Pokemon Detective Pikachu - Breaking down trailer #1

Pokemon fans got their first extended look at the Detective Pikachu movie on Monday with the first trailer. There's a lot to take in, so Shacknews is here to break it all down.


Earlier this year, Pokemon fans got their first taste of the Detective Pikachu game. But The Pokemon Company has proven to be quite attached to this concept, because a full-blown feature film has been in the works and started filming earlier this year.

On Monday, the Pokemon Detective Pikachu movie, starring Ryan Reynolds and Justice Smith, released its first trailer. It's the first look at the Reynolds-voiced detective and his human partner. And there's honestly a lot to take in, so let's break it all down.

1. Welcome to Ryme City

Ryme City is the main setting for the movie. It's where viewers meet Tim Goodman (Justice Smith), a former Pokemon trainer-turned-detective. He's not a very good detective, as he deals with an intruder with an open stapler, instead of... calling for backup.

He doesn't meet a burglar, but instead meets Detective Pikachu, who grumbles at him in perfect English. Tim can understand him, because... reasons. Tim later takes Detective Pikachu into town, where the other townspeople only hear the native Pikachu call. Tim is the only one who can understand Pikachu's English speech for reasons that aren't explained. And let's be honest, if this is like the source material, nobody should expect an explanation to come.

But what brings the two together? It's a case involving Tim's father and his disappearance. That opens the door to adventure and to meet new Pokemon.

2. There are dozens of Pokemon from multiple generations

Legendary Pictures has interpreted the Pokemon world a little differently, emphasizing furrier textures for their Pokemon. Pikachu looks like a plushy rat, which will undoubtedly be faithfully reinterpreted for merchandising purposes. The massive Charizard and the swift Greninja look scaly. And Psyduck looks... weird.

Here's a roll call of the Pokemon that show up over the course of the trailer (in order and not counting objects, like balloons):

  • Dodrio (#085)
  • Charmander (#004)
  • Psyduck (#054)
  • Pikachu (#025)(the detective one)
  • Emolga (#587)
  • Bulbasaur (#001)
  • Morelull (#755)
  • Jigglypuff (#039)
  • Charizard (#006)
  • Greninja (#658)
  • Squirtle (#007)
  • Pancham (#674)
  • Rufflet (#627)
  • Mr. Mime (#122)

The movie producers are not holding themselves to the old-school #151 and are aiming at getting even the more recent generations of Pokemon out there. Whether that'll include the more ridiculous ones like the ice cream cone (Vanillite, #582) or the jingly keys (Klefki, #707) remains to be seen. Like the Detective Pikachu game, these Pokemon will serve everyday societal functions, not unlike dinosaurs in "The Flintstones." A behind-the-scenes clip shown to the press saw Detective Pikachu getting into a back-and-forth with a bartender Ludicolo (#272). While the Ludicolo's grumbles weren't translated, it was safe to assume that it was saying, "It's a living."

The movie will look to be as much of an easter egg hunt as anything else, not just spotting the Pokemon, but also seeing what they can do. The movie producers are also lookingto be faithful to the Pokemon abilities, as indicated in the scene with Mr. Mime.

3. The mystery of Tim's father goes deep

In a behind-the-scenes clip shown to members of the press, Detective Pikachu surmises that Tim's father has either faked his own death or someone else faked his death and abducted him for reasons unknown. An organized gang of Greninja seem to point at something else afoot, as they appear to be the muscle behind the mysterious antagonists.

There also appears to be some significance behind a lone Psyduck, which appears frequently throughout the trailer. It's seen accompanying Tim and Detective Pikachu, along with its trainer. The Psyduck's role is unknown and will likely have some bearing on the case.

4. Ryan Reynolds is Detective Pikachu as Ryan Reynolds

This is going to be an acquired taste. You'll either love this turn (like bright-eyed Shacknews intern Donovan Erskine) or hate it with the passion of a thousand suns (like Senior Editor Brittany Vincent), but Ryan Reynolds is approaching the role of Detective Pikachu like... Ryan Reynolds. If you love the Ryan Reynolds humor from movies like "Deadpool" and "The Hitman's Bodyguard," this is the movie for you!

The entire trailer is filled with Reynolds one-liners and quips and the behind-the-scenes clips shown to the press didn't indicate that his quick wit was about to slow down.

What's fascinating about Reynolds' approach, from a moviemaking standpoint, is that there's typically someone to play off his physical presence. However, there's no physical presence here. In fact, co-star Justice Smith noted to the press members present at the early trailer screening that he was often filming scenes by himself. The CGI, as well as Reynolds, would be added in later, only leaving Smith with the stage direction to guide him. It's an intriguing dynamic and one that should be interesting to see how it ultimately turns out in the final product.

As for Reynolds himself, he is indeed approaching this as his usual self. Let's see if the Pokemon purists adjust to him over time.

Pokemon Detective Pikachu opens in theaters worldwide in Summer 2019.

Senior Editor

Ozzie has been playing video games since picking up his first NES controller at age 5. He has been into games ever since, only briefly stepping away during his college years. But he was pulled back in after spending years in QA circles for both THQ and Activision, mostly spending time helping to push forward the Guitar Hero series at its peak. Ozzie has become a big fan of platformers, puzzle games, shooters, and RPGs, just to name a few genres, but he’s also a huge sucker for anything with a good, compelling narrative behind it. Because what are video games if you can't enjoy a good story with a fresh Cherry Coke?

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