| Beauty and the Beach
Holiday at Aopulco
|| July 29, 1997
| United States
|| June 24, 2000
|| Team Ota
|| 園田英樹 Hideki Sonoda
|| 鈴木敏明 Toshiaki Suzuki
| Assistant director
|| 鈴木敏明 Toshiaki Suzuki
| Animation director
|| 酒井啓史 