Today in Movie History – July 21st, 2000 – Pokemon: The Movie 2000 Released

By: Sean Sporman
By: Sean Sporman

The second feature film based on a popular series of video games was released on this day in history fourteen years ago.

Pokemon, or Pocket Monsters, began as a role-playing game for the Nintendo Game Boy in the mid-1990s in Japan. In the game, players controlled a trainer who traveled across a land training and catching creatures known as Pokemon, while battling other trainers, rivals, enemies and gym leaders on the way. The games were later released across the world, and became massively popular. This success led to an anime series being made based on the games, and like the games, the anime was a big hit, and led to a feature film.

Following the success of Pokemon: The First Movie from 1999, a second movie was produced. It would be released in Japan a year before its American release on July 21, 2000. Pokemon: The Movie 2000 followed the adventure of Ash Ketchum, Misty, and Tracey in the Orange Islands—the setting of the anime's second season—as they encountered a variety of legendary Pokemon. The movie was preceded by a special Pokemon short.

The film had original songs from artists like Weird Al Yanokvic and Donna Summer. In fact, during the 2012 presidential campaign, Republican candidate Herman Cain quoted lyrics from the Donna Summer song made for Pokemon: The Movie 2000 multiple times.

The film was successful, and would be followed in theaters by another Pokemon film. In fact, Pokemon films continue to be released in theaters in Japan, although they are mostly released direct-to-video and TV in the US. The seventeenth Pokemon animated feature was just released in Japan two days ago.

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