There are nearly 100 Pokémon scattered about the scenes of the live-action Pokémon Detective Pikachu film, including Bulbasaur, Jigglypuff, Morelull and the formidable Mewtwo. One creature serves as an informant for Tim Goodman (Justice Smith) and Pikachu (Ryan Reynolds): the mum Mr. Mime. When the film’s visual effects supervisor Erik Nordby and creature art director Ravi Bansal asked The Pokémon Company for advice on how to adapt Mr. Mime to the screen they were surprised to get little help back. It turns out that The Pokémon Company staff weren’t any quite sure what Mr. Mime even is.
Bansal told Time in an interview, “…We asked the Pokémon Company, ‘What is he?’ They went: ‘We don’t know.’ They were actually trying to dissuade us from using him, because they weren’t sure what he was or whether he’d work well on screen. That was a bit of a strange one.”
In the Pokémon video games, Mr. Mime was initially a Psychic-type Pokémon but later was changed to a Psychic/Fairy dual type in later iterations. He’s more humanoid looking than most of the games’ creatures, a fact that the anime uses as a plot point when Ash’s mom adopts a Mr. Mime after thinking its just Ash in a costume.
After Bansal’s quote was published, Pokémon fans took to social media to float their own opinion of Mr. Mime.
Can I just say, I appreciate that the Pokemon Company were like "no please, don't use him."
They were trying to warn us.
Now he is free.
— No. 1 Detective (@irlapplepi) May 11, 2019
In the film he uses only 5% of his power
— Shade (@shadeflash) May 11, 2019
Despite The Pokémon Company’s efforts, Mr. Mime does appear in Pokémon Detective Pikachu. Nordby told Time that the creature’s design is “instantly creepy” and the team tried to alleviate some of that by making the Pokémon toy-like. They also added freckles on Mr. Mime’s face to make him appear cuter.
Pokémon Detective Pikachu opened in Japan on May 3 at #3, below Detective Conan: The Fist of Blue Sapphireand Endgame. The film earned an estimated US$58 million in its opening weekend in the United States, the highest U.S. opening weekend box office for any film adaptation of a video game (unadjusted for inflation).