The story is set in a Middle Eastern-like desert region. The music, clothes, artifacts, and names all have a great cultural feel to them. I especially like the setting because of my interest in the Holy Land, growing up reading the Dune series, and dabbling in the study of ancient Hebrew and Akkadian languages.
The main characters are siblings named Baraz and Meray. They grew up with a Pokemon named Hoopa, who is based on a sort of genie. The siblings would like to restore Hoopa's full power, but they soon realize that this may be a mistake...
Throughout the movie, we see how Baraz and Meray work together to try to save Hoopa and the surrounding city. Memories of their childhood show us that they've grown up learning to care for one another through fun times and also challenges.
Baraz is courageous, quiet, and wise while Meray is caring, sweet, and strong. Together, they do all they can to protect their beloved Pokemon Hoopa.
Hoopa is a complex character. He's mischievous and plays tricks on other Pokemon and people. In an early scene, he swaps a donut with a spicy berry, which Chespin accidentally eats and starts breathing fire! *sigh* Meray works hard to keep Hoopa from causing trouble.
But through the story, we find that Hoopa has had a frightening history. He had once been a great and mighty being, but his pride began to grow out of control. He was confined to a smaller form to prevent him from using his power for evil. This transformation saved the people of the region and gave Hoopa the opportunity to learn and grow.
It's not long before we see that Hoopa has struggled greatly and experiences a wide variety of emotions - fear, sadness, love, determination, hope, and joy. Despite his mistakes, he is still loved. And this surprises him.
Light and darkness are themes throughout the movie. We see events from many different periods, sometimes through the eyes of the human characters and sometimes from Hoopa's perspective. The changing times and circumstances paint a rich history in which the story can unfold.
The movie addresses the power of anger as well as the greater power of forgiveness, humility, and freedom.
There's an epic battle throughout the movie where legendary Pokemon from other worlds are summoned to battle; but after this battle ends, there's an even greater battle where Hoopa must face his own anger and pride.
Hoopa and his friends see salvation in a very real way at the end of the movie. It almost made me cry. Ah, maybe I did cry a little... :)
Along with the weightier themes, there's also laughter and donuts ^^ I thought the balance was just right. Even though I just saw it, I'm looking forward to watching it again soon :D