As the parent to a kid who loves Pokémon and has done for quite some time, I have seen the majority of the over 20 Pokémon movies. I have to say that I would probably rank Pokémon the Movie: Secrets of the Jungle quite near the top of my list of what I consider to be the best Pokémon movies.
How to Stream or Download Pokémon the Movie: Secrets of the Jungle
The film is available on Netflix. Download the Netflix App, and click on the Download button at the end of the review.
The Movie Review
The first thing to note is that they have ditched the CG animated style from the last movie which was kind of awkward Going back to the 2D style of animation was a great choice and this is the best-looking Pokémon movie to date. The movie was released on Netflix (outside of Japan) and as a result, it had one heck of a reception when it was first released.
The plot of the movie has more than a few similarities with other movies. I am not talking about Pokémon movies either, I got major Jungle Book and Avatar (the blue people Avatar, not the last air bender!) vibes the whole time I was watching this movie. The whole time I was watching this movie I could not believe how great it looked. I have a 4K TV and even though this was just in 1080p, it looked phenomenal.
Thankfully, Pokémon the Movie: Secrets of the Jungle is not a movie that is just trying to get by on its looks. It has a pretty meaningful and interesting story as well. We are introduced to a new character, Koko, who was abandoned as a child and raised by the legendary Pokémon, Zarude! See what I mean about it being like the Jungle Book?
While he loves living with his Pokémon family, he has to be introduced to the human world and this is where he comes across Ash and Pikachu. There are quite a lot of laughs and seeing Ash react to a guy who was raised by Pokémon is very interesting and you can tell that he really wants to help him.
The conflict of the movie comes from this giant company that wants to basically destroy the forest that Koko and his Pokémon family call home in order to get its resources. This is where I felt they took inspiration from Avatar. Ash, Pikachu, and a few other surprise helpers work with Koko and the other Pokémon to try and save their home.
Look, I know that this story is not exactly original, but I feel it is told very well. I really liked the focus on loving, caring, and respecting animals and their habitats. I think it is a great message for kids to take in. Also, the movie also has a bit of caring for the environment message going on as well.
It does all this, but not in a preachy way, and that I think helps the message get across much better. Pokémon the Movie: Secrets of the Jungle is a fun time, but it is also has a deep message too. I have found that some of the other Pokémon movies can drag a bit, but this one really did fly by as it was so entertaining and lovely to look at too.