Film Theory: Did Detective Pikachu Prove Pokemon’s Greatest Fan Theory?

Film Theory: Did Detective Pikachu Prove Pokemon’s Greatest Fan Theory?


Alright Pokémon HQ! Let’s take our most popular character, recreate him in loving detail, cast the Internet’s favorite voice of sarcasm, adhere to established canon and drop in a lot of Easter eggs to fans of this series. Movie, I choose you!! Meanwhile, over at Sonic HQ! Yeah, guys, let’s do what they did, but change everything about the character, remove any ties to established lore, and set the whole thing to classic gangster rap. Come on money… Hello internet! Welcome to Film Theory! The show that’s kinda cringy when it tries to be funny, but at the end of the day is still endearing. Just like “Detective Pikachu”! Hey, so based on the Internet’s collective reaction, it seems like we finally got ourselves the first great video game movie of all time. “Don’t overcook it. It’s fun. It’s good. It’s enjoyable.” “It’s about as good as a live-action Pokémon film could be.” “I’d probably say it’s the first watchable video game movie.” OK, dialing back the praise here, the first watchable video game movie of all time. Now, in all honesty, I saw it last night and I have to agree. It was just a lot of fun. Nothing ground breaking, but it was just a really enjoyable movie to watch. And, as an experience, it confirmed a lot of things for me… Ryan Reynolds? Still funny. Pikachu? Still adorable. Mr. Mime? Still probably creeping on kids at night. But more so than any of that, “Detective Pikachu” seems to have provided the final pieces of evidence needed to confirm one of the longest-running and coolest Pokémon theories that’s been kicking around since the first generation of games way back in the 90s. In the process of solving the mystery of what happened to Tim Goodman’s father, Detective Pikachu may have also just solved a much more important mystery… a case that’s been open for over 20 years. A case whose solution has huge implications about the true nature of Pokémon. So pull out your magnifying glasses, and put on that deerstalker cap, because we’ve got ourselves a case to solve. Our case begins with the video games. Way back in 1998, the year when everyone thought that they were king of the world, and the height of mobile gaming was an 8-bit egg in your pocket named Tamagotchi. Little did we know then that we were in the middle of a revolution. The Pokémon revolution. Generation 1: 150 cute little pocket monsters that would give rise to the highest-earning media franchise of all time. Eat your heart, out Hello Kitty! 2 years earlier in 1996, the world had been met with Pokémon’s “Red”, “Green” and “Blue”, but then came “Pokémon Yellow” in 1998, which contained one major change, Pikachu was now your starter Pokémon, and just followed you around the overworld. That was pretty much it. Other minor changes were to make it feel closer to the hugely popular anime series at the time. The gym leader Giovanni using a Persian, or characters like Jessie and James replacing generic Team Rocket grunt appearances. But other than that, it was just the original games all over again. Or was it? You see, there was one other very subtle change made in “Pokémon Yellow”. In the course of your journey across the Kanto region, you visit a place called the Pokémon mansion on Cinnabar Island, a massive building filled with rubble. Scattered throughout it are journal entries, referencing the discovery of Mew in the jungles of Guyana, and the subsequent creation of the ultra-powerful, ultra-violent Mewtwo. The wreckage around the mansion is the game’s way of telling us that he was created here, and later escaped. Something that later games, in particular the recent “Let’s Go Pikachu!” and “Eevee” series makes a lot more explicit. You eventually find Mewtwo in the Cerulean cave, where he can finally be caught. But here’s the important change. In “Pokémon Yellow”, a new wild Pokémon can be found roaming the halls of the mansion: Ditto, the transform Pokémon. A little blob of purple goo, unique for its ability to shape-shift using DNA, as his Pokédex entry says: “Capable of copying an enemy’s genetic code, to instantly transform itself into a duplicate of the enemy.” Seems like it’s just a minor shift in spawn locations, right? Maybe. It seemed to many to be more than just a coincidence that a genetically based Pokémon would appear in an area where Mewtwo was being created using genetic experimentation. Perhaps there was a way that Ditto was connected to both Mew and Mewtwo. Maybe, just maybe, Dittos were the failed clones of Mew. The experiments that didn’t make the cut, until science was finally able to create the perfect Mew clone in Mewtwo. Seems like it’s a bit of a stretch, right? Theorists like me grasping at straws. All they did was change one spawn location. But the closer you looked into this thing, the more details started to line up. The connection between the two only got stronger when players noticed that, (again, in “Yellow”) the only other spawn location for Ditto