The official Japan-based Pokémon Kids TV YouTube Channel took the franchises’s popular characters in a new (or, rather, a bit old!) direction with the Thursday launch of the first “PokéToon: The Pokémon Cartoon Animation” — a dialog-free, classic cartoon-inspired 2D short complete with rubbery trains, off-the-wall physicality and raucous slapstick action.
The first installment, Chase the Beans, stars the Gen V pocket monster Scraggy (“Zuruggu” in Japanese) and Gen VII trickster Mimikyu. The duo are caught in a classic cat-and-mouse setup (or in this case, lizard and ghost) when Scraggy inadvertently boards a train while chowing down on a trail of delicious beans, and soon becomes the victim of Mimikyu’s painful pranks.
The short is directed by Taku Inoue with lovely retro-appropriate music by Kei Tsuda. Production partners were Dandelion, Step Corporation, Magic Bus and Studio Tulip.
The latest Pokémon animated series, Pokémon Journeys, will make its U.S. streaming premiere on Netflix on June 12. Netflix also added the franchise’s 22nd movie to its lineup earlier this year, with global launch of Pokémon: Mewtwo Strikes Back—Evolution (featuring an all-new CGI look) in February. Fans can keep up with new digital-first Gala Region adventures in the beautifully animated limited series Twilight Wings, available on the NorAm Pokémon YouTube Channel (episode 5 just launched).