Ash and friends (this time accompanied by newcomer Dawn) arrive at an idyllic village on their way to their next Pokemon contest, where chaos will soon erupt with the prophecy of two Pokemon Gods (Dialga and Palkia) and the arrival of a mysterious, seemingly deadly Pokemon named Darkrai, which has the power to distort space and time.
Directed by: Kunihiko Yuyama
. Starring: Rica Matsumoto
, Ikue Ôtani
, Yûji Ueda
, Megumi Toyoguchi
, Megumi Hayashibara
, Ryûji Akiyama
, Emily Bauer
, James Carter Cathcart
, Sean Elias-Reyes
, Kiyotaka Furushima
, Khristine Hvam
, Kôji Ishizaka
, Miyako Ito
. Music by: Shinji Miyazaki
With each new entry, the "Pokemon" movie series seems to get a little better. While the first movie was just awful, all of its sequels keep topping each other somehow. So Movie 10, "The Rise of Darkrai", may be the best one yet.
After the introduction, the movie literally starts out with a bang as the dragon-like legendary Pokemon Palkia and Dialga battle in some strange, otherworldly dimension. After the scene ends (but the battle doesn't), the story goes over to Ash, Brock, and their new companion Dawn. They're on their way to Alamos Town to take part in a Pokemon tournament and see the sights, in particular the Space-Time Tower and the town's gardens. But strange things are happening and the mysterious, ghostly Darkrai is being blamed. A local scientist says otherwise, but a posse is formed to capture or destroy it. But before our heroes can resolve that crisis, the battle between Dialga and Palkia spills into Alamos Town, threatening to destroy it completely.
The animation, not surprisingly, is very good and the best yet: movements are quick and fluid while the CGI and regular animation are blend together pretty good. The plot moves along at a good pace, keeping the action coming while slowing down at many of the right places.
What I really like is that this time almost everyone helps out. Not only do the one shot characters and almost every Pokemon shown make themselves fairly useful, it's a treat seeing Ash and Co.'s "sidekick" Pokemon play a decent role, something that doesn't happen as often as it should. And it's rather refreshing seeing Dawn play the hero alongside Ash, as I do tire of him saving the day in many of the movies, even when other characters are given a lot of focus (see Movie 9, "Pokemon Ranger and the Temple of the Sea", for a prime example).
The downside? For starters, if you've seen all the other movies in the series, you'll have some deja vu. "Pokemon The Movie 2000" (Movie 2) and and "Pokemon: Destiny Deoxys" (Movie 7), quickly come to mind. And Dialga and Palkia's fighting will cause flashbacks of many Godzilla films. Also, some might not like the new voice cast. While the cast from TAJ Productions ended up being something of an improvement over 4Kids, the voice actors of DuArt are a slight step back.
But despite its flaws, which don't bother me too much, this is the best Pokemon Movie yet. Can't wait to see what Movie 11 brings to the table.
Review by Jangobadass from the Internet Movie Database.