Finally, it’s here. The first trailer for 2019’s Detective Pikachu has dropped, and boy howdy is there a lot in it. First of all, I just want to say, as a fan who has played every game up until Sun and Moon, I’m incredibly excited for this movie. It seems like they’re making their own thing out of it while referencing all the Pokémon lore as well. Cautious optimism seems to be the common point of view, as seen in our impressions article as well.
I love how they’re including a lot of the lesser known, later generation Pokémon subtly. I’ve done my due diligence and combed through every millisecond of the trailer to show you peeps as many little Easter eggs and secrets as I can. So without further ado, let’s make like a detective and start sleuthing.
1. Eating at Berry Universe
To start it off, we already can see plenty from the first couple of seconds of the trailer. Namely, we see a few Pokémon such as Charmander, Dotrio, and even Bouffalant (a personal favorite of mine). But aside from that, there’s a large amount of signage in the upper right.
Among these are signs that could allude to a couple different aspects of the Pokémon universe. One is a place called “Day Dream,” which might be a place where you can get put to sleep by a number of Pokémon moves. And then there’s Berry Universe, which is most likely a reference to Berries introduced in Generation II.
2. Poké Floats and dashboard Spoink
Next, we get a shot of our ace reporter, Lucy, and her handy sidekick, Psyduck. This could be an homage to Misty’s Psyduck from the original cartoon. But the primary nod here is the Poké Floats in the back. This movie takes place in the same city as the Detective Pikachu game, Ryme City, which features a massive parade with floats each year. Oh, also note the Spoink dashboard accessory above.
The one thing that is odd here is that Pokémon in this universe are depicted as hyper-realistic. So why then are the cartoon depictions we know and love the ones used for the floats?
3. Sun Garments waves at Alola
Skipping a bit ahead in the trailer, protagonist Harry Goodman has joined with Detective Pika-Reynolds and the pair are walking through a market area. This area is packed with nods to tons of Pokémon lore. But what I’m focused on now are the establishments. If you look to the upper right, you’ll see we have a sign for Sun Garments. This is most likely a clothing store and could be a reference to the fact that the Sun and Moon titles were the first in the franchise to allow trainers to customize their clothing. Also yes, of course, I see the Emolga on top of the tent.
4. Iron chef Charmander
Lastly in the market scene, we have two little Pokémon moments. First, you can see the Emolga, an Audino, another Duotrio, a Charmander, and even a Venusaur. Now, this trailer so far has been pretty accurate to the official sizes for Pokémon, but this Venusaur is tiny. Also, while Pikachu is strolling alongside the booths, we can see a man cooking some delicious street food. But if you look close you can also see that he has a sous chef, a Charmander. This Charmander is using its tail to help cook up some stir fry!
5. Pokémon lost and found
Later in the trailer, we see Harry walking up to a notice board. This board has some flyers for a couple missing Pokémon, one Squirtle and a Pancham. Well, just a couple seconds later our characters have moved to what seems to be an illegal underground battling ring.
They’re standing behind the cage, and alongside Pikachu and a Braviary are — you guessed it — a Pancham and Squirtle. This can’t be a coincidence with as many Pokémon as there are, so now we know where these missing Pokémon wound up.
6. Mr. Mime has gym equipment body parts
After a bit more jumpy cuts we get to the comedy of the trailer, the Mr. Mime scene. Just like anyone could have guessed, Mr. Mime is a nightmare when realized realistically. But that is not the secret I want to dive into. Actually, this may not even count as a secret, but I don’t care.
His shoulders are literal kickballs. You remember playing kickball on the playground as a kid, right? I’d recognize the square pattern and rubber look of those kickballs anywhere! I mean, come on, when he moves his arm in the scene you can literally see the seam of the kickball.
7. Jigglypuff’s gonna jig
Next is the Hi-Hat Café, which is actually the main hub in the Detective Pikachu game. We can see the actual neon sign for the café in the promo poster Legendary Studios released, but there’s also a brief scene in the trailer in the cafe. This scene is where Jigglypuff is on the table next to a passed out patron. We know it’s a cafe because of the coffee advert behind them. And from this we can also assume Jigglypuff causes some of its trademark trouble by singing the man next to it to sleep. Why else would a man be asleep in a coffee shop?
My guess for the setting of the film
I have a hugely speculative guess about this movie’s setting, but since I haven’t played its game namesake, I could be wrong: I think Detective Pikachu will take place in a “post-Pokémon rights” world. Think about it. Throughout the trailer, we didn’t see a hint of a Poké Ball or any Pokémon inside one. All of the Pokémon have been walking around freely, seemingly of their own accord. But if this is post-rights, where are the battles?
I think that’s why Harry is looking so longingly at all the battle posters in his room. Battles have been outlawed in this canon. My final piece of proof is with the underground arena. Why would you need such a seemingly seedy place for Pokémon battles, unless the act of battling is in and of itself illegal? Just food for thought, but it’d definitely add a whole other layer to this film.
But what do you guys think? Are there any big secrets I’m missing from the trailer? I tried to get as many of the more subtle ones as possible, but who knows? Let me know in the comments down below.