Pokémon Movie Review: The Shaymin movie

Featuring the evil gijinka Giratina man

Written by ritabuuk and dubiousdisc
Posted on January 29th 2022
Japanese DVD cover
Giratina and the Sky's Bouquet: Shaymin

After the big important celebratory number ten Pokémon movie, this movie is... the one after the tenth. They pulled all the stops for the number ten, and then there weren't any stops left. Movie eleven is just kind of there. A bit of a lull.

This movie is titled "Giratina and the Sky's Bouquet: Shaymin". The title follows the same pattern as the Lucario movie, in which the actual main character is the one whose name is stapled on to the end of the title. Shaymin is the star here, and Giratina is more like a plot device / scenery.

We were puzzled by the previous movie featuring Dialga, Palkia... and Darkrai. What happened, where did Giratina go? Apparently, to this movie, to ensure that no starring legendary Pokémon is with its natural match. We would have never guessed that Shaymin has anything to do with Giratina. Well, to be fair, neither does Shaymin. It does spend the majority of this movie fleeing from Giratina.

The plot goes that this individual Shaymin is heading to the Gracidea flower garden to participate in the ritual flight of the Shaymins. However, its journey gets repeatedly derailed. And derailed is an understatement when we're talking about legendary eldritch beasts popping up from nowhere to rip reality asunder. Shaymin gets swept into this interdimensional fuckery, and then becomes the centerpiece of the evil plot of the gijinka Giratina man who is trying to take over the Shadow Realm.

Zero at his computer with Shaymin visible on the screen

Shaymin

Shaymin is known as the Gratitude Pokémon, but the protagonist Shaymin is kind of an asshole. It's selfish, arrogant, and rude.

So far, all of the cute little mythical Pokémon in these movies act just as cute as they look. Mew giggles on the windmill, Celebi eats berries cutely, Jirachi rides the ferris wheel, Manaphy says I love you... and Shaymin belches in Ash's face to make a point. Screeching with its adorable appearance, Shaymin is an absolute jerk.

Shaymin belches in Ash's face
Charming...

The subversion is interesting, but something went wrong in the execution. Shaymin is just meaninglessly and uninterestingly nasty. There is no motive, logic, theme, or psychology to its nastiness. The result doesn't feel like a character, but just a collection of various rude replies. Unfunny rude replies, no less.

Shaymin cries
Shaymin's tearful gratitude

And then, after a whole movie of Shaymin being nasty, right at the end it suddenly expresses its tearful gratitude to the twerps for bringing it to the flower garden. This is how character development works, right? One single moment in which it is announced that the growth has occurred, without anything actually in the plot to back it up. And no, the whee flight scene doesn't count as any sort of emotional development. It's just that the moment that Shaymin changes forme and flies around, the twerps start acting like they're all friends now, even though nothing has changed and Shaymin is just as nasty as before.

Shouldn't the plot have been all about gratitude, and what gratitude means to the characters and especially to Shaymin? Is there a reason why Shaymin is ungrateful that needs to addressed before it can experience gratitude?

For that matter, is this an individual problem for this particular Shaymin, or are all Shaymins actually assholes, and the whole connection of their species with gratitude is just misguided folklore? Like how we think of owls as being wise, but in real life they are often kinda dense?

Sometimes, flowers appear on Shaymin's back and burst into bloom. In the games, Shaymin's PokéDex description says:

The flowers all over its body burst into bloom if it is lovingly hugged and senses gratitude.
Pokémon Platinum
Shaymin flowers

But when it happens in the movie, there's nothing really to suggest that gratitude was involved. The best we can come up with is that they are glad to be able to hold Shaymin, but we're not sure if that really should count as gratitude. And then, the fact that Shaymin flowered is never addressed. And the only thing these events seem to have in common is that they all happen when Shaymin is in contact with a boob. Awkward.

But no, there is no internal reason and no internal development to anything that Shaymin does in this movie. There's nothing more to Shaymin's character than the rough idea of a cute legendary which doesn't act cute, and there's nothing more to Shaymin's character arc than the need to end the movie on a positive note, even if that means suddenly declaring that Shaymin has now learned its lesson, whatever that lesson is.

Shaymin being a jerk
Ash didn't even do anything wrong, why must his ear be pulled like that? That's reserved for things like, Brock hitting on Nurse Joy.

