The First Movie DVD Audio Commentary

4Kids Logo

The head-honchos of 4Kids, the people personally responsible for the English localization of Mewtwo Strikes Back, and thereby all other localizations around the world that took the English version as their source material... Norman J. Grossfeld and Michael Haigney... They not only had the nerve to rip the heart out of the first Pokémon movie, but they then drug the lifeless body through the mud by recording a commentary track over it. The two of them talk about the rationale(?) behind the changes they made and regale us with their not-even-groan-worthy jokes. If you wanted to know what were they thinking?!, well... this is what they were thinking(?).

I must thank Lumina Sumnor for putting in such time and effort to transcribe this loathsome commentary for us. It must have been painful for her fingers as well as for her soul, and for this sacrifice, I am eternally grateful.

The Commentary

  1. Norman J. Grossfeld

    Hello, Pokémon fans, I am Norman Grossfeld, the producer and co-writer of Pokémon: The First Movie, and I am here with Michael Haigney, who directed and co-wrote the movie as well. Hello, Michael.

    Norman J. Grossfield
    Norman J. Grossfield
    Photo from Discogs
  2. Michael Haigney

    Hey, Norman. Do you have your popcorn ready?

    Michael Haigney
    Michael Haigney
    Photo from Behind the Voice Actors
  3. Norman J. Grossfeld

    I am ready to settle in and watch Pokémon: The First Movie and give it a different perspective than, uh, you know, we haven't even seen it for awhile, it'd be nice to go through at this time and point out some of the interesting, uh, facts and production for the fans out there.

  4. Scene opens to an underwater setting with rising bubbles.

  5. Michael Haigney

    Exactly. Uh, this is the part we, uh, was inspired by a bath that I took.

  6. Norman J. Grossfeld

    And your only bath of last year- (Michael Haigney laughs), as a matter of fact, so-

  7. Michael Haigney

    Eheheh, I take, heh, I take one a year, whether I needed it or not. Anyway-

  8. Norman J. Grossfeld

    You know what's interesting about this part is that, in the Japanese version, uh, it was much more sparse as far as the production of the music and the voice, uh, there wasn't even an announcer in it, but we felt that we had to take some liberties in explaining more about the world of Pokémon here, and I know you have some concerns about people that were new to Pokémon.

  9. Michael Haigney

    Right, I'lI guess, uh, the younger viewers who see the show and can play the games and trade the cards are really very familiar with the world of Pokémon, you know, very knowledgeable as well, but we knew that there would be a lot of parents and some other people who maybe weren't so familiar, uh, with the whole Pokémon phenomenon, so we, uh, we kinda fleshed out this with the, uh, with the narrator that, uh, w-wi-with Mewtwo, actually, and with the narrator, that, uh, kind of, uh, we, uh, hoped explained what was going on in this first segment, uh, just a little bit.

  10. Norman J. Grossfeld

    I liked that segment a lot because, uh, it kind of sucks the viewers in the, uh, world of Pokémon that uses a very mysterious, you know, you know, like, you don't know who's talking at all until here where you meet Mewtwo for the very first time. You understand that you put, uh, a face to that voice that you've been hearing.

  11. Michael Haigney

    I guess that in a lot of movies, they, uh, they, the, the attempt is made not to put too much really crucial information in the first minute or so of the movie because, you know, people have a tendency to arrive later there in getting their sodas and cup holders and everything, but since we-- this movie theatrically was preceded by Pikachu's Vacation, uh, everybody was already riveted and settled in, so we thought that it would, it would work in this situation.

  12. "Radio Giovanni's helicopter, tell him what's happened."
  13. Norman J. Grossfeld

    In the Japanese version of the movie, it's not really clear that, uh, Giovanni is actually behind the entire operation here at the laboratory, uh, so, uh, we actually added the reference to Giovanni a couple of times, who's the boss of Team Rocket, so when his helicopter arrives a little bit later in the movie, it doesn't seem to be disconnected to the events occurring here at the laboratory.

  14. Michael Haigney

    Somebody had to pay for this laboratory, and Giovanni, uh, seems to have all the money, although viewers of the show will realize that, the-- he very rarely gives any of it to Team Rocket because they're always begging and stealing and borrowing and (sighs) and, uh, trying to get together some change for food.

  15. "These humans, they care nothing for me..."
  16. Norman J. Grossfeld

    This is the key moment for us to really point out the angst that Mewtwo's going through, and imagine for yourself if you realize that the purpose of your life has already been served, at whatever age, um...

  17. Michael Haigney

    Uh, I-I have al-- this was, this was Mewtwo, that was the film for me, the purpose of my life has already been served, so I know I could identify with Mewtwo in this segment.

  18. Norman J. Grossfeld

    Eheheh, right, I understand what you're saying, heheh.

  19. "This cannot be my destiny!"
    Glass tubes start breaking.
  20. Norman J. Grossfeld

    Now, it's key here, is that Mewtwo doesn't really know that he has these incredible psychic powers that are able to destroy the way that they do. Uh, he's just kind of out of control, in a rage, and that is-- and a little, a little bit later in the movie he learns to tame his powers and, and direct them the way he wants, he's just completely running amuck here, not to be confused with running a Muk, (Michael Haigney laughs) which, of course, is a Pokémon. Uh... (Michael Haigney laughs)

  21. Michael Haigney

    Muk, Muk! (laughs)

  22. Waves crashing against the island after Mewtwo destroys the lab.
  23. Norman J. Grossfeld

    So now here comes, uh, Giovanni's helicopter, which, uh, for us in our first viewing of the movie when we watched the Japanese version, we ourselves thought that he happened along, and it wasn't really explained at all in the Japanese script that he actually was the force behind the laboratory.

  24. Michael Haigney

    Although, in, uh, in, in thinking back after we had, had seen it that first time, you were right, we, we didn't realize, but I believe that there is an episode in the series, in which Team Rocket, Meowth, Jessie, and James, see, uh, Mewtwo flying out of--

  25. Norman J. Grossfeld

    Oh, yes, but that (MH: Yeah) comes later. (MH: Right) That, that is actually about to happen a little later in the movie. What's interesting about the TV series is that there are some scenes, if you look very, very carefully in certain episodes (MH: Right) in our second season of the TV series, which do tie in to the movie's storyline, you have to be really sharp-eyed to catch them.

  26. "I do not need your help for that, human..."
  27. Norman J. Grossfeld

    Now we did an interesting thing that, uh, for the DVD viewers, if you're watching this in surround sound, you may be able to experience the same thing that people did in the theatre. When Mewtwo thinks to himself, uh, and it doesn't want anybody else to hear him, the sound from his voice really just comes from the front of the room, uh, but when he is, uh, communicating with somebody else, psychically and projecting his thoughts, you'll hear the sound of his voice come out from the surround sound speakers on the side of the room, and, and I think it worked very well in the theatre, um, giving a kind of experience that the, the people in the-- in Mewtwo's world would be experiencing if they were speaking to him directly. I thought that worked pretty well.

  28. Michael Haigney

    Yeah, it, it did.

  29. "What is that?"
    "Patience, my friend..."
  30. Michael Haigney

    I think this is the section of this scene was actually, uh, a, l, redone fr, and, uh, slightly different from the original, I think we have, uh, (NG: Yeah) coming up here.

  31. Norman J. Grossfeld

    You know, the U.S. and, uh, actually, everybody outside of Japan that got to view, uh, this version of the movie got to see about 15 to 20 percent of the movie re-animated from the original Japanese version, where they redid segments of the movie, um, with new 3-D CGI animation that was lacking from the original experience in the Japanese theatres.

  32. Team Rocket Grunts catching the Tauros Mewtwo attacked.
  33. Michael Haigney

    There are some rarely seen members of Team Rocket, as viewers know, that Team Rocket is made up of a lot more than Jessie, James, and Meowth.

