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Why was Alola exempt from big screens?

OshyHikari

c l a r i t y
The most likely reasons why SM never got its own movies was because of the 20th anniversary for several things, franchise anniversary in 2016, anime anniversary in 2017 and Movie 1’s anniversary in 2019. Another possible factor was the XY movies underperforming at the Japanese box office, though that was because the XY era was overshadowed by the at-the-time popularity of Yo-Kai Watch.
 

Kutie Pie

"It is my destiny."
I've been thinking: Could a Sun/Moon movie have worked? The movies are meant to showcase any Legendary/Mythical Pokémon that can't be fit into the anime proper, so they make it a side-story original plot. What could they have done for Sun and Moon to have made an Alola movie fresh and interesting to watch? At least with the other films, the regions are so big that they could make anime-original cities all they want, but Alola's pretty self-contained.

Poor timing is most definitely the cause behind the lack of a Sun/Moon movie as well as poor reception in recent years, but it's possible any and all stories they could ever want to tell can all fit into the anime without much problem.
 

Red and Blue

Well-Known Member
Since Alola's legendaries and UBs are tied closely to the main anime storyline not much material left for the films.

I suppose if they wanted they could have just brought legendaries from past regions to Alola. Or even have a movie taking place during a field trip to another region. Oh well
 

ash&charizardfan

Humans are tools
Hence my emphasis on nostalgia as it’s why the movies got so much traction

Its not just nostalgia but the story has been pretty good in both of them, movie 20 was about ash's connection with ho oh though it didn't totally lived up to expectation ash's growth in the movie was seen that hasn't been seen in many years in anime whereas movie 21 is an all time one of the best movies in this anime's history. As for the topic it is unfortunate for SM cast that they will be only cast who will never be seen in the movie.
 

Shadao

Champion GETTO DA ZE!
I believe that the producers looked at the relative popularity of the XY anime compared to the underwhelming performance of the XY movies and realized that the anime is able to do Legendary Pokémon advertisement far better as a TV series than the actual movies. There's also a limiting factor of making movies based around the series. They are, in the end, just big-budget filler episodes that cannot be directly referenced in the series, and that limits the potential of Ash's character and the characters that occupy the movie. What does Misty do? What does Brock do? What does May and Max do? What does Dawn do? What does Iris do? What does Cilian do? What does Clemont and Bonnie do? Serena?

The same questions applies to the Alola gang. What would they do in a movie? How does the movie deal with them? It's far easier to make movies based around one familiar character or a group of new characters solely designed for the film than it does to make featured movies of TV characters annually.
 

Bguy7

The Dragon Lord
In addition to the 2oth anniversary thing, I just couldn't see an Alola movie working. The formula of the Sun and Moon anime just doesn't lend itself well to movies. The large cast makes it even harder than normal to find something important for everyone to do. The lack of travelling means that they can't just conveniently be at the right place at the right time for the events of the movie. And, most importantly, the current anime favors silliness over action and adventure. Without action and adventure, a Pokémon movie just wouldn't work.

Personally speaking, I like the past two movies more than I think I would have any Alola-based movie, and am very much looking forward to the Mewtwo movie.

Since Alola's legendaries and UBs are tied closely to the main anime storyline not much material left for the films.

To be fair, I'm sure the only reason we're getting these arcs in the anime is because they can't put them in the movies. It's pretty safe to assume that had we had a Lunala and Solgaleo movie or a Necrozma movie that we probably wouldn't have gotten the Nebby or Necrozma arcs.
 

Ignition

Sinnoh Season
Its not just nostalgia but the story has been pretty good in both of them, movie 20 was about ash's connection with ho oh though it didn't totally lived up to expectation ash's growth in the movie was seen that hasn't been seen in many years in anime whereas movie 21 is an all time one of the best movies in this anime's history. As for the topic it is unfortunate for SM cast that they will be only cast who will never be seen in the movie.
I disagree about the stories being good but agree to disagree
 

CMButch

Kanto is love. Kanto is life.
I'd say SM movies would've worked... But I don't think all classmates would appear in movies as MC(Together), this is how I think it'd go...
1. Movie 1 MCs: Ash, Lillie and Kiawe. Plot resolves around Marshadow and some UBs
2.Movie 2. MCs: Ash, Lillie(Lillie would be in all 3 movies),Lana and Sophocles, plot resolves around Necrozna, Solgaleo and Lunaala
3,Movie 3. MCs: Ash, Lillie, Kiawe and Mallow.Plot resolves around Zeraora,some UBs and Gen 8 Pokemon.
 

