Pokémon: The First Movie (劇場版ポケットモンスター ミュウツーの逆襲 Gekijōban Poketto Monsutā: Myūtsū no Gyakushū lit. Pocket Monsters the Movie: Mewtwo's Counterattack in Japan) is the first Pokémon feature-length film, complementing the Indigo League saga of the series and featuring Mewtwo and Mew.
It was released in movie theaters Japan on July 18, 1998. The English version, produced by 4Kids Entertainment and distributed by Warner Bros. (on behalf of Kids' WB) in association with Nintendo Co. Ltd., was later released in the United States on November 12, 1999.
Pokémon: The First Movie has two parts: the feature presentation and a 20-minute short.
In the United States, this film was rated G by the MPAA.
Mewtwo Strikes BackDr. Fuji, a research scientist of Team Rocket, briefly describes in a prologue how his researchers uncovered a fossil of the remnants of Mew, one of the rarest Pokémon in existence, believed to be extinct (although this is not the case). Using the DNA of Mew and a research laboratory, they created Mewtwo. Mewtwo, is a Pokémon that instantly distrusts humans upon learning they intend on experimenting upon him, and using his amazing powers, he levels the base, killing Dr. Fuji. Head of Team Rocket, Giovanni, approaches Mewtwo and offers him an alliance, Giovanni promising to help Mewtwo control his powers. Mewtwo is "trained" over a course of several months but he soon is told by Giovanni that Mewtwo is merely his tool. Mewtwo destroys Giovanni's headquarters and flies back to the remains of the laboratory island. He decides to find his own purpose and destroy all those who oppose him. He deems the relationship of humans and Pokémon living together horrific and declares that his reign will soon begin.
Elsewhere, Ash Ketchum and his companions Misty, Brock, and their Pokémon are resting. After Ash defeats a Pokémon Trainer who has a Donphan (a new Pokémon around the time the film was released), a Dragonite delivers a holographic message to the trio. A woman addresses them, inviting them to attend a party hosted by the world's best Pokémon Master at his palace on New Island. Excited, Ash wastes no time in heading a seaport where he and his friends can get a boat to New Island. Coincidentally, a deadly storm has formed and the boat to the island has been canceled. Officer Jenny and another woman at the addresses the other trainers who seem to have all been invited to the island. The other woman warns everyone that she fears its a storm just like one long ago that took many lives. She tells a tale about the remaining Pokémon weeping in sorrow for all those lost in the storm. The water of their tears revived the people lost in the storm. Several brave trainers head out to the island, while Ash and his friends are left on the dock. A pair of vikings appear and offer the trio a lift in their small boat. However, a wave hits the boat, revealing the vikings to be Team Rocket in disguise. Another wave destroys the boat, the trio using their aquatic Pokémon to reach the island. Team Rocket also survive the storm. The woman from the invitation leads the trio up to a large room where others trainers wait - Corey, Fergus and Neesha. A beam of light appears from a spiral staircase and the ultimate Pokémon Master appears: Mewtwo. Mewtwo asked several trainers and their Pokémon that was the test, and reveals his maid is Nurse Joy, who went missing previously. Ash challenges Mewtwo to a battle, which Mewtwo accepts. Team Rocket come across a secret lab and find a video of Dr. Fuji, who explains how he created Mewtwo. In a large machine which can clone Pokémon, are clones of Charizard, Blastoise, and Venusaur, who are summoned by Mewtwo upstairs. Around this time, Meowth is also cloned.Ash, Corey, and Neesha battle Mewtwo's clones with their own Charizard, Blastoise, and Venusaur, but all three are defeated. Mewtwo claims his prize, all of the trainers' Pokémon so he can create a clone army which will replaced humanity and real Pokémon when they are destroyed by Mewtwo's storm. Mewtwo conjures hundreds of his strange Poké Balls and sends them at the trainers. Mewtwo watches with a smirk as the trainers try frantically to get their Pokémon away, but with no success. Surprisingly, the other trainers' high level Pokémon are captured with ease, while Ash's low-level Pokémon manage to avoid capture longer. Ash tries returning Bulbasaur and Squirtle (who have been fighting the balls bravely), but two of Mewtwo's Poké Balls fly over and capture Bulbasaur and Squirtle's Poké Balls. Brock, Misty (after tucking Togepi safely in her bag), and Nurse Joy try running away with Psyduck right behind them but it is captured, infuriating Misty. Another Poké Ball then captures Vulpix right out of Brock's arms, to his horror. The balls manage to capture all the trainers' Pokémon except Pikachu. This leads to chase with Pikachu finally being caught, with Pikachu using Thunderbolt and/or Thundershock to repel the Poké Balls. Ash pursues the Poké Balls down into the cloning room. Ash manages to save his Pikachu but this causes the cloning machine to explode and release both the clones and real Pokémon. Ash leads the real ones upstairs to the battle arena to stop Mewtwo and its clones. Ash is blasted away by Mewtwo's powers but Mew suddenly appears and saves him. Mew and Mewtwo take command of their armies and fight in a brutal battle that leaves all the Pokémon wounded to the point of death, real Pokémon fighting the clones. Ash's Pikachu refuses to fight and receives a severe series of slaps from his crying clone.
Horrified, Ash leaps in the middle of an attack fired by Mewtwo and Mew and seems to die. After falling, his body turns into stone. Pikachu tries to revive the fallen Ash with multiple electric shocks, but fails. Seeing this sight, Pikachu begins to cry. The Pokemon, all having to see this sad sight, cry too (Mewtwo is the only one who doesn't cry, for his heart is still hardened). The water of their tears begin to glow and gather to Ash's body, resembling the words of the woman that was with Officer Jenny. More and more tears gather and Ash's frozen body and they begin to glow, with the last two tears being Pikachu's, and Ash is miraculously revived. Upon seeing Ash's sacrificial "death" and revival, Mewtwo has a change of heart and realizes that it does not matter how he was born, it is what he does that defines who he is. Using his powers, he flies and leaves the island with Mew and the clones, but he erases the memories of Ash and all those present on the island, so they do not remember the event because Mewtwo saying Ash that he passed the test.
Ash and his friends find themselves back on the dock with no idea how they got there. Nurse Joy, who had been Mewtwo's Captive, now returns to her duties with her offer to look at the trainers Pokémon. Ash and his friends go outside as the storm clears up. Looking up into the sky, Ash spots Mew in the clouds and reveals to Misty and Brock how he saw a rare Pokémon on the first day of his journey. Team Rocket end the film by "signing off again," left on New Island.
However, though Mewtwo erased everyone's memories of him at New Island, he is still being targeted by Giovanni, who has been making another plan to capture and bend Mewtwo to his will. This chapter of the story plays out in the sequel Mewtwo Returns.
Pokémon: The First Movie Soundtrack
01. Pokémon Theme by Billy Crawford
02. Don't Say You Love Me by M2M
03. It Was You by Ashley Ballard/So Plush
04. We're A Miracle by Christina Aguilera
06. Somewhere Someday by *NSYNC
07. Get Happy by B*Witched
08. (Hey You) Free Up Your Mind by Emma Bunton
09. Fly With Me by 98°
10. Lullaby by Mandah
11. Vacation by Vitamin C
12. Makin' My Way (Any Way That I Can) by Billie
13. Catch Me If You Can by Angela Via
14. (Have Some) Fun With The Funk by Aaron Carter
15. If Only Tears Could Bring You Back by Midnight Sons
16. Brother, My Brother by Blessed Union of Souls
- When this film was first shown in the movie theatre, Mewtwo's dialogue would only come from the front of the screening room when he was talking to himself without letting anyone hear what he was saying; but when he would psychically project his thoughts for the human characters to hear him, his voice would come out from the surround sound speakers at the side of the room.
- Minnesota is mentioned by Ash when they take the "viking boat" to New Island.
- In the scene where Ash gets his Bulbasaur and Squirtle, you can hear him saying faintly "my momma".
- When Ash, Brock and Misty arrive at Mewtwo's island, one trainer in the main hall states that to get across to the island, he rode his 'Pidgeotto', although he has a Pidgeot.
- In the dub, on the scene where Jessie, James and Meowth are watching the captured Pokémon, in the screen the figure of a Scyther appears, yet Jessie and James call out "Alakazam" (however, they were playing "who's that Pokemon?" with the screen, so it could be assumed this was purposeful to suggest their stupidity).
- Despite being told to release all their Pokemon, Brock only releases Vulpix, ignoring Onix, Geodude and Zubat, and Misty only releases Psyduck, ignoring Staryu, Starmie, Horsea and Goldeen.
- During the beginning battle with Raymond and Ash, Pikachu used a Thunderbolt on the last three Pokémon that Raymond sent out, knocking all of them out. Though Golem should not have been effected by the Thunderbolt, as it's a Ground type.