Another feature that highlights the flatness of Shaymin's character is what happens when it changes forme. When Shaymin goes Sky Forme for the first time, the twerps all ask leading questions like, "aren't you acting differently than before?". They tell us that Shaymin seems to be so much more confident now. But we don't detect any change to Shaymin's behavior, except that now it's delivering its asshole lines while flying. The English dub even lampshaded that, with the twerps noting later that it's still the same nasty Shaymin. And it really is. Not that it would have been that interesting if it changed personality to be more confident in the Sky Forme, but they didn't even really do that...

Also, sure Shaymin talks a lot for a Pokémon that shouldn't be able to speak. Usually in the Pokémon movies they use the excuse that psychic Pokémon have telepathy to explain how they can communicate with the twerps. They used the same excuse in this movie, as well... even though Shaymin is a Grass-type and has no psychic powers. We were willing to give Lucario the benefit of the doubt that it does have its special aura powers, but Shaymin doesn't have anything of the sort. Even more puzzlingly, in the whole beginning of the movie while it's been tossed around in the Reverse World, Shaymin doesn't speak and only makes sounds resembling its name like any other Pokémon in the anime. And when it first meets the twerps, it continues making sounds like that and it's not until after Dawn has given it a whole bath that it decides to use its ability to speak. Why did it take so long? Did Dawn's bath grant it the power to speak?

It's odd that this movie is so centered on Shaymin, and yet they didn't manage to even accidentally flesh it out.

The ritual

The flower garden

Nurse Joy explains that the Shaymins have a ritual. Every once in a while, the Shaymins gather in the flower garden, and then they all fly away together to establish a new garden somewhere else. Getting to the flower garden in time for the ritual is Shaymin's most pressing concern. In fact, it acts like it must make it there or else.

But why is it so urgent that Shaymin get to the flower garden? It will miss the reunion, but couldn't it attend the next one?

The movie does not address this critical plotpoint at all, but we wonder if the intention was that Shaymin needs to get to the flower garden to complete its life cycle before it dies.

The Shaymin leave

In our interpretation, we think it goes like this. Shaymins are born in the flower garden. They then live their life in their Land Forme. When the time comes, they all return to the flower garden. The Gracidea flowers transform them into Sky Forme so that they can fly. They all migrate to a place they deem suitable for a new garden. When they arrive there, they die, and their bodies become the new flower garden from which new Shaymin can be born, and the cycle continues. If a Shaymin reaching the end of its life cycle doesn't make it to the new flower garden, its body can't become part of the next garden, but it will just die alone and unfulfilled.

Ash crying

The movie does not go into any of this, but there are some reasons we think this way. Otherwise, we don't see why Shaymin is so desperate to get to the flower garden in time (rather than finding the new garden later or any other solution). It would also explain why the Gracidea flowers look exactly like the flowers that can bloom from Shaymin's back. The twerps also act as if they only have a limited time to spend with Shaymin, like what happened with Jirachi and Manaphy. And as Shaymin flies away, Ash starts crying while he tries to say that he hopes to someday see Shaymin again - as if he already knows this is impossible and is trying to lie to himself to make it easier. Dawn even turns to pity him as he bursts into tears. It must be that they will never meet again, and they know it already.

Bye Bye Butterfree

It reminds us of the Bye Bye Butterfree episode, in which Ash's Butterfree leaves for its spawning grounds and it's implied that it will die there, and will never be back. With the Shaymin movie, we have to do some major gymnastics to arrive at this conclusion, and we're not even 100% certain that this was actually the intention. The rules of the universe are never actually communicated.

Maybe the movie people felt they needed to avoid overtly addressing the topic of death (for some reason; plenty of Pokémon movies have gone there before), but if they were not willing to talk about such a critical plotpoint that affects the understanding of the main storyline, maybe this wasn't the best story to try to tell through the obliquest of oblique inferences. And really, we don't think that it would have been so hard to confront it in a child-friendly way.

If this was the idea, it could have been incorporated as a main theme of the movie and actually addressed. And in the process, it could have given an opportunity to explore Shaymin's character and motives. For example, maybe the reason that Shaymin is so nasty could have been that it's worried that it's going to miss the finale of its life, and is misdirecting its frustration by being rude to the twerps. And this could have given an opportunity for the twerps to understand and relate to what's happening. We can imagine a scene where Ash is upset about Shaymin lashing out at him, and Dawn could point out that, well, of course Shaymin is grumpy, wouldn't you be grumpy if something was in the way between you and your life's goal of becoming a Pokémon Master? And there we go, there's something that we think would strengthen the movie and is a perfectly child-friendly way of tackling the topic.

