I’m going to be hashtag-relevant and talk about the new Detective Pikachu trailer from the other day
Look, the raw, unvarnished truth is that I think all hype is dumb and everyone should just sit down, shut up, and wait for the movie in an unfurnished stone cell in perfect, motionless silence without eating, drinking or breathing. But I guess that’s the kind of attitude that people around me are always calling “not normal” or “disturbingly aloof” or “please put down that Necronomicon,” whatever that’s supposed to mean. I’ll just have to say something and get on the record as being just as wrong and dumb as everyone else.
The conceit of this trailer is that it’s an “audition” for all the different Pokémon that appear in the movie, which is cute and pretty much in line with what we already know about its tone. I will grudgingly concede that this is an elegant way of showing off all the different Pokémon they have without spoiling more of the plot. That’s worthwhile, in its way, because part of Pokémon’s appeal has always been the sheer number of the damn things that exist. There’s only so many Pokémon you can have in major roles, but it’s not really a Pokémon movie if you don’t fit a whole lot more of them into the background, and show off a bunch of their powers incidentally (this is why I think that Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, though a somewhat iffy addition to the Harry Potter universe, is a pretty solid live-action Pokémon movie [fite me IRL]).
The selection of Pokémon here basically confirms what we knew from the first trailer: they’re spotlighting a few classic favourites, like Pikachu, Charizard and Eevee, but also making an effort to feature a wide range of Pokémon from throughout the franchise’s life. One exception is that I don’t… think we’ve seen anything from generation VII? I wonder if that might be a rights issue, since although the movie was in production last year, a lot of the legal stuff was negotiated in early 2016, prior to the release of Sun and Moon [EDIT: herp derp, forget all of that, one of the earlier trailers featured Morelull, of all things]. That still leaves over 700 Pokémon to work with, though. There’s Pokémon in this trailer that everyone knows, and there’s Pokémon that only die-hard fans will recognise, like Loudred and Purrloin.
The designs are… I mean, they’re fine. They’re fine! Pokémon as we’ve always seen them in the past are mostly pretty textureless, and that’s what we’re used to, so seeing them with textured fur and feathers and scales looks weird, but giving them smooth-skinned models like the ones in Pokkén Tournament wouldn’t really fly when you set them against a live-action background. The result is a learning curve and an adjustment that I think is pretty much inevitable. I’m not an artist or a designer and I don’t really have the language or skills to critique any more specifically than that, aside from some miscellaneous thoughts on a few Pokémon. I do like the Torterra that appears for a few frames near the end, but I suspect that’s partly down to the animators having more experience with stone and plant textures than animal ones. Jim the Editor thinks that Venusaur looks “squished” but honestly I think that’s just the shape that Venusaur is. Angry Aipom looks like a gremlin (or… the furry form of gremlins… whatever they’re called), but I just went back and looked at Aipom’s original generation II art and sprites, and frankly I think this may be the truest realisation yet of what an insane little murdermonkey Aipom was always meant to be. Jim also points out that Psyduck, who looks likely to have a biggish role, seems arguably more furry than downy and has a higher-pitched voice than in the anime. The fur is fine if you think Psyduck is a platypus, though, and… well, I googled “platypus noises” (because of course I did; what do you take me for?) and what can I say?
…yeah I think that’s about it.
I’m just gonna sort of… trail off now.
4 thoughts on “Detective Pikachu things”
We have actually seen one Gen 7 Pokemon already. A bunch of Morelull were seen in the forest area with the Bulbasaur in one of the trailers! Weird choice, but they are cute little mushrooms
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Good memory – I had completely forgotten about them!
Finally, someone else postulates that psyduck might be more platypus than duck! I mean, it has duck in the name and not the right tail, but it still always looked more platypus to me, honestly.
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Mogwai. They’re called Mogwai.
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