Pokemon: Mewtwo Strikes Back Evolution Director Explains Why Film Was Done Entirely in 3D

The Pokemon franchise recently debuted its widely anticipated 22nd film, Pokemon: Mewtwo Strikes Back Evolution, and what caught fans' eyes early on was that the movie was entirely animated in CG. Standing out from previous films in the franchise, this was an all CG animated remake of the original Mewtwo Strikes Back film and fans were wondering why the Pokemon franchise decided to go in this surprising new direction for their latest film.

During its panel at Anime Expo 2019, of which ComicBook.com was in attendance, director Kunihiko Yuyama was asked why the film was CG animated rather than the traditional 2D animation of the rest of the franchise and revealed The Pokemon Company had planned to use 3D animation for some time before this film.

As Yuyama explained, "it has been our plan to use 3D animation on a Pokemon movie for some time now." But there were some hesitation about whether or not they would be able to properly convey everything through this CG animation, "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."

But Yuyama mentioned that the staff reached a pleasing point with these techniques as it resulted in new visual imagery, "[W]e felt like there was a level of depth and a level of interesting imagery that we were able to achieve thanks to the 3D technology that we used."

Even with this new level of visual fidelity, Yuyama still had a few fears about releasing a fully 3DCG film, "[T]his is first time we have done full 3D computer generated animation. And so even though we've done over 20 Pokemon movies, it feels like this is the first time. And I was so worried that this was just going to be a flop and that people weren't going to like it."

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But luckily for everyone involved, the film earned rave reviews from fans after its debut screening. Unfortunately, there is currently no word on an English language release for the film as of this writing. It was confirmed, however, that the next Pokemon film project is currently in the works so fans of the traditional 2D animation will most likely get a return to form soon enough.

Pokemon the Movie: Mewtwo Strikes Back Evolution officially released on July 12th in Japan. The film is directed by Kunihiko Yuyama and Motonari Sakakibara, with a screenplay written by Takeshi Shudo. There was a hint that the film would be a complete CG remake of the original Mewtwo Strikes Back film, but that was not confirmed until the first audiences saw it for themselves during its world premiere at Anime Expo 2019 earlier this month.