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Pokemon Live! (2000)

Back when Pokemon first took the world by storm, some Nintendo execs got it into their heads that people would love a live-action musical based on the cartoon. I don't know what he was smoking either, but he can keep right on smoking it, I won't tell the fuzz. You see, this musical is like those Taco Bell "Fire" chips they sell in supermarkets: they burn, but it's a good kind of burn.

-The characters are just like in the cartoon, but even more over-the-top and one-note. Ash won't shut up about being a Pokemon master, Misty is a killjoy who won't stop fuming about Ash forgetting her birthday, and Brock's a G-rated version of Quagmire. Team Rocket chews the scenery like a Gulpin and employ booby traps that even Wile E. Coyote would scoff at.

-The story revolves around Team Rocket leader Giovanni planning to conquer the world with a robotic Mewtwo that can learn any Pokemon moves used against it. He wants it to learn some Electric-type moves, so he sends Jessie and James out to kidnap Ash's Pikachu. But why do they need Ash's Pikachu? It doesn't have to be Ash's, or ANY Pikachu! What's wrong with learning the moves from a Voltorb or a Magnemite?! I'd be more concerned about this if Giovanni wasn't so wonderfully hammy.

-While we're on the subject of story, the musical actually tries to have some depth with the character of Ash's mother, Delia. She's struggling with Ash growing up faster than she would like (perhaps that's why he's been 10 years old for nearly two decades), and it kind of works...too bad it gets ruined with the "Everything Changes" ballad that kills the mood. Still, I'll gibe it a "You Tried" sticker.

-But the biggest reason to riff this, by far, is the fact that James is played by none other than Andrew Rannells, two-time Tony nominee and veteran of The Book of Mormon, Hamilton and Falsettos. Needless to say, this musical is a very old shame for him and he would much prefer if we just forgot about it. So let's put it front-and-center on Rifftrax!

Chris Mitchell, the show's producer, has uploaded the entire musical to his YouTube Channel here:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bDLj7hT1bk4

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  • Starkadder commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    Not to mention all the Pokemon are human sized. I watched the end of this to see Mewtwo come clomping onto stage with those huge feet. It works in the cartoon when he kinda floats around on his tiptoes, but they obviously couldn't make on stage, so...

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