was the Cerulean Cave, where Mewtwo winds up hiding out after his escape from the mansion. So wherever Mewtwo was, Dittos seemed to follow. It was enough to get theorists like me to start looking closer, and boy howdy, did we ever find a treasure trove of evidence. The similarities between Mew and Ditto are undeniable in the games. They have the exact same weight of 8.8 pounds, they’re the only two Pokémon that are able to learn the transform move purely by levelling up, even their coloration seems to match. I mean, sure, Ditto is usually purple, and Mew is usually pink, but sometimes, in some iterations of the games, Mew is purple. And sometimes, in some iterations of the games, Ditto is pink. And in “Detective Pikachu” the Ditto was definitely much more in the pink spectrum. But there is no denying that all the time both Ditto and Mew have shiny forms, that are both the same shade of light blue. And this is all just the superficial stuff. If you dig further into the game’s data, even the numbers tell the story of how they’re connected. Each Pokemon has base stats that govern their basic attributes like HP, attack, defense, speed, etc. Mu is a regular jack-of-all-trades when it comes to his base stats. He has equal base stats across the board. If you look at Ditto’s base stats, you’ll find the exact same thing; identical base stat distribution across the board. Now all of Ditto’s are 52% lower than Mew’s, but it’s exactly 52% for all six of the main stats. The distribution of those statistics is identical. It’s almost as if Ditto were a weaker copy of the original Mew, and that there’s the point. Ditto isn’t Mew, it’s an imperfect copy. It’s the result of failed cloning experiments, cloning experiments that eventually give rise to Mewtwo, and leave the little pile of gooey DNA Ditto over there in the corner, wandering around, looking for stuff to do. Kind of a weird Pokemon. All of it adds up to a very compelling amount of circumstantial evidence. But for the two decades since Yellow’s release, that’s all it’s been. Circumstantial. A bunch of similarities never outright confirmed by any singular piece of Pokemon media. And then came Detective Pikachu. Let’s lay out what we learned from the movie. And yes, we’re gonna have to have some minor spoilers here. Not the big twist of what happened to Tim’s father or anything like that, But for the smaller mysteries that are uncovered along the way. I’ll give you three seconds, so you can use that time to click away, and/or click the subscribe button to get notified of every time we have a cool theory, like this one! Help this channel get to 10 million subscribers, please. It would be great to get that glorified paperweight. Alright, we all good? Everyone ashore who’s gone ashore? Fantastic. Within the movie, it’s mentioned that Mewtwo is a genetically altered clone of the ancient Pokémon Mew, confirming everything that we just talked about. But the movie goes one step further. They explicitly say that Mewtwo disappeared from the Kanto region 20 years ago. Now the Kanto region is where the first games took place, and where the anime began. Interesting coincidence, but nothing earth-shattering. It’s that “20 years” detail that really matters. You see “Detective Pikachu” is coming out just over 20 years after the release of the Generation 1 games, and exactly 20 years after the release of “Pokémon: Mewtwo Strikes Back”, the first ever Pokémon movie, which was all about, you guessed it, Mewtwo’s escape. It’s all connected. And that’s not even speculation, it is something outright confirmed by the screenwriters, in an interview they did with Polygon. “The implication, which the screenwriters confirm to Polygon, is that this is the same Mewtwo from the canon universe.” I mean, I gotta quibble with them saying “the canon universe”, because it’s like, “Which canon universe are you talking about?”. But hey, I will take it. So we have an established and confirmed canonical connection between “Detective Pikachu” and the wider “Pokémon” franchise, cool! But the writers went on in another interview, this time with ScreenRant, to confirm that they were aware of the Ditto/Mew theories when working on the project. “So we went into the history of Ditto, we looked at all of those things,” “and we kind of wanted to leave it up to the audience of people that are more familiar [with the story].” “We didn’t necessarily feel that we wanted to go too much into that.” “But all of those things are a factor,” “and I think the deep origin of Ditto is a provocative question that we wanted to hint at.” “Because of the interaction with Mewtwo’s genetic material, “it did seem like there was a sensible connection between Mewtwo and the Ditto.” So, we have writers who’ve been approved to work within the official canon, who were also aware of the possible connection between Ditto and Mew, So now the question is: how does that actually translate to what we see on screen? Well in the movie, we see Ditto playing a pivotal role. By the end of the film, it’s revealed that Howard Clifford, the