Giratina and the Reverse World

This is not exclusively the fault of the movie, since this is already all fucked up in the games, but let's take some time to rant about Giratina and how its whole concept as part of its trio doesn't make any sense.

Palkia, Dialga, and Giratina

Diamond and Pearl introduced Dialga and Palkia, the legendary Pokémon of Time and Space. "Space and time" is a common saying, but they're not two halves of a whole. Space contains three dimensions, and time the fourth. That's already very lopsided. Maybe you can think of it like, space is the reality that we are in, and time is the fact that reality changes and progresses.

But wait, there's one more legendary in this group! Giratina represents... antimatter.

Antimatter? But neither of the other two are matter. Space is not matter, time is not matter. Matter exists in space, and it changes over time. Matter is another concept entirely from space and time.

Generation IV was all about Formes, so they could have made a Matter Pokémon that changes Forme to be the Antimatter Pokémon. That's kinda almost what Giratina does already, since it changes forme whether it's in the world of matter or the world of antimatter. But if Giratina just always represents antimatter, then its two formes don't really even mean anything... In the movie, they have to grasp at straws to explain why Giratina changes forme, with some excuse about, maybe it's because of the difference in gravity between the two worlds. And even that explanation is delivered with maximum incredulity.

But yeah, Giratina usually lives in its own world of antimatter, the Reverse World. Now, if there was a world made of antimatter, there is nothing preventing it from looking exactly like our own world. The only difference would be the composition of the atoms. And if this antimatter world were to come in contact with our matter world, the matter and the antimatter would annihilate each other with a huge burst of energy.

But Giratina's Reverse World, as shown in the movie, has none of these properties of antimatter. The twerps can go there without any ill effects and without destroying whatever they touch. They can walk on the ground and breathe the air, and nothing explodes. If something is destroyed in the Reverse World, some spot in the real world is also affected, but not in any way that has anything to do with antimatter. More than the dimension of antimatter, the Reverse World is the dimension of mirrors and entirely too many houses, considering that Giratina is the sole inhabitant of the Reverse World. It has floating islands at weird angles and silly gravity. There are pillars made of infinitely reflecting mountains. The whole place looks like a weak attempt at aping Escher.

Houses in the Reverse World
Welcome to my twisted mind

It's especially frustrating that this is all so mangled because antimatter isn't some weird new theoretical idea, it's a well-studied thing that exists. Like, the first photographic evidence of a positron (an antimatter electron) was taken in 1932. In 1932! This has been known for a long time now, and you can easily read all about it. Antimatter has known properties that have been experimentally confirmed. So Game Freak setting out to explicitly make a Pokémon based on antimatter and bungling it all this badly is really pathetic.

Positron
Photographic evidence of the first observed positron (antimatter electron). The positron made the curved mark.

By the way, antimatter, just like matter, exists within space and within time, so the legendary lopsidedness continues.

The Diamond and Pearl movie trilogy tried to address the lopsidedness of these Pokémon and tried to give each member of the trio a more equal standing. So, in these movies, each Pokémon is the ruler of their own dimension. As we said, Giratina presides over the Reverse World of not-really-antimatter, more or less like in the games. Uniquely to the movies, Dialga lives in the Time Dimension, and Palkia lives in the Space Dimension.

Yeah, so, there is a dimension of nothing but space which exists outside of our dimension (which also has space). And there's the dimension of time where (when?) there's nothing but time, and presumably no space, somehow, even though Dialga can fit inside it. And these two dimensions are parallel to each other, and should never touch, or Palkia and Dialga will fight because they're stupid like that. And the Reverse World is like the air purifier of the "real world", the world which contains both space and time. The Reverse World is unrelated to the Time Dimension and the Space Dimension, and the only reason Giratina is getting involved here is because, when Palkia and Dialga trashed Alamos Town back in the previous movie, their destruction made the Reverse World work overtime correcting the imbalances, and Giratina wants some compensation, or at least for them to apologize and stop. Ah, right, and there's also the Unown Dimension where the Unown live, which is apparently unrelated to all of the above, but part of the cosmology as well. And all these silly dimensions seem to only house the one Pokémon that rules them. The Time Dimension and the Space Dimension seem to be otherwise complete voids. And even though the Reverse World is full of upside-down houses and random stuff, only Giratina lives there, and it's too big to fit into any of the little houses. What are they even for?

