TPCi’s Dub of ‘Mewtwo Strikes Back EVOLUTION’ Gets Everything Right!
Netflix has now released Mewtwo Strikes Back EVOLUTION globally! (Except in Japan and South Korea.)
Shockingly, the movie is available in multiple languages, including the original Japanese! This is the first time in Pokemon’s history that the Japanese version is being released alongside the English dub.
The English dub keeps the original Japanese music by Shinji Miyazaki.
The script is a fusion of the Japanese script and 4Kids’ memorable rewrites from 1999, such as Mewtwo’s line “I see now the circumstances of one’s birth are irrelevant. It is what you do with the gift of life that determines who you are.” This line was not in Japan’s 1998 or 2019 film, but TPCi wrote it in to honor fans of the original English dub.
For the voice actors, several of the original 4Kids cast reprises their roles, which wasn’t even true of the Japanese version. This includes Giovanni, two of the the three New Island Pokemon Trainers, Miranda, and the narrator. While Dan Green played Mewtwo in Mewtwo Returns, he did not play it in the original film, so he does not perform his lines with the same inflection as Jay Goede (not a bad thing, of course). Ash, Brock, Misty, Nurse Joy, and Officer Jenny are all played by their TPCi voice actors, as expected.
TPCi has created a remixed version of the Pokemon TV theme when Ash battles Raymond and his Donphan, which honors the 4Kids version from the original 1999 film. The ending song in the credits is replaced with a completely new English-only song. After the song is over, we also hear an English-only instrumental of the TV theme.
The film is branded a “Netflix Original Film.” It’s likely Netflix invested some money into the English dub in order to brand it in this fashion, as they do with some of their “original content” that’s actually created by other studios.
Mewtwo Strikes Back EVOLUTION was originally released in Japanese theaters in July 2019. It premiered at Anime Expo in Los Angeles first, which I attended: you can read my review of the film’s changes here in comparison to the original.