founder of Ryme City, is our true villain. A man who’s out to hijack Mewtwo’s mind, so he can gain the psychic Pokémon’s powers for himself. In order to do this, he uses his partner Pokémon, Ditto. But this isn’t any ordinary Ditto. You see Howard’s Ditto has the ability to transform at will, and in the film’s climax, we see him do exactly that. He transforms into a Machamp to beat up Tim, then transforming into a Cubone to give him a few knuckle taps to knock him off a building, and later transforming into a raging Charizard. Heck, his Ditto can even transform into humans, which is a whole other discussion for another day. All of these behaviors though, directly conflict with what we know about a normal Ditto’s abilities. We’re told repeatedly throughout the animes and video games that Ditto can only copy things it sees. In gameplay terms, this means that Ditto can’t just transform into any random Pokemon, it always has to copy whatever enemy it’s facing. But this isn’t just a gameplay mechanic. It is something that’s a part of this wider franchise’s canon, as established via various Pokédex entries; Ruby and Sapphire, Emerald, Diamond and Pearl, Black and White. “Ditto rearranges it’s cell structure to transform itself into other shapes.” “However, if it tries to transform itself into something by relying on it’s memory, this Pokémon manages to get details wrong.” “A Ditto rearranges it’s cell structure to transform itself.” “However, if it tries to change based on it’s memory it will get details wrong.” “It has the ability to reconstitute it’s entire cellular structure to transform into whatever it sees.” This is further supported by what we see in the anime. The first Ditto we meet in the anime are the ones belonging to the copycat Duplica, and in her episodes, we learned that Ditto are only capable of transforming into Pokémon that are physically present, and that this is a limitation of the species as a whole. Likewise all the other episodes that have Ditto, only show Ditto transforming into Pokémon that are present for it to copy. Across all of our research, there were zero canonical cases of Ditto randomly shape-shifting at will, without having a Pokémon nearby to copy. So for Howard’s Ditto in “Detective Pikachu” to cycle between forms so rapidly and so precisely, forms that it’s not seeing, and is still able to replicate flawlessly, it must be some kind of Super-Ditto. Something that we haven’t seen in this series before. Something that was artificially birthed out of a laboratory off of Mewtwo’s genetics. Remember that, all this time, the working theory that we’ve been trying to prove, is the connection between Mewtwo and Ditto. That, like Mewtwo, Ditto was also born out of the same genetic testing. Now, in “Detective Pikachu”, twenty years later, we see Ditto and Mewtwo connected yet again. Howard Clifford is doing genetic experiments on Mewtwo on the outskirts of Ryme City, and in the process, produces a Ditto with powers that surpass the other members of its species. Tim says, “What kind of Ditto was that?” “That was one of my father’s genetic experiments.” If you were looking for the final piece of confirmation for the link between Mew, Mewtwo and Ditto, this is it. And probably as explicit as we’re ever gonna get. Ditto is made out of the genetic stuff that Mew and Mewtwo are also made out of. It is more possible now than ever, that Ditto is just a bunch of failed protoplasm coming out of Mew cloning experiments. Back in 1998, it was all about creating the first forms of Mewtwo, and the random regular Dittos that spawned out of that process. Now twenty years later, in 2019 with “Detective Pikachu”, it’s elevating and exploiting Mewtwo’s powers for the next level of Howard Clifford’s evolution, and in the process, he’s creating a stronger, more advanced form of Ditto. In the end, it took a Film Theory to confirm one of the most famous Game Theories of all time. But hey, that’s just a theory! A multimedia cross-platform theory! Aaaaand… if you want to see more on “Detective Pikachu”, check out my Film Theory on why Detective Pikachu himself, might actually be Ash’s Pikachu! The movie doesn’t outright de-confirm it, and heck, he really likes riding on Tim’s shoulders the whole time! Or, hop on over to my other channel Game Theory for some more Pokémon excitement, I have over twenty episodes theorizing everything from, “How geography affects evolution in the “Pokémon” series”, to “Dead Pokémon, and what happened to them.” Heck, this last weekend, I actually did one exposing the true story behind one of the mysterious ghost girls that haunts the “Pokémon” games! In fact, I’m gonna link to the whole Pokémon playlist right here, so you can just binge-watch Pokémon theories to your heart’s content. So now if you’ll excuse me, I gotta go catch ’em all! Catch all the other big release movies that hit in, like, a one month span, there’s a lot to watch that I have to get through. So, need to run back to the theater now that this episode is done. Hopefully produces some good theories!

