[[Banned again]]Saudi Arabia's highest religious authority has issued an edict banning Pokemon games and cards, saying they have possessed the minds'' of children, promote Zionism and involve gambling.Saudi Arabia's Higher Committee for Scientific Research and Islamic Law issued the fatwa, or religious ruling, over the weekend. The Saudi edict said that is tantamount to gambling, which is banned in Islam.Pokemon has possessed the minds of a large chunk of our students, captivated their hearts and became their preoccupation. (They) spend all their money to buy the cards and compete with each other to win more.''
It said the video game and cards have symbols that include the Star of David, which everyone knows is connected to international Zionism and is Israel's national emblem, as well as being the first symbol of the Freemasons.''The game also has Christian crosses and symbols of Japan's Shintoism, which is based on the belief in more than one god, the edict said.In Tokyo Monday, a Nintendo spokesman speaking on condition of anonymity denied that religious symbols are depicted on the Pokemon items. The card game involves a host of imaginary creatures, each with their own set of special powers. The goal is to win as many cards as possible.
Many schools in the United States have banned the trading cards because they are distracting youngsters from their studies. The game has been criticized in several countries, with a Christian church in Mexico calling it demonic,'' and organizations in Slovakia saying television shows based on the game were detrimental to children.
Meanwhile, Pokémon 3: The Movie premieres on April 6, 2001
Young Pokémon trainer Ash Ketchum and his loyal friends journey to the beautiful mountain town of Greenfield, where they will encounter the Unown, the most mysterious of all Pokémon in Kids' WB! Presents "Pokémon 3 The Movie."
The third big-screen installment in the infinitely popular Pokémon mythology is really two stories in one. The feature-length adventure, "Spell of the Unown," is accompanied by a bonus 22-minute short, "Pikachu and Pichu," starring the much-loved Pikachu in its own adventure with the mischievous Pichu brothers, with a Dixieland jazz-inspired score imported from the original Japanese release.
Many of the more than 100 new Pokémon that were introduced for the first time in October of last year in the Gold and Silver edition Pokémon Game Boy games will make their animated debut in "Pokémon 3 The Movie," including Entei, the ferocious-looking beast with the big roar and the gentle heart.
Even Charizard, a Pokémon that Ash had released and now lives in Charicific Valley, will make a surprise return to help the young trainer during a particularly difficult battle, marking the first time the two friends have been together since they said goodbye in one of the Pokémon television show episodes.
The most interesting new Pokémon showcased in "Pokémon 3 The Movie" are the ultimately mystifying and elusive Unown, 26 cryptic entities shaped like letters of the alphabet ("like alphabet soup, without the soup," according to Pokémon Meowth) that have the power to bring human thoughts and dreams into reality.
It is the Unown that create a challenge for Ash far greater than any Pokémon battle he has ever experienced before. With help from Pikachu and all his faithful Pokémon, plus friends Brock and Misty and even a little unexpected assistance from Team Rocket, Ash must rescue the young orphan Molly from the mystical forces that threaten to transform her life into a dreamworld prison. At the same time, Ash must also struggle to bring his own mother back from the realm of the Unown before she is lost forever and he becomes an orphan himself.
No one is sure what the Unown are capable of, once they unleash their full powerÖ.but Ash and his friends are about to find out.
Warner Bros. is again collaborating with Nintendo of America, which manages the Pokémon franchise, acquired from the original creators in Japan, in all territories outside of Asia; and 4Kids Entertainment, which adapted the film and is Nintendo of America's exclusive agent for licensing the property. Kids' WB! Presents a 4Kids Entertainment Production, "Pokémon 3 The Movie," produced by Norman J. Grossfeld, President of 4Kids Productions. Grossfeld and Michael Haigney adapted the script from the original screenplay written by TAKESHI SHUDO and HIDEKI SONODA, based on characters created by SATOSHI TAJIRI. The director of the Japanese production is KUNIHIKO YUYAMA, and the American director is Michael Haigney.