Pokémon Heroes: Latios and Latias[a] is a 2002 Japanese animated fantasy film, the fifth in the Pokémon series, and the last to feature the main cast from the first five seasons until the CGI remake of the first Pokémon movie. Directed by Kunihiko Yuyama and produced by OLM, Inc., the film stars the regular television cast of Rica Matsumoto, Yuji Ueda, Mayumi Iizuka, Megumi Hayashibara, Shin-ichiro Miki and Ikue Ōtani. The English adaptation was produced by 4Kids Entertainment and distributed by Miramax Films and saw a limited release in the United States on May 16, 2003, before being released to video and DVD in January 2004. The English version stars the regular television cast of Veronica Taylor, Eric Stuart, Rachael Lillis and Maddie Blaustein. The events of the film take place during the fifth season of Pokémon: Master Quest.
Japanese release poster
|Japanese||劇場版ポケットモンスター 水の都の護神 ラティアスとラティオス|
|Literally||Pocket Monsters the Movie: The Guardians of Altomare|
|Directed by||Kunihiko Yuyama|
|Produced by||Choji Yoshikawa|
|Written by||Hideki Sonoda|
by Satoshi Tajiri
|Narrated by||Unshō Ishizuka|
|Edited by||Toshio Henmi|
|Box office||$27.7 million (Japan) $746,381 (US)|
Pokémon Heroes focuses on the main characters, Ash, Misty and Brock, continuing their journey through the Johto region; the main location of the film is based on Venice, Italy. The name given to the city in the film is Alto Mare, meaning "high sea" in the Italian language. Although it is part of the group's adventure in Johto, the film takes place on an island off of the mainland.
Optimum Home Entertainment re-released the movie on DVD in UK on May 9, 2011. StudioCanal released the film along with Pokémon 4Ever on Blu-ray in the UK as a double feature pack on April 2, 2012, just one day before Pokémon the Movie: Black—Victini and Reshiram and White—Victini and Zekrom came out on DVD on April 3, 2012. Echo Bridge Home Entertainment released the film on Blu-ray in the United States along with Pokémon: Destiny Deoxys on May 15, 2011.
The film is set in the Venetian-esque city of Alto Mare, protected by the dragon siblings Latias and Latios. Their father, also a Latios, is said to have saved the city from an evil Pokémon Trainer and their Kabutops and Aerodactyl whilst transforming the city's streets into canals. The citizens built the Defence Mechanism of Alto Mare (or “D.M.A.” for short) to protect the city if necessary, but have never had to use it. The father Latios died, leaving behind the Soul Dew, said to contain his own soul and can power the D.M.A.
In the present day, Team Rocket agents Annie and Oakley acquire a book detailing the history of Alto Mare, plotting to control the D.M.A. Ash, Misty, and Brock are touring by and see an invisible Latias. Annie and Oakley stalk Latias, who disguises herself as a human girl, trying to capture her using their Espeon and Ariados. Ash and Pikachu come to the rescue, guiding Latias to safety but she vanishes when Ash's back is turned.
Visiting the museum, the trio meet the curator Lorenzo who details Alto Mare's history, the D.M.A., and the fossilized Pokémon on display. Ash spots a girl, Bianca, who resembles Latias’ disguise, and chases her across the city, but she does not recognise him. Latias herself appears, guiding Ash and Pikachu to a hidden garden where she and Latios live, protected by Lorenzo and Bianca, his granddaughter. While Pikachu plays with Latias and Latios, Lorenzo shows Ash the Soul Dew, unaware that Annie and Oakley's drone has infiltrated the sanctuary.
That night, Annie and Oakley sneak into the garden, successfully capturing Latios and the Soul Dew, but Latias escapes. Bianca and Lorenzo attempt to stop the thieves from using the D.M.A. but are captured, the Soul Dew and Latios are used to power the machine. Latias goes to Ash for help, with Latios’ “Sight Sharing” ability allowing them to witness the events in the museum. Oakley becomes power hungry, using the D.M.A. to resurrect Kabutops and Aerodactyl, and initiates a citywide lockdown to prevent interference. Ash, Pikachu and Latias evade the lockdown, racing to the museum while being pursued by the fossilised Pokémon.
Oakley tries to drown Ash, Pikachu and Latias, but the latter's psychic powers cause the D.M.A. to go out of control. Reaching the museum, the trio rescue Latios and shut down the machine. However, Annie tries to take the blackened Soul Dew, which shatters, causing all of the city's water to flow out and return as a tidal wave. Latias and Latios combine their powers to stop the wave, Latios giving his life in the process. Kabutops and Aerodactyl perish again, while Annie and Oakley remain trapped in the D.M.A..