Anyway, they took the phrase "worldbuilding" a little too literally here, eh?

This is all just really stupid.

Newton and Zero

Newton

When the twerps fall into the Reverse World through the mirror, they meet Newton, a scientist who is studying this dimension. And because he's a scientist, he can be an unhindered font of exposition! His powers of exposition are so great, he can even explain plotpoints from the previous movie, even though he wasn't there. And even with his explanation, that movie still doesn't make any sense. Who cares about all these silly dimensions, tell us why Darkrai came back from the dead!

Newton has been camping through the looking glass for five years, but he wasn't always alone. Initially, he had an assistant, the aptly-named Zero. They were studying the Reverse World together, working on a device that would let them use the power of Giratina to be able to travel between the two worlds at will. As the project was nearing completion, Newton suddenly sprouted a conscience and realized that the device would most certainly kill Giratina in the process. But instead of discussing this with Zero calmly and like adults, Newton just walked up to the computer and started deleting all the files right in front of Zero, who could do nothing but watch.

Zero watches Newton delete all the files
MY THESIS!!!

In that moment, Zero has a complete breakdown. And can we really blame him? This was his life's work, and all of a sudden it's all over, destroyed by the person he had respected the most. So this is his villain origin story. He wants to complete the project after all, even if he has to reconstruct all the code from memory, so that he can destroy the real world and take over the Reverse World to become the king of his own private world of nothing. Nothing! Just like the file of his thesis after Newton DELETED it! Ehahahahahehahaha!

Zero

Zero justifies his actions by saying that the real world needs to be punished for mistreating the Reverse World and polluting it with its imbalances, but he also wants to get revenge on Newton... and become Giratina. He wants to kill Giratina both as part of completing the project and to replace it as ruler of the Reverse World. He's already got his whole Giratina gijinka cosplay outfit and the Giratina rocketship. We thought the themed apparel was because he liked Giratina, but we suppose it's more like a mink coat. People don't wear mink coats because they love minks. His cosplay is actually a declaration of war.

Zero has like, seventeen layers of chaotic motives, and we suppose that in his case, it makes sense that they are all conflicting, since he's so cracked and unstable. He's trying to divide by Zero!

But who is the bigger villain here? Newton is directly responsible for Zero's descent into madness. We understand that he had to terminate the project, but he did nothing to soften the blow for Zero or to help him after he took it badly. He shattered Zero's psyche, and then left. He didn't keep talking with Zero to help him understand that ending the project was necessary. He didn't help Zero get a new job. He didn't write him a letter of reference or anything. He didn't make sure he was doing okay with this sudden upheaval. No, Newton just went and left Zero unattended for five years to go skip rope in the Reverse World. And at no point in all that time did he think to apologize for ruining Zero's life.

Zero
Not sure why replacement-Newton is female and so overdesigned, but Zero wasn't doing well at that time.

Meanwhile, Zero is alone, trying to reconstruct the code from memory. He built himself an AI for company, and he named it Infi. Newton's name in Japanese is Mugen, which means Infinity. If this connection had been retained in the English dub, the AI would have been named Newtie. He made himself a new Newton, so he wouldn't be alone. And who's the assistant now?!

Newton then recounts their breakup by telling the twerps, "I had an assistant once..." as if the sentence continues, "...until he turned to the side of evil". But all he knows at that point is that Zero didn't immediately embrace the idea of deleting his own thesis. Newton had his epiphany about how the project was bad, and Zero's only failing is that he didn't have the same epiphany at the same time. That's enough for Newton to write him off as evil and treat him as if he's dead to him. When it's also his fault for not communicating his epiphany to his assistant! He was the boss and the mentor, it was his responsibility to direct Zero, and when he needed him the most, he abandoned him and left him to despair. And, what's worse, Newton doesn't seem to feel the slightest guilt for what happened.

It seems Zero's theories about the Reverse World's function are at complete odds with Newton's. Newton believes that the Reverse World is the natural counterbalance to the "real world", and that the toxic clouds that appear sometimes in the Reverse World are the byproduct of the Reverse World absorbing the imbalances of the "real world". He sees this as normal and beneficial. Meanwhile, Zero sees the toxic clouds as pollution that the "real world" is indiscriminately tossing into the Reverse World, and he sees this as being a detriment to the Reverse World.

