Pokémon Detective Pikachu parents guide

Pokémon Detective Pikachu Parent Guide

A funny family movie that combines silly jokes for kids with wry observations for parents, all embedded within heartfelt storytelling.

Overall A

Tim Goodman teams up with a talking Pikachu to uncover the mystery of his father's disappearance.

Release date May 10, 2019

Violence B
Sexual Content A
Profanity B
Substance Use A

Why is Pokémon Detective Pikachu rated PG? The MPAA rated Pokémon Detective Pikachu PG for action/peril, some rude and suggestive humor, and thematic elements.

Run Time: 104 minutes

Official Movie Site

Parent Movie Review

When Tim (Justice Smith) hears from the Ryme City Police Department that his estranged father has been killed in the line of duty, he sets out for the big city to clean out his father’s apartment. Once there, he finds a strange vial full of purple gas and an amnesiac Pikachu (Ryan Reynolds) snooping around. To his astonishment, Tim can understand the Pikachu and learns that he has a connection to Tim’s father. Together, they decide to get to the bottom of his father’s disappearance and begin to follow the leads on his final investigation. With the help of reporter Lucy Stevens (Kathryn Newton) and her Psyduck, Tim and Pikachu find that the investigation goes far deeper than they ever could have imagined…

I’ll admit, I was kind of expecting this movie to be 90 minutes of boiled trash. Instead, it’s 104 minutes of surprisingly funny and heartfelt storytelling. Ryan Reynolds brings his usual repertoire of high-speed deadpan comedy, but at a much more child appropriate level than his similar turn in Deadpool. Much like Shrek and Toy Story, this film features good mix of comedy: there’s loads of slapstick and silly jokes for younger viewers, and plenty of wry observations (and the odd mild double entendre) for parents.

The plot is admittedly pretty goofy (especially for a movie with four credited screenwriters), but it doesn’t require much attention. For the most part, the fun of this movie is in the interactions between the characters. But the production’s other big downside is the CGI. While it works fairly well on Pikachu and a few other Pokémon, in some cases it’s just…. really creepy. Lickitung and Mr. Mime are both somewhat unsettling, although the kids in the screening I attended didn’t seem put off. Frankly, the whole premise of Pokémon is a little disturbing if you really think about it – it basically amounts to legalized dogfighting, but with highly intelligent creatures who get stored in miniature balls… it makes me wonder when the animal rights protestors are going to turn up.

Pokémon: Detective Pikachu is one of the funnier family movies I’ve seen lately. It may not be brilliant, but it is entertaining, and it won’t kill the parents in the audience like some children’s movies seem intent on doing. Best of all, the movie keeps its runtime down so the kids don’t get bored and the adults won’t get irritated. With its minimal use of profanity, cartoonish and sanitized violence, and lack of other serious problems, the film is largely suitable for most audiences, although some scenes could be a little frightening for small or sensitive kids. But if you’re looking for entertainment for a wide age range, you can definitely choose this Pokémon tale.

Directed by Rob Letterman. Starring Ryan Reynolds, Justice Smith, Suki Waterhouse, and Kathryn Newton. Running time: 104 minutes. Theatrical release May 10, 2019. Updated

Watch the trailer for Pokémon Detective Pikachu

Pokémon Detective Pikachu
Rating & Content Info

Why is Pokémon Detective Pikachu rated PG? Pokémon Detective Pikachu is rated PG by the MPAA for action/peril, some rude and suggestive humor, and thematic elements.

Violence: An explosion occurs which kills at least one person offscreen. An individual is involved in a car crash and explosion. A person is struck with a bone. Characters mime pouring gas on an informant to extract information. An individual is struck by a rock and seriously injured. A person is knocked unconscious. Throughout the film there are brief segments of cartoon slapstick violence between computer generated characters.
Sexual Content: None.
Profanity: There is sporadic use of mild profanities and terms of deity.
Alcohol / Drug Use: None

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Pokémon Detective Pikachu Parents' Guide

Tim and his father have a difficult relationship. What can you do to maintain good family relationships? Tim and Pikachu don’t work together well at first. How can you learn to make friends with people you don’t initially understand?

Loved this movie? Try these books…

Want to figure out who’s who in the Pokémon universe? Scholastic has the book for you: Pokémon: Super Deluxe Essential Handbook: The Need-to-Know Stats and Facts on Over 800 Characters. And if your home’s Pokemon fan wants to create his or her own adventures in this anime universe, they will probably appreciate Tracey West’s Pokemon: How to Draw Pokemon.

Kids who enjoy mysteries involving fabulous creatures will definitely have fun with Graeme Base’s The Eleventh Hour: A Curious Mystery. An elaborate picture book with rhyming text, this book embeds the clues within the pictures and text. Readers of all ages will have fun piecing together the clues and solving the mystery.

More mysteries featuring animals are featured in the Bunnicula series by Deborah and James Howe. The first novel is Bunnicula: A Rabbit Tale of Mystery which introduces the mysterious rabbit through the eyes of the family’s pet dog. Suitable for older elementary and middle school readers.

Ottoline and the Yellow Cat is the first in Chris Riddell’s detective series for kids. The series features Ottoline, a young girl whose parents travel frequently, leaving her under the care of Mr. Munroe, a strange hairy creature from Norway. Young readers who want mystery with critters will get a kick out of this novel.

Young kids who enjoyed this film will probably be tickled with a kids’ picture book with a film noir sensibility. Written by Meg McLaren, Pigeon P.I. features an avian private investigator who is tracking a birdnapper.

Home Video

Related home video titles:

Obviously, Pokémon: The First Movie (1998) is a great place to start, either for kids or adults looking to sate their nostalgia. This production is packed with heart and all that old-school Pokémon fun.

Young detectives are regularly featured in film. The Nancy Drew series featuring the intrepid teen detective has been featured on the big screen in 2007 and again in 2019.

Young viewers who want a safe, zany crime movie can watch The Great Muppet Caper. This story features Kermit, Miss Piggy, Scooter, Gonzo, and their friends as they get caught up in a jewel heist and attempt to foil the thief’s dastardly plans.