The Pokemon Movie: Detective Pikachu showed Pokemon in a new light with its ultra-realistic spin, but some designs never made it into the film.
It has been fascinating to see a real-life take on the Pokemon that until the movie were mainly seen in 2D graphics. As Pokemon in a real-life scenario look very different from their animated counterparts, the supposed real-life versions could have looked very different.
In the build up to Detective Pikachu, designers would have needed to provide several drafts of each Pokemon to make sure it fits in with the movie. A few of these design have been making the rounds on social media.
Some of you may have seen the terrifying version of Venusaur – understandably this didn’t fit with the film and never made it in there. This is in contrast to Venusaur’s eventual design which is considered cute.
The artist who designed this Venusaur, and many other designs that did appear, was RJ Palmer. “This was my design for Venusaur on Detective Pikachu. This was during a period where I was free to explore a more naturalistic approach,” Palmer said. He also admits that this design would have been too scary for the tone of the movie.
This was my design for Venusaur on Detective Pikachu. This was during a period where I was free to explore a more naturalistic approach. Looking back though its super clear that this would be too scary for the tone of the movie. I think the design they ended up with is fabulous! pic.twitter.com/SSekVKI47D
— RJ Palmer Anime Expo H3 (@arvalis) May 28, 2019
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Pikachu could have looked different
The biggest difference between the first and final design of Pikachu was his cheeks. Palmer was very into the idea of Pikachu having bald cheeks to conduct lightning.
Of course the Pikachu that appeared in the film had fluffy skin all over, a decision that Palmer believes was correct, saying: “I don’t think it would have worked nearly as well as the final design.”
Grookey, Scorbunny and Sobble realistic designs
The starter Pokemon for the upcoming 2019 game of course didn’t appear in the film. However, Palmer did create their realistic designs to feed the curiosity of Pokemon fans.
The three Pokemon Sword and Shield starters look like they could have easily been part of the movie. The latest versions of each can be seen in Palmer’s tweet below.
I wanted to spend a bit more time on Sobble since it was looking a bit unfinished compared to the Grookey and Scorbunny. Now you can easily see all three Realistic Pokémon starters here instead of hunting for the individual tweets. pic.twitter.com/aluUm5Sez2
— RJ Palmer Anime Expo H3 (@arvalis) May 17, 2019
Pokemon: Detective Pikachu is still out in cinemas now. While fan reaction to the film has been widely positive, it has received average feedback from official review sites. IMDB rate it 7/10 while Metacritic give it a percentage score of 53%.