How are their theories so different if they were studying the Reverse World together? Did Newton never communicate his theories to Zero properly just like his other decisions, or have his theories changed completely during his five-year stay in the Reverse World? Either way, it's not Zero's fault for not knowing Newton's latest theories.

Also, we're not sure we buy that the "real world" is not polluting the Reverse World. The Reverse World does indeed fill up with poisonous gas. Giratina is indeed pissed off at Palkia and Dialga for farting all over the Reverse World. If the toxic clouds were so normal, what would Giratina have to be so pissed about? Newton's explanation seems to be that the whole process is good because it benefits the "real world". He doesn't seem to have any concern for what is or isn't beneficial for the Reverse World. Maybe we are on Zero's side after all.

Newton type

Also, don't forget, Newton was the one who designed the stereotypically evil flying fortress of doom that would suck the powers of the Reverse World from Giratina until it died. He has creepy robotic arms in his backpack, which he uses to type and to get his smartphone for him, because he can't even be arsed to get his own smartphone out of his pocket without a robotic arm - also villain points. He also presumably was the person who armed the ship with the thin creepy tentacle claws. Jeez, what a sick fuck.

Well, maybe that's part of why he and Zero used to get along so well. Zero is totally a sick fuck. One of his plans involved shackling all the twerps with Magnemites, and then holding them in the toxic fumes of the Reverse World. "Try not to breathe it in~"

And then he had the Magnemites carry Shaymin into the toxic cloud, so that it has to absorb the toxins both in self-defense and to save its friends. "There we go~"

The twerps all shackled with Magnemites and forced to hold their breath inside the toxic cloud. Shaymin shackled with Magnemites and forced to absorb the toxic cloud
Geeeez!

Anyway, the plot never actually addresses that Newton was stealthily half of the villain here. Zero is presented as absolutely evil and Newton as good, if a bit eccentric. But what we see here is the story of a messy breakup. And Zero is probably the least guilty party here.

The plot converges

Anyway, the twerps and Shaymin have been traveling towards the flower garden while pursued by Zero and his Magnemites. They got on a train (seemingly without a ticket), met some passengers who happened to be carrying the Gracidea flowers that transform Shaymin into Sky Forme, and get directions to ride a boat to get to the flower garden.

When the twerps ride the boat, the so-far unclear location that this movie has been inspired by becomes obvious:

Anime fjord
Fjords in Norway!

Brock reads a whole tourist guide about the fjords and how they were formed by the glaciers. The referencing is obvious, but the result is pretty. For once, we can't say they copied reality but made it less impressive. They did a good job. Not very imaginative, but they get full credit on the background art looking good.

Jostedalsbreen Brock's tourist guide

While the boat is moving and the Pokémon are having a flight scene with Shaymin, everyone gets sucked to the Reverse World through the surface of the water which looks like a mirror. There's this implication that anything sufficiently reflective can become a portal to the Reverse World. If that's the case, wouldn't it be incredibly easy to fall to the Reverse World, and Newton and Zero are hacks not to have figured this out sooner? Or are portals opening around the twerps because Giratina specifically wants Shaymin to come to the Reverse World?

Because Giratina is currently unable to leave the Reverse World and needs Shaymin's help. Earlier in the beginning of the movie, Dialga put some sort of time barrier around Giratina, so that whenever it tries to leave, time rewinds and it's back where it was earlier. About at that time, Giratina happened to see that Shaymin's Seed Flare attack could punch a hole through dimensions. So, throughout the whole movie, Giratina has been pursuing Shaymin because it wants it to use Seed Flare to make a hole that Giratina will be able to leave through and keep chasing Dialga to exact its revenge.

This is also a plotpoint that is critical to the understanding of what's going on and that is not very clear at all. It took a few rewatchings and piecing things together. It's difficult to understand what Giratina wants, given that it only growls, and even though Shaymin presumably has telepathy, it doesn't know what Giratina wants. It thinks Giratina wants to eat it. Maybe Shaymin has only one-way telepathy.

In this movie, Seed Flare needs to be charged by poison and then can make holes in dimensions. In the games, it's just a strong Grass-type move with no special feature. The only special thing about it is that it takes leveling Shaymin to level 100, for a move that's not actually that interesting. It almost makes us wish that the move in the game worked more like how it was shown in the movie.

