What to Expect With the Netflix Pokémon Movie Reboot

Pokémon first came on the scene in 1996 in Japan and landed in the United States a couple years later. Since then, the game and animated series have grown into a worldwide pop culture phenomenon, and millions of people have collected the cards, watched the shows, or played some version of the game.

The rebranding of Pokémon during the past two years with the Detective Pikachu movie and Nintendo game gave it a new jolt, and now it’s getting another shot.

Pokemon Mewtwo Strikes Back Evolution
‘Pokemon Mewtwo Strikes Back Evolution’ art | Netflix

Netflix is releasing a new ‘Pokémon’ movie

Back in 1998, Pokémon: The First Movie: MewTwo Strikes Back was released in Japan and then in 1999, the U.S. version hit theaters. Though it wasn’t a hit among critics, it was a box office smash and the animated feature is still considered a classic.

20 years later, Netflix is reviving the story with a CGI version titled Pokémon: Mewtwo Strikes Back—Evolution. Here’s a synopsis from the platform’s press release:

“When researchers discover and exploit a fossil of the Mythical Pokémon Mew, they unleash a creation that goes against the very laws of nature: Mewtwo, a Legendary Pokémon intended for use as a tool of destruction. But as Mewtwo becomes aware of its own dubious origin, it begins to resent its human creators and seeks revenge—and Ash, Pikachu, and their friends find themselves at the center of its rampage! With the future of the Pokémon world at stake, will our heroes be able to overcome Mewtwo’s challenge…and will Mewtwo be able to find a new meaning for its life?”

Similar to the first Pokémon film, this one centers around Mewtwo and clones. According to CNET, this updated adaptation already premiered in Japan in July, but the English version will now be available.

When does the film drop on Netflix?

As part of a global celebration for Pokémon Day, Netflix will release the film on Feb. 27. All over the world, Pokémon-centered events and activities will honor the day the game first arrived in Japan. The Pokémon Company’s senior vice president of international business touted the Netflix partnership and is looking forward to the special event:

“Netflix is the ideal platform to help us execute a global simultaneous launch of an animated Pokémon movie on Pokémon Day, a special moment dedicated to celebrating the worldwide Pokémon fan community.”

How will this differ from other Pokémon movies?  

There are other Pokémon titles on the streamer, including Pokémon the Movie: Hoppa and the Clash of Ages, Pokémon the Movie: Volcanion and the Mechanical Marvel, and Pokémon The Series: Black and White.

For these other animated features, the design lacks the CGI quality seen in many other shows and movies such as Fast & Furious Spy Racers or Turbo. No 2D graphics this time!

As far as the Pokémon television franchise is concerned, what fans will get to see in Pokémon: Mewtwo Strikes Back—Evolution is a spanking new style of animation for the series. There is a lot in store for Pokémon players and fans in 2020, but many can’t wait for this Netflix Original to drop next month.