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Detective Pikachu Pokémon compared to their cartoon counterparts

Image used with permission by copyright holder

Based on the first two trailers, it really seems like Detective Pikachu could be the first truly great video game adaptation. Set in Ryme City, former Pokémon Trainer Tim Goodman goes on a search for his father, who went missing while working as a detective. Tim is joined by none other than a Ryan Reynold’s voiced Pikachu, whom only Tim can understand.

Not only does it seem like a great buddy comedy, but Detective Pikachu looks like it could be the start of a live-action Pokémon cinematic universe filled with hundreds of beloved Pokémon. We’ve already seen dozens of Pokémon in the trailers ahead of its May 10 theatrical release. We decided to compare fifteen of our favorites to their Pokémon cartoon versions.


Though it’s a bit strange to hear Ryan Reynolds’ voice come out of the electric mouse, live-action Pikachu is every bit as adorable as we could’ve imagined. He’s fluffy enough to get us to forget that somehow this hat-wearing Pikachu is tangentially related to Deadpool now.


As shown in the trailer, Bulbasaurs apparently like to travel in packs. We think it’s just lovely that the Grass-type Pokémon stick together as one big family. They look pretty much the same as their cartoon counterparts, which is great to see since Bulbasaur was one of the first Pokémon ever introduced as a starter from generation one.


Poor Pikachu gets into a cage match with Charizard in the movie. It’s rather unfair considering Charizard is a large, fire-breathing lizard who can also fly. Charizard has always been one of the coolest Pokémon around, and he retains his formidable presence in the jump to live action. We’re hoping Pikachu and cage match champion Charizard will learn to be buddies throughout the film.


Jigglypuff surprised us the most. The round Fairy-type Pokémon has always had a bit of a temper, but we know he’s a sweetheart. Plus, Jigglypuff sang sweet tunes in the third person. In the trailer, however, Jigglypuff is hanging out in a bar. No longer happy at all, Jigglypuff looks positively mean — not simply angry — with the curly clump of hair hanging between his soulless eyes.


Lickitung could be far grosser than he actually is in Detective Pikachu. Though still sort of slimy in appearance, his tongue looks pretty clean. He must have a good dental hygiene routine. When he opened his beady eyes in the trailer, it confirmed that Lickitung is in fact kind of cute.


Multiple Greninjas are shown throughout the trailers as adversaries. This is pretty interesting considering the Water/Dark-type Pokémon is the final evolution of Froakie, one of the starter Pokémon from X and Y. Like Charizard, we guess not all of the Pokémon we raised can be wholesome and nice as grownups.


Machamp puts those four rock-solid arms to great use in Detective Pikachu by directing traffic. We’re not sure if Machamp is a cop or a crossing guard, but we’re glad to see he’s using those arms for safety rather than violence.


The elusive Mewtwo figures to play a major role in Detective Pikachu as a baddie. The legendary Pokémon from the original 151 matches his cartoon style while managing to look even more imposing.


Flareon, one of the many evolutions of Eevee, makes a rather startling appearance in the trailer. She seemingly jumps through a portal, perhaps indicating an evolution. Her icy blue eyes are particularly interesting since she’s a Fire-type.

Mr. Mime

Mr. Mim, the humanoid psychic Pokémon, is either incredibly charming or outrageously unnerving, depending on who you ask. In the trailer, he puts his profession to use while being asked questions by Tim and Pikachu.


The perpetually confused duck appears to play a significant role for the good guys in Detective Pikachu. Psyduck also manages to keep his hands to his side, rather than on his head, in the trailer. We’re proud of him.


Just like how you originally meet Snorlax in the video game series, the lovable big guy is snoozing in the middle of the road in Detective Pikachu. Maybe Tim Goodman will have to use the Poké Flute to wake up the absolute unit in the movie.


Aipom is a Normal-type monkey Pokémon who looks extremely angry in Detective Pikachu. Aipom’s standout feature is his tail, which has a bloated hand with three fingers attached. We’re guessing he uses that tail to efficiently fling, uh, stuff at other Pokémon.


Charmander is one of the first Pokémon you see in the trailer. The fiery reptile waddles unaccompanied across the street in downtown Ryme City. We can see that his tail is appropriately ablaze. He looks innocent and harmless, even though we know he eventually evolves into the fierce Charizard.


We think we figured it out. Jigglypuff has been spending too much time with Snubbell, the pink bulldog with an everlasting scowl on her face. We get a close-up of Snubbell’s face in the trailer, and we’re not entirely sure if we want to rub behind her big floppy ears and tell her she’s a good girl or run away. Snubbell may have a menacing facial expression and piercing eyes, but she has chunky cheeks you just want to pinch.

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Steven Petite
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Steven is a writer from Northeast Ohio currently based in Louisiana. He writes about video games and books, and consumes…
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