Story

Tim Goodman (Justice Smith) receives news that his estranged father and police officer, Harry Goodman, has died in a mysterious car accident. When Tim arrives to collect his father’s personal belongings, he discovers that there might be more going on than he has been told. For example, why has father’s Pokémon partner, Pikachu(voiced by Ryan Reynolds), lost its memory? And why can Pikachu and Tim communicate with each other?

Tim teams up with the wisecracking Pikachu and fast-talking journalist intern Lucy (Kathryn Newton). Together they uncover clues that lead them all the way to an evil plot to destroy the Pokémon-human alliance as they know it.

Themes

Death of a parent; betrayal of trust; friendship

Violence

Pokémon: Detective Pikachu has some violence. For example, Pokémon frequently attack humans and other Pokémon. They punch, hit, breathe fire and so on.

Sexual references

Pokémon: Detective Pikachu has some mild sexual references. For example:

  • There are several subtle jokes about male genitals, which children will probably not understand.
  • A male character says he is very attracted to a female character.

Alcohol, drugs and other substances

Pokémon: Detective Pikachu has some mild references to substance use. For example, there are several subtle jokes about drug use that stem from misunderstandings about some purple smoke that’s central to the plot. There’s no actual drug use in this movie.

Nudity and sexual activity

Nothing of concern

Product placement

There’s no product placement of concern in Pokémon: Detective Pikachu, but it’s worth being aware that there’s a huge entertainment, gaming and physical merchandise industry surrounding the Pokémon franchise. This movie will introduce young children to this franchise.

Coarse language

There is some mild coarse language in Pokémon: Detective Pikachu, including ‘shut up’, ‘shove it’, ‘stupid’ and ‘damn’.

Ideas to discuss with your children

Pokémon: Detective Pikachu is a visually exciting live action movie based on the video game of the same name. Although its plot is a little thin, this movie is an easy watch for children and adults alike.

This movie is most likely to be enjoyed by children over 8 years, with parental guidance for children aged up to 10 years. It’s worth noting that many of the Pokémon might frighten or distress children under 5 years because these creatures aren’t always cute. Sometimes they’re fierce and even monster-like. Also, some of Pikachu’s subtle jokes might seem a little tasteless.

Values in this movie that you could reinforce with your children include:

  • being a good friend
  • doing what’s right, even if it’s scary
  • knowing when you’re lonely and need support from others.

This movie could also give you the chance to talk with your children about real-life issues like:

  • sexism – for example, a character is told to ‘throw like a man’
  • animal and human interactions – for example, it might not be a good idea to approach real animals to try to copy the Pokémon-human interactions in the movie.