Saturday, September 12, 2015

A Real Pokemon: The First Movie Blu-Ray Appeared! In Australia...

Turns out the Aussies are getting the first three Pokemon movies on Blu-ray just in time for Christmas. Find out what we know (and don't know) about this collection, and what it could mean for the wider world:


Hi, folks. Steven here. Just wanted to put up a video discussing one of the news stories from earlier this week that I think could use a little more attention. So, some of you may remember that last year I put up a video about a fake Pokemon: The First Movie Blu-ray that appeared on eBay. And, this is sort of a follow up to that.

Now, since then, I’ve seen fake Blu-rays of second and third movies, fake DVDs of the first three movies and Mewtwo Returns. A fake “repress” of the 4-7 Blu-ray, Origins and even the Zoroark movie. But, what’s happened this week is that we found out that Australia is getting a Blu-ray pack of movies 1-3. You may remember that this has been out of print for years. First Movie in 2009, second in 2010, third in 2011. So, there hasn’t been a legitimate way to buy these.

But, in any case, this 1-3 Blu-ray collection is coming out on December 2nd. And, if you would rather get them on DVD, they’re available individually on that same day. We don’t know a ton about these collections. We can’t actually see the backs of them, so we don’t know if they’re going to have the shorts or special features of any sort. Now, you may remember that the first three Pokemon movies have been cycling through on Pokemon TV. As of recording this, they have the third movie up there. And, none of them, as far as I know, have the shorts associated with them. So, it remains to be seen if they’ll be on these. Although, I wouldn’t be surprised if they didn’t.

And, as far as special features, to be honest, I’m not expecting a whole lot. It would be nice if they could at least bring the special features from the original releases forward. That would be very nice. So, with this release, I’m sure a lot of you are wondering, is this going to be importable? Well, as it turns out, these are labeled as Blu-ray Region B, which covers Australia, New Zealand, and a good chunk of Europe. Which, is a different region from Region A, which covers the US, Canada, Japan, and a few other places. So, technically speaking, unless you had a region-free Blu-ray player, you wouldn’t be able to use these.

However, as you may know, the Magna and Beyond Blu-ray for movies 12-15 that came out in Australia-the same distributor for this-would also play in Region A players. There were a few caveats. You might want to check out my review of the movie 14, the Victini movie Blu-ray that we did a couple years ago, sort of discusses some of that.

These might also play in Region A players. We really don’t know. And, my advice, if you don’t have a region-free player, is just to wait until they come out and then look for some confirmation online about whether they support Region A. And then, I guess, you could find a way to import them.
So, next question you’re probably asking, what does this mean for the US? Are we going to see these eventually? I suppose there’s a small chance that we could get something announced for this year. But, I think we’re much more likely to see something next year. And, just to kind of forewarn you, this could be a Blu-ray, or it could be just digital distribution of these movies on iTunes, Amazon Instant, and the like.

Part of the reason for this is that we’ve never gotten, in North America, a Blu-ray of Pokemon from Viz, who would probably end up doing this type of distribution. No real reason why Australia has gotten this but the US hasn’t. Maybe Viz thinks it’s economically unviable. One idea that I have-pure speculation on my part-is maybe Viz has some sort of cap on how many Blu-rays they can produce in a given year and Pokemon would use up too much of that quota. Like I said, total speculation on my part. Just putting that out there.

So, with that said, hopefully some time within the next 6-8 months, we’ll find something out that something is coming to the US. But, until then, I’m just kind of curious, what are your thoughts, idea, comments on this? Are any of you thinking about getting this from Australia? Or, what’s the deal with that? Alright, folks. Thanks.

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