The first trailer for the first ever live action Pokemon movie launched yesterday and despite other major news yesterday, you will be missed Stan Lee, no one can stop talking about it. From the way the CG pokemon look in this live action world, the voice of Deadpool’s own Ryan Reynolds, to the creepy yet hilarious Mr. Mime, they are just tearing this trailer apart. Yet, despite everything people are saying and writing about this trailer, there is one thing I have yet to see a major gaming journo site talk about, and it is seriously bugging the crap out of me.
Let’s start all the way back in 1967. In February of that year, a pop rock band which went by the moniker of The Turtles released a single, Happy Together. This single went on to top many charts world wide and was released more widely as the title track of The Turtles third album. As a classic rock fan, I have heard this song many many times throughout the years. Yesterday, that song was used to close out Detective Pikachu’s first trailer. Apparently, no one understands why this song stands out, at least why it should stand out.
Despite everyone picking apart every reference and pokemon cameo, everyone missed what makes this song such an interesting choice. No one even mentions the song except Polygon. However, for some weird reason, they make a connection between Happy Together and Shrek’s karaoke DVD extra. “The trailer has genuine charm and uses a song from the Shrek Swamp Karaoke Dance Party — both equally important facts.”
No. That is just absolutely the wrong connection to make with that song. If you are still with me here and still don’t know what I am getting on about, let me switch back to a time somewhere in between the release of Happy Together and yesterday’s Detective Pikachu trailer.
In 1999, Nintendo launched its first title in the long running Smash Bros. series, Super Smash Bros. This game was a four player battle royale for the Nintendo 64 that pulled together characters from all over Nintendo’s game franchises. Everyone from Mario, to Samus, to Donkey Kong, and Yoshi were there. Also, Pikachu himself was a star of this game alongside Jigglypuff, the first two pokemon ever to star in the series. Part of the advertising campaign for Smash Bros. was a fun little trailer of Nintendo characters frolicking in a field of flowers arm in arm, until a huge fight breaks out between them. Throughout the whole commercial, one song plays in the background of both the frolicking and the battle. That song is Happy Together by The Turtles.
This is what has been bothering me. To learn that my vast vault of pop culture and gaming references contains so much more information than the collective memories and knowledge of all the people who are paid to write about games and the culture surrounding them. The fact that I am the only one aware of this connection.
I have no idea if Happy Together was used in Detective Pikachu’s trailer as a call back to Smash Bros., but I do not believe in coincidences. The people who cut this trailer knew what they were doing. They knew just how deep the love of all things pokemon goes. They knew what would get the nostalgia of fans brewing. I cannot believe that of all the hundreds of thousands of songs they could have picked for this trailer, that they happened to pick Happy Together for no reason. Everyone else reporting on this trailer disappoints me.