It’s a good week to be a Pokémon fan! With the announcement of the new Pokémon Sword and Pokémon Shield RPG games coming later this year for Nintendo Switch, as well as the brand new trailer for the Detective Pikachu movie, I’m feeling rather spoiled. When the first trailer for the film came out in November last year, I did a shot by shot breakdown detailing all the pokémon I could spot. I threw in a few theories too as to what the film may have in store. So why not do it all over again? Don’t say I never give you anything. Now let’s get started with the trailer breakdown!
We open with some narration from Ryan Reynolds as our titular Detective Pikachu, explaining that he awoke in the middle of nowhere with a troublesome and convenient case of amnesia. A shot of a Pikachu looking adorably befuddled is shown before we get a look at a long and lonesome bridge. Remember this bridge. We’ll come back to it later.
Pikachu explains that all he had on him when he woke up was his detective hat. In the next shot, we see Tim holding it while we are shown a label inside with an address written on it; it turns out that this hat actually belonged to Tim’s missing (and presumed dead) father, Harry Goodman. This is what led Pikachu to searching Tim’s house. There is clearly a link between Pikachu and Harry, though what that is remains unclear for now. This has made Pikachu determined to solve the mystery of Harry’s disappearance, so prepare for shenanigans.
Gotta Catch Em All- The Remix
After an awesome little snippet of an interpretation of the Pokémon theme song, we get an establishing shot of an apartment building with the super subtle ‘OAK’ sign emblazoned on it. This is of course a reference to the infamous Professor Oak, who gave us our very first pokémon back in the day. You’ll also catch a glimpse of some tiny pokémon scurrying along the power lines. These look to be Joltik, who could also be absorbing some electricity from the power lines. Shocking, I know. I will show myself out.
After a brief talk from Tim about Pikachu’s caffeine addiction, a Ludicolo is shown serving coffee alongside a barista behind a bar. I actually love this pokémon choice here. It is silly and a bit ridiculous, but I’m going to embrace that, as this is a Pokémon movie after all. Why not have a weird pineapple/duck hybrid serving Pikachu coffee? This moment is perfected by Pikachu asking for his coffee to be “black as night,” followed by a “thank you, sweetie.” I did laugh at this, but it is hard not to hear Deadpool when Pikachu speaks. Hopefully this feeling will pass when sitting through the movie, but only time will tell.
We get some shots of a facility of some sort out in the middle of nowhere. Possibly a hideaway for unorthodox experimentation?
There is some more narration from Pikachu here, pondering Harry’s fate. He wonders whether he got into trouble, or possibly got mixed up with the wrong crowd. This is followed by a cut to the Charizard from the first trailer. He is with a man who looks to be his trainer (he also has an obnoxiously obvious Charizard tattoo on his chest that he seems to be showing off), but it is hard to miss the unmistakable scars on Charizard’s snout and face. This could suggest that the man may be using the Charizard against its will in fights, perhaps owning him illegally or punishing him when he loses or tries to escape. Either way, Charizard has done nothing to deserve this mistreatment. #FreeCharizard.
Remember the bridge from earlier? Well it seems to make an appearance here in a shot of a car accident. It looks like the car is being driven by Tim’s father, which once again links Pikachu with Harry, and suggests that something more is going on here. The car is then hit by what looks like a blast of energy, which sends it hurtling through the air and off of the bridge. Could this be a pokémon attack?
Ryme City Police
We next see a scene which further shows the partnership between pokémon and the people of Ryme City. A group of police officers outside of the Ryme City Police Department have Growlithes and Arcanines that are patrolling alongside them, and there are also some Golurks which stand guard in front of the station. Some passers-by are also accompanied by pokémon, including one who has a Charmander and one who has a Squirtle. I couldn’t quite make out exactly what pokémon the man on the bike in this scene has, but there definitely seems to be a little companion in his bicycle basket. Another Arcanine and a pink pokémon — perhaps an Audino or a Slowbro — also meander in the background.
The following shot has a few notable new appearances. A Machamp, one of the stranger looking pokémon (with a set of fish lips, four arms, rock hard abs and tiny wrestling style shorts), is shown directing traffic while a snoozing Snorlax is shown undermining Machamp’s efforts by sleeping in the middle of the road. There is also a Jigglypuff to the right, a Pancham in the middle of the shot, and what could be a Pangoro in the background walking away from the camera. An Emolga is also sat upon a phone box. There are also a few signs around depicting various pokémon, including a Jolteon and a Scraggy.
Ready for their Close Up
Are you ready for some pokémon close ups? Well, I really hope you said yes, because the next three shots are exactly that. First up…
I love Snubbull. That grumpy face and the contradictory pink puffiness is just beautiful. We got a brief look at Snubbull in a quick teaser released about a month ago when we saw the pokémon alongside Ken Watanabe’s Detective Yoshida. I’m looking forward to seeing Snubbull on the big screen.
Here it is — the face that launched a thousand ships. Bulbasaur is looking more adorable than ever here. Not to be dramatic, but I would throw myself into incoming traffic for him.
Well, the cuteness was fun while it lasted. Lickitung is looking more than a little creepy here, but I’m not that surprised considering what his original design looks like, which this seems very true to. That tongue is making me more and more uncomfortable the longer I look at it, so let’s move on.
Where the Bulbasaur Roam…Again
We now see Pikachu covering Tim’s apartment in clues, showing his determination for solving the case. This is followed by a shot depicting of a group of Bulbasaur again, this time from a different angle. They appear to be leading Tim and an unconscious Pikachu upstream, whilst some Comfey float around some nearby trees.
