Pokémon: The Rise of Darkrai (Japanese: ディアルガＶＳパルキアＶＳダークライ Dialga VS Palkia VS Darkrai) is the tenth Pokémon anime film directed by Kunihiko Yuyama. It was released in Japanese theaters on July 14, 2007. It was later released in Australia on November 5, 2008 and September 29, 2008 in the United Kingdom. Pokémon: The Rise of Darkrai aired on Jetix in February 2009. As indicated by the film title, Dialga, Palkia, and Darkrai are the featured Pokémon. On January 25, 2008, Cartoon Network revealed the title to be Pokémon: The Rise Of Darkrai, with a preview that aired on February 1, 2008 as part of a 90-minute episode involving a tag team battle at 8 PM ET/PT, and was shown on Cartoon Network on February 24, 2008 in the United States at 7 pm ET/PT. The preview was shown during Cartoon Network's Fried Dynamite, and indicated the possibility that The Rise of Darkrai may be the first Pokémon film to have a cinematic release since Pokémon Heroes. This was later proven false when Pokémon.com announced a direct-to-DVD release following the premiere on Cartoon Network. This is the first English dub done by DuArt Film and Video instead of TAJ Studios. This is also the final Pokémon movie to be distributed by Viz Media in the United States; the next two films are/will be distributed by Universal Pictures.
As with all Pokémon films, it was announced in Japan after the ending credits of the previous Pokémon film; in this case, Pokémon Ranger and the Temple of the Sea.
Sarah Brightman, famous for her roles in Andrew Lloyd Webber's Phantom of the Opera, performs the movie's theme song, a cover of "Where the Lost Ones Go". The cover also features Chris Thompson. This is the first time an English song was sung in a Japanese dubbed Pokémon film.. The song was replaced by "I'll Always Remember You" by Kristen Price (who would also sing the theme for the next season) most likely due to the rights to the song are too expensive, and another song called "Living in the Shadow" followed afterwards.
This movie was released on British Region 2 DVD, which was surprising as it was the first since Jirachi: Wish Maker to have been.
In the prologue, a scientist named Tonio was reading a diary which belonged to a famous architect named Godey, indicating that two Pokémon between their dimension were fighting and that the battle could lead to chaos in their world. Those written future events were occurring that at that same moment as Palkia, who conquered space and Dialga, who ruled over time were brawling, which caused unfamiliar events in the real world such as the hourglass in Tonio's lab which fell off the shelf and shattered on the floor.
After the prologue, Ash, Brock, and Dawn were headed to Alamos Town for the next Pokémon contest which was going to take place there. However, the trio realizes that they are on the wrong shore, that Alamos Town is on top a giant plateau in the middle of a small lake. Too tired to carry on, Ash and company are greeted by a woman by the name of Alice and her Chimchar from Alamos Town who kindly offers them a ride on a hot air balloon. Brock falls for her, and his Croagunk nails him in the rib with a Poison Jab attack.
After Ash and Dawn introduce themselves, Alice mentions she is a hot air balloon tour guide as well as a music student who plays the leaf whistle. On their way above the town, the battle between the dimensions continues and causes a massive air current throwing everyone in the balloon into common risk as a shock wave passed through it. Alice then offers the trio a grand tour of the town to compensate for the bad entrance.
Later on, Alice brings them to a garden in which many Pokémon reside in peace and where Alice played at as a little girl. Ash, Brock, and Dawn let all their Pokémon free and they run off to do their own things, which then later goes from happiness to chaos. Once the Pokémon begin to quarrel, along with the garden Pokémon present, Alice calms them down playing a soothing song using the leaf whistle, later on revealing that she had learned the song from her grandmother (who appears deceased). Shortly after a Gallade hops right into the scene. Alice indicates that Gallade had sensed something wrong and thus, he requested Ash and the rest of them to follow him. The trio recalls their Pokémon and they pursuit the Gallade, ending up at a small temple with some of its pillars damaged. Baron Alberto walks out of the tunnel, claiming that was the work of Darkrai. The name Darkrai puzzles Ash and Dawn, but Brock mentions that Darkrai was a Pokémon who causes nightmares. Everyone hears a noise from a bush nearby and Baron orders his Lickilicky to fire a Hyper Beam attack into the bush. However, the victim was Tonio who screams and limps out of the bush. Alice quickly hurries to Tonio's pain.
