Three film and TV studios elected to dump their latest trailers online on Monday, as opposed to spreading the love out over the week. Alone, each trailer is each intriguing, but their combined nerd power lets us glimpse what’s to come from three world premieres.
The highlight of this year’s Veterans Day trailer explosion is Detective Pikachu, a live-action (and decidedly Western) take on the odd video game of the same name. That title means a few things. First, like the game, this fork of the Pokemon universe appears to exist outside the collect-’em-all series’ game and anime entries. That means there’s no sign of familiar human characters like Ash, Daisy, Brock, or Team Rocket.
Second, the movie focuses on a special version of Pikachu who speaks the same language as humans but can only be heard by his best friend… and they team up to solve mysteries. In this case, the mystery appears to revolve around a young boy’s missing father—and how his vanishing kept the boy away from a life as a Pokemon trainer.
As you can see in the above gallery and trailer, the film otherwise exists in a Pokemon-filled universe, and that means we’re seeing Nintendo’s first significant attempt to marry real-life actors and “realistic”-looking Pokemon creatures. Pikachu, in particular, looks like a fuzzy stuffed animal come to life, while other popular Pokemon characters have their own unexpected CGI touches. (The plasticky look of Psyduck, for example, recalls the very ’80s look of George Lucas’s Howard the Duck puppets.)
Between that cognitive dissonance and the sound of Ryan Reynolds’ voice coming out of Pikachu, it’s fair to say that Detective Pikachu is going to be, at the very least, a weeeeird film. It debuts May 11, 2019.
Disney-Pixar debuted its own CGI-filled reveal trailer for Toy Story 4 on Monday, as well, though this one has pretty much zero plot on offer. The TL;DR: familiar Toy Story characters laugh and play in slow motion until a new character appears. It’s a talking spork, and this new member of the crew screams, “I’m not a toy!” thus sending the playful party into a tizzy.
Perhaps we’re only getting one non-toy player, or maybe something strange is happening in Andy’s world that is making other objects wake up when people aren’t around. We’ll have to wait until a more vague “summer 2019” window to find out.
Last on the docket is Mystery Science Theater 3000, whose second Netflix season was already announced a few months ago. Thus far, we knew that the show will include the same cast of comedians (Jonah Ray, Felicia Day, Patton Oswalt) and voice-acted robots and that this second season will land on Thanksgiving Day with six movies in tow.
Now, we know which films will be on offer, including the famously atrocious Mac and Me and the modern “mockbuster” trash fire that is Atlantic Rim. What’s more, all the movies are going to be presented with a torturous “watch them in a row” gimmick in the show’s universe. Since the series is all about torturing Jonah and his robot pals, we’re happy to see the show lean into Netflix’s “binging” reputation as a means of delivering pain.
Listing image by Warner Bros.