The villain of this movie is a man named Butler, better known as the stage magician The Great Butler, who has always loved to invent things to surprise and impress people with – particularly his friend/assistant/mutual crush Diane. Butler used to work for Team Magma and invented a way to revive Groudon from a shard of its body, but it failed because he couldn’t gather enough energy to complete the process and was laughed out of the room and expelled from the team. He subsequently developed an obsession with gaining the energy to demonstrate that he could really do it, and one day he discovered just the way to do that: the Pokémon Jirachi awakens for seven days every thousand years so that he can absorb energy from the so-called Millennium Comet. Conveniently, at this point the Millennium Comet is fast approaching, and Butler figures he can use that energy, so he somehow finds out that Jirachi is in a place named Forina and manages to locate and remove the crystalline egg that Jirachi sleeps inside until the comet’s arrival. Because Jirachi will only awaken if he can choose himself a “partner”, however, Butler starts setting up magic shows with the egg in the hope that Jirachi will pick out someone from the audience.
One thing I would like to add… this is a film for the older Pokemon fans. Parents would be advised that the movie might be a bit intense for their littlest Poke-fans, especially the creature Butler creates near the end. I’m a college grad, and it creeped even ME out! The accompanying Pikachu short, however, is perfect for all ages. The animation is very rich in quality, which is impressive, but sadly this is ruined by the less than perfect voice acting. Even Veronica Taylor who has had years of experience playing the role of Ash sounded like she had a sore throat at times, this can never live up to Rika Matsumoto’s flawless performances as Satoshi. Although impressed that they kept the Japanese background soundtrack (including the instrumental version of ‘Advance Adventure’ the original Japanese opening theme song) the English versions of ‘Chisaki Mono’ (‘Make A Wish’) and the even worse attempt at ‘Polka O Dolka’ (the theme song from Gotta Dance) can only be described as vomit-inducing to all those with a sense of hearing.
Jirachi Wish Maker clocks in at 81 minutes, which is just the right length for the story being told in the film. Like the other Pokemon films, some attempts were made to combine computer graphics with the 2D animation. Unfortunately, the computer animated portions are still standing out too much from the 2D animation and calling attention to itself. Anime action? Plenty. The movie takes time over a 7-day period, as each day passes, the story gets more and more intense until a full explosion of action packed adventure on the 7th night. Flying, falling, fire breaths, beams, tentacles, evil energies are joining together to create the best graphical effect you won’t find in the previous Pokemon movies. As usual, friendship is emphasized in Pokemon films, but there’s more: the film also shows how a person could change after a negative impact that destroys his/her confidence in life; how going against nature could create disasters and unwanted problems for not only humans, but other species living in the same world as humans do…
Overall, Jirachi Wish Maker is excellent and a must for Pokemon fans. Viewers unfamiliar with the show don’t have to worry too much, because a brief intro to the series is given in the beginning. Despite the slightly slow beginning pace, I found it great and was a nice change from the usual Pokemon films with a bright atmosphere and darker inside. Though it’s not my absolute favorite Pokemon film it’s pretty close. It’s very adorable, entertaining, and recommendable!