The release of the first Detective Pikachu trailer has been met with a mixed response. While the heavy dose of nostalgia was welcomed by some who dropped out of the Poke-fandom long ago -- and those who have been lured back in by Pokemon Go -- others have been more disturbed than excited by the photorealistic renderings of their favorite pocket monsters. (Pikachu's fur. Is it cute? Is it creepy? Is it both?) While redesigning Pokemon to look more like the animals they were inspired by has been a popular genre for 3D fan artists over the years, it seems that Nintendo and Warner Bros. took this morbid fascination as a sign of endorsement. And on top of this, we have to wrap our brains around a talking Pikachu voiced by Deadpool.
The film is a big-screen adaptation of a recent game of the same name for the Nintendo 3DS. Like the film, the game is set a world adjacent to the main game series where young protagonist, Tim, teams up with a Pikachu that mysteriously has the gift of the gab, and claims to have been a partner of Tim's absent crime-solving father. Together, the pair endeavor to track his dad down, interrogating both people and Pokemon by pooling their skills, as Tim is the only human capable of understanding what Detective Pikachu is saying. While we get to see a lot of Pokemon besides the titular detective in the film's trailer -- both old and new -- there are a lot more we'd love to see make the jump into live-action... and a lot we really don't.
22 GOTTA SEE: EEVEE
With Pokemon: Let's Go Pikachu and Eevee being the latest game releases, Eevee's inclusion in Detective Pikachu makes a lot of sense from a cross-marketing perspective. The foxy creature has been a mainstay in every main series game, and its recent upgrade to game mascot proves that its popularity hasn't waned one bit since Red/Blue/Yellow.
Other than being absolutely adorable, fan love for Eevee is also fuelled by its uniqueness. Eevee is the only Pokemon capable of turning into a set of differently typed evolutions -- dependent on which method of evolution you use. Ideally, the whole Eeveelution squad is a must for Detective Pikachu, but we'll settle for a plain old Eevee, too.
21 WON'T SEE: PINSIR
Do we hate Pinsir? Absolutely not. In a battle, this giant, bipedal stag beetle is a beast. But, is a photorealistic 4'11" bug something we want to see in a cute kids' movie? Probably not. This is a Pokemon so ready to rip to you to shreds it has horns on its horns. Its face is a constant expression of blood-thirsty rage. And then there's that mouth...
Rows of long, thin teeth that take up a horrifyingly large amount of its torso. The Pokedex also brags about how vicious Pinsir is. Apparently, its vice-like horns are so strong, it can hold onto its prey until they are ripped in half. Now, think about all that and then remember that when it Mega-Evolves, it can also fly.
20 GOTTA SEE: MEOWTH
Meeeowth, that's right! Now, if it weren't for Team Rocket, this first generation kitty wouldn't be anything special. Sure, it has a fun design and its signature Pay Day ability is handy to get some extra cash in the games. But unless you're really into the idea of having a feline companion like Giovanni, Meowth isn't exactly a must-have.
Thanks to the talking one that rounds out Jessie and James' gang in the manga and anime, however, Meowth is one of the most well-known Pokemon in the franchise. Since Detective Pikachu already has a chatty Pokemon star, we're not expecting Team Rocket's mascot to make an appearance, but a normal one would be a nice nod to him.
19 WON'T SEE: JYNX
Oh, Jynx. Not only is this Ice/Psychic-type Pokemon from the first generation generally disliked for its weird design, but this same design has also historically gotten the franchise into controversy. She's thought to have been inspired by a combination of Norse mythological figure, Hel and the Japanese subculture "ganguro," but her original black facial coloring attracted complaints of racism in the '90s.
Accusations that Jynx resembled minstrel characters in the US led to her face being recolored purple, but episodes of the anime that feature her heavily are still not included in English-language releases or aired on TV outside of Japan. Because of her tainted past and Nintendo's cautiousness, it seems like a no-brainer to leave her out of Detective Pikachu.