  34. Norman J. Grossfeld

    That's a world-wide, uh, crime organization.

  35. Michael Haigney

    Heheh, yes, that's exactly, heheh.

  36. Mewtwo attacking Gary's Pokémon.
  37. Norman J. Grossfeld

    Now this scene right here is actually in the TV episode, uh, that is Gary, uh, Ash's rival, you're seeing him from behind.

  38. Michael Haigney

    It's a cameo.

  39. Norman J. Grossfeld

    That's a cameo appearance by Gary, yet we would've featured his face, but his agent had a (Michael Haigney chuckles) big problem with, uh, the movie and the deal that we were offering, so we just shot him from behind in that particular scene.

  40. Michael Haigney

    I believe that actually was a stand-in, I'm not mistaken. Eheheh.

  41. "Humans may have created me..."
  42. Norman J. Grossfeld

    And now that Mewtwo has full control of his powers, uh, because Giovanni has served his purpose, and he won't be serving Giovanni's purpose.

  43. Mushroom-shaped smoke rising from Mewtwo's blast.
  44. Norman J. Grossfeld

    Now the scene you are about to see right here is a shot you can recognize in one of the TV episodes (MH: Right) if you look carefully.

  45. "What is my true reason for being?"
  46. Norman J. Grossfeld

    Now, one of the pleasures of, uh, adapting this movie from the original Japanese for us was the fact that Mewtwo was actually a psychic Pokémon, and we could put any words that we wanted, uh, into his mouth or into his thoughts and not worry about whether the lip movement would be matching (MH: Eheheh), which is always a challenge in adapting, uh, a film, a film or TV series when mouths are moving, so this was a pleasure.

  47. Pokémon: The First Movie logo appears.
  48. Michael Haigney

    Naturally, this is a little bit different than the original film. The original title of the film is--

  49. Norman J. Grossfeld

    Mewtwo Strikes Back.

  50. Michael Haigney

    Mewtwo Strikes Back, and I guess, um...

  51. Norman J. Grossfeld

    In Japanese, uh, they use the English language a lot, and actually they use the text "Mewtwo Strikes Back", uh, different logo treatment, but they actually wrote it out in English in their own version as well.

  52. Narrator speaking.
  53. Norman J. Grossfeld

    Not quite sure what is in that pot, and we (Michael Haigney laughs) didn't want-- won't even guess.

  54. Michael Haigney

    Yeah, Brock is just-- is generally the, uh, chief cook and [bottle washer?].

  55. "It's my lazy-boy no chew' stew."
  56. Michael Haigney

    Eheheheh, luckily, we were able to assemble the original cast for the film. Sometimes, when, uh, TV series get translated onto the big screen, uh, they change, uh, personnel, but, uh, we have everybody from the series doing this, the, uh, original voices, which we were happy about.

  57. "Pikachu?" (Before Ash's battle with the pirate trainer.)
  58. Norman J. Grossfeld

    Uh, fans would be interested to know that Pikachu's voice is the same worldwide, uh, um, I guess one of the beloved voices ever for a-an animated series-- any kind of character.

  59. Michael Haigney

    Until this DVD came out, then I think that yours will be probably the most beloved, Norman.

  60. Norman J. Grossfeld

    (Pauses) Probably right.

  61. Michael Haigney

    (Laughs) Yeah. I don't think we could match the-the job that the, uh, actress, um, does on Pikachu. She's really sensational, and, to be kind of limited, uh, er, I don't know if it's the unique character that just makes sounds. Of course, the Roadrunner really just makes one sound, I guess, I guess that's the other cartoon character that's just known by one sound, but Pikachu really gets a whole dramatic range out of, uh, just saying "Pikachu" or--

  62. Norman J. Grossfeld

    Well, all the Pokémon really do. I think what's unique about the show and about this movie is that, uh, especially the-the featurette that came before this, Pikachu's Vacation, which may seem befuddling to many parents, but the kids, of course, and we love the fact that the Pokémon just communicate by speaking their own names or derivatives of their own name, and can completely understand their, the emotions of what's going on and-and for me, the way the Pokémon speak does-it does move the story along.

  63. Michael Haigney

    Absolutely, yeah.

  64. Machamp comes out of the Pokeball
  65. Norman J. Grossfeld

    This is, uh, this is a challenge for us, uh, the theme song is, I think there, uh, probably every kid around the country can sing this by heart (MH: Heheheh, right), so for us, we had to come up with, uh, we've totally been doing a different song for the opening here, but we really wanted everybody to know, "Here we go, it's Pokémon time, let's get that theme song going," but we couldn't use the same exact theme song. We had to do kind of a massively new production of it, and I think this-this, uh, turned out to be a pretty big hit.

  66. Squirtle uses Bubblebeam on Machamp.
  67. Norman J. Grossfeld

    This is a rarely seen Bubblebeam attack, which, uh, another interesting thing about Pokémon is that if you watch the TV show or you watch this-this movie, you'll see some attacks come to life that you-- that are featured in the Game Boy game or featured in the card game, uh, you'll actually see what these attacks actually look like, which is, I, uh, you know, I think, a great treat for people who aren't used to, talk about, you know, kids that talk about these attacks all the time, it's part of their daily life (MH: Heheheh) and now see it come to life.

  68. Team Rocket is seen spying on Ash and his Pokémon.
  69. Norman J. Grossfeld

    Team Rocket is my favorite element of the show, although, uh, when we hit an element in the script that has Team Rocket in it, it usually is (Michael Haigney laughs) the most challenging, uh, because we, uh, we've established Team Rocket to be a little bit than in Japan, and for-for our version they're much more wise-cracking and cunning than they are necessarily in the Japanese version, um, Meowth is more of a philosopher, I would say.

  70. Michael Haigney

    Right, there were certain, uh, I think he's a-- Meowth is a singer, as well.

  71. Norman J. Grossfeld

    A singer and a poet and a philosopher. In our version he's kind of more of a wise-cracker.

  72. Michael Haigney

    They do use, uh, uh, esp-- particularly Team Rocket is difficult to-to rewrite and adapt, uh, from the Japanese, as Norman said, because they use not only puns, uh, words that play off of each other in Japanese that really don't in English, uh, but they, uh, are frequently do things that refer to Japanese culture. They're dressed in traditional Japanese, uh, garb and they'll do certain actions and things that are very, very Japanese, so that's always a challenge.

  73. Dragonite takes off from New Island.
  74. Norman J. Grossfeld

    One of the rare appearances of Dragonite, or is this, this is Dragonite, yes, and (MH: Right) we actually hope that with this scene that, uh, the male purse would make a comeback (Michael Haigney laughs) in the United States. I don't know if we'd be very successful with that.

  75. Michael Haigney

    Although the, uh, the Pokémon, uh, Dragonite is not technically male, as-as, uh-

  76. Norman J. Grossfeld

    Oh, that's true. Fans of Pokémon will be excited to know that with the, uh, Pokémon Gold and Silver release of the Game Boy games coming out. On our television series, we will be making more reference to the gender of the particular Pokémon, which the first, uh, series and this movie avoids talking about.

  77. "She's really small, but really pretty."
  78. Norman J. Grossfeld

    Michael, has there ever been a girl that Brock sees that he doesn't fall in love with?

  79. Michael Haigney

    Uh, the only one I could think of-- wasn't there Nastina in the the first (both laugh) year. I don't think he cared for Nastina, but pretty much everyone else. He did, and, and the series affords lots of, uh, [avenues?] and, uh, young ladies for Brock to dream about, but, uh, not go very much further than that, I think. And it's probably best for him from when it's concerned.

