Ever since the first video games and trading cards hit the market in the 1990s, Pokémon has been big business. At its zenith, the franchise was a multi-billion dollar success story all over the world, from its native Japan over to the United States and even in Britain. Thanks to the new lease of life provided by the Pokémon Go phenomenon a couple of summers ago, the franchise has finally made its way to the big screen in live-action form with Detective Pikachu.
With the film now in cinemas, it's worth looking out for some of the most adorable and charismatic portrayals of Poké-critters ever created. Some are hilarious, some are able to partake in a review of the bonus from Pinnacle, and many are just plain adorable.
Here are a selection of the most notable Pokémon to look out for in the movie, aside from Ryan Reynolds' titular caffeine-addicted electric mouse himself.
90s Pokémon fans might scratch their heads on a few occasions during Detective Pikachu, when unfamiliar creatures pop up. Since the original 151 varieties of Pokémon were unveiled in the first generation of games, there have been hundreds of new additions to the Pokédex. Aipom – a small, purple monkey – arrived in the second generation of games and is one of the stars of an early Detective Pikachu set piece.
A troop of Aipom, under the influence of a mysterious gas that induces severe aggression, pursues our human hero Tim (Justice Smith) and his newfound Pikachu accomplice in scenes that are halfway between a creature feature and a zombie film.
Throughout the anime, Psyduck was one of the most reliable sources of comedy. On the face of it, this abnormal yellow duck is a pathetic weakling, but it is capable of enormous psychic power when its headache intensifies. In Detective Pikachu, the Psyduck companion of Kathryn Newton's young reporter proves crucial to the plot, but also serves as an excellent source of comic relief.
Psyduck and Pikachu work as a compelling double act, leading to one of the most unusual foot massage scenes in cinema history. You'll have to take my word for it.
Detective Pikachu takes place in a city built on the principle that humans and Pokémon should live together, away from the servitude, ownership and indeed battling which characterised the games and the anime. There's still room in this world, however, for an underground fight club and, of course, the bruising Tyler Durden of this particular club is a muscular, fiery Charizard.
Charizard is a fan favourite among long-time Pokémon enthusiasts and so there will be plenty of excitement from fans when this particular dragon soars on the big screen.
Cubone is one of the first Pokémon glimpsed in Detective Pikachu as Tim is dragged on a Pokémon catching trip by one of his friends. There's a neat gag about Cubone's horrifying backstory in the canon – the skull it wears belongs to its dead mother – and some exquisite comedy about the character's proclivity for tears, as well as its dangerous ability to do damage with the bone it wields in its hand. Its one of the best comic set pieces of the movie.
1. MR MIME
In many ways, Mr Mime was the star of the trailer for Detective Pikachu, and that genius continues into the movie itself. There's only one Mr Mime in the movie, but he's a character who has information crucial to the central investigation. Crucially, though, he's a mime and can't speak. This triggers an interrogation scene that is part slapstick and part surprisingly bleak, dark comedy. It has to be seen to be believed.
Detective Pikachu gets many of its best laughs from the bizarre juxtaposition of Pokémon's weird biology being transplanted into something that's pretty close to the real world. Mr Mime is perhaps the best example of that.