Pikachu offers his theories to Tim about his dad, thinking that maybe he faked his own death, or that someone else possibly faked it. A shot of a lab of some kind shows disarray and destruction alongside a pod which has been burst open. This again suggests that pokémon experiments are being conducted here, and something decided to flee from its prison.
Lucy and Psyduck
It looks like Kathryn Newton’s Lucy and her Psyduck (seen here adorably attached to her back) may have broken into this facility. We know that their paths will cross with Tim and Pikachu, so could this be in relation to Harry? Or is Lucy on her own mission?
We then get confirmation that the pods are indeed holding pokémon, as a Greninja begins to break out of one of them. We saw a trio of Greninja in the first trailer, and we see them again later on. They could be rogue escapees, or they could be answering to a higher power. Either way, they certainly seem a little bit antagonistic.
Jigglypuff is shown looking more than a little cranky again, and Pikachu continues his spiel with some nonsensical theories as Tim looks disheartened at the whole situation. We then get a scene of a DJ (played by real-life music guy Diplo) and the Charizard dude with a group of Loudred. The words ‘Critical Hit’ appear on a screen behind them, referencing the phrase from the game that would occur when a pokémon got in a particularly damaging hit.
This arena is clearly a fight club for pokémon, though admittedly when I first saw this moment, I thought for a second that Blastoise was break dancing. He is not. In fact, Blastoise appears to be unleashing his Rapid Spin move upon a Gengar. The Gengar in turn is using Double Team, as seen on another screen on the wall to the right. There are more Loudred hanging around too, and if you look closely, you can see everybody’s favourite pointless pokémon, Magikarp, in a small aquarium under the Loudred.
A Cubone bursts out of a pokéball in the next scene to the tune of “Holding out for a Hero” (I’m still disappointed that we didn’t get to hear the whole remix of the Pokémon theme though). Cubone’s appearance is interesting, as none of the pokémon we have seen so far have been confined to pokéballs; instead, they have all been moving around Ryme City in relative freedom. As a pokémon with one of the sadder back stories, I’m interested to see who Cubone’s trainer is, and why they don’t have the freedom that other Ryme City pokémon do.
An explosion from one of the pods further suggests something powerful is being kept there, and we get a glimpse at Rita Ora’s character, who looks to be a scientist of some sort. We then see a Flareon with an unusual blue aura surrounding it. It is unclear as to whether the Flareon has just been evolved from Eevee, or whether something else is going on here. If Mew is a part of the film, it is possible that it could be using its transform ability to take the appearance of a Flareon. You can also see in the background that there are three statues of Arceus, Dialga, and Palkia — three legendary pokémon.
The next few scenes show some quick shots of the Greninja, followed by Tim and Pikachu running from an earthquake of some kind, possibly caused by a pokémon. Pikachu loses his trusty detective hat to do some impressive gymnastics off of a garish, yellow parade balloon of himself. The most notable moment is the shot above, showing him using what looks like his trademark Thunderbolt attack.
A rather frightening looking Aipom is shown next, with a very distinctive purple glow to its eyes. Aipom are usually cheeky and cheery pokémon, so something may well be controlling it and forcing it to attack. Personally, the scariest thing about it is the teeth. They look far too human, am I right?
In the Arena
We then go back to the arena to see Pikachu preparing for his fight with Charizard. A few pokémon are seen outside of the fence here — a Rattata on the left, and I spotted a Treecko, a Pancham, Rufflet and a Charmander on the right.
As Pikachu tries and fails to activate his powers in the arena, we get a wide view of several pokémon behind the fence. There may be some that slipped past me, but from left to right I could see a Jigglypuff, a Pancham, Treecko, a Lickitung up on the scaffolding, an Octillery, an Audino, a Squirtle, and what I think may be another Growlithe. Once Charizard comes charging out, we also see a Braviary above him.
Once we’ve all gotten over the shock of hearing Pikachu say the word “hell,” we get a menacing Charizard shot. Notice that Charizard also has purple eyes, so whatever is affecting the Aipom is also causing him to behave in a violent manner, and apparently has given him a craving for some Pikachu barbeque.
After an adorably pitiful “Pika Pika” from Ryan Reynolds, we get another shot of the Greninja and some angry Aipom followed by this destructive scene. We briefly saw this in the last trailer, with the ground rising up and folding in a way that is likely to be be caused by a very powerful and dangerous pokémon. Could it be that a legendary pokémon is being controlled?
Then we get the big reveal. Emerging from an exploding Pikachu parade balloon, we see Mewtwo. Though not a huge surprise, it would have been nice to keep him out of the promo material. Nonetheless, he looks pretty good in my opinion, and there is no doubt that he will play a prominent role in the film.
Let’s Go Pikachu
Another shot of Pikachu using his powers makes me wonder as to whether this is actually Detective Pikachu, or a different Pikachu taking up the fight. Here, he is using another well-known move — the volt tackle. If this is Detective Pikachu, it could be interesting to see how he got to the point where he is now able to use his powers.
You Can Run, You Can Hide, But You Can’t Escape the Mime
And of course, Mr. Mime gets more screen time. Hide your mothers.
Again, I am still cautiously optimistic about this film. Admittedly, some of the CGI is a bit questionable, but it doesn’t look like a Will Smith Genie situation at the moment. I think the pokémon look good in comparison to their original designs (even the creepier looking ones). This film has real potential, but we will have to wait and see if it is able to execute it in a way that will resonate with lifelong Pokémon diehards, as well as newcomers and casual fans. If it gives us a genuinely engaging and fun story with some good characters all while staying true to the Pokémon franchise, I am willing to look past the horror that is Mr. Mime.
We don’t have too much longer to find out what will happen as Pokémon: Detective Pikachu releases on May 10th, 2019. Check out the trailer for yourself here.