  80. "We want to know what's so special about the twerp trio's special delivery!"
  81. Norman J. Grossfeld

    Team Rocket, for those, uh, viewers of this DVD that are not that familiar with the show, basically their-their goal in life is to capture Pikachu, and to basically stop Ash and his friends from proceeding on (both laugh) with their lives.

  82. Michael Haigney

    Uh, I think they're, uh, they're also, uh, pretty concerned with their status within-- as members of Team Rocket. As it stands now, for the first, uh, I guess, hundred episodes, are pretty low. They haven't been too successful. I don't think they've had virtually any success, uh, and they know that they're, uh, hanging by a thread, uh, with their team leader, uh, Giovanni, so they wanna capture some rare Pokémon to bring back.

  83. Mew awakens from its underwater slumber.
  84. Norman J. Grossfeld

    The great thing about this movie is the existence of Mew is really revealed here for the first time in any medium in, uh, which Pokémon is enjoyed. Uh, in the Game Boy game, uh, Mew is kind of a mysterious secret character that you can't get while playing the game. You can only get it if you go to one of Nintendo's events, and they-they install Mew into your Game Boy game.

  85. Notes

    1. Read the How to Catch Mew page to learn how Mew could be obtained back in the day.
  86. Waves rising while Mewtwo creates the storm.
  87. Norman J. Grossfeld

    The viewers that look at the comparison between the two movies, our version and the Japanese version, uh, the Japanese animators actually reanimated these sequences as well and added all new, uh, computer-generated clouds and the storm scenes are all redone.

  88. Waves crashing against a lighthouse.
  89. Norman J. Grossfeld

    If you listen carefully now in this next scene, you will hear Michael Haigney make an appearance (MH: Eheheh, that's true.) as the, uh, announcer, uh, about to speak actually when-when the-- Ash and his friends get inside, he'll be asking for, I think, Officer Jenny.

  90. Michael Haigney

    I believe so, yes.

  91. Norman J. Grossfeld

    I think I wrote-I wrote that line at the last minute (Michael Haigney laughs) Because it seemed like, it must be cold in the movie.

  92. Michael Haigney

    Here we go, here we go.

  93. Norman J. Grossfeld


  94. "Officer Jenny, please report to the ferry entrance. Officer Jenny, to the ferry entrance."
  95. Norman J. Grossfeld

    And there you have it, an appearance by Michael Haigney, the director of the movie (Michael Haigney chuckles).

  96. Scene of docks shows the condition of the storm.
  97. Norman J. Grossfeld

    Definitely changed-- we inserted in the movie, uh, a little bit later in the movie, uh, when the-the big scene where, uh, well, I won't reveal if you're watching this movie this way (MH: Don't give it away!) for the first time, but, uh, this reference that, uh, the harbor manager makes to this legend is all new by only in the U.S. version.

  98. "All my Pokémon are water-type. We'll just swim over to that palace"
  99. Norman J. Grossfeld

    Pokémon come in different types is important to note, uh, in-- people compare Pokémon to kind of a rock-paper-scissors type of, uh, game. When you're playing the game, you're playing the card game you're thinking about how to use different Pokémon in battle. I-- I-- that, uh, the character mentions, the Pokémon are all water-type, some of the elements that exist are water-type, fire-type, psychic Pokémon, we see that with Mewtwo. There's electric-type such as Pikachu, ground-type, and depending on who you're facing in battle, you should choose an appropriate Pokémon. For example, you're facing a fire Pokémon, uh, you would use a water Pokémon, obviously, uh, but it's not always that simple.

  100. Gyarados comes out of the ocean's surface.
  101. Norman J. Grossfeld

    Now, Michael, you'll notice there was a Pidgeotto that one of the characters was riding, here is a Gyarados, uh, the girl is on a Dewgong, but up in the background over here-- you'll see the girl is on the Dewgong over here-- but you'll also see someone, I think, flying a Fearow, uh, but obviously the person flying the Fearow did not make it to the island, which is, uh, I'm not quite sure which character that was, but someone winds up not making this journey, what's an interesting note for-- there you go, in the background there.

  102. Notes

    1. Actually, it's a Pidgeot.
  103. Side-view of Umio/Fergus, Sweet/Neesha, and the Fearow trainer
  104. Michael Haigney

    Right there, yes. We never found that person, did we, Norman?

  105. Norman J. Grossfeld

    No, but luckily we didn't have to pay that person (Michael Haigney chuckes) either, it worked out okay for everybody.

  106. "Ve Vikings are used to big vaves."
  107. Michael Haigney

    I guess one of the most challenging things in-in the movie and-and also for the series is, uh, trying to match what we call the "lip-flaps," uh, the mouth movements of the characters to what they're saying, uh-

  108. Norman J. Grossfeld

    Tr-traditionally, animation is produced where the audio track, including the dialogue, is recorded first, especially in the-in the main language whi-that it was recorded in, uh, a-and then they animate the lip movements to the already pre-recorded audio track. Actually, um, for our version, of course, we got the movie already completed, and we had to rewrite the movie so that, uh, our concepts were worked into the storyline, but also, then, we had to rewrite it once again so that the characters, what they said, would fit the pre-existing mouth movements.

  109. Michael Haigney

    Right, uh, what makes it, uh, particularly challenging sometimes is that, um, uh, Japanese has a lot of words that end in vowels, so the mouths are frequently very open at the end of sentences. In English, that's not so much the case, and so, uh, we take quite a bit of time and we hoped, fairly successfully, are able to match, uh, those mouths with not only the words that they're saying, but with the mood in which they're saying it.

  110. Norman J. Grossfeld

    Goes back to why we were so happy to see that Mewtwo was a psychic Pokémon.

  111. Michael Haigney

    Oh, yeah.

  112. Staryu's cry is heard when it is released from its Pokeball.
  113. Norman J. Grossfeld

    That, uh, sound of Staryu is actually, uh, pre-existing from the Japanese version. There are some sounds of the Pokémon that we actually keep the same across all-all the different cultures and all the different languages, and Staryu's sound is one of them.

  114. Michael Haigney

    Right. We generally keep any-any original s-sound with the original Japanese voice actor if the name of the Pokémon is the same in both English and in Japanese.

  115. Norman J. Grossfeld

    And that's an example of one of them. Togepi is another example of a character that has the same voice and the same name in both Japan and in the United States. What's amazing about, uh, um, these characters is something magical about their clothing, I think, because, uh, you'll notice that it's fre-- just, will be dry when they get through this storm-- if they get through this storm.

  116. Michael Haigney

    Yeah, they don't seem to change a lot, either.

  117. Ash and co. avoid the storm under the surface of the ocean.
  118. Michael Haigney

    This scene kind of illustrates the essence of Pokémon, which is of the Pokémon and their trainers working together, uh, rather than the trainers forcing the Pokémon to work for them, and that's kind of the theme that becomes very important as the film goes on.

  119. Norman J. Grossfeld

    Yeah. I think what's special about the world of Pokémon is that the, uh, the Pokémon really are friends with their trainers, uh, especially Ash and Misty and Brock, uh, well, they have a great love for their Pokémon and vice versa.

  120. Scene of CGI clouds in the eye of the storm.
  121. Michael Haigney

    I think this is one of the, uh, computer-enhanced scenes.

  122. Norman J. Grossfeld

    That's correct.

  123. "Hey, look!"
  124. Norman J. Grossfeld

    Anywhere you see these kinds of clouds is, uh, all-new animation that was just for our release of the movie

  125. Ash and co. approach the island's dock.
  126. Norman J. Grossfeld

    So let's play a little game with the, uh, people listening along with us now, Michael. A little bit later in the movie we, uh, made a mistake, and we purposefully left the mistake in, so, uh, (MH: Yes) those of you that saw in the theatre or may have watched the movie-vie through without this narrative first, see if you can figure out which mistake we're talking about. Probably (Michael Haigney laughs) people are going "Just one? There are tons of mistakes in this movie!" (MH: Yes) Well, there's one specific mistake that we left in that, uh, will point out to you in just a little while (MH: Right) and we'll tell you why we did it.

