Right, Hoopa & The Clash Of Ages, 18th film in the Pokémon series, grab me a pack of Wotsits and let's a go.
One thing I'm gonna get straight outta the way is, it is sort of (and I mean sort of since this film is also plagued with problems) better than the Diancie film which in my silly little humble opinion felt like an overlong episode of the show. and a boring one too. Here it doesn't feel like that, it has a bit of an epic feel to it, there are at least some stakes here and not endless padding.
So the plot is Ash and pals (if you're living under a rock that's the XY companions who are Serena, Bonnie and Clemont) have gone to Dahara City and in no time at all they soon meet a Pokémon named Hoopa who has a fetish for donuts and loves surprising people. Taking care of this chum is Barza and Meray. Fortunately for everyone, Team Rocket (being the clumsy fools they are) accidentally release the giant form of Hoopa and it soon becomes a frantic race against time to get the giant form back into the bottle.
Now I must admit, this story has some good potential, Pokémon has never done anything like this before so surely they must have had some good ideas up their sleeves right? Well the actual execution to me seems rather disappointing to be honest with ya.
Because the film was released with a Pikachu short, the film only has at least 76 minutes to try and get a plot as big as this into one roof, and while some stuff do work, others don't. This my friend, was certainly the case where I thought a longer running-time could have helped make the story flow better.
Surprisingly enough, tons of Legendary Pokémon make appearances thanks to Hoopa so if you are a Pokémon aficionado I hope you've got your notebooks at the ready.
Lugia, Latios, Latias, Rayquaza, Primal Groudon, Primal Kyogre, Dialga, Palkia, Giratina, and Kyurem all appear. unfortunately for some (especially Dialga, Palkia, Groudon and Kyogre) they aren't really given that much to do. Still nice to see Latios and Latias again.
One of the highlights of the film was of course the battle against the legendaries, this scene made some pretty decent use of animation and CG all fluidly done. It was great fun to watch.
Another disappointing part and *SPOILER IF YOU AIN'T SEEN IT* is where Ash turns evil for a bit. Honestly the trailer made it look like he was about to do something quite bad yet the film reduces it to just 2 minutes of it. Quite wasted potential if you ask me.
So what's the dub like? Well for the most part the acting is quite good (and no I ain't throwing any complaints at the TPC actors, it's been done far enough, so there, nah nah ne nah nah) Sarah Natochenny's good as Ash, Haven Paschell's great as Serena, Michael Liscio Jr makes a fine Clemont and Alyson Leigh Rosenfeld really stands out as Bonnie.
Guest stars do good too (except for one though) Daniel J Edwards did a decent job as Baraz and Emily Woo Zeller was also good as Meray.
However I can not and I repeat I CAN NOT say the same for Hoopa who's English voice is absolutely grating. This shrill and nasally excuse for a voice almost nearly took my enjoyment out of the film and I honestly wanted to blow Hoopa's brains out because I couldn't stand it.
Also the English music is quite frankly awful, completely ruining any excitement out of most of the scenes and replacing it with a big pile of nothing.
So there we have it my pals, Hoopa & The Clash Of Ages. In short, it's better than Diancie though it's still rather disappointing in it's execution. Hoopa's English voice is crap and it could have been longer but it's still okay for what it is. Just not something I would go outta my way to see again.
As for Volcanion though. hmmmm. Get me a ticket, cause we're off to whatever that steam place is ma pals. It's gonna be a bumpy ride, trust me.
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