This great Pokémon movie starts out 40 years in the past. A young Trainer called Sammy is walking in the forest and meets a young lady who gives him some bread for his journey. Just then a Pokémon Hunter appears, chasing a Celebi through the trees with his Houndoom. The Celebi is terrified and in pain and as Sam protects it, it teleports itself 40 years into the future…
In the future we discover the same Pokémon Hunter, now much older, fighting with Vicious from Team Rocket. We see that Vicious is using a Dark Ball to turn the Pokémon captured inside evil. The Hunter tells of the location of a Celebi that disappeared many years before.
Ash, Misty and Brock meanwhile are taking a boat and chatting about Pokémon when Pikachu notices a monster in the forest – it’s a Suicune. Ash calls Professor Oak as soon as they land to tell him about the discovery. Ash asks the professor if he has ever seen one before, but can’t wait for the answer as the boat is leaving again. They eventually arrive at the point where we saw the young Sammy disappear with the Celebi. An old woman asks if they are going into the forest – it’s the same woman that gave Sammy the bread, only much older! Once in the forest, the trees start to light up blue and with a flash Celebi and Sammy appear again! Celebi flies off, leaving Sammy unconscious on the ground. Ash and co. are obviously startled by this, and worried for the little boy, and they quickly take him back to the old woman for help. She recognised Sammy and explains that he disappeared 40 years before. She has been keeping his sketchbook for him all these years, and returns it.
Sammy knows that he must find the Celebi again and return back to his own time, and asks Ash, Misty and Brock to help him. Of course they say yes! When they find Celebi hiding in the forest, it is not keen on going back and uses a Vine Whip on the heroes. Pikachu wants to ThunderShock the Pokémon, but Sammy stops this and they eventually soothe the time-travelling monster. They set off back to the old woman’s house but are first attacked by Team Rocket, then by Vicious who sends out a Dark Tyranitar with Hyper Beam. As they try to escape, Misty twists her knee and slows them down, making a confrontation inevitable. Ash and Sammy take on the Dark Pokémon, and Ash notices that Sammy’s PokéBalls are different to his red and white ones – grey in colour with a twist top to release the Pokémon! They soon stop the Dark Pokémon and arrive at a lake, where they take Celebi under the water and use Recover to heal the Pokémon. They then enjoy a flight using Celebi’s psychic powers and Sammy shows Ash his special sketch book. Ash thinks it looks like an old-fashioned Pokédex, and the two boystalk about how their mums must worry about them while they pursue Pokémon. Sammy draws Pikachu and Celebi as they sleep before they settle down for the night.
The next day, it’s not long before a masked attacker goes for them and they end up in a fight with a mech belonging to Vicious. The evil hunter captures Celebi in his Dark Ball – this turns Celebi into a crazed monster, dangerous to all! What will Sammy do now? How will he return to his own time?
Ash managed to get the Dark Ball away from Vicious but it explodes and the Celebi inside withers away! They all rush the Pokémon to the lake, hoping to help it recover, but sadly the Pokémon dies… everyone cries, it is so upsetting. Suicune and the forest Pokémon are all heard crying out – it’s as if the entire world is weeping for the Celebi.
Just as you think everything is lost, the tears that are shed attract more Celebi. They appear from a timewarp and together they heal the withered Celebi with their special powers. Vicious tries to take the Pokémon again, but this time Ash hangs on to his rocket and won’t let go! Pikachu Thunderbolt’s the rocket and it explodes, sending them all flying! Celebi rescues Ash and Pikachu, leaving Vicious to land hard and be attacked by Bug-type Pokémon, tying him up.
They all return to the lake and Celebi gets ready to take Sammy back in time. Ash says goodbye and hopes that they will see each other again one day, then Sammy is gone. Everyone feels sad, and they call Professor Oak to tell him that it was definitely a Suicune they saw, and that they have also seen Celebi. When Oak sees how sad Ash is, he asks him what the matter is. After explaining, Oak reassures him that he is positive that Ash will see Sammy again someday and that they are still friends. The call ends, then Ash and gang realise that they didn’t tell Oak Sammy’s name – how could he know it?
The movie ends as we see Professor Oak leafing through a Pokémon sketch book… it’s Sammy’s! So Ash has just made friends with the young Oak, the man who gave him Pikachu back on day one!
Celebi, the Voice of the Forest Facts…
• The official translation of the Japanese original title is Celebi: a Timeless Encounter.
• The tag line for the movie is ‘Best friends. Better heroes’.
• Pokémon that make the first appearances in this movie are Celebi, Croconaw, Tyranitar, Sneasel and Piloswine.
• It is thought that the events in this Celebi movie influenced the content of the GameCube games Pokémon Colosseum and Pokémon XD: Gale of Darkness.
• Strangely, both Cyndaquil and Totodile appear in the promotional posters, but not in the movie itself!