Anime Film Review: Pokemon: Destiny Deoxys

Pokemon: Destiny Deoxys was released to theaters in Japan on July 22, 2004, and the English dub made its premiere on Kids’ WB on January 22, 2005. This was followed by a DVD and video release on February 15, 2005. This was the last Pokemon film that Miramax distributed in the United States. After Miramax lost of the rights to the film, Echo Bridge Home Entertainment released the film on DVD in 2011. Destiny Deoxys also has the distinction of being the first Pokemon film to not have a short packaged with it.

Pokemon: Destiny Deoxys
Directed by: Kunihiko Yuyama
Written by: Hideki Sonoda
Starring: Rica Matsumoto, Ikue Otani, Yuji Ueda, KAORI, Fushigi Yamada, Noriko Hidaka, Koichi Yamadera, Susumu Chiba, Kenji Nojima, and Becky
Run Time: 98 minutes

Pokemon: Destiny Deoxys starts with the arrival of a meteorite heading toward the earth. As it enters the atmosphere, it almost wounds a Rayquaza in the ozone layer. The meteorite crashes into a polar zone, revealing two sparkling egg-shaped objects; one is purple, the other is green. The purple one regenerates into a Deoxys. However, before the green one can regenerate, Rayquaza comes out of the ozone layer and attacks the purple Deoxys.

As they battle, a nearby research facility is destroyed. A young boy named Tory, who is with the research facility, is traumatized by a stampede of Pokemon. Just as the purple Deoxys is about to finish off Rayquaza, it is distracted by electrical charges coming from broken computers nearby. Rayquaza attacks the purple Deoxys with its Hyper Beam, and the Deoxys returns to its egg form and falls into the sea. The researchers at the facility take the green egg with them when they leave the region.

Four years later, Ash, Brock, May, and Max arrive at LaRousseCity, so Ash can battle at the city’s BattleTower. They meet Tory there, who Ash mistakes for a Pokemon trainer.  Ash and Tory battle together against Rafe and Sid, with Tory using one of Ash’s Pokemon. However, with his fear of Pokemon, Tory is unable to guide Ash’s Pokemon; this causes Ash and Tory to lose the battle. Tory flees from the tower, but stops to save a Minun that has gotten stuck in an automatic garbage can. Meanwhile, the purple Deoxys has regenerated and heads to LaRousse City to find its companion. Rayquaza follows behind, and a battle ensues at LaRousse City. Can Tory overcome his fear of Pokemon to help Ash and his friends save the day?

Pokemon: Destiny Deoxys clocks in at 98 minutes, making it one of the longer Pokemon films. Personally, I thought that there were one or two sections of the film that could have been shortened a little and not affect the storytelling very much. To me, the pacing of this film isn’t quite as strong as in the previous Pokemon films. Overall, there’s an interesting story in this film, and I liked the storylines with Tory and Deoxys. However, the couple of scenes I referenced earlier could have been shortened, because most of those scenes felt more like they were there to kill time than to actually progress the story. I admit that during these sections, I started to lose interest in the film; however, once I made it past these sections, I was able to regain my interest in the story.

This review of the DVD focuses on the Miramax release rather than on Echo Bridge Home Entertainment’s release from 2011.

On the Miramax DVD release, the first special feature is “What’s That Pokemon? Meet the New Pokemon From the Movie.” This is a series of still images that not only include pictures of most of the Pokemon shown in the film, but also include the name, the height, weight, species, and abilities for each one. The Pokemon included in this feature are: Rayquaza, Minun, Plusle, Deoxys, and Munchlax.

Next is a gallery of poster art from the Japanese release of the film. This feature includes a total of three posters, with two of them on the same page, so it’s only a two page feature. Then, there is “On Location With the Director,” which runs a little over two and a half minutes. It has Japanese audio, but there is an English voice dubbed over it instead of using subtitles. This feature shows the location scouting in Vancouver, Canada. Then, the director briefly talks about the actual film.

The final extra is “Be a Poke-Quiz Wiz!” This is like the trivia games that appeared on Pokemon 4Ever, Pokemon Heroes, and Pokemon: Jirachi Wish Maker. However, there was one major difference: the only time there was any audio with this game was when the footage from the film was shown when a question was answered correctly. Outside of that, it was silent.

If you are a fan of the Pokemon anime, you should add Pokemon: Destiny Deoxys to your anime home video collection.

I wrote this review after watching a copy of Pokemon: Destiny Deoxys that my husband and I purchased.

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