Blu-ray: Pokémon Heroes the Movie / 4Ever / Jirachi Wish Maker / Destiny Deoxys the Movie (Echo Bridge)

Order

Pokémon 4 Feature Films


English Blu-ray Title (Region A)

Pokémon Heroes the Movie / 4Ever / Jirachi Wish Maker / Destiny Deoxys the Movie

Sound:

English (2.0 Stereo), English (5.1 Surround)

Subtitles:
Length:
Release:
Company
:
Discs:
Aspect Ratio:

None
71/80/81/98 minutes
2012
Echo Bridge
1
1.78:1 Anamorphic

Movie:

Pokémon Heroes / Pokémon: Celebi the Voice of the Forest / Pokémon: Jirachi Wish Maker / Pokémon: Destiny Deoxys

Blu-ray

Extras

  • Menus (English)
  • Chapters (10/10/10/10)

Captures


Review

By: Anthony Romero

Echo Bridge, who made headlines for their Godzilla vs. Biollante Blu-ray that same year, continued to dig into the Miramax archives. In doing so, they released a couple of options to get the Pokémon movies that Miramax distributed in the US. This is the most ambitious of those, containing four films in a single release. Oddly, the titles are slightly out of order on the packaging, Pokémon Heroes is the first when it should be the second, although are in the correct order on the disc itself. This aspect aside, the release is a mixed bag for the American versions of these films. A few titles look good, while others suffer, while the audio presentation is so-so and the extras are nonexistent.


 Video: Star Rating


Four films, four video tracks. All of these are the American versions, with English title sequences and burnt-in text. The quality of these tracks vary dramatically. First up is Pokémon: Celebi the Voice of the Forest, noted as Pokémon 4ever here. Sadly, this is the worst looking of the four movies. The most glaring mistake is that the frame is unstable. It's constantly moving up and down a little, losing focus and making details look less sharp as a result. While the human eye gets used to it, the movie looks slightly blurry as a result, evident even in still images from it. The movie is also discolored, with the whole film looking too brown, removing some of the color distinction as a result. On the plus side, the movie is set at a good brightness level and has low signs of compression. It should be noted that, like the others, this is the American version of the film. That's important with this title as they remove scenes and sometimes replace it with new footage, which is to date the only movie in the franchise to add footage for the US version.

Next up is Pokémon Heroes, which is a step up from the fourth movie in presentation but has issues of its own. Chief among them is massive discoloration, as the whole movie looks overly blue. This negates any chance for the colors to appear vibrant. Furthermore, the video is way too dark, looking unnatural the whole time. The image could be a little sharper as well, although at least the frame isn't unstable.

This is followed by Pokémon: Jirachi Wish Maker, which has the best video track of the four titles. The difference in quality between this and the earlier two titles is night and day. While it does lack a true black, due to the brightness set a little too high, the colors are still very distinct and vibrant. In fact, there is no discoloration at all, while details are sharp. The source used is also in great condition, with minimal noise and grain apparent.

Last but not least is the video track for Pokémon: Destiny Deoxys. The quality here is good, but with a few faults. First off is that the brightness is too high, higher than Jirachi Wish Maker. It's not as bad as the DVD releases, meaning details aren't being washed out, but does make the lighter sequences a little harsh. Thankfully colors are distinct here. Grain is low, while signs of compression are also contained. However, the movie doesn't look quite as sharp as the previous entry on this release.

All four movies are presented in their original 1.78:1 aspect ratio.

Given that there are four video tracks for four different movies, it might be helpful to break the score up. In doing so:
Pokémon: Celebi the Voice of the Forest - 1.5 stars
Pokémon Heroes - 1.5 stars (note, while improved, it still gets a low score due to massive discoloration)
Pokémon: Jirachi Wish Maker - 4 stars
Pokémon: Destiny Deoxys - 3 stars

 

 Audio: Star Rating


Four movies, four video tracks. These are the American dubs for each. Sadly, like the video quality, the audio quality differs from movie to movie. The first and most lacking of the audio tracks is Pokémon: Celebi the Voice of the Forest. Although the track is actually in 5.1 DTS surround, the quality starts off very poor, sounding distorted and distant. Thankfully, the quality improves as the movie advances, although a few effects, like the trees falling, do have a slight echo to them while overall range in the surround track is poor.

Next up is Pokémon Heroes. This is a 2.0 stereo presentation. It's okay with no overt audio discrepancies to notice and good clarity in the dialogue. It is a little odd that a 5.1 presentation wasn't offered, though. That said, if it's a choice between the audio issues on the previous film and a stereo compromise, will pick the stereo version.

Pokémon: Jirachi Wish Maker is up next, and features a 5.1 DTS surround presentation. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the movie with the best video track also has the best audio track. It has good clarity in the dialogue and no audio discrepancies. The dynamic range on the surround presentation is a little weak, but mostly as the movie doesn't make much use of it.

Finally is Pokémon: Destiny Deoxys. This one has a 2.0 stereo presentation, which is odd as the first Pokémon: Destiny Deoxys DVD from Miramax had a 5.1 presentation. The audio on this one feels a little soft, especially compared to the earlier track. The lack of a surround presentation is also notable, especially during the beams and explosions as Rayquaza and Deoxys battle.

Oddly, the Blu-ray contains no subtitle or closed caption tracks for any of the four movies. All in all, it gets points off for both some audio issues, no captions and a lack of the original Japanese versions, although this is come to be expected from the Pokémon titles.

 

 Extras: Star Rating


None... it's got a basic menu to navigate between the four films and their chapters, but nothing more.

 

 Overview: Star Rating


All in all, this release could have been better. At the time of its original release, it was a value purchase, since even with the presentation issues you got four films. Furthermore, at the very least they did a good job with one of them, Pokémon: Jirachi Wish Maker. However, the title is now out of print and goes for a premium, which is harder to merit. If you love one of these entries, though, it's still not a bad investment until another company re-releases them to Blu-ray.