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AI Creates A Pokémon Movie Directed By Tim Burton & It's Creepier Than You Think

Hollywood doesn't really know what to do with the Pokémon franchise, but Tim Burton might. One of the most popular multimedia franchises of all time, Pokémon is mostly known for its various video game offerings available on Nintendo platforms. Its popularity, especially amongst youth, has led to several animated shows and films, but the film industry has barely scratched the surface of the franchise's potential. Instagram artist AI Dreams thinks the series could excel with the help of Burton, the maverick director best known for "Edward Scissorhands" and the irreverent "Beetlejuice." 

In the AI-generated concept art, the user imagines what a Burton-helmed Pokémon film could look like, and the results are both creepy and exciting. Marrying Burton's signature art style that's reserved for his animated films ("Corpse Bride," "Frankenweenie") with the iconic designs of the various Pokémon characters, AI Dreams has created a unique crossover. Pikachu, the franchise's trademark character, looks as if he's handmade from clay, sporting stitches and missing an eye. The fan-favorite Charmander also boasts a similar design, looking more creepy and monstrous than cute. 

These designs are particularly expressionistic and moody, reminding viewers of the visual language Burton helped established with "The Nightmare Before Christmas" (a film he produced, but didn't direct). Mewtwo's stick-figure-like design is reminiscent of the lanky aesthetic of Jack Skellington and other characters from that project. Mewtwo is also standing under the moonlight, a visual motif that was common in the spooky Christmas flick. 

Tim Burton isn't making a Pokémon movie

Overall, these Tim Burton-designed Pokémon characters are fascinating, proving just how versatile the original Japanese creatures are. It's not difficult to imagine the relaxed but mighty Snorlax or the regal Zapdos existing in one of Burton's worlds. In fact, these creature designs are high quality, illustrating how far AI has come in recent years. It's interesting how artificial intelligence was able to create such picture-perfect renditions considering Burton has been vocal about AI copying his signature style

Despite how unique (and creepy) these designs are, there's little to no chance that Burton would be given the keys to the Pokémon kingdom. And while Pokémon has existed since 1996, Hollywood hasn't really gotten the opportunity to run wild with the iconic franchise. In 2019, Warner Bros. debuted the live-action "Detective Pikachu," which is loosely based on the spin-off game.

While a "Detective Pikachu" sequel is in development, there aren't any major plans right now to expand the Pokémon franchise's live-action or animated offerings. And if there is a project is in the works, it's hard to imagine such a bold auteur taking it on. Burton would definitely be a compelling filmmaker for the property. He continues to spearhead franchises and has always done well with established IP and animated films, but his creepy and gloomy aesthetic doesn't necessarily match the franchise's whimsical nature.