  127. Notes

    1. Yes.
  128. Ash takes out his electronic invitation card.
  129. Norman J. Grossfeld

    Notice that everything is completely dry, and the electronics on this, if it's electronic, on this device survived. (MH: It's water-type. It's--) Amazing.

  130. "Aren't you the nurse who's missing..."
  131. Norman J. Grossfeld

    What's funny about this also, not that this (MH: Heheh) is funny in itself, is that there is Nurse Joys and Nur-- I mean Officer Jennies in virtually every town that they visit, and they're always identical, and so for Brock to say, "I thought I recognized that face!" (Michael Haigney laughs) is actually an inside joke for TV viewers. Mm, here comes Team Rocket and they'll have survived the underwater journey by using their Weezing. Weezing is, of course, the evolved form of Koffing. All of the Pokémon have kind of a clever names, uh, derived from the Japanese versions of their names, uh, they were all named by people over at Nintendo of America.

  132. Mew flying towards New Island.
  133. Michael Haigney

    Seeing the film, uh, at the-- one of the early screenings with the huge audience-- Mew, whenever Mew came onto the screen-- tremendous response, especially from, I presume, the hardcore Pokémon fans, of which there are obviously millions, but, uh, everybody's finally happy to see Mew in the flesh.

  134. Norman J. Grossfeld

    Uh, the Japanese sensibility to, uh, pacing is very different than our own. For example, this whole sequence when they're walking up to the, uh, get inside the castle, actually had no music at all in the original Japanese version, um, it was actually completely silent to-- some footsteps is all you heard, but we decided to put more of this theme that we have been establishing.

  135. "Now that you are here, all trainers worthy of an audience..."
  136. Norman J. Grossfeld

    Fans of the show and fans of Pokémon in general will know, but it might be interesting for people that aren't aware, that Pikachu never actually goes inside its Pokeball. Ash is, of course, carrying many more Pokémon with him in his Pokeballs, which are somewhere on his belt, but in episode one of the TV series, Pikachu, uh, refused to go inside the Pokeball and-and Ash tried to get him in there, and they finally established a kind of an understanding and ultimately this great friendship that they have, and you'll always see Pikachu outside with Ash and outside its Pokeball.

  137. Michael Haigney

    Have we determined that's just this specific Pikachu, or that's a trait for all Pikachu?

  138. Norman J. Grossfeld

    I believe it's just this specific Pikachu and its personality.

  139. "You know another way in?"
  140. Norman J. Grossfeld

    You might notice in this, uh, feature, whenever you see Me-Mew appear, we have Mew's little melody that comes up-- you see right here coming up, in here, the little-little melody of Mew. That would be right here.

  141. Ash and co.'s Pokémon walk towards the center table.
  142. Norman J. Grossfeld

    Vulpix is one of Brock's Pokémon, that's Vulpix in the back. Togepi is a new Pokémon that actually isn't part of the original group of the original 150 Pokémon that we introduced at the very beginning of the series. Togepi is kind of a newly discovered Pokémon. We're not quite sure what powers Togepi has, uh, but in the TV show, in the second season, Togepi actually winds up saving the day once or twice with some use of its power, uh, it's finally revealed to the viewer, but Ash and Misty and Brock are unaware that Togepi has these amazing powers.

  143. Wigglytuff runs off to the rest of its trainer's Pokémon.
  144. Norman J. Grossfeld

    Wigglytuff's voice is done by, uh, one of our more versatile actresses on the show. Her name is Rachel Lillis, and--

  145. Michael Haigney

    She not only does Wigglytuff, but she does Jigglypuff, which is, uh, natural extension and, uh, she might surprise some viewers of the TV show that, uh, Rachel does the voice of not only Jessie, but of Misty, and she's also a number of Pokémon as well.

  146. Team Rocket explores the sewers.
  147. Norman J. Grossfeld

    Now, Meowth is the only Pokémon that can speak human language, of English in the case of this movie, and, uh, wasn't clear for quite a long time how Meowth was able to accomplish that, uh, we finally revealed that Meowth was in love with another, uh, female Meowth in one, uh, episode in the TV series, and to impress her, try to learn to walk and talk like a human. Ultimately did not get the Meowth of his dreams, but, uh, wound up having this special skill, and kind of a comic foil to the series, as well as the movie.

  148. "How's it talking!?"
    "It's psychic!"
  149. Norman J. Grossfeld

    Too many times you'll find that Brock winds up stating the obvious (Michael Haigney laughs), that was, wasn't obvious, but, uh, kind of Brock's mission on--

  150. Michael Haigney

    They're brainstorms to him, but not to everyone else. Talking again about the voices, uh, some people might also be surprised to know that the voice of Brock, uh, is also done by the same actor who does James, and that's Eric Stuart. Two very different characters.

  151. Norman J. Grossfeld

    Yeah, actually, interesting to, um, look back at the evolution of James' voice and, uh, for sharp-eared viewers of the TV show would notice that James had a little bit of a change in his voice early on in the TV series, until we established his ultimate persona that we have right now.

  152. "Nurse Joy!"
    "Where am I? And how in the world did I get here?"
  153. Norman J. Grossfeld

    It's funny to look back at, uh, the movie now-- we haven't actually seen this movie, I guess, for three or four weeks (MH: Mmhm), maybe even longer. It's a while since we worked on the script, but, uh, virtually every line you hear was debated at length between Michael and myself, even something as simple as what Nurse Joy would say right there: "How in the world did I get here?" There must have been ten different lines that we put into her mouth there, until we found a line that made sense to us and also, uh, fit the lip-flap, which was a big challenge that we've been talking about. (MH: Exactly) So imagine, uh, that this was a 70-somewhat-page script, but, uh, every single line was debated and discussed and tweaked until it fit, uh, you know, our concepts of how to tell the story as well as-- we had to live with the movements of the mouth that we inherited from the movie.

  154. Team Rocket stumbles upon the clones of the three Kanto starters.
  155. Norman J. Grossfeld

    This is one of those scenes where we, uh, eliminate one of Michael's lines, which is: "Is it soup, yet?"

  156. Michael Haigney

    (Laughs) That might have-that might have been one of the other [?]

  157. Norman J. Grossfeld


  158. Jessie accidentally turns on the cloning machine.
  159. Norman J. Grossfeld

    Here's another great opportunity to fill the, uh, viewers in a little bit more about what was going on with the cloning of the Pokémon and the-their experiments and why and how this stuff all happened. Of course, Michael really liked this section because, obviously, it's a computer speaking, there is no lip-flap happening on-screen (MH: I love that. I love no lip-flap.), so that, it's one of the rare moments to see Michael smile, (Michael Haigney laughs) and if he is smiling, it is usually because, uh, he doesn't have to match the lip-flap of something happening on-screen.

  160. "Ahh, I made it, but just by a hair."
  161. Norman J. Grossfeld

    We came up with this thing, uh, on the TV series, which we allude to here on this screen, uh, we do a bumper on the TV show called "Who's That Pokémon?" where you have to guess the Pokémon, and you'll see that Team Rocket makes fun of that.

  162. "Who's that Pokémon?"
  163. Norman J. Grossfeld

    Right there, makes fun of that sequence.

  164. Michael Haigney

    Got a laugh in the theatre.

  165. Norman J. Grossfeld

    It did get a laugh in the theatre.

  166. Michael Haigney

    I wonder if it is getting a laugh at home.

