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AI Reimagines Pokémon As A 1950s TV Series & It's Freakish

With so many little monsters and fantastical lands, Pokémon is well-suited for anime. The franchise leaped into live-action with 2019's "Pokémon: Detective Pikachu," which had good and bad things going for it. Easily, one of the best things about the film is how the VFX bring Pokémon like Snorlax and Charizard to life. But what would a live-action series look like had the franchise been around in the 1950s? 

YouTube user Multiverse Wizard has used AI to create such a trailer, and the result is a little ... freaky, to say the least. Human characters like Ash and Team Rocket look fine, but then, there's the matter of the Pokémon themselves. One would imagine these would need to be practical creations to work in the 1950s, perhaps with big rubber suits like the old Godzilla movies. However, it would seem AI merely took the route of assuming the Pokémon would be real critters, as that's what it seems they're supposed to be — with all of the horrors that generally come with AI creations. 

For starters, the Pokémon aren't consistent from one image to the next. In one shot, Pikachu looks small, but in the next, it's larger than a sofa. Mewtwo looks like a straight-up demon, and the less said about Gengar, the better. The best creation is a Pokémon that looks like it's supposed to be Blastoise, except it's wearing a bowler hat. That's some Miyazaki whimsy we can definitely get behind.

Will bowler hat Blastoise leap to an actual live-action Pokémon project?

AI Pokémon creations are all the rage, such as a slideshow showing what Pokémon would look like in a Tim Burton movie. Bringing the franchise to the 1950s makes sense simply for the clash of aesthetics, but many commenters seem to think it inherently wouldn't work. For example, @ToddJambon commented under the YouTube video, "AI has lots of confidence in 1950s special effects." That doesn't even get into Brock de-aging by about 10 years from one shot to the next, as though the AI can't figure out how old he's supposed to be. But if live-action AI "Pokémon" isn't your jam, there may soon be some live-action projects coming down the pipeline created by actual humans. 

"Pokémon: Detective Pikachu" did pretty well at the box office, so talk of a sequel has been around for a while. Some details regarding "Detective Pikachu 2" emerged around 2023, with Jonathan Krisel tapped to direct. Things have been quiet on that front for a while, so it's unclear if it'll happen. But one can always hold out hope. There's also been talk of a live-action Pokémon series coming to Netflix going as far back as 2021. Will either of these come to fruition? That remains to be seen, but they both indicate how there's a desire to explore more live-action Pokémon concepts. 

If there's anything to take away from the AI video, it's that bowler hat Blastoise is a star. Forget the Squirtle Gang with their sunglasses, we need more Pokémon in funny hats, please.