Warner Bros. is billing the hybrid Pokémon Detective Pikachu as the first-ever live-action Pokémon film, but let’s be honest: the real star of this film is animation, with the novelty of seeing the Pokémon universe as slickly-rendered cg characters (hairy Pikachu and fleshy Mr. Mime are generating a lot of the early discussion on social).
Rob Letterman, an animation director (Shark Tale, Monsters vs. Aliens) who transitioned to hybrid and live films (Goosebumps, Gulliver’s Travels), directs from a script by himself and Nicole Perlman, based on an original story by Tomokazu Ohara and Haruka Utsui.
Animation and vfx are produced by a variety of vendors, led by MPC and Framestore, under the direction of vfx supervisor Erik Nordby. Other key creative credits are John Mathieson (director of photography), Nigel Phelps (production designer), and Mark Sanger (editor). Ryan Reynolds voices the lead, Detective Pikachu.