JC317

Well-Known Member
The same questions applies to the Alola gang. What would they do in a movie? How does the movie deal with them? It's far easier to make movies based around one familiar character or a group of new characters solely designed for the film than it does to make featured movies of TV characters annually.

Originally I thought they would do something similar to the Doraemon movies, so they would let Ash and co. go on a separate adventure while Pokemon school is on break.

Since they are in Hawaii-based Alola, a plot for the movie could be that a new Alola island has appeared due to undersea volcanic eruptions (I know that's not how real life works but bear with me here), which turn out to be related to some mythical Pokemon or the scheme of some movie villain, say they want to create a new Island Guardian or something. At the end of the movie, the island would be destroyed in the climax, the conflict of the movie is resolved, and everything goes back to normal.
 

Spider-Phoenix

#ChespinGang
Honestly, I'm OK with Alola didn't get movies. Gen 7 as a whole was quite boring to aside from movies 20 e 21 for me.

But to be fair after finding out Movie 22 is just the first on CGi, I think I'd even take an Alola movie about something - anything - over seeing the same stuff from 20 years ago.

Hence my emphasis on nostalgia as it’s why the movies got so much traction

But the nostalgia in this case is so... Limited. Or at least it doesn't bother that much. With I Choose You, it's mostly nostalgia for the first episode and, at best, a few elements of the first series like Butterfree, aspects of Charizard's story (even if in this they mixed it with Chimchar's) and a journey to Kanto.

Power of Us' nostalgia can basically be resumed to Lugia being used and... What else?

I believe that the producers looked at the relative popularity of the XY anime compared to the underwhelming performance of the XY movies and realized that the anime is able to do Legendary Pokémon advertisement far better as a TV series than the actual movies. There's also a limiting factor of making movies based around the series. They are, in the end, just big-budget filler episodes that cannot be directly referenced in the series, and that limits the potential of Ash's character and the characters that occupy the movie. What does Misty do? What does Brock do? What does May and Max do? What does Dawn do? What does Iris do? What does Cilan do? What does Clemont and Bonnie do? Serena?

As much as I'm not a fan of Brock and misty, they did played a role on movie 3. Yeah, the random "aged up" Mollys thing was quite random but at least gave them things to do.

May and Max were focus characters on movies 9 and 6 respectively since they were the only non-Ash characters who had a strong bond-connection to the "mythical of the year"

Dawn is on another level, with DP being all about making her as central as Ash, she pretty much helped him save the day on movie 10. That's one of the reasons why Rise of Darkrai was my favorite movie until I Choose You just knocked it to second place.

Cilan and Iris did some stuff on Movie 15 by tricking/stalling Kyurem. It wasn't much but still something.

Clemont and Serena played some role in the Hoopa and Volcanion's movie. It's basically support but still...

Don't get me wrong, I get what you are trying to say and your post made me remember the manga adaptation of the Volcanion omitted Serena/Clemont/Bonnie and the non-Pikachu members Ash's team with the story still basically being the same.

However, one can argue the companions played some sort of role in movies even if it was that impressive.
 
I believe that the producers looked at the relative popularity of the XY anime compared to the underwhelming performance of the XY movies and realized that the anime is able to do Legendary Pokémon advertisement far better as a TV series than the actual movies. There's also a limiting factor of making movies based around the series. They are, in the end, just big-budget filler episodes that cannot be directly referenced in the series, and that limits the potential of Ash's character and the characters that occupy the movie. What does Misty do? What does Brock do? What does May and Max do? What does Dawn do? What does Iris do? What does Cilian do? What does Clemont and Bonnie do? Serena?

I believe this is the crux of it.

At some point before Sun and Moon began airing, a decision had to have been made about what direction the movie franchise would go in. In comparison to the rest of the series, the XY movies had disappointing returns. According to Wikipedia, the three XY films grossed $74,365,734, while the BW films grossed $135,384,123. That's a significant decrease in just three years.

