Pokemon celebrated its 20th Anniversary in a big way a few years ago when the 20th film in the franchise revisited Ash and Pikachu's first adventures in the anime with a major facelift.
If you missed out on it before, now's your chance to see it as Pokemon the Movie: I Choose You! is now streaming on Netflix in the United States. Unfortunately for fans of the Japanese original, the movie is only available in its English dub (along with its German, Italian, French, and Spanish dubs for those interested).
Pokemon the Movie: I Choose You! was the first film in the current Sun and Moon iteration of the anime series and celebrates Pokemon's 20th anniversary. Directed by Shoji Yonemura, it was first released in Japan in July 2017 with a limited theatrical run worldwide on November 5. It then had its English language broadcast premiere on Disney XD November 25. The film acts as sort of a soft-reboot of the anime franchise with a loose retelling of Ash's adventures through the Kanto region.
Although it shares a lot of similarities with Ash's adventures through the Indigo League -- such as Ash catching his first non-Pikachu Pokemon Caterpie, releasing Butterfree into the wild, winning against the Celadon gym leader, and his first encounter with Charmander -- there are a few new twists such as new companions, visits from Pokemon who had yet to be introduced to the series at the time like the legendary bird Ho-Oh, and a threat from a brand new legendary Pokemon, Marshadow.
The film was full of nostalgic nods for fans who have been following the series since its initial premiere in April 1997. The film even has a gorgeously animated opening featuring characters from the first Pokemon movie, Pokemon: The First Movie - Mewtwo Strikes Back. But the biggest moment that got fans' attention was Pikachu speaking English for the first time.
Although Pikachu and Ash's relationship gets off to a rocky start much like it did in the anime, the film takes a major detour to bring the two together. Accompanying a trippy dream sequence that totally feels unlike Pokemon, it all caps off with Pikachu speaking to Ash with more than just "Pikachu." That may not seem too shocking now after the first trailer for the live-action/CG hybrid Detective Pikachu premiered, but this was a truly momentus event for fans of the franchise.