Ninety-nine percent extracted
Of course.

So, Seed Flare allows Giratina to leave the Reverse World, but Zero has been plotting that, when Giratina leaves the Reverse World, he'll be able to use it to power his machine. Zero manages to trap Giratina and use the machine to extract its powers, until Newton manages to hack it and stop the operation at 99% completion, and the airship crashes into the fjord.

With 99% of its power removed, Giratina is on the brink of death. All the forest Pokémon surround it to mourn it before it has even drawn its last breath . Newton says that they came because they know how important Giratina and the Reverse World are for the survival of the real world. How would the wild animals know about alternate dimensions that took him and Zero like years and years of research to know anything about? These Furrets are all quantum physicists!

With Giratina dying, Shaymin decides to use its own powers to heal it. Newton says Shaymin is using Aromatherapy to heal Giratina. We had a moment where we thought that sounds silly, but it must be because of unfortunate localization. No, the move is called Aromatherapy in Japanese too. Shaymin is using good vibes to heal Giratina. Break out all the scented candles, Giratina is sick!

But actually, Shaymin uses Aromatherapy by sitting on top of Giratina while screaming and groaning for a solid 40 awkward seconds.

Look, it's aromatherapy, never said it sounded any good.

What kind of massage studio is this, where you go and they put on the good smells and then they put a little hedgehog on your back and it screams...

Giratina is saved by the power of screaming loudly, the airship has been crashed, and all seems to be good. But then Zero bursts out of the surface of the water in his smaller airship and wrangles Shaymin with his giant man hands opens a portal and goes to the Reverse World anyway, because apparently 99% was enough and Newton's backpack arms aren't that fast at hacking.

Zero wants to sever the connection between the real world and the Reverse World. He starts breaking these pillars in the Reverse World which just so happen to correspond to the tethers of the glacier in the real world, and the glacier starts to move at alarming speed towards the flower garden. But not just that, it will also continue down the mountain and destroy that cute little village over there. The movie takes a few moments to show us visualizations of impending doom for the town. This is all based on the cute little village of Geiranger in Norway, which is also in constant threat of a potential landslide.

The glacier destroying homes
Distasteful

It was already enough drama that the glacier was going to destroy the special place where the special flowers grow that are the special breeding grounds of the Shaymin, but, if you must invoke the destruction of this real-world place, do we really need the visuals? Such poor taste.

While the glacier is moving, the Pokémon try to stop it by freezing it back in place. In particular, we notice all the Furrets are using Ice Beam. These Furrets are all quantum physicists, and they also all found TM13 Ice Beam. Or is it because they live in Norway? Norwegian Furret knows Ice Beam.

But not even Norwegian quantum physicist Furrets can stop the glacier. Yet, another appears to help. Under the glacier, there seems to have been a forgotten temple, and inside, something awakens. Regigigas just so happens to be sleeping right underneath this glacier, and its mission is to stop the glacier with its army of CG Mamoswine.

Regigigas and the Mamoswine
The Mamoswine didn't know to come earlier when Giratina was in trouble. The Mamoswine mustn't be quantum physicists.

Even though it's a legendary Pokémon, Regigigas doesn't make the title, and you can pretty much forget it's in this movie, just like its smaller compatriots in the Lucario movie. There are so many legendaries in Generation IV that they had to shove one in the last minutes of the movie while the filming was almost done and some of the actors had already gone home, and even with cameos like these, they still didn't manage to include every Generation IV legendary in these movies. Sinnoh is lousy with legendaries. Are they even that special when they make up a whole 13% of Sinnoh's Pokédex?

Also, ultimately, Regigigas didn't even succeed. It was Giratina fixing the pillars that stopped the glacier. Regigigas got a really poor role here. It should go talk with its agent (possibly with Suicune and the Pichu Brothers).

After a few more fight scenes, Zero is defeated for real, and his smaller airship crashes into the glacier. Dawn orders her Pokémon to encase the entire airship, with Zero inside, in the ice of the glacier, and then she leaves. She left him to die in the ice! Remorseless.

In the post-credits, Newton and Officer Jenny's platoon get Zero out of the ice. If not for Newton's charity, Dawn would have killed Zero.

