strongest Pokémon. Nonetheless, Mewtwo rebels towards humanity and units up an island fortress. It then sends out invites for Pokémon trainers, together with Ash, to make clones of their Pokémon and show that clones are superior to the originals.

Whereas this film is a couple of psychic cat making an attempt to make a clone military, it would not draw back from mature themes and imagery, serving to it attain its legacy as the most effective Pokémon films. Mewtwo’s first act is to kill the scientists who created it, and the design of Mewtwo’s cloning facility feels impressed by the work of horror artist H.R. Geiger. The movie additionally options what is taken into account by many followers to be one of the heartbreaking saddest moments of the Pokémon franchise. The message can also be the most effective within the franchise, saying that your actions, not your origins, outline you.

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4 ‘Pokémon: Mewtwo Returns’ (2000)

IMDb Ranking: 6.4/10

A direct sequel to Mewtwo Strikes Again, Mewtwo Returns is a straight-to-TV film that follows the story of Group Rocket chief Giovanni who has rediscovered the legendary Mewtwo in a distant space of the Johto area. As Giovanni makes an attempt to recapture Mewtwo, it turns into as much as Ash and his pals to assist Mewtwo in his battle towards Group Rocket and save all of the Clone Pokémon.

As one of many few direct sequels within the Pokémon franchise, Mewtwo Returns had quite a bit to stay as much as when it got here to following up the unique iconic Pokémon film. Fortunately, the Pokémon movie was capable of additional ship on every little thing that made the unique movie nice, together with additional exploration of Mewtwo as a personality and his sparse and sophisticated relationship with humanity. Particularly with simply how beloved the unique movie is taken into account by followers, it is exhausting to consider {that a} straight-to-TV sequel was capable of finding a manner to enhance upon the unique story and characters.

3 ‘Pokémon the Film: Secrets and techniques of the Jungle’ (2020)

IMDb Ranking: 6.4/10

The at the moment most lately launched Pokémon film, Pokémon the Film: Secrets and techniques of the Jungle makes adjustments to the usual Pokémon film system to make it simply the most effective. Deep within the jungle, a Zarude discovers a human child and leaves his troupe to seek for his mother and father. When he cannot discover them, he decides to boost the human as his son and names him Koko. Ten years later, Koko meets Ash and turns into conflicted about his id as a human raised by a Pokémon whereas an evil scientist tries to harness the jungle’s secret.

If it weren’t for an compulsory villain and deus ex machina present in each Pokémon movie, this one would most likely be the perfect. The bond between Koko and his adoptive father may be very robust and presents an interesting tackle fatherhood that is not seen too usually. It is also one of many few Pokémon movies to substantiate a personality’s demise with out speaking all the way down to the viewers. Whereas primary at occasions, it is a film that feels made not just for children, however for hardcore Pokémon followers who’ve been with the collection because the very starting.

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2 ‘Pokémon: Detective Pikachu’ (2019)

IMDb Ranking: 6.5/10

Former Pokémon coach Tim Goodman learns that his estranged father, who works as a police officer in Ryme Metropolis, is presumed useless. Whereas going to his dad’s condominium, Tim meets his Pikachu accomplice, whom Tim can one way or the other perceive. Pikachu thinks Tim’s dad continues to be alive and asks Tim to assist examine his mission and a harmful chemical that makes Pokémon feral. Being a live-action studio manufacturing, the movie is clearly completely different than each different Pokémon film, but completely different clearly doesn’t suggest dangerous, because the adjustments have been massively beloved by followers and common audiences alike.

Whereas Pokémon: Detective Pikachu‘s script generally is a little weak at occasions, the film’s animation is wonderful. The movie labored very carefully with the Pokémon Firm and character designer Ken Sugimori to make sure they obtained the appear and feel of the Pokémon proper. The result’s creatures that seem like they might theoretically exist in the actual world whereas sustaining the long-lasting designs from the video games. Even when the appeal and comedy of Ryan Reynolds as Detective Pikachu is not for everyone, the visuals are genuinely so well-made that the movie is value a look ahead to the attention sweet alone.

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1 ‘Pokémon: Lucario and the Thriller of Mew’ (2005)

IMDb Ranking: 6.8/10

Whereas attending a competition honoring the knight, Sir Aaron, Ash releases Aaron’s Lucario from his employees. Lucario explains that Aaron was the one who trapped him, mentioning doubts about Aaron’s honor. In the meantime, a Mew abducts Pikachu and Group Rocket’s Meowth and takes them to its hidden residence, prompting Ash and Lucario to group up and rescue them. Whereas many Pokemon films are relegated to solely be worthwhile to followers of the franchise, Lucario and the Thriller of Mew is among the only a few that definitively stand by itself high-quality deserves.

Lucario’s character elevates what would usually be an total OK film and transforms it into the most effective Pokémon films. His inside turmoil over being out of time and doubting his mentor and buddy is well-paced and builds to a satisfying, albeit tragic, conclusion. It would not harm that he’s voiced by Sean Schemmel, the English actor for Dragon Ball‘s Goku. Even except for its wonderful core Pokémon, this is among the only a few Pokémon films so as to add depth and significance to the general story of Ash, delving right into a deep look into his drive as a coach and his legacy as a complete.

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