18 GOTTA SEE: GYARADOS
Gyarados is an obvious choice for Detective Pikachu. Not only is it one of the coolest-looking Pokemon -- a massive dragon-fish that can Hyper Beam foes to dust? Yes, please! -- but it also has one of the best glow-ups. From a pathetic, jumping goldfish equipped with an attack that literally does nothing to a mythical beast... and at Level 20!
Gyarados is also the most notorious Shiny Pokemon in the games. The red-colored one at the Lake of Rage in Pokemon: Gold/Silver/Crystal is legendary. We even get to see it Mega-Evolved in the anime. And what about the one that Fergus rode across the ocean in Pokemon: The First Movie and challenged Mewtwo with? Iconic.
17 WON'T SEE: DRIFLOON
What's so bad about a little purple balloon? There are no teeth, no claws, no obvious sign of threat. Well, as anyone familiar with IT will tell you, an innocent balloon can be enough to scare the crap out of you, as will this Ghost/Flying-type from the fourth generation. Let's take a look at its Pokedex entry for Pokemon: Diamond.
"A Pokemon formed by the spirits of people and Pokemon." Huh, that's not so bad. What about Pearl? "It tugs on the hands of children to steal them away." Oh, that's a bit creepy. And HeartGold/SoulSilver? "It is whispered that any child who mistakes Drifloon for a balloon and holds on to it could wind up missing." You'll float too. YOU'LL FLOAT TOO.
16 GOTTA SEE: SNORLAX
Who doesn't love Snorlax? It's big, it's cuddly and it loves a nap. It's basically the Totoro of Pokemon. In fact, Snorlax's snoozing is a plot point in the games. In both the Kanto and Kalos regions, the player must find and use a Pokeflute tune to wake up the sleeping behemoth blocking the road ahead. When awake, it's also a fearsome battle partner.
What Snorlax lacks in agility it makes up for in being able to land and take considerable damage, which is why Ash made one part of his team in the Orange Islands arc and Red used one against Giovanni in Pokemon Origins. We can easily imagine one holding up traffic in Ryme City in Detective Pikachu.
15 WON'T SEE: GRIMER/MUK
A common complaint amongst Pokemon fans is that the creature designs since the early generations have been getting worse and worse. Pokemon like the ice-cream-themed Vanillite and its evolutions often get mentioned in the same breath. But, the first and second generations were filled with some questionable creativity too -- or, lack thereof.
Grimer and its evolution Muk are nothing more than toxic oozes with eyes. But simple design work isn't why we don't want to see them in Detective Pikachu. In cartoon-form, these bacteria-infested Pokemon aren't so offensive, but for those with delicate dispositions, having to look at CGI versions of the Thing from the eponymous John Carpenter movie is a hard pass.
14 GOTTA SEE: MUDKIP
Having already spotted Charmander, Squirtle and Bulbasaur in the Detective Pikachu trailer, which of the other starter Pokemon do we want to see in the film? The second generation's Cyndaquil, Totodile and Chiqorita are just as beloved, and newer ones like Froakie and Litten have also become well-liked. For Internet culture-savvy audiences though, what about meme-meister Mudkip?
The third generation's Water-type starter was already prime meme-bait thanks to its "derpy" expression, but when the phrase "So I herd U liek Mudkips" caught on online in the mid-'00s, the amphibious creature was catapulted into Internet infamy forever. Nintendo has included references to popular memes in past games, so why not also in Detective Pikachu?
13 WON'T SEE: LICKITUNG
For those who have fond memories of playing the Pokemon Stadium minigames on their Nintendo 64, the mention of this first generation Pokemon will conjure up fond ones of slurping down sushi against the clock. Apart from this, there's no reason whatsoever to include this pink, round, uh, thing in anything approaching photorealism.
Why? Isn't it obvious? The tongue. THE TONGUE. Think of the level of detail that went into animating every strand of fur on Detective Pikachu and now apply that to every ridge and contour of a 6'6" tongue. Yes, it really is that long. In fact, that slurping muscle is thought to be part of its tail, meaning it's basically all tongue. Please spare us, Warner Bros.