  167. "I haven't got much time. I pray this record of our experiment survives..."
  168. Norman J. Grossfeld

    Hopefully it was clear to the viewers that are looking at this section of the movie that the Professor is leaving this record while Mewtwo is destroying the laboratory, uh, which you saw earlier in the movie. This is all-new, this whole section as far as what was written here. It didn't exist in the Japanese version.

  169. Michael Haigney

    And you'll hear at the end of his recorded, uh, history of what had happened, uh, is what we heard earlier in the film, which is the last lines we heard from the Professor.

  170. "We dreamed of..."
  171. Norman J. Grossfeld

    This line here.

  172. Michael Haigney


  173. "You humans are a dangerous species."
  174. Norman J. Grossfeld

    This is, uh, something that Michael feels generally in life is that humans are a dangerous (Michael Haigney laughs) species, and so, really couldn't, uh, could relate, eheh, (MH: I was making a personal statement in this translation.) relate to Mewtwo.

  175. "So you hate all humans, and you're going to..."
  176. Norman J. Grossfeld

    This is Brock stating the obvious here, again, but, uh, we find out that Mewtwo actually will not spare Pokémon or humans. Which I think came to as a surprise to many viewers who might-might have--

  177. Michael Haigney

    Thought that Mewtwo had a partiality to its own species, but, uh--

  178. Norman J. Grossfeld

    Doesn't consider itself a Pokémon, (MH: That's right) considered itself some sort of a clone of a species. You might be wondering how Mewtwo is able to understand Pikachu. It seems that most of the Pokémon are able to understand each other, even though they are speaking their own names. Pokémon can understand other Pokémon, and you'll see later wha-what we use in the TV series quite frequently is, uh, we use Meowth to translate into English what the Pokémon are saying, but it seems also that Ash or any Pokémon that has a very close relationship with it's own Pokémon is able to understand what the-its Pokémon is saying to it-or him or her.

  179. Michael Haigney

    Also in the movie here, we get to look at, obviously, Mewtwo, the star. Mewtwo is one of the relatively few Pokémon of which there are only one.

  180. Norman J. Grossfeld

    Yes, and I would say, uh, Mew would be another one of which there is only one, that we know of.

  181. "Fools! Your Pokémon attacks cannot weaken me..."
  182. Norman J. Grossfeld

    The next movie that is coming out i-in the [shameless plug?] in July of, uh, 2000, uh, in theatres will feature some more Pokémon that there are only-- there exist only one.

  183. Michael Haigney

    Are they psychic?

  184. Norman J. Grossfeld

    Uh, actually, yes, one of them is psychic (MH: Whew, that's great.), which you'll be happy to know that. (Both laugh)

  185. The Blastoise clone comes out of its chamber.
  186. Norman J. Grossfeld

    Now the sound of the Pokémon coming through this rubber container, or whatever that is, did not exist in the original Japanese and I'll only let you imagine what we used to create the sound (Michael Haigney laughs) of them oozing forth from these-these holding tanks.

  187. Charizard and Venusaur come out as well.
  188. Michael Haigney

    I'm sure there's a joke there, but I don't know what it is.

  189. All three clones march out of the lab.
  190. Michael Haigney

    You can see here that, uh, they're clones of, uh, the other Pokémon, but they are-- have slightly different markings that, uh, distinguish them from the non-clone Pokémon.

  191. Norman J. Grossfeld

    Right, and, uh, viewers of this DVD version could look back on, uh, our-our added footage-- the special added footage. You'll see that, uh, Charmander, Squirtle, and Bulbasaur, which were all being cloned at the very beginning of that story, with Mewtwo: The Origin, is what we were calling it, uh, had the same markings.

  192. The castle rumbles as Mewtwo reveals his stadium.
  193. Norman J. Grossfeld

    This is an all-new shot that did not exist in the, uh, Japanese version of the movie. It's all the 3-D animation.

  194. "Your fake Venusaur can't beat my real one. Right, Bruteroot?"
  195. Norman J. Grossfeld

    This may be confusing for some of the viewers of this movie, but, uh, as it works in the Game Boy game, Ash mentions here that his-his Charizard doesn't have a nickname. In the Game Boy game, you're able to actually rename your Pokémon, give it a nickname, uh, so, not every Pokémon has the name Char-- uh, all Charizard necessarily have the name "Charizard," but when they do speak, they won't say their nickname. For example, Bruteroot won't say "Bruteroot," it would still say "Venusaur." Michael actually has a nickname, oh, I came up with the nickname for him. It's "Dude" (Michael Haigney laughs), uh, because he actually does also the voice of Geodude, and actually, Michael (MH: Geodude, Geodude.) don't be, uh-uh (MH: Actually--) don't be shy, you know, tell us about Psyduck, do a little Psyduck for us.

  196. Michael Haigney

    I-I-I think that, uh, yeah, well, uh, Psyduck is-is one of the voice-- I think I do quite a few, uh, when we started doing the, uh, series, originally, we didn't realize, at first, how frequently the Pokémon would recur. We knew that there were 150, uh, we didn't know that so many would be on all the time, so occasionally I would do a voice, and we found that Psyduck, "Psy-ay-ay," was in quite a few episodes, as was Charizard, "Char-char-char!"

  197. Norman J. Grossfeld

    That's Charmander.

  198. Michael Haigney

    Char-- What did I say, Charizard? Oh, gosh.

  199. Norman J. Grossfeld

    You wind up directing yourself (MH: Exactly right.) behind the mike, which is actually challenging.

  200. Michael Haigney

    It is.

  201. Both Venusaur prepare to battle each other.
  202. Norman J. Grossfeld

    It's interesting, also, uh, how we-we take it very seriously what the Pokémon's saying because we know kids love to hear what the Pokémon will sound like, and they look forward to the TV series very much, so, uh, we spend a lot of time debating what that-- what each particular Pokémon would sound like, and Psyduck, actually, uh, in the Japanese version, we almost kept the original version, uh, because Psyduck just basically "quacks" in the-in the Japanese version, but, uh, because Psyduck always has a headache, um, we wound up coming up with "Psy-ay-ay," or Michael does that- (MH: Yeah.) that voice, and it turned out being a very successful Pokémon sound, uh, different than in the Japanese version.

  203. Mewtwo sends out his Charizard.
  204. Norman J. Grossfeld

    Now you can spot the difference, obviously, between Ash's Pokémon Charizard and the other Charizard by looking at the stripes. This is something that the animators abandoned, this concept of having the clones, uh, be differentiated from, um, the originals later in the movie, it's really just these three Pokémon here have these types of stripes that make them look different. You'll also notice that a little bit later when Pikachu's clone comes up that there is a differentiating mark on Pikachu, as you can tell the difference, but otherwise, those are the only ones that they decided to draw differently.

  205. The clone Charizard brings Ash's Charizard towards the ground.
  206. Norman J. Grossfeld

    One of the great things about Pokémon battles is that, uh, typically, Pokémon do not die, uh, at the end of the battle, uh, they just get exhausted and faint. Uh, they have to go back to their Pokeballs to recharge and, um, for me, working on-on the movie and on the TV series and just being involved in Pokémon, that was a great, um, aspect of Pokémon is that, you heard a lot about battling games of all different sorts and different video games that have, I guess, a violent element to it, and for me, I found that Pokémon was definitely the exception to that rule.

  207. "I will extract their DNA to make clones for myself. They will remain safe on this island with me while my storm destroys the planet!"
  208. Michael Haigney

    As you can see, Mewtwo has, uh, a unique kind of Pokeball, and I'm not sure they-- do they have a name in the game?

  209. Norman J. Grossfeld

    No, I don't think those exist at all in the-in the video game at all. This is unique to the movie.