Ash and friends find Latias, realising Latios has died, but they share one last vision as he passes away. Several days later, Ash, Misty and Brock get ready to leave Alto Mare, saying goodbye to Lorenzo, but Bianca does not appear. On their way out of the city, they spot Bianca on the docks but she isn't wearing her hat (the usual difference between Bianca and Latias). The girl gives Ash a sketch of him and Pikachu, kisses him on the cheek, and leaves without saying a word, but Ash bids "her" goodbye anyway. Whether the girl was Bianca or Latias is left to the viewer.
The Japanese version had a few key differences from the English version.
- Annie and Oakley were not affiliated with Team Rocket.
- The original Soul Dew may or may not have the soul of a Latios inside it at all. The one that appears after Latios' death still does.
- Latios' Japanese voice was not retained in the dub, which opted to use Latias's voice clips instead.
- The American version edited out the prologue where Annie and Oakley were reciting the legend of Alto Mare from the book they were about to steal. The prologue is as follows:
A long time ago, Alto Mare was just a small town. One day, an old couple walking along the beach found two unconscious children lying in the sand. They brought the children home and took care of them. But a dark cloud above Alto Mare rained down shards of darkness. Anything these shards touched became dark as well. One shard was about to hit the old couple when the children started to glow and all the shards were destroyed. The children revealed themselves as Latios and Latias. More appeared, one of them carrying the Soul Dew. Their power, combined with the Soul Dew's, shone upon the dark cloud, vanquishing it. In gratitude for their help, the two Latios and Latias gave the Soul Dew to the old couple.
|Character||Japanese voice||English voice|
|Ash Ketchum||Rica Matsumoto||Veronica Taylor|
|Misty||Mayumi Iizuka||Rachael Lillis|
|Brock||Yuuji Ueda||Eric Stuart|
|Latias||Megumi Hayashibara||Megumi Hayashibara (speaking voice); Madoka Kimura (singing voice)|
|Latios||Masashi Ebara||Megumi Hayashibara|
|Jessie||Megumi Hayashibara||Rachael Lillis|
|James||Shinichirou Miki||Eric Stuart|
|Annie||Uno Kanda||Megan Hollingshead|
|Oakley||Yumiko Shaku||Lisa Ortiz|
|Ross||Kouichi Yamadera||Michael Sinterniklaas|
|Lorenzo||Gutch Yuzou||Wayne Grayson|
|Bianca||Fumiko Orikasa||Tara Sands|
|Older Pichu Brother||Yumi Touma|
|Younger Pichu Brother||Satomi Kōrogi|
|Meowth||Inuko Inuyama||Maddie Blaustein|
|Wobbuffet||Yuuji Ueda||Kayzie Rogers|
|Narrator||Unshō Ishizuka||Rodger Parsons|
Pokémon Heroes received negative reviews from critics, earning a Rotten Tomatoes “Rotten” rating of 16%.
The film opened up alongside with Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones in Japan (where it had opened at number one), and failed to out-gross it. It later fell to ninth place at the Japanese box office behind Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones and Stuart Little 2. The film grossed US$27 million in Japan.
In its North American run, the movie was a commercial failure. This was due to facing competition from X2, The Matrix Reloaded, (which had opened the day before its American release), Bruce Almighty, and the premiere of Finding Nemo. It was also due to having a limited run in theaters (Only opening with 196). The film closed down its American run on July 10, 2003, grossing $746,381. In total, the film's worldwide gross was US$27,746,381 (equivalent to $39,440,415 in 2019). As of 2019, it is the lowest grossing Pokémon movie in the entire franchise. It also results the next Pokémon film to have a direct-to-DVD release instead.
- Originally released in Japan as Pocket Monsters the Movie: The Guardians of Altomare (劇場版ポケットモンスター 水の都の護神 ラティアスとラティオス, Gekijōban Poketto Monsutā Mizu no Miyako no Mamorigami Ratiasu to Ratiosu, lit. "The Guardian Gods of the City of Water: Latias and Latios")
- Lenburg, Jeff (2009). The Encyclopedia of Animated Cartoons (3rd ed.). New York: Checkmark Books. p. 213. ISBN 978-0-8160-6600-1.
- "Pokemon Heroes". Amazon.co.uk. 9 May 2011. Retrieved 19 August 2017 – via Amazon.
- [dead link]
- "Pokemon Heroes / Pokemon Destiny Deoxys Blu-ray". Blu-ray.com. Retrieved November 14, 2016.
- Sands, Tara Jayne [@TaraSandsLA] (August 6, 2014). "@DanielManning__ Pretty sure I did!" (Tweet). Retrieved September 28, 2017 – via Twitter.
- Macias, Patrick (2003). Japan's Movie House Masterpieces. DH Publishing. p. 39. ISBN 9780972312448.
- Pokémon Heroes at Box Office Mojo