Pokemon recently experimented with its film franchise in a major way with the first completely 3D CG animated film hitting theaters in Japan last year. But rather than be an entirely original project, this experimental film was instead a complete remake of the very first movie ever released, Mewtwo Strikes Back (otherwise known as Pokemon: The First Movie in the United States). While there were a few notable changes to the original film for the remake, it was largely a faithful retelling of the original film. This even comes down to complete recreations of scenes, and now fans have a great example of how.
In this side by side comparison video from Clau World, fans can see the opening credits sequences of Mewtwo Strikes Back EVOLUTION and see how much, yet how little has been changed from the original film released in 1998. Check it out in the video above and see how many changes you can spot (if any!).
Pokemon the Movie: Mewtwo Strikes Back EVOLUTION was an anniversary celebration of the Pokemon film franchise that fans in the United States may never actually get to officially see for themselves. Released last July in Japan, there was a mystery as to if the film would actually be a full remake until it premiered.
Directed by Kunihiko Yuyama and Motonari Sakakibara, with a screenplay written by Takeshi Shudo, some fans in North America were able to catch a screening at Anime Expo 2019 but there have yet to be any plans announced to bring the film to the region in a greater capacity. As the Pokemon franchise is now currently working on the next film, a full release for this CG remake is far more unlikely.
But looking at this comparison video, an official release might not be too bad of an issue considering that it really looks to be a complete remake. There have been some changes to character designs (and a Golem has been replaced by Drowzee), but the film is the same outside of a few visual shake-ups. This is conjecture, for sure, but this could be the conclusion the Pokemon staff made in Japan as well and didn't quite bother with a worldwide release much like the other films in the franchise released thus far.
As for why this new film is CG, director Kunihiko Yuyama explained the staff's reasoning behind this decision during Anime Expo 2019, "it has been our plan to use 3D animation on a Pokemon movie for some time now. However, we felt that using 3D animation technology, we could portray maybe an extra level or different dimension of the Pokemon world that maybe would be a little bit difficult to do with one dimensional methods."