Netflix’s Pokemon the Movie Secrets of the Jungle Review: The Best Pokemon Movie?

Pokemon The Movie Secrets of the Jungle is the latest movie in the illustrious and the most successful media franchise of all time, Pokemon. It is the twenty-third movie in the franchise’s twenty-five years of existence, and I don’t think I need to tell you anything more about the franchise or the movie. Let’s see how it did!

Pokemon The Movie: Secrets of the Jungle Overview

Pokemon the Movie Secrets of the Jungle Poster
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Pokemon was created in 1996 by Satoshi Tajiri as Pocket Monsters, which is also when the first piece of the giant media empire was released in the form of Pokemon Red and Green in Japan. Twenty-five years later, and you won’t find many people in the world who haven’t heard of Pokemon. Some people, like myself, find themselves consuming every bit of media from the series, including the games, the anime series, and the movies.

Pokemon the Movie Secrets of the Jungle is also stylised as Pokemon M23, or the 23rd movie in the Pokemon franchise. The movie is directed by Tetsuo Najima, who is the only other director ever to direct a Pokemon movie apart from Kunihiko Yuyama, as he directed Pokemon- The Power of Us or Pokemon M21 in 2018. He is also the director of the Pokemon anime, directing Pokemon The Series: XY. The movie was developed by Studio OLM.

– Secrets of the Jungle Review does not contain spoilers –

Pokemon the Movie Secrets of the Jungle Review- Plot and Characters

Zarude-Dada Koko Pokemon the Movie Secrets of the Jungle
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If you’ve seen Disney’s Tarzan, just imagine if Ash Ketchum was in that movie in a side role, and you’ve seen this movie. That’s in no way a knock on this movie, however. Disney’s Tarzan is a fantastic movie, and the Pokemon added enough flair and personality to this movie that this one is worth your time even if you’ve watched it. The best thing about this movie was that you don’t need to be a fan of the Pokemon franchise to enjoy it. You can get a lot of value from Pokemon the Movie Secrets of the Jungle, even if you don’t know anything about Pokemon.

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The story is of a simple yet immersive kind. It follows a lot of the same beats as Tarzan, with a few twists and turns added to make the plot a little less derivative. It is to be noted that this movie exists in a separate timeline from the anime and all the movies part from Pokemon- The Power of Us and Pokemon: I Choose You. These three movies form an alternate timeline where Ash never met his travelling companions and only ever captured three Pokemon. It also means that we don’t get to see Goh, which is always a reason to celebrate.

Ash and Pikachu Pokemon the Movie Secrets of the Jungle
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These movies are notable for Ash and Pikachu taking a side role in their stories to make way for different one-off characters to get their stories told. In Pokemon the Movie: Secrets of the Jungle, the main characters are Koko and the Zarude-Dada that raised him. These two are also responsible for this movie’s extremely powerful emotional core when they realise just how much they mean to each other.

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Team Rocket is also playing a separate role in this universe, not going after Ash’s “special” Pikachu and just causing random chaos instead. They are still the fun and lively characters they have always been (Best Wishes doesn’t count, no I’m not taking any questions). They are very helpful to Ash and Koko in this movie, which was a treat to witness. All the Pokemon featured are either very cute or very cool, and there’s no in-between. Falinks is the best, and I will not hear otherwise.

Team Rocket
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Koko, Zarude-Dada (whom I recognise because of competitive Pokemon and data leaks) are very strong characters, and Ash is way more competent here than usual, which I suspect is because the movie is directed by Tetsuo Najima, who also directed Pokemon XY, where Ash was arguably his strongest and smartest ever. The villain was a weak character by comparison, but he didn’t need to be a very complex or nuanced character to be effective. His influence caused a lot of emotional scenes, and the end result was amazingly satisfying.

I was taken aback by Pokemon the Movie: Secrets of the Jungle because I didn’t expect it to be as good as it was. Pokemon movies are really hit or miss, and they can range from godawful (Genesect and the Legend Awakened) to amazing (The Rise of Darkrai). In my opinion, this might just have been the best one I have ever seen, and I’ve seen almost all of them. You can’t pay me to watch Hoopa and the Clash of Ages.

Pokemon the Movie Secrets of the Jungle Review- Art and Music

I’m repeating myself, but the Secrets of the Jungle Pokemon movie floored me with how good it looked and sounded. Most of its animation was breathtaking levels of good, and it even managed to integrate CGI almost flawlessly. The lush greenery alongside the sparkling fireworks and flowing river worked wonders for the animation quality of this movie, and the Pokemon looked as good as they always have.

The music of Pokemon the Movie: Secrets of the Jungle was also very good, and the Zarude song went harder than it ever had any right to. The opening theme was also beautiful, as well as the ending theme and the OSTs. Pokemon has never looked or sounded better than this.

Verdict

Pokemon the Movie: Secrets of the Jungle was astoundingly good and a very fun time to experience. Check this one out even if you aren’t a fan of Pokemon because this might have been the best Pokemon movie of all time. It had something in it for everyone.

Watch Pokemon the Movie: Secrets of the Jungle on Netflix!

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REVIEW OVERVIEW

Plot
Characters
Music
Animation
Enjoyability

SUMMARY

Pokemon the Movie Secrets of the Jungle was astoundingly good and a very fun time to experience. Check this one out even if you aren't a fan of Pokemon because this might have been the best Pokemon movie of all time. It had something in it for everyone.

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