The latest Pokemon movie has been confirmed for US release on Netflix: Secrets of the Jungle. If you’re counting, this is the twenty-third one.
Ash and Pikachu are walking through the forest of Okoya when they discover a young boy named Koko who…believes he’s a Pokemon. That’s certainly weird, so they follow his trail and find out he’s been raised in the jungle by the legendary Pokemon Zarude.
In typical fashion, it doesn’t take long for Ash to form a friendship with Koko and Zarude. It’s a good thing they trust each other so fast, because there’s an imminent threat facing the jungle: a sinister corporation is attempting to destroy the forest so they can access a mystical healing spring. All the Pokemon of Okoya must unite to stop them!
You might be thinking Ash looks a little different from the version currently being used in the latest TV anime. Well….here’s where things get weird. Remember a couple years ago when I Choose You, the cinematic remake of the anime’s first episode, was made? The theaters were packed with nostalgic 90s kids, who were blindsided with quite the twist: Brock and Misty had been replaced in the story by two strange kids nobody had heard of. (Also, there was this weird moment when Pikachu spoke for a couple seconds. Still never explained.)
I Choose You turned out to be the launch point for a separate continuity that all 2D Pokemon movies from that point have followed. They no longer follow the TV anime, they vaguely remake events that happened in the anime 20 years ago but with a different cast. We have no idea why they’re doing this, but Secrets of the Jungle will continue that recent trend. It has no connection to the current series at all.
Pokemon the Movie: Secrets of the Jungle will be available to stream on Netflix starting October 8. The current anime season and a few others are available there too. For more Poke-goodness, download the “Pokemon TV” app to your Switch, which rotates movies and seasons of the show for viewing that aren’t on Netflix.