It was evident that people were getting tired of having a new Pokemon movie every year, especially when that movie would be the same as the last one, just with different Pokemon. Sun and Moon has a new artstyle, new animation direction, bigger cast of characters, etc., but people aren't going to be excited to watch a Pokemon movie if the plot is about yet another legendary or mythical Pokemon.

The problem you highlighted is a huge one. They were limited in what they could do with the characters because the movies weren't strictly canon. At best, they can make Ash the hero as normal and give his companions some bit-part roles but in the end it'll be forgotten. Comparatively, Dragon Ball Super has done very well for itself by having three movies with a lot of canonical significance. People were a lot more excited for the continuation of Dragon Ball and the introduction of new characters and transformations than they were about the weird sidestory movies of before.

While I've praised M20 and M21 for being more original ideas, they haven't fixed the core problem, either. The Power of Us was, in my eyes, the best written and produced film of the entire lot, but it's not going to get fans excited for more Pokemon.

Incidentally, looking at those numbers, it strikes me how weird Diamond and Pearl is to the rest. In other series of Pokemon, the movies do gradually worse numbers with each film (understandable, as fans get fatigued), but for DP each new film did better than the last and I've no idea how that could have happened.
 

JC317

Well-Known Member
I believe this is the crux of it.

At some point before Sun and Moon began airing, a decision had to have been made about what direction the movie franchise would go in. In comparison to the rest of the series, the XY movies had disappointing returns. According to Wikipedia, the three XY films grossed $74,365,734, while the BW films grossed $135,384,123. That's a significant decrease in just three years.

It was evident that people were getting tired of having a new Pokemon movie every year, especially when that movie would be the same as the last one, just with different Pokemon. Sun and Moon has a new artstyle, new animation direction, bigger cast of characters, etc., but people aren't going to be excited to watch a Pokemon movie if the plot is about yet another legendary or mythical Pokemon.

The problem you highlighted is a huge one. They were limited in what they could do with the characters because the movies weren't strictly canon. At best, they can make Ash the hero as normal and give his companions some bit-part roles but in the end it'll be forgotten. Comparatively, Dragon Ball Super has done very well for itself by having three movies with a lot of canonical significance. People were a lot more excited for the continuation of Dragon Ball and the introduction of new characters and transformations than they were about the weird sidestory movies of before.

While I've praised M20 and M21 for being more original ideas, they haven't fixed the core problem, either. The Power of Us was, in my eyes, the best written and produced film of the entire lot, but it's not going to get fans excited for more Pokemon.

Incidentally, looking at those numbers, it strikes me how weird Diamond and Pearl is to the rest. In other series of Pokemon, the movies do gradually worse numbers with each film (understandable, as fans get fatigued), but for DP each new film did better than the last and I've no idea how that could have happened.

Hmmmm, that was also the only time we had a film trilogy in the series...

Coincidence? Perhaps, but I wouldn't mind seeing future Pokemon films call back to each other.
 

Zoruagible

Lover of underrated characters
Because face it, the SM characters would have been shafted harder than the XY characters in those movies.

I do hope M23 returns to focusing on the current region, not only because I'd like to see the current characters and region in a movie.... but because I'm tired of all the legendaries taking up time in the main anime as older Pokemon that don't need it supposedly needed a second and third movie! Not to mention said legendaries taking up time that Ash's regional team and the other characters could desperately use.
 
Hmmmm, that was also the only time we had a film trilogy in the series...

Coincidence? Perhaps, but I wouldn't mind seeing future Pokemon films call back to each other.

I'm not sure, because the best performing movie of the four was the unrelated Zoroark one, which did shockingly well. It's the 16th highest grossing anime film of all time, and the third highest grossing film in the whole Pokemon series, beaten only by the Mewtwo Strikes Back and The Power of One.

So either they had a really strong marketing campaign behind them, or people were just really excited about Zoroark for some reason.

As for the other three, it's possible that people were very interested in the lore of Arceus, Dialga and Palkia since they were the first god-like figures in the Pokemon universe. I don't know if it being a trilogy made much difference, because it wasn't the tighest trilogy iirc.
 

MidnightMelody

Hopeful for Gen 8
Alola barely works as it is seeing a big screen mess would not be fun. With that said the new movie looks just as messy aesthetically
 
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