My daughter picked this one today. She has several plush Pokemon toys, but has yet to really see any of the shows or films. I had never seen this one. In fact, I haven't watched on of the shows or movies in years. I own basically every game, though.
So, this was basically a alternative universe retelling of Ash's journeys. Instead of Brock and Misty we get Sorrel and Verity. Instead of Gary, the rival is Cross. I am unsure of these characters exist in the anime shows, but they were new to me.
Most of the film is a series of quick events and jumps forward in time to get to the end point. We see some familiar moments retold, such as a new take of Ash getting a Charmander and him loosing Butterfree. The pace of the show makes some of these moments that were emotional to me as a child feel less, as there was little time to grow attached.
Some of the attempts at evoking an emotional response were there, in a way, but for the most part this just felt like an experiment that didn't hit the mark. More like a season packed into two hours, which takes a special finesse to do properly. Yuyama Kunihiko has shown in the past that he is capable of doing this, but here he failed.
The kiddo thought it was ok, but got distracted with other things several times as it failed to keep her attention. Skip this, unless you just have to catch them all. I'll just go back to playing the games and ignoring the on screen releases.