Tonio is introduced to Ash, Brock, and Dawn. Baron soon flirts with Alice stating that she is to be his wife. Brock is deeply shocked as well as the rest of them. Alice rejects and runs to Tonio claiming that she likes him. Tonio blushes and tries not to deny anything. Not too long after, Darkrai appears in the garden growling "GO AWAY!". Everyone assumed Darkrai was directing to them. Ignoring Darkrai, Baron ordered Lickilicky to attack the Dark Pokémon, which misses while Darkrai fired a Dark Void at his enemy. Baron's Lickilicky dodged the attack and the orb of dark impales Ash, instantly knocking him out to sleep and subsequently, trapping him in a nightmare. At the start, the nightmare showed Palkia. It moved up to Ash and then attacked him. This delivered Ash to a part of the garden. After learning the dream was Darkrai's doing and after Darkrai appeared in front of him, Ash reached for a Poké Ball and tossed it, but it vanished into thin air. Then, Darkrai disappeared to reveal Pikachu, who was about to get devoured by a vacuum hole. Ash dived into the hole to rescue Pikachu. Having failed, he and his Pikachu fall into the neverending void. He is then woken up by Pikachu's Thunderbolt at the Pokémon Center. At night, Tonio tries to find more information in which he succeeded. He read that Darkrai opened his heart to Alice's grandmother years ago and remained in the garden since then, with Godey witnessing a little bit on the side as she plays the leaf whistle. Meanwhile, Baron Alberto meets three TV people who were actually Team Rocket who decide to film Baron as he takes on Darkrai.
The next morning, Ash, Brock, and Dawn visit the Space-Time Towers in town, meeting Tonio there with the news and climbing to the top to be introduced to a massive instrument which plays music by the hour. As Ash and the rest of the group left the Space-Time Towers, a hole blasted out in the middle of the sky just above the towers which then cooled off. A massive shock wave had purged through the entire town and Tonio decided to study the sudden outburst. Afterwards, Darkrai reappears in the courtyard while Ash and company (with Baron joining along) engage in combat with it. Darkrai is outraged and fires multiple loads of Dark Void orbs, placing many Pokémon in the town square into nightmares. Back at Tonio's lab after some intensive research, he found that the sudden outburst was when the legendary Palkia had entered their dimension, but he did not know why. Ash and Baron chase Darkrai into a dark alley where the Dark Pokémon scores a direct hit on Baron's Lickilicky, causing it to doze off. Just then, Baron is turned into a Lickilicky himself (possibly because Lickilicky was dreaming that he turned into his master). With that occurring, floating ghost-like images of the sleeping Pokémon floated all around town, some passing through walls, causing the situation to grow quite strange.
After all the Pokémon are at the Pokémon center, Alamos Town was completely covered in a massive fog which could not be cleared off and causes anything which attempts to leave the town to be reversibly entering the town, resulting in no possible escape. Baron still believed that it was still Darkrai who had caused all this. All the trainers followed Baron to confront Darkrai, but Ash, Brock, and Dawn did not go along listening to Tonio, who doesn't believe Darkrai is up to this. He believed Darkrai was good since he had saved Alice in their childhood. It was revealed that the two of them were playing in the garden when Alice tripped off the cliff and fell. Tonio ran to her (knowing that he would fail) but a silhouette of Darkrai zipped out and caught Alice just before crashing. Hearing that, the trio now agreed that it was not Darkrai who caused the havoc. Tonio explains that the distortion caused from the spiritual images of the sleeping Pokémon was caused by an multidimensional disturbance from when Palkia entered the realm. Later that evening, Tonio finds Palkia resting between the towers. Darkrai, who was fighting Baron, instead tries to attack the resting Palkia. Ash then realizes that was what Darkrai was trying to tell him in his nightmare, that the two legendary Pokémon are waging war.