  210. "This is my world now!"
  211. Norman J. Grossfeld

    And just to clarify something, uh, that we put in our version of the movie that was unclear, because we wound up adding this-- exactly what was Mewtwo's plan? We knew he's capturing all these Pokémon to make clones, um, and to what purpose we weren't quite sure when we first viewed the original Japanese version of the movie. Ultimately, we decided that his purpose was to have the clones survive with him on the island while he kicks that storm outside into high-gear, basically wiping out life on Earth, and he and the Pokémon that he clones will remain safe on the island in the eye of the storm that he had created.

  212. Mewtwo's black Pokeballs transport the captured Pokémon under the rising pillars.
  213. Norman J. Grossfeld

    Interesting thing also about the musical score for this movie, um, er, many are produced, but it's interesting to viewers that don't really get a chance to hear the process, uh, we actually scored the movie-- rescored the movie from beginning to end, but all of the orchestrations were first created, uh, on computer, uh, a MIDI programmed, um, keyboards, basically, that, uh, you know, sound-alikes for all the different instruments, and once we had locked in the score for the entire movie on computer first, we can hear what the entire thing sounded like, it wasn't-- then and only then do we go in and actually record it with the orchestra, so our-- the techniques we can use today verses just even ten to fifteen years ago where the movie would be scored, uh, you wouldn't even hear what it would sound like with all the instruments until you actually went into the recording session with the orchestra. Nowadays, we could-- we basically heard the entire score. We were able to tweak it, frame by frame, you know, second by second, so that musical hits happen just as we wanted them to, um, before we actually spent the money to go in and record it with the orchestra. And I think that, uh, still, to my ear and to Michael's ear the real instruments still sound so much better, but, uh, ultimately we went with the orchestra, of course, but, uh, technology has really enabled us to have much more control over what the movie will sound like, and the experience for the viewer rather than waiting until the moment for the orchestra recording.

  214. Michael Haigney

    As far as doing the voices, it's a little, uh, almost backwards, and instead of having, uh, each act-the actors come in and do their lines in real-time, uh, we have the actors come in and do one role straight through. We'll have, uh, Veronica come in and-and do Ash, all-all of the Ash lines, and then, uh, Rachel would come in and do the, uh, Misty and Jessie lines, and so it's sort of building a puzzle up from, uh, one piece at a time, and then after the last actress finish, you'll finally have something you can to listen to.

  215. Norman J. Grossfeld

    And it also puts the actor that comes in first at a little bit of a disadvantage because that actor is basically, uh, emoting by itself, and, uh, they only have the Japanese voices to react to, and ultimately the last actors that come in actually can hear all the other English voices before them. It makes their job probably a little bit easier.

  216. Michael Haigney

    Now, upcoming is the mistake, or so-called mistake, that we left in on purpose, Norman.

  217. Norman J. Grossfeld

    Uh, this is blooper alert, keep your eyes focused, uh, on the screen.

  218. "There goes Alakazam"
  219. Norman J. Grossfeld

    That actually is not Alakazam, that is Scyther, and that's actually a mistake that we made, uh, we actually made a mistake when we first, uh, did the first draft of the script, and we actually recorded that incorrectly. We did catch ourselves.

  220. Michael Haigney

    Right. I think the son of the, uh, sound effects editor noticed it, watching the film.

  221. Norman J. Grossfeld

    Right, and before it was completely done, and pointed it out to us, and we ultimately maybe it was laziness, but maybe it was genius, I don't know, decided that (MH: It was genius.) (Both: It was genius.), uh, we decided to keep the mistake in: A) To make something fun for the kids to spot, and also, we realized that, well, would Team Rocket actually know every Pokémon and would be experts to see the silhouettes and point them out correctly? And we decided, ultimately, that, "Oh, they can make a mistake, so, uh, we can make a mistake."

  222. Michael Haigney

    But it will never happen again.

  223. Notes

    1. They mis-name Sandslash as Sandshrew in the movie a few seconds later.
  224. Ash struggles against the electronic arms of the cloning machine.
  225. Norman J. Grossfeld

    In case you weren't aware of what just happened while inside there, actually the machine did, in fact, once it hooked up to the red button on that black ball, the, uh, cloning device did get the DNA information for Pikachu that it required to make a Pikachu clone.

  226. "They're fabulous fakes!"
    "Send in the clones!"
  227. Norman J. Grossfeld

    We're still settling the lawsuit (MH: Heheheh) over that particular line.

  228. "The Poke-riginals!"
  229. Norman J. Grossfeld

    So, kids, I don't know about you, but I feel when the, uh, Squirtle and Bulbasaur over here, it's like old friends returning, these are the characters that we've seen Ash acquire from the very beginning of the TV series, and they've been with us. They've actually refused to, uh, evolve in the TV series, so they stay cute the way they are, and they're my favorites, actually. Michael, what's your favorite Pokémon?

  230. Michael Haigney

    That is-that's a tough decision. I-I kind of-- I have to be honest, and it's not just because I do the voice, I kind of like Psyduck. Psyduck has its own unique personality, not that the others don't, but, uh, Psyduck is a constant worrier, uh, a chronic headache sufferer, and, um-

  231. Norman J. Grossfeld

    Very much like you.

  232. Michael Haigney

    Very much like me! I don't get headaches, (NG: Well, but-) I give them, but, uh-

  233. Norman J. Grossfeld

    And-and somewhere, I guess, Psyduck would be losing its hair.

  234. Michael Haigney

    Hahaha, thanks. I hope that can be cut out of the-hahaha.

  235. Mewtwo opens the doors for the trainers to leave.
  236. Norman J. Grossfeld

    And you would think that Mewtwo redesigning the castle that the hinges wouldn't squeak.

  237. Michael Haigney

    Heheh, you're right. (NG: Heheh) Yeah, I noticed that, too. The, uh, woman who turned out to be Nurse Joy, she's, uh, has the holographic thing, but she has a kerosene lamp with her, too, so this is a mingling of old and new technologies, which I guess is kind of fun.

  238. "With Pokémon and humans eliminated..."
  239. Norman J. Grossfeld

    This is the moment that was, uh, great in the theatres, it's great in the DVD, Ash coming through the smoke. The theatre erupted in applause, and, uh, it was a great moment for us to see so many people react to a moment in the film. I don't remember the last time I've been to a theatre where people were-were applauding, except at the end of the movie, uh, (MH: Heheheh.) of a particularly bad movie (MH: "Glad it was over!" Heheheh.) that I might have seen that I can't wait to get out of it. But this is a great moment for-for us.

  240. "It's not going to end like this, Mewtwo..."
  241. Norman J. Grossfeld

    A little trivia here that Ash's cap is, actually, everybody wonders what the "L" or what that means, what that symbol on that cap. (MH: What that logo is.) That logo, uh, relates to the Pokémon League, and Ash, I think, had to, uh, send a million entries to win that particular cap, uh, I guess it was a cereal box entry thing that, ultimately, he won the cap-- one of the few kids who won that cap.

  242. Michael Haigney

    Right. It's in one of the episodes in the second season, I believe, right?

  243. Norman J. Grossfeld

    Uh, actually the Pokémon League itself was, but his mention of-of how he got the cap was in season number one.

  244. Michael Haigney


  245. Mewtwo destroys Mew's pink bubble.
  246. Norman J. Grossfeld

    This is, uh, I guess, the moment everybody was waiting for: to see the showdown between Mew and Mewtwo.

  247. Mew dodges all of Mewtwo's attacks.
  248. Norman J. Grossfeld

    Basically Mew doesn't really realize that there's a battle even going on here; she's having a good time. Uh, I think that most people in the, uh, audience watching this portion of the movie probably never thought Mew would strike back. So when the moment when Mew does strike back, it was probably the biggest cheers, I think, uh, in the theatre was this moment coming up in a few minutes. Again, it surprised me that, uh, people would react with applause and cheering in a movie theatre.

