Pokemon: Arceus and the Jewel of Life is the 12th film in the Pokemon franchise, and it was directed by Kunihiko Yuyama. The film was released to Japanese theaters on July 18, 2009. The film made its premiere in the United States with an airing on Cartoon Network on November 20, 2009. The film was eventually released on DVD in the United States on February 1, 2011.
At the beginning of the film, Ash and his friends arrive in Michina. They quickly find themselves in the middle of a conflict between Dialga, Palkia, and Giratina. Ash, Dawn, Brock, Pikachu and Piplup are saved by Sheena, a young woman who is able to connect with the hearts of Pokemon. She and her assistant, Kevin, explain that the conflict is due to Arceus, a Legendary Pokemon, being close to awakening. Sheena also explains that her ancestor, Damos, had betrayed Arceus and took the Jewel of Life. When Arceus returns, Sheena plans to return the Jewel of Life to the Pokemon.
Arceus awakens from its slumber and returns to Earth. When Sheena tries to return the jewel, Arceus realizes that it's a fake and destroys it. Arceus goes into a rage, and Dialga, Palkia, and Giratina arrive to try and stop Arceus. Dialga, the Pokemon of Time, sends everyone except Kevin back in time to the point where Damos is supposed to return the jewel to Arceus; Dialga hopes that by doing this, the past can be altered. Can Ash and his friends make a difference in the past in order to correct the future?
When it comes to the animation in the film, there were attempts to try and combine traditional animation with computer graphics. Unfortunately, the two elements did not blend together very well, and the computer animation drew too much attention to itself. Also, there were times when I thought that the computer graphics were being used for things that really didn't need computer graphics, such as plants and trees. However, I did enjoy the musical score. The story itself was decent, and it's basically the type of story fans of Pokemon have come to expect from the films for the franchise.
Arceus and the Jewel of Life was released as a single disc DVD. On the disc, you can watch the film, use the setup menu to choose if you want to have English subtitles and which English audio option you want, and you can choose where in the film you want to start watching. When it comes to the subtitles, this disc includes a way to turn them off in the menu if your player decides to default to showing the English subtitles.
Like the previous two DVD releases of the Pokemon films, Arceus and the Jewel of Life does not include any special features. This DVD is priced to run the same amount as a DVD release that includes bonus features. Personally, I would recommend buying a copy of Arceus and the Jewel of Life if you can find it somewhere that's selling it for under $15.
In order to write this review, I checked out a copy of this DVD through the King County Library System.