12 GOTTA SEE: GARDEVOIR
To begin with, Psychic-types were the most over-powered Pokemon in the games until Nintendo readdressed the balance with the introduction of Dark-types. While a continuous favorite like Alakazam would be great to see in Detective Pikachu, we don't want the film to be too first generation-heavy. So, why not mix things up with a newer fave?
Not only is Gardevoir's Psychic/Fairy-typing a magical combination, but it has one of the best-loved designs. Sleek, majestic and noble, Gardevoir is often mistaken for being feminine -- inspiring some very NSFW fan art -- but it's actually supposed to resemble a male knight. The Pokedex claims it's powerful enough to create "a small black hole," so it seems that Psychic-types are still epically over-powered.
11 WON'T SEE: MALAMAR
You might not be familiar with this sixth generation Dark/Psychic-type but you should definitely be wary of it. You can get a Malamar in the games by evolving an Inkay at Level 30 while holding your 3DS console upside-down, which should be enough of a clue as to how freaky this thing is. Suitably, it looks like an upside-down squid -- and an evil one at that.
If you think we're just persecuting it for its looks, think again. In the anime, one Malamar somehow became powerful enough to psychically take control of several humans' minds -- as well as Ash's Pikachu -- to try and take over the world. Not all Malamar are psychotic megalomaniacs, but we'd rather not take our chances.
10 GOTTA SEE: GARCHOMP
Unsurprisingly, Dragon-types are a popular choice for any trainers' team, including some of the Pokemon world's most legendary, like Lance and Drake. Dragon-types are also unique in being classed as "pseudo-Legendaries," giving them naturally high base stats and HP. We'd settle for almost any of them popping up in Detective Pikachu, but Garchomp holds a special place in many fans' hearts.
It's largely down to the one owned by fan-favorite Sinnoh League Champion, Cynthia. From her debut in the Diamond & Pearl series onwards, Cynthia's Garchomp has earned a reputation for being one of the best-trained Dragon-types ever -- an achievement that is infamously difficult. (We're looking at you, Ash Ketchum.) Plus, Garchomp just looks the business.
9 WON'T SEE: BANETTE
If you spend time trawling through the Pokedex from any region a common pattern will emerge: child-catching. For a franchise that caters to young kids, it's pretty baffling how many Pokemon exist just to terrorize human children. Take Banette, for instance. Even without any background information, this third generation Ghost-type already looks like a nightmare.
The Pokemon: Ruby dex entry tells us: "Banette generates energy for laying strong curses by sticking pins into its own body." Yikes. The Black & White entries are even worse. "A doll that became a Pokemon over its grudge from being junked. It seeks the child that disowned it." Do we want the ghost from The Grudge movies in Detective Pikachu? Stupid question, right?
8 GOTTA SEE: ZOROARK
We've been pretty down on the darker Pokemon that make up the franchise so far, but not every shadowy creature has designs on ruling the world or kidnapping kids. Perhaps no Dark-type Pokemon is more misunderstood than Zoroark, one of few non-Legendaries to get a starring role in its own movie: Zoroark: Master of Illusions.
Its black and red coloring and ability to create incredibly accurate illusions gave it a villainous reputation, but the film painted the fox-like in a different light -- a mother trying to protect its cub from evil-doing humans. Zoroark also had the guts to successfully take on Entei, Raikou and Suicune at once and was deemed worthy enough by Celebi of revival.
7 WON'T SEE: TRUBBISH/GARBODOR
When we say that Trubbish and Garbodor are trash, we're not being mean. They really are trash. "The combination of garbage and industrial waste caused the chemical reaction that created this Pokemon," the 'dex entry for Pokemon: White reads. As you'd expect, these two are never far from the aforementioned Grimer and Muk in grotty urban habitats.
In theory, the idea of Pokemon evolving from things that are man-made is cool world-building, and it would be handy to have a little mobile garbage-disposal unit like Trubbish by your side as a trainer. But the towering heap of fanged waste that is its evolution, Garbodor, is not something we'd be psyched to see in high-definition on a cinema screen.