  249. "This world is too small for two of us!"
  250. Michael Haigney

    Technically, I guess, um, Mew-Mewtwo is not an evolution of Mew.

  251. Norman J. Grossfeld

    That's correct.

  252. "Why do you flee from me? Are you afraid to find out which of us is greater?"
  253. Norman J. Grossfeld

    Related in an unusual way?

  254. Michael Haigney

    Right, I guess (NG: But not an evolved form.) it's kind of a unique-- and the fact that there are only one of each, is not more unique, just unique.

  255. Mew finally gets struck by Mewtwo.
  256. Michael Haigney

    We had a--remember Norman?--we had a big debate about whether Mewtwo sh-er-should have a little laugh there. (NG: Right) Do you recall that? (NG: Yes, I did.) We-we couldn't decide whether psychically you would be laughing, so-- psychically or something, (NG: Heheheh.) we, heheh, went back and forth a lot about that.

  257. Norman J. Grossfeld

    But for dramatic effect we ultimately decided that we put it in there.

  258. Michael Haigney


  259. "But I have no time for games."
  260. Norman J. Grossfeld

    This is a key moment here for-for, uh, coming up, obviously we're setting up the showdown here between Mewtwo's super-clones and the regular "Poke-riginals," uh, but the Japanese animators and storytellers decided that the Pokémon would not use their special powers and abilities against each other, and so the challenge for us was to kind of quickly try to figure out a way to explain what seemed to be unexplained in the Japanese version, which was why they are not using their powers, so we came up with a little device where basically Mewtwo, using his incredible psychic powers, inhibits the Pokémon's abilities. Here it comes.

  261. The rubble from the explosion is about to pummel down on Team Rocket.
  262. Norman J. Grossfeld

    First a little destruction and we'll get to the explanation.

  263. Michael Haigney

    Exactly. Heheheh.

  264. "I will block all of the Pokémon's special abilities using my psychic powers"
  265. Norman J. Grossfeld

    Seems like a very short line, but, heheh, actually was the subject of probably weeks (MH: Heheheh.) of discussion to be able to come up with that explanation right there.

  266. Ash struggles to haul himself up the cliff.
  267. Norman J. Grossfeld

    For us, this next scene, uh, was a little bit worrisome because, uh, you, know, most people that are involved in Pokémon are used to seeing the Pokémon battles being these incredible displays of all these special powers and abilities that these Pokémon have, depending on what element they're derived from, like electrical attacks or water attacks or whatever, and here now we see the Pokémon basically having a fistfight, which we, uh, explained away just seconds ago with Mewtwo's, um, explanation of what it will be doing, but we-we decided after scoring orchestrally, this portion of the movie, we decided to add this song, uh, kind of juxtaposing the message of the song with the, uh, the battling or so onscreen, t-to try to, I guess, I don't know, diffuse a little bit of the-the, uh, impact of the battle scene.

  268. Michael Haigney

    Right. I guess the-the song kind of, as you said, juxtaposes, it works i-i-its lyrics and its message are kind of working against what we're seeing on this screen. We didn't want, make it seem like we thought' "Hey, this is a really great thing," because it really is kind of, a-as the song conveys. It's kind of against the spirit of Pokémon, that Pokémon don't fight in this way, they battle using their abilities and certainly not, uh, to the death, um, and so I think it worked pretty effectively.

  269. Pikachu's clone shoots out electric sparks.
  270. Norman J. Grossfeld

    Of course, I don't understand why this particular Pikachu is still is able to display its electrical powers and not use them in battle. Uh, I guess this would be blooper number two (MH: Hahaha.) that we can point out for you.

  271. The clone Charizard bites Ash's Charizard's neck.
  272. Michael Haigney

    I think in this section, originally, there were some pretty intense, uh, Pokémon, uh, voices here that really kind of pointed out-pointed up the pain that they were going through, and we decided that we didn't really want to use them.

  273. Norman J. Grossfeld

    Yes, and also the sound effects were much more intense and we decided to let the music tell the drama of the story here, uh, and it's like that-- really, throughout the movie, or any experience that we have in producing anything, it's a lot of fun to make those choices in the mix of-of the movie, ultimately, so that we can paint a different mood depending on the choices we make in the mix, and the mix for this movie actually took about, uh, three weeks to go through and decide, scene by scene, how to balance the dialogue with the sound effects and the music, uh, which is a lot of fun.

  274. Michael Haigney

    Exactly. Virtually all the sound effects were in, uh, so it wasn't from scratch, so e-even, you know, almost a month, uh, just dealing with the sounds that we already did have: music and effects and things.

  275. Both Meowth confront each other.
  276. Norman J. Grossfeld

    Now Meowth, uh, in the Japanese version as we mentioned earlier, is more of a philosopher, and, uh, this scene, uh, befuddled us for, I think, quite a while, deciding what to do with it, and we actually contemplated cutting this entire scene out, uh, because what they discussed in the Japanese version really fit just the Japanese character of Meowth, and not our own Meowth, and, uh, it wasn't really until, I guess, uh, the last minute we decided ultimately that-- Michael, uh, had a lot of wha-what Meowth had to say here, and did a great job of making this scene fit our Meowth, and the message here is beautiful.

  277. Michael Haigney

    I think that the-- in the series, too, there are some, or-or in a couple of the episodes, not sure if it was in the first or second season, uh, Meowth is kind of singing a song and-and it sort of, uh, capsulizes its-his philosophy, uh, which doesn't appear in the U.S. version of the TV series, so-

  278. Norman J. Grossfeld

    Right, the end credits of the Japanese version has a song that (MH: Right.) points out Meowth's view of life, and we don't use that in the end credits in the Amer-in the United States.

  279. Ash grunting as he scales the building around him.

  280. Norman J. Grossfeld

    You know, listening to this scene, by the way, i-it's interesting to viewers to, uh, see that-the-there was no voice, there was no dialogue there, but there was basically Ash moaning and heaving and doing all these other (MH: Heheheh.) sounds. Those take hours and hours of work to get those sound right.

  281. Ash continues to climb down the building.
  282. Michael Haigney

    It takes a lot of time to get them wrong sometimes, too. (Laughs)

  283. Norman J. Grossfeld

    As you you're seeing right here.

  284. "Whoah!"
    Ash hits the ground.
  285. Michael Haigney

    Well, Veronica does a-a tre-tremendous job, and, uh, but those are hard. There are a lot of non-verbal, uh, lines, if you want to call them, in both the series and in the movie, and it's-it's a real challenge for the actors to convey a meaning with just a grunt or a groan or a sigh or-or that-- I think that they did very well. I think that this was a particularly tough scene because, uh, wi-with Pikachu going hand-to-hand like that is just-- it was disturbing for a lot of people.

  286. Norman J. Grossfeld

    Great message here, though. You know, Pikachu's just making a stand and deciding that, uh, "We don't have to fight."

  287. "I'd rather risk my life out in Mewtwo's storm than watch these Pokémon..."
  288. Norman J. Grossfeld

    As you can imagine, uh, you know, we worked-we worked on this film and on the TV series, we were doing it for a couple of years now, but, uh, we worked on this movie for about six months, (MH: Right.) and we wind up joking around (Michael Haigney chuckles) a lot behind the scenes and putting in different lines. We-we would put, just for ourselves, for fun, we put other lines in the characters' mouths, uh, a little bit later in the movie, uh, when Ash, um, basically gets turned to stone, there was a tiny little line-

  289. Michael Haigney

    Oh, yeah, I do remember that! Heheheh.

