PokƩmon the Movie: Secrets of the Jungle Premieres in West in 2021

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The Pokémon Company International announced on Friday that Pokémon the Movie: Secrets of the Jungle (Gekijōban Pocket Monster Koko), the 23rd anime film in the Pokémon franchise, will premiere in the West in 2021. The company began streaming an English trailer:

The company also announced that it will distribute codes for the film's mythical Pokémon Zarude via Pokémon Trainer Club emails to players of the Pokémon Sword and Pokémon Shield games. Players who sign up for Pokémon Trainer Club email notifications by November 20, will receive the code for Zarude on December 11.

The film will open on December 25 in Japan. TOHO had originally planned to open the film on July 10, but the staff delayed the film due to the spread of the new coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

The new film's story is set in Okoya Forest, a Pokémon paradise protected by strict rules that forbid outsiders from setting foot inside. The film centers on Koko, a boy who was raised by Pokémon and also considers himself as one, treating the Mythical Pokémon Zarude as his father. Ash and Pikachu encounter Koko during an adventure. The film focuses on the theme of a "human raised by Pokémon," instead of the previous films' focus of the "bond between a human trainer and their Pokémon."

The film's cast includes (pictured below from left to right):

Shoko Nakagawa as Karen, a female researcher Kankurō Nakamura as Zarude Moka Kamishiraishi as Koko Kōichi Yamadera as Professor Zed, a Biotope Company researcher of cutting-edge technology whom Satoshi (Ash) meets when he visit Okoya Forest

Tetsuo Yajima returns from 2018's Pokémon the Movie: The Power of Us film at OLM, and is co-writing the film's script with Pokémon series writer Atsuhiro Tomioka. TOHO is distributing the film. Hiroyuki Kato is the animation producer. Hirotaka Marufuji (Pokémon the Movie: The Power of Us chief animation director, sub-character designer) is designing the characters, and is also the chief animation director alongside Yasushi Nishitani (Pokémon the Movie: The Power of Us). Masafumi Mima is the sound director.

Vocalist Tortoise Matsumoto of the rock band ulfuls is performing the main theme song "Fushigi na Fushigi na Ikimono" ("Wonderful, Marvelous Creatures"). Taiiku Okazaki produced the theme song and five other songs including "Okite no Uta" (The Song of Rules). (He previously contributed opening and ending songs to the Pokémon Sun & Moon television series.) Okazaki personally wrote the lyrics, wrote and arranged the music, and sang for the song "Show Window."

The film is the first all-new anime film in the franchise in two years, since the most recent films in the franchise include Pokémon Detective Pikachu (a live-action film) and Mewtwo Strikes Back Evolution (a 3D CG remake of the 1998 film Pocket Monsters: Mewtwo no Gyakushū).

Pokémon the Movie: The Power of Us, the 21st film in the franchise, opened in Japan in July 2018. Mewtwo Strikes Back Evolution, the 22nd film in the Pokémon franchise, opened in Japan in July 2019.

Source: Press release

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