Yet another Pokémon adventure makes it to the big screen, and the good news is that there’s no nonsensical short fueled by the infernal cooing of Pikachu to start things off. Like Pokémon 4ever, this Kunihiko Yuyama–directed animation blends traditional anime and textured CGI. The result is impressive but does little to further the experience.
The usual cast of Pokémon trainers, Ash, Misty, and Brock, land in Altomare (which in every detail is a watercolor rendering of Venice) to compete in a Pokémon tournament. The rompish escapade turns sour when two catty vixens named Annie and Oakley arrive on the scene with a dubious agenda to capture the two dragon-like guardians of Altomare and a sacred orb with unlimited powers. Ash and his electro-charged rodent, Pikachu, get caught up in the fray and become the city’s only hope to avert a tidal disaster. You’ve seen this Poké story before. It will test adults’ patience, but kids will thrive on it — enough for yet another chapter. (80 minutes)