  290. Norman J. Grossfeld

    -a tiny little section where Misty--Misty, in the Japanese version, I-I don't even know what she said, I don't remember, but we has to say maybe two words, and we must have written hundreds of two-word lines for Misty to say when she looks and sees that Ash is, uh, knocked out and, or perhaps, dead, and ultimately-- o-one of the funnier (MH: Heheh.) lines for TV viewers also, Misty looks over at Ash and she would just-- in-in our version and just for ourselves, she says, "My bike!" (MH: Hahahaha.), and if you're a viewer of the TV show you would understand that Misty's basically following Ash around, waiting to get her bike back, uh (MH: Heheh.), Ash broke her bike earlier in the series and if you're listening to this and have no idea what I'm talking about, (Michael Haigney laughs) you're thinking I'm a complete idiot, but-but I bet a bunch of you out there got a good laugh at that.

  291. Michael Haigney

    We didn't actually record, and don't look for any of these outtakes on any black market because we don't ever-- rarely record any of these, but, uh, they're fun to think about.

    Misty: My Bike
    I made a visual version of this joke this back when the internet had less resolution (please forgive the tiny image size).
  292. Ash starts to turn to stone.

  293. Norman J. Grossfeld

    And here is the, coming up very shortly, is that line that we discussed where Misty could have said basically anything.

  294. "Mew?"
  295. Norman J. Grossfeld

    On the TV series, we allude it in our record albums, we allude to the fact that Ash, uh, Misty has a crush on Ash, and vice versa. Um, we never really delve into that too much in the TV show, but we came up with a bunch of different lines. That kinda seems anti-climatical when you hear the line itself. (Michael Haigney laughs) It's like: "Is that the best they could do?" Here it comes.

  296. Michael Haigney

    It's two flaps, I think. I guess this is the emotional, uh, high point of the movie, and, uh, when we saw it in the screenings, a lot of tears and sobs and-and a lot of, uh, people, not just children that were very, uh, moved by this scene.

  297. "Please, no."
  298. Norman J. Grossfeld

    There you go, that's the line that we came up with, (MH: That was-) heheheh.

  299. Michael Haigney

    With two flaps, it took us forever to come-to come up with that.

  300. Pikachu starts crying for Ash.
  301. Norman J. Grossfeld

    It was very gratifying for us, uh, actually, I just came back right before this, uh, session here, I just came back from Japan and, uh, the Japanese creators of the movie and, uh, of all the Pokémon, uh, storylines they, uh, thirty of them flew to the United States on the weekend that this movie opened, and wanted to see this with an American audience, just like a regular moviegoer and see our version of the movie, and I was just spending some time with them in Japan and they told us when they saw this scene, they were actually moved to tears themselves, knowing the story and all, but we had obviously redone the music and redone the performance, uh, so that was-that was very nice to hear. Probably they weren't crying because we changed (MH: Heheheh. No-haha.) the movie, but actually crying because of the emotion of it.

  302. Michael Haigney

    No, and the music does add tremendously to this scene, um, a little bit different than the original Japanese.

  303. Ash's body glows a blue aura.
  304. Norman J. Grossfeld

    Now this tear scene, with the Pokémon tears flowing and bringing Ash back to life, it's something we felt-- earlier we had mentioned that we had to allude this somewhere earlier, and the harbor manager tells the legend of Pokémon tears, which is an all-new concept that we, uh, inserted in the movie just so that this didn't come out of any-- just didn't come out of nowhere.

  305. Michael Haigney


  306. Ash is revived.
  307. Norman J. Grossfeld

    You know, whe-when we were putting the story together, I guess we-we hate to preach messages to the moviegoers or the viewers, but Pokémon is so popular, uh, I think Michael and I and all the people that were involved felt that we had an opportunity to-to, I guess, get some messages across, and-and I guess we both feel responsible that Pokémon continues to be a positive influence in the lives of kids and, uh, has positive messages, so we added a couple of things, uh, we inserted a couple of thoughts for Mewtwo here at the end, kind of a wrap-things-up, uh, wrap some of his thoughts up and bringing some resolution to what he and we all have gone through with this movie.

  308. Michael Haigney

    Obviously, the basis of th-the-- that the Japanese creators laid down was-- it was such a positive message and kids all around have really responded to it and-and we hoped that we were able to enhance it and clarify it a little bit for, uh, the English-speaking audience.

  309. The Pokémon clones are lifted up to the sky.
  310. Norman J. Grossfeld

    Another, I guess, a blooper, I don't know if you'd call it a blooper, is that we see Charizard that was Mewtwo's original clone. If you recall, Mewtwo also captured Ash's Charizard and made a clone out of that one as well, but we never see its appearance in this film. So I guess we're up to four-four little bloopers that we pointed out for you.

  311. Michael Haigney

    Maybe that would be explained in the next film.

  312. Norman J. Grossfeld

    Oh, you just gave away another secret.

  313. Michael Haigney

    I'm sorry, I'm sorry.

  314. "Mewtwo, where are you going?"
    "Where my heart can learn what yours knows so well. What transpired here I will always remember, but perhaps for you these events are best forgotten..."

  315. Norman J. Grossfeld

    So we had actually tried to figure out a way that we can make the moviegoer forget that the-they had seen Pokémon with this little special effect here so would feel that they would have to go again (Michael Haigney laughs) and again. They'd have no recollection of the movie-- the technology was just not really in place at the time, I guess in the future we have to come up with something that basically works like this where you just have no idea that you've just done something.

  316. Michael Haigney

    You lose the meaning and you get right back in line.

  317. Norman J. Grossfeld


  318. "This could be the worst storm ever!"
  319. Norman J. Grossfeld

    Is that a, uh, screen that's viewing the water outside?

  320. Michael Haigney

    Yes. They feel that windows are too low-tech, uh, they're really at the cutting edge of technology at the harbor here.

  321. "Nurse Joy and Officer Jenny are really great! They just keep getting more beautiful every time I see them!"
  322. Norman J. Grossfeld

    When we produce the TV series or-or the feature film, what we do is whenever we see any Japanese writing that's embedded in the animation we typically remove it by [rotoscoping?] or painting out frame-by-frame the Japanese writing so that international audiences kind of get that feeling that it's not just a Japanese movie. Here, though, many viewers have pointed out to us that we left the Japanese writing in, and I-I think we ultimately decided to do that because this is a harbor, a port of call that many international visitors, and so we justified to ourselves (MH: Heheh.) that leaving the Japanese writing in because there would be Japanese visitors, along with many other foreign language speakers at this port. So for all of you that have written in, wondering why that one little bit of Japanese writing survived, that's the answer.

  323. "Hey, what's that?"
    "What's what? I don't see..."
  324. Michael Haigney

    Coming up, there is a reference to the very first episode coming up here now, I think.

  325. "Hm. The day I left home to start my Pokémon journey, I saw a really rare Pokémon, and just now, I thought I saw another one."
    "Well, maybe you're just seeing things, Ash."
    "Well, maybe he's not!"
  326. Michael Haigney

    Did we ever identified what that rare Pokémon was?

  327. Norman J. Grossfeld

    You know, that rare Pokémon, um, will appear in the Gold and Silver versions of the Game Boy game. It will also be part of our Gold and Silver television series, which will be start airing-- we'll start airing those, uh, I guess, September of 2000. In the United States.

  328. "Team Rocket's signing off agaaaaaiiiin!!"
  329. Norman J. Grossfeld

    And this is Norman Grossfeld with Michael Haigney (MH: Heheheh.) signing off again. We look forward to spending some time with you on the next movie, uh, which will be coming out, hopefully, very soon.

  330. Michael Haigney

    Hope you enjoyed it!

  331. Norman J. Grossfeld

    Thank you!