Newton pulls Zero out of the wreckage
This ultra-gay moment is the least that Newton can do, after having been so awful to Zero for the whole movie.
The Sky's Bouquet
Dawn: It's the Sky's Bouquet!
Ash: The fucking what
Dawn: I don't know, it's in the title

Anyway, at the end Shaymin has made it to the flower garden, and it gets to participate to the ritual with the other Shaymins. While they're all flying, they form a whirlwind of flowers.

Also in the post-credits, the twerps send baskets of Gracidea flowers to their families, to express gratitude to their parents. We see Delia Ketchum receiving flowers, Dawn's mom gets her flowers... and then, wait, what? Brock sent flowers to his asshole parents?! No, no, those were intended for the siblings. We don't believe for a second that Brock would send flowers to his horrible parents. Especially not his mom.

Brock's parents and siblings receive flowers
Both of Brock's parents abandoned the family, leaving preteen Brock to raise his nine little siblings alone, robbing him of a childhood and his dreams. Then they came back like nothing happened. They should be grateful that Brock is even willing to speak to them.

Also, although the Team Rocket trio was in this movie as replacement assistants for Newton (who certainly has a type in terms of assistants), we were absolutely robbed of some sort of scene where Jessie and James and Meowth give each other Gracidea flowers. That's what we want to see! Not Brock's abusive parents getting flowers.

In conclusion

We found this movie mediocre. We don't like it, but we also don't hate it. We don't care enough to have strong feelings about it one way or the other. For example, it doesn't annoy us as much as the Darkrai movie, because we saw potential in the Darkrai movie, and we were annoyed for that wasted potential. The Shaymin movie does have things that could have been better, but, even if those improvements had been implemented, we think it would have still been a boring movie.

One of its biggest issues is that this movie is so long, yet it's just bloated with nothing. It could have probably been abridged into a quarter of its length. Into an anime episode. We zoned out most of the time, and not even only in the fight scenes. There were scenes that we agree are necessary, but they just were entirely too long for no reason. It was just like the movie itself was in slow-motion.

And yet, so little about the plot itself was explained, and so little about the characters was explored. We can kind of infer what the various arcs were supposed to be about if we try, but this movie is so vague and non-committal about everything, that it never really goes there.

Infi
It is kind of cute that Giratina has that face.

This wasn't even a movie with too many characters to flesh them all out, like the Deoxys movie. The only new characters are Shaymin, Giratina, Zero, and Newton, and yet none of them are really fleshed out, and none of them have an arc. The character of Zero makes sense, but primarily because most of what he does can be explained by the fact that he's cracked. Newton is mostly an exposition fairy, and the complexity of having some villainous traits is really just us seeing too much into things. He was on track to become a villain, but he stopped. How come? The movie never goes there. Giratina only growls angrily, until it smiles goofily. And we already talked about Shaymin and how that fell flat. And, for the record, Infi is not actually a character. She's just the bearer of lemniscate hair and reads the damage reports for Zero.

Even some existing characters didn't work out in this movie. Especially Brock. Brock has been slowly losing his soul ever since the Johto era, but in this movie it's really clear that he's on his way out. Apart from being the provider of pancakes and getting shoehorned into the obligatory uncomfortable scene where he hits on Nurse Joy, Brock is essentially not in this movie, except for a few moments where he himself comments on how he's not in the movie. Ash and Dawn go through the looking glass, but the portal closes before Brock can follow, so he spends that time sitting in the grass alone, wondering what happened. For the whole airship battle, Ash and Dawn jump onto Zero's flying Vespa and take off, and Brock is left behind on the grass again.

Brock, once again left behind on the grass says, "I'm starting to sense a pattern..."
Poor Brock

So, yeah, we don't recommend this movie. We found some things amusing about it, but only because we're trying to write these articles. You surely have better things to do with your time. Even for the interest of the supposed trilogy, none of these movies are actually improved by watching the others, and this one is especially skippable.

Notes

  1. Distortion World By the way, the Reverse World as shown in the games (the Distortion World) is no better. It just looks like a tech demo for the 3D capabilities of the Nintendo DS, and you have to solve a "puzzle" by putting rocks where the fairies point you to.
  2. Pikachu seems to tell Ash that Giratina is dead, but then they go, wait, no, it's breathing. Come on, Pikachu. Where did you get your medical degree?
  3. On the table, there's a beautiful bowl of salad with lovely tomatoes.  But with pancakes?!? Pancakes served with salad?!? What the fuck, Brock?