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  1. you forgot in xy Mewtwo is found in a cave in the little yellow flower field off snowbelle city which is the only place you can find ditto in Kalos too

  2. More likely that he just took a ditto and made it stronger like they did with all the other pokemon in the labs, there is nothing here that says ditto is directly related. Bit of a reach but interesting to hear.

  3. I have a theory what if the main character in the movie ( I forgot the name ) father was Ash from the TV series Ash just changed his name.

  4. There is also evidence as the Chronicle of Steve's rise to godhood( aka Minecraft), Ditto spawns from the cloning machine if it fails to create a Mewtwo from Mew, if you're using the Pixelmon mod.

  5. Turns film theory icon 270 degrees clockwise instead of 90 degrees counterclockwise to change it into the game theory icon… me: angery

  6. Ummm so Mew and Ditto arent the only pokemon that can use transform, if you take a smeargle, which can use sketch, a move that copies another pokemons move permanently. The smeargle can then learn transform. But this doesnt change the theory that much so, thats my tea or whatever.

  7. I don't think Ditto is a failed experiment, but it was experimented upon, so scientists could perfect cloning, or at least, dittos were implanted Mew's DNA so it would change and maintain it's new DNA, that of Mewtwo, I say this, because if you think about it, how many failed experiments they had?

    Ditto is common in all regions, how could they multiply so fast that they are commonly found in all regions, but not over reproduced to the point of endangering the existence other species?
    While there's no doubt it was used in the experiments, saying it was a result of it is a mistake.

  8. Ditto being failed Mews was shown to me a long time ago;

    However,

    What if the Ditto were just used as stem cells to produce Mew thanks to their genetic malleability?

  9. At first I thought this video was going to confirm the theory of pikachu being Ash's father and that is why he isn't around. Bill and his pokemon mind swiping machine also add on to the theory. Another thing I like to add on is how in the yellow version of the game The pikachu that is given to you is the only pikachu that was found and caught in the wild. Why so near pallet town?, instead of the Veridian forest or the power plant like in Blue and Red version where you can find them in the while. Food for thought.

  10. Ash's father was the champion, he decided to fight Mewtwo without Master Ball and Mewtwo locked his mind into the pikachu and that is why Ash's pikachu is more like human and so powerful :3

    Also ditto transformed into a cannon in the anime which was epic 😀

  11. This better not be a ditto can turn into humans theory. Because that shit has been verified since the original pokemon anime when Jessy forced a ditto to transform into her childhood crush

  12. It is as good as a Pokémon live action could be. I think that is the perfect review of the film. For me the only redeeming scene is when pikachu sings the intro of the cartoon while crying…

  13. I like 2 theories for ditto and mewtwo one thats really common and one i dont think i have heard before forgive me if im mistaken i like the theory given in this video but here is a theory that makes sense to me what if ditto isnt failed clones of mew but are infact there because the scientists where using ditto to try and create mewtwo aka what if they combined mews dna with a ditto in hopes that the dittos transformation ability would replicate the mew cells and turn ditto into a mew but it failed and instead the dna fused and evolved into mewtwo meaning mewtwo is jist a powerful ditto idk why but the idea that they were trying to fuse 2 pokemon is far more intresting to me than the idea that all dittos are failed mew experiments i mean unless ditto is capable of mass repopulation in a short time frame it wouls make no sense as to why you can find so many in so mamy different places my theory is they were raising dittos to attempt to fuse mew cells with the dittos to create mewtwo thats why fhere is so many of them realistically after 9 or 10 dittos where created they would give up meaning there would only be 9 or 10 dittos in existence if the theory that they are failed mew clones was true but that isnt the case there is an unlimited number of them technically

  14. In the laboratory, there are tons of pokemon with different abilities. The Ditto in the film is likely just one of the experiments of Ditto.

