Detective Pikachu Trailer

Detective Pikachu Trailer

 He is not the hero we asked for, but the hero we deserve: a talking Pikachu in a detective cap.

He is not the hero we asked for, but the hero we deserve: a talking Pikachu in a detective cap.

As a Pokemon fan from the start, did I ever think the franchise would be big enough to be adapted into a major Hollywood live action film? No. No I did not. I also didn’t think we’d get seven generations of Pokemon games and over 1000 episodes of the anime, but here we are.

Detective Pikachu is a live-action adaptation of the spin-off game of the same name. A boy named Tim Goodman discovers a Pikachu who he can understand. This isn’t normal trainer empathy or a strong bond from traveling throughout your country. Tim actually hears words in his language spoken to him by a creature everyone else hears say “pika pik.” This Pikachu isn’t just an ordinary Pikachu, but a great detective—dare I say a great mouse detective?—who teams up with Tim to solve all kinds of crimes. The game is adorable, but it is short and very easy. That I don’t mind. Despite the amount of adults running around trying to catch shiny Pokemon at the supermarket nowadays, Pokemon is a game series intended for children. Detective Pikachu is a high quality game for that demographic.

The Detective Pikachu film adaptation makes some minor changes to the concept for more dramatic tension. Tim is now an adult, a former Pokemon trainer who just wants to get on with his life. He discovers the special Pikachu snooping around his house in the middle of the night. The Pikachu offers to help Tim find out the whereabouts of his missing father. It’s not confirmed in the trailer, but it’s highly likely that Pikachu is still going to be Tim’s father’s Pokemon partner.

I think the trailer is adorable. Yes, the Pokemon have been rendered in 3D and animated to appear more lifelike and realistic. That doesn’t mean they’re not still cute. From our fluffy detective friend Pikachu (I wanna rub the belly and boop the snoot) to the angriest little lounge singing Jigglypuff I could ever dream of, the Pokemon look like a real extension of the world. I would say our world, except there are many moments in the trailer where even the human characters look heavily processed to better ground the Pokemon in the universe.

 Can I keep him? Jigglypuff is my favorite.

Can I keep him? Jigglypuff is my favorite.

Ryan Reynolds is the voice of Pikachu and I’m not sold yet on the choice. There’s nothing wrong with his voice work in the trailer. He’s an expressive performer not afraid of using his full vocal range for a character. It just feels a little too familiar, like a cleaner Deadpool rather than a unique voice for Pikachu. That style of character obviously fits for a hard boiled detective, but it feels like a lazy choice just to guarantee a name in the advertising campaign. I know. Welcome to American animation in 2018. I just think Detective Pikachu, especially since the full title is actually Pokemon: Detective Pikachu, is a name enough on its own that a trained voice actor rather than a live action actor doing voiceover could have been used with no major blows to a marketing campaign.

I’m really splitting hairs here. I’m so in for the Detective Pikachu film. My childhood demands it and my adulthood is here for the quality of filmmaking the trailer promises. Detective Pikachu is currently slated to release on 10 May 2019.

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