Hollywood should preserve past pictures, avoid needless remakes

‘Pokemon: The First Movie,’ released in 1998, recieved 15% on Rotten Tomatoes while ‘Pokemon The Movie: Mewtwo Strikes Back Evolution’ recieved 33%.

TOHO, OLM / Wikimedia Commons

‘Pokemon: The First Movie,’ released in 1998, recieved 15% on Rotten Tomatoes while ‘Pokemon The Movie: Mewtwo Strikes Back Evolution’ recieved 33%.

On Feb. 27, Netflix released “Pokemon: Mewtwo Strikes Back Evolution,” the first pokemon movie to be released on a streaming platform. While not a shot for shot remake like Disney’s “The Lion King,” this new Pokemon movie’s plot and characters are identical to the 1998 original movie. 

The new film is a lot more polished in the CGI computer animation, but there is charm in the flat, two dimensional anime of 1998. Even though this is a Pokemon production, it was still released as a Netflix Original. 

While I have my gripes with some of the choices made in this remake, the main problem is that the original is a classic and a fan favorite. The remake is unnecessary and more can be done to preserve original works. 

We are in an era where big intellectual property (IP) and nostalgia dominate at the box office. There is more to gain from preserving the original content under these IPs than just money. 

Re-releasing the original movie on a streaming platform like Netflix can bring new audiences who have never seen it but love the franchise and long time lovers together.

Preserving the past to show to future generations is a part of our duty. It was easy for us to build a collection of VHS tapes and DVDs for us to pass on one day. Though as everything moves on to the ever-rotating catalog of streaming services, being able to preserve our favorite shows and movies becomes a challenge. 

Streaming services like the Criterion Channel and Disney+ do an excellent job of preserving past releases. The Criterion Channel goes a step further to preserve classic films of every decade and from around the world. 

Remakes are unnecessary unless you have something new to say or a take that can differentiate it from the original. Take Disney’s upcoming release of “Mulan” later this year. The 2020 version will not be a musical like the 1998 animated film and has a few character changes. 

“Pokemon: Mewtwo Strikes Back Evolution” does the same thing. The change is nothing more than a difference in animation style: the original in the 2D hand anime style and the new one in a more bubbly 3D CGI animation. Does it equate to the Pokemon being more cute looking? No. Does it make me think any differently about the original? No. Do I want to watch the original more than watching the remake? Absolutely.   

While I might have wanted to watch the original more, it didn’t take a remake to make me remember that it existed. Do the world a favor and try to figure out how to preserve original content over doing pointless remakes.