  15. This is just me thinking,,, but the whole “one of my fathers genetic experiments” could’ve been him turning a ditto into the super ditto,,, not just creating a ditto

  16. 10 minutes are him retelling all we already know. Then gives evidence as to why his theory is incorrect. Then gives theory for 1 minute.

  17. It does make sense if ditto was created because you cant breed no matter what so it could have been created or has another way of creating young that i dont know about

  18. And Mew can Transform, Ditto can Transform but Mewtwo CANNOT Transform why? Because the scientists removed its ability to transform thus creating the perfect clone Mewtwo.

  19. I don't think Ditto is a failed clone, that wouldn't explain why they're in every region I think it's more likely that Ditto were used as a base for Mewtwo.

  20. Crazy thought what if duplica is that ditto that can transform at will but it(ditto) since it has the ability to transform to humans it or she simply stays in human form at all times, it would explain how she is good at imitating people but to not give her self out she simply purposely imitates some details wrong on purpose otherwise everyone would catch on and might consider her a threat…Im just saying… Cool video Mr.MatPat…😁

  21. I actually enjoyed detective pikachu. Ot was endearing, adorable, realistic, and who doesn't like a huge totera garden that has enough power to shift the tectonic plates? The story was cohesive, made sense, and hey, confirmed that deadpool is a furry, right? I think it was pretty good.

  22. While they did close the door on Harry being connected to Ash, however, like the video said it doesn't close it on Pikachu being the same one from the anime, if anything, by confirming Mewtwo is the sameone from "Pokemon: The First Movie", it supports the fact that it happens in the same universe, so the posibility is still open, also, I am convinced that the Jigglypuff in DP is the same one from the anime (too bad she only gets one scene, and it's a quick cameo), further encouraging that those two pikachu are connected. It really all depends on a Pokemons life span.

    By the way, if anyone is interested on wether Pikachu can actually beat Mewtwo, I ran a simulation in Smash Bros. Melee (Kanto stadium, CPU controlled, Lvl 9, no items of course), and Mewtwo got his ass kicked 10 times in a row.

  23. wow, that one was garbo.

    1. 90% of it was recapping what we already knew
    2. where exactly did you find anything that helps?
    3. a super ditto? what? if you would have stuck to anything else it would have been better. Do we know that mew can recreate perfect copies from memory? I don't think so. That proves nothing
    4. if they said in the interview that they don't want to set anything into stone then how should the film prove anythin.

    onw of the worst videos on your channel

  24. I already knew this because Mewtwo was created when the scientist added human dna to the mix. Which is why Mewtwo is humanoid
    (Which doesn’t confirm Ditto but it’s pretty apparent) that being said, I love this theory and Pokémon in general ❤️

  25. Now it makes me Wonder!
    If Ditto came from Mew then… Did Meltan also came from Mew? 🤔
    Both Mew and Meltan are both Related to Ditto! 😂😂😂

  26. wait what pokemon green was actually a thing?

    I always thought it was a myth when i was a kid that pokemon green existed.

  27. What if that is so smart because it is Amber (Green)? Because it had a human's type of memory what if it is the failed clone of Amber?

  28. In Sun/Moon (or Ultrasun/Ultramoon) there is a Ditto that transforms in known humans too. So either there is a real "assistant" the ditto cloned, or they were already a fused pokemon/human couple experiment (also already canon since the first pokemon games)

  29. The ditto from detective pikachu is not the only ditto that can change at will without seeing the enemy first. There is a boss in guardian signs where you fight a ditto that has been trained to transform into any of the 3 different beasts (Suicune, Raikou, and Entei) at any given time. Also this isn't the only case where a ditto can transform into a human since in the Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon games there are 5 special ditto that take form of humans when you get to konikoni city. However even though this particular ditto has been trained/genetically modified to turn into humans and any Pokemon at will it still cannot change it's face which is an odd detail to add since most ditto can transform entirely with there only being a few exceptions that have trouble with faces.

  30. How does Ditto spread around the world, I mean since Mewtwo leaves do other people keep doing experiments like the ones before and just dumping Ditto into the wild. They can’t breed they just create the Pokemon they bred with, so how are they everywhere

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