6 GOTTA SEE: LUCARIO
There's barely a hardcore Pokemon fan out there who doesn't love Lucario. How could you not? It's Fighting/Steel-type, it looks like a masked dog ninja and it evolves from Riolu when you max out its friendship. (Man's best friend! Get it?) Lucario is also monstrous in combat, capable of predicting its opponents' moves and delivering intense beatings at a lightning pace.
It also had the honor of becoming the first Pokemon known to Mega-Evolve. Outside of the games, it gained greater notoriety in Lucario and the Mystery of Mew where its unique telepathic link to its human masters was explored in more depth. A Lucario also extraordinarily dodged a Hyper Beam attack from none other than Rayquaza in The Rise of Darkrai.
5 WON'T SEE: SPIRITOMB
Spiritomb is one of the weirdest Pokemon around, and for a monster roster than contains creatures inspired by chandeliers, keys and abstract concepts like time and space, that's really saying something. The swirling purple and green poltergeist from the fourth generation is attached to a stone called the "Odd Keystone," with its foggy body emitting from two holes.
Actually, it's the body of 108 spirits, all of which were bound to the Keystone for "misdeeds." Some are up to 500-years old and can only be found in horror movie-esque places like Hallowed Tower and Spooky Manor. As you'd expect, this living ghost prison is known for being malicious and violent, attacking people and places indiscriminately. Not exactly tailor-made for something like Detective Pikachu.
4 GOTTA SEE: BUTTERFREE
Butterfree isn't the best flying Bug-type available in the games, but, along with its first generation comrade Beedrill, it was one of the first. The early placement of Caterpie, the first in its evolutionary line, also made it one of the first triple evolutions the player was likely to encounter in the original games. (Barring the starter Pokemon, of course.)
Game nostalgia alone isn't why Butterfree deserves a cameo in Detective Pikachu, though. It's anime nostalgia. The episode that Ash decides to release his Butterfree in the series is a bittersweet moment that we'd all like to pretend didn't bring a tear to our eyes remembering. A Shiny Butterfree cameo in the film? Now that would be a great easter egg.
3 WON'T SEE: PORYGON
Ever wonder why you haven't seen Porygon feature properly in the Pokemon anime for years? You can blame Pikachu for that. A first generation classic, Porygon was born from computer code, an unusual nature that was highlighted when it was given a starring role in the now-infamous episode, "Electric Soldier Porygon."
When it aired on Japanese television in the late '90s, a sequence of quick red and blue flashes induced seizures in over 600 children, and as a result, the episode was banned everywhere. As an extra precautionary measure, poor Porygon has been relegated to rare background roles in the show, despite Ash's BFF being the real culprit. We doubt Nintendo will want to remind anyone of the incident in Detective Pikachu.
2 GOTTA SEE: MEW/MEWTWO
The list of Mythical and Legendary monsters in Pokemon has been building over time with the release of each new game in the main series, but you just can't beat the originals. The first set of games gave us the Legendary bird trio: Articuno, Zapdos and Moltres, but it was the mysterious Mewtwo, and its precursor, Mew -- still the most elusive Pokemon -- that continue to excite players the most.
Pokemon: The First Movie helped bolster the popularity of the pair too, expanding on their origin stories and characterizing Mewtwo as a surprisingly philosophical and nuanced antagonist. Even if neither of them makes physical appearances, there are other great references the film could make to them. An immovable truck in a dock, perhaps? A "poorly trained" Charizard..?
1 WON'T SEE: YVELTAL
It's feasible that the likes of the Legendary dog trio, Celebi or Jirachi could sneak into Detective Pikachu. Less feasible are the bigger players who have far more cosmic ties to the Pokemon multiverse. Arceus the "Poke-god" is probably not going to concern itself with the goings on of a kid and his smart-mouthed Poke-partner.
One Legendary that we really hope doesn't find a reason to enter the story is Yveltal, the game mascot for Pokemon: Y. Basically, everything that lives in the Pokemon world depends on Yveltal. When it gets to the end of its natural lifespan, it takes a 1,000-year nap, absorbing all other life in the process, so if this thing shows up in Detective Pikachu, be very afraid.