Warning! Mild SPOILERS ahead for Detective Pikachu.
Pokémon Detective Pikachu's soundtrack may not feature the pop songs most expect in a Hollywood blockbuster, but there are a few tracks that will be immediately recognizable to Pokémon fans. The film is the first ever live-action Pokémon movie and it brings the the iconic Pocket Monsters to life with breathtaking detail.
Detective Pikachu is not an adaptation of either the main Pokémon games or the anime series. Instead, Detective Pikachu (and the Nintendo 3DS game on which it's based) is a offshoot of the main Pokémon continuity and stars a sleuthing, coffee-guzzling Pikachu (Ryan Reynolds) who can also talk. He teams up with Tim Goodman (Justice Smith) to search for his missing partner, Harry, Tim's father, as well as crack a case involving the mystery drug "R" that when inhaled sends Pokémon into a rage.
Detective Pikachu's soundtrack predominately features an original musical score from composer Henry Jackman, but there are also a few sound cues taken from the Pokémon games (Pokémon Go's capture sound, for instance). Otherwise, Detective Pikachu's soundtrack uses songs sparingly, but when it does, they help to set the scene. Here's every song in Detective Pikachu:
- Le Fantôme de Saint Bechet - Glenn Crytzer's Savoy Seven
- Payin No Mind - Glen Crytzer And His Syncopaters
- GOH - What So Not & Skrillex featuring KLP
- Kyoto Mist - David Wahler
- Carry On - Kygo and Rita Ora
- Electricity - Honest Boyz featuring Lil Uzi Vert
- Red & Blue Theme - written by Junichi Masuda, arranged by Henry Jackman
- Jigglypuff - Rachel Lillis
- Gotta Catch 'Em All (Pokémon Theme) - Ryan Reynolds
The songs featured on Detective Pikachu's soundtrack are an unusual bunch. Yet, while they may not be today's most popular tunes, they are perfectly suited for the scenes they accompany in the movie. The two Glenn Crytzer tracks, for instance, "Le Fantôme de Saint Bechet" and "Payin No Mind" are both jazz numbers which can be heard playing in the diner that Tim, Pikachu, and Lucy visit. Though the songs are modern, they are very reminiscent of the music heard in the film noir movies on which Detective Pikachu is (very) loosely based.
The song, "GOH" can be heard playing at the underground Pokémon fight club where Pikachu battles Charizard, pumping out of the ear speakers of the Loudreds. The EDM (electronic dance music) track was written by Christopher John Emerson, Sonny Moore, and Kristy Lee Peters - better known to most as What So Not, Skrillex, and KLP. "Kyoto Mist" is the soothing "spa music" that Lucy plays to keep Psyduck calm, because as Detective Pikachu later demonstrates, a stressed out Psyduck can be quite dangerous. Luckily, this tranquil David Wahler tune does the trick.
There are three songs that play over Detective Pikachu's credits, two of which were written specifically for the film. "Carry On" is a collaboration between DJ Kygo and singer/actress Rita Ora - who also appears in the film as Dr. Ann Laurent - and it's lyrics reflect the film's themes of teaming up and dealing with loss. The other original track is "Electricity" performed by the Japanese pop group, Honest Boyz. The song includes an English verse from rapper Lil Uzi Vert about the different types of Pokémon, putting an emphasis on Electric.
Before either of those songs play, however, Detective Pikachu's credits begin with a classic tune which should be instantly recognizable to Pokémon fans - the "Red & Blue Theme" from very first Pokémon video games. It's an updated version of the Junichi Masuda theme that's been rearranged by the film's composer, Jackman. That theme isn't the only Pokémon-specific track, though. An earlier scene in Detective Pikachu sees a Jigglypuff singing its partner to sleep using its iconic "Jigglypuff" song. The film even includes regular Pokémon voice actress, Rachel Lillis (Misty, Jessie, Jigglypuff, and many more) doing the singing.
By far, though, the biggest treat for Pokémon fans is the inclusion of that unforgettable theme song from the English-dub of the original anime, "Gotta Catch Em All". However, instead of using the song as a theme or playing it over the credits, Detective Pikachu has its titular Pokémon sing the song. The scene is a funny callback but it's also little sad, coming soon after Pikachu leaves Tim because he's afraid his very presence will get his partner hurt. While Pikachu sullenly walks alone, he - meaning the actor responsible for Pikachu's speaking voice, Ryan Reynolds - belts out the catchy lyrics in between his sobs.