Pokémon: The First Movie: Mewtwo Strikes Back, commonly referred to as Pokémon: The First Movie, originally released as Pocket Monsters the Movie: Mewtwo Strikes Back (劇場版ポケットモンスター ミュウツーの逆襲 Gekijōban Poketto Monsutā: Myūtsū no Gyakushū), is a 1998 Japanese anime film directed by Kunihiko Yuyama, the chief director of the Pokémon television series. It is the first theatrical release in the Pokémon franchise.
It was first released in Japan on July 18, 1998. On July 8, 1999, a Complete Version (完全版 kanzenban) of the film was aired in Japanese television. In addition to an added prologue, the updated version included new animation and CGI graphics. The English-language adaptation, produced by Nintendo and 4Kids Entertainment and licensed by Warner Bros., was released in North America on November 10, 1999. The events of the film take place during the first season of Pokémon: Indigo League.
The film primarily consists of three segments: Pikachu’s Vacation, a 21-minute feature focusing on the series mascot Pikachu; Origin of Mewtwo, the 10-minute prologue added to the Complete Version of the film; and Mewtwo Strikes Back, the main 75-minute film feature. Overseas, the prologue can only be seen as a bonus short in DVD versions of Pokémon: Mewtwo Returns.