With the new wave of Poké-Mania triggered by the release of the Pokémon GO app, rumors are once again swirling about the possibility of a live-action Pokémon film, with Legendary Pictures seeming most likely to receive the rights (seriously hoping we get to see some of our favorite Pokémon on screen.)
With this news it seems as good a time as any to reflect upon the 19 animated Pokémon movies we already have. With so many films, differing quality and re-watch value is all but certain. Here are the Pokémon movies I find to be the most re-watchable.
1. Pokémon: Kyurem Vs. The Sword Of Justice
In this film, cocky, young legendary Pokémon Keldeo is desperate to earn it's place as the fourth Sword Of Justice alongside its mentors, Cobalion, Terrakion, and Virizion. To do so, Keldeo must defeat fellow Legendary Kyurem in battle. Ignoring the other Swords' warning that he is not ready, he races off to take on Kyurem, but is quickly overwhelmed, leading to his mentors being captured when they try to help him.
The panicked Keldeo flees, soon encountering Ash and Pikachu, who vow to help him rescue his friends.
Re-watchable Because: Kyurem vs. The Sword Of Justice is definitely one of the better Pokémon movies in recent years. It features an engaging story and high quality animation with some great use of CGI elements. Fan-favorite Vic Mignogna was a perfect fit for the voice of Keldeo in the English dub of the film.
2. Pokémon 3: The Movie — Spell Of The Unown
Professor Spencer Hale disappears while studying the mysterious Pokémon, Unown, leaving Molly, his young daughter, all alone. Molly accidentally summons the Unown, who begin to grant all her wishes, turning her home into a fortress and creating a copy of the Legendary Pokémon Entei to act as her father figure.
When Molly wishes for a new Mother, Entei kidnaps Ash's Mother, Delia. Ash must rescue her, and Molly, before the Unown become to powerful.
Re-watchable because: Charizard's last-minute arrival to save Ash, and the following battle with Entei is epic. Dan Green gives another memorable performance as Entei.
3. Pokémon: Jirachi Wish Maker
Ash and his friends arrive in the town of Forina, just in time for a festival celebrating appearance of the Millennium Comet, which appears in the sky for one week every thousand years. The comet is also said to wake the Legendary Pokémon Jirachi, said to grant wishes.
Max locates Jirachi and quickly befriends it. When others wish to use Jirachi's power for nefarious purposes, Ash and the others must help Max protect his new friend.
Re-watchable Because: While easily one of the most disliked characters in the history of the Pokémon anime, Max's friendship with Jirachi is genuinely heartwarming. It is almost reminiscent of a relationship with a pet — they are never around long enough.
4. Zoroark: Master Of Illusions
Ash and co. arrive in Crown City to watch a tournament. They encounter a young dark-type Pokémon, Zorua, whose mother, Zoroark, has been captured by the evil businessman Grings Kodai for its power of creating illusions.
Ash decides to help Zorua rescue Zoroark, uncovering a deeper plot involving the time-traveling Legendary Pokémon, Celebi.
Re-watchable Because: The animation is beautiful, the plot interesting, and Zorua is adorable.
5. Lucario And The Mystery Of Mew
After being trapped in a staff for centuries, a Lucario is freed after recognizing a familiar aura in Ash, one that reminds him of his master, Sir Aaron.
Ash must help Lucario and the mythical Pokémon Mew to save the Tree Of Beginning, and uncover the truth of why Sir Aaron sealed Lucario in the staff.
Re-watchable Because: The plot is original, and any appearance from Mew is always memorable.
6. Pokémon The Movie 2000: The Power Of One
After arriving on Shamouti Island during a storm, Ash discovers that he is the chosen one, destined to tame the Legendary Pokémon Lugia, and help it stop a destructive battle between the three Legendary birds, Articuno, Moltres, and Zapdos.
Re-watchable Because: With the classic, simple to follow plot of "hero destined to save the world," this one is easier to jump into for a more casual fan.
7. Pokémon: The First Movie — Mewtwo Strikes Back
Traveling to New Island after receiving a mysterious invitation, Ash comes face to face with the powerful Mewtwo and his army of Pokémon clones.
When the first Mew arrives, an epic battle between the original Pokémon and the clones begins.
Re-watchable Because: For pure nostalgia value, you can't beat this.