Pokémon released an original CG anime short starring Detective Pikachu.
Featured on Pokémon’s official YouTube channel, Detective Pikachu and the Mystery of the Missing Flan features Pikachu and Tim joining forces to find out who stole Tim’s favorite dessert. While the two are initially suspicious of Pikachu’s friend, Munchlax, they eventually discover that another culprit is behind the theft. The short was animated by Polygon Pictures, the company that has provided CGI support for several Pokémon movies. The studio also collaborated with Studio Ghibli for the latter’s first CG animated series, Ronja, The Robber’s Daughter.
The Detective Pikachu franchise began with the release of the first Nintendo 3DS video game in 2016, in which players took on the role of the main star to solve mysteries in a new area called City. Ryme. The game’s quirky sense of humor and laid-back gameplay attracted players, and the series was expanded to include a live-action film and a sequel game for the Nintendo Switch. Released earlier this month, Detective Pikachu Returns features young Detective Tim Goodman and his tough sidekick taking on an all-new mystery after a rampaging Corviknight interrupts an awards ceremony in their honor. Although the game is structured quite differently from most mainstream Pokémon titles, some still praise it as one of the best ways to experience the ever-expanding world of Pokémon.
The live-action Detective Pikachu movie premiered in 2019, introducing Pokémon fans to a somewhat darker version of Ryme City. After discovering he possesses the special ability to communicate with Pikachu (Ryan Reynolds), 21-year-old Tim Goodman (Justice Smith) teams up with him to track down Tim’s missing father, Harry. Their journey eventually takes them on the trail of a larger mystery involving the legendary Pokémon Mewtwo. Detective Pikachu has been a huge hit with audiences, fulfilling fans’ longtime dream of seeing Pokémon as they appear in the real world. The film earned more than $144 million during its domestic theatrical run, while internationally, its box office total reached more than $289 million.
Earlier this year, Legendary Entertainment reassured Pokémon fans that Detective Pikachu 2 was still in active development. The production company also announced that Portlandia writer Jonathan Krisel will direct, taking over the role from former director Rob Letterman. There may also be video game installments in the future, as Pokémon Company President Tsunekazu Ishihara has stated that the team behind Detective Pikachu may consider creating a spin-off title if Returns is well received by audiences warm.
Detective Pikachu Returns is available now for Nintendo Switch. Detective Pikachu (2019) is available on Prime Video and Apple TV.