The Detective Pikachu trailer is here, providing our first look at live-action Pokémon! We've had a sense of what the CGI take on the creatures would look like teased in set photos for the upcoming Ryan Reynolds movie, but nothing could quite prepare the internet for what Warner Bros. and director Rob Letterman had in store.
Detective Pikachu is set in a real-esque world populated by Pokémon, where one special Pikachu and a human discover they can actually converse, leading to a mystery film adventure. The trailer does a good job of setting that up, although where the real fun lies is seeing all the different Pokémon brought to life. From beloved starters (Charmander, Squirtle and Bulbasaur all appear) to later generation favorites, many of the most iconic creatures in the series have been brought over to live-action.
How successful are the fuzzy recreations? Here, Screen Rant's editors give their unfiltered, overly-excitable thoughts on Detective Pikachu's bold reimagining.
My first reaction to the Detective Pikachu trailer: Wait, Pikachu is meant to be furry?!
My second reaction to the Detective Pikachu trailer: Oh wow, I dig all of this! The tone, the story, the realism of the world outside of the pocket monsters, even Ryan Reynolds as the voice of Pikachu (although I'll concede he's no Danny DeVito). But, above all, it's the live-action Pokémon that have me. They're on the cartoony side of the uncanny valley, and design-wise stand as an amazing blend of the original game sprites and the animals that inspire them. This is what Pokémon as a franchise has been implicitly teasing for the past two decades, and now it's finally here, it's certainly unique - again, Pikachu is meant to be furry? - but feels totally right. Honestly, I feel like Alan Grant seeing dinosaurs for the first time.
I'm not a Pokémon fan but I grew up with one. My brother loved the animated series, collected the cards and figures, and still occasionally plays the handheld classics. But even I thought it was weird to adapt Detective Pikachu before a more traditional "Pokémon" live-action film.
But it totally works and I'm interested after seeing this first teaser trailer. As jarring as hearing the voice of Deadpool (Canada's own Ryan Reynolds) as the titular (now furry?) character, I'm getting positive Who Framed Roger Rabbit vibes and this flick looks super entertaining. This could be the start of a big new franchise, and hopefully, a new style a triple-A 3D Pokémon game can strive for.
Like a lot of other Millennials, I grew up with Pokémon - played the games on Gameboy and Nintendo 64, watched the animated TV show - but I have to say, I never really wondered what they’d look like in live-action. Detective Pikachu, however, doesn’t stray too far from the animated versions of the creatures when bringing them to live-action. These are the still the brightly colored creatures I grew up with, they’re just 3D now. Pikachu is expressive and adorable, and now he has fur (something that makes complete sense since he’s a Pokémon equivalent of a rodent); the movie’s Jigglypuff has the cute-to-scary expression transition nailed down perfectly.
For the most part, Detective Pikachu is everything I could want from a live-action Pokémon movie except for one thing: Ryan Reynolds’ voicing Pikachu. The actor has become so synonymous with the R-rated antihero Deadpool that it’s jarring to hear his voice coming from the cute and cuddly Pikachu. Frankly, I don’t know if it’s something I’ll be able to get past when I eventually see Detective Pikachu (and, let’s be clear here, I definitely will be seeing Detective Pikachu in theaters), but it’s not enough to fully turn me off this movie. Live-action Pokémon that look just like I remember them? I don’t really need to be sold on this movie any more than that.
I know two things for sure. First, it shouldn't have taken Nintendo this long to have made the Pokémon movie that every fan of the games, or cartoon was picturing in their head, dreaming of becoming a Pokémon trainer. And second, I never expected Nintendo to be convinced by a story involving Pikachu, voiced by Ryan Reynolds, playing the role of an amateur detective every human being refuses to understand.
As a result, I am now completely satisfied and eager to see a world of human beings and Pokémon fighting brought to life with what looks to be a healthy budget and production value. I am also completely unsure of the story - and characterization of Pikachu - especially with the obvious similarities to the should-have-been-brilliant Happy Time Murders. Hopefully, the worst part of Pokémon: Detective Pikachu will be its title, and the filmmakers turn one heck of a curve-ball premise into the home run millions of fans want it to be.
They're all so fuzzy and I love them all and I want to take them home.