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Yugioh Cards Year's Playground Fad By Lawrence Van Gelder The New York Times
October 11, 2002

Yugioh Cards Year's Playground Fad
By Lawrence Van Gelder The New York Times
October 11, 2002
Item# yugcaryearpl

Product Description

A Reminder of Last Year's Playground Fad
By LAWRENCE VAN GELDER The New York Times
October 11, 2002


If the insipid plot, vapid characters and senseless battles of "Pokémon 4Ever" are any clue, then it is little wonder that the childish distractions of the animated characters of the new YuGiOh craze have begun to bulldoze Pokémon into the graveyard of fading fads.

As its title indicates, "Pokémon 4Ever," which opens today nationwide, brings to a tetralogy the Japanese-made, English-dubbed, animated films built around the adventures of characters generated by a Nintendo product and its related cartoon series.


The latest installment amounts to so much candy-colored claptrap about the young Pokémon trainer and aspiring master Ash, his pals Misty and Brock, and their saccharine, spirited, bright yellow, bloblike companion, the pocket monster (Pokémon for short) Pikachu. In the course of their travels they are about to encounter young Sam, blasted 46 years off course and into the future while trying to save another blob, Celebi, the Voice of the Forest, from capture by a Team Rocket villain bent on — cackle-cackle — world domination.

This masked marauder possesses a dark ball that turns benign creatures like the tiny but potent Celebi into evil Pokémon and increases their powers to the highest level. Floating around on the fringes are some lesser Team Rocket villains whose ineptitude furnishes what passes for comic relief, a couple of friendly inhabitants of the kitschily beauteous forest where the story plays itself out, and the legendary personification of the North Wind.

From time to time as these creations encounter one another, a noisy but inconclusive battle erupts, and then matters subside until general lassitude dictates further combat. The pre-fab characters are rudimentary. The time travel has no genuine impact on the story, and never for an instant does doubt about the outcome generate fear or suspense. Brock could be talking about the film as a whole when he wisely observes at one point, "This is getting bad, guys."

Naturally messages are buried in this story like pills in cat food. Friendship matters. So does the environment.

Here's one more. When it comes to entertainment, children deserve better than "Pokémon 4Ever."

Directed by Kunihiko Yuyama
Adaptation directed by Jim Malone
G, 76 minutes





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