As Palkia and Darkrai battled, Palkia switched the town back into its home dimension. But just as Palkia was about to hit Darkrai with one of its attacks, Dialga opened fire on the two and immediately ran into Palkia, thus recommencing the two deities battle. As they brawl, the entire town was going to dissipate into nothing (due to the severe injury suffered from Palkia). Darkrai constantly failed to fend them off as the town evacuated into the garden. After Tonio read a passage from Godey's diary, Alice heard the word "Oración" which means Prayer and that was the name of the song she played on the leaf whistle. Tonio indicated that "Oración was the song that could soothe even the fiercest rage". They realize that they must play Oración on the towers' musical instrument to stop Dialga and Palkia from their feud.
After finding the music disc, Ash, Dawn, Alice and Tonio began to head up the tower by balloon as Brock helps Nurse Joy evacuate the townspeople. On their way up, Dialga fires its Roar of Time while Palkia stood in between the balloon and Dialga. Palkia dodges the attack, leaving the beam to crossfire with the balloon. Darkrai instantly came to the rescue and took the massive blow from Dialga. However, in the process Palkia and Dialga flew by the balloon, causing heavy damage, leaving Ash and Dawn to travel up by foot which had delayed a lot of time. Dialga and Palkia continue their confrontation and they were going to deal the final blow. Dialga was charging its Roar of Time while Palkia charged its Spacial Rend. When both the Legendary Pokémon discharged their attacks, Darkrai crosses the attacks' line and forms a sphere around him to absorb the massive impulse that would wreck the entire location. Baron who had already turned back to himself then believed Darkrai was not the foe. As Ash and Dawn make their way up the tower, they watch as Darkrai's sphere gets weaker and eventually shrinks. The dragons, fed up with the Dark Pokémon intervening with their battle, both shoot Darkrai from both sides. Having almost no armor or the energy left, he bravely takes the destructive blow and disintegrates as he floated up into the air. Everyone looks on with the fear that now that Darkrai had perished, they too would suffer the same fate in the next moment. Tonio then mentions that if the dragons' signature moves collide once more, their dimension will be completely destroyed.
Ash and Dawn then end up running to the musical instrument, only to find that the electrical power source was down (as the dimension itself was disintegrating). Ash's Pikachu and Dawn's Pachirisu provide their electricity to get the machine running. The song plays loud throughout the small section of whatever was left of the town. The song successfully calms the dragons down, Dialga flees and Palkia restores everything back, returning Alamos Town to how it originally was along with the townspeople and the Pokémon living in the garden.
At dusk, Ash, Dawn, Brock, Alice and Tonio thank Darkrai and respect everything that he had done for them. A tear of condolence and thanks for Darkrai drips down Alice's face. Ash and Dawn began to cry, both knowing they would probably never see Darkrai again. (Darkrai reappears in the Pokémon Diamond and Pearl Battle Dimension final episode, "Sleepless in Pre-Battle!") As they walk away, Ash stops as he sees a shadow on the cliffside. He along with everyone else looks back at the cliff, later on the Space-Time Towers finding Darkrai standing heroically on top. Everyone was relieved that he is safe and Alice cuddles next to Tonio as they look onto Darkrai who then glares with a lit up eye, as the film quickly fades.
In the end credits, it shows the later events occurring after everything, such as the Pokémon contest which Dawn competes in. Not too long after, it shows Dialga hovering towards its next destination awaiting a battle, which will start the next adventure Ash, Dawn and Brock will face next.
- Most of Palkia's roars were used by King Ghidorah's roars from the Godzilla franchise.
- This is the first Pokémon film to be dubbed by DuArt Film & Video, who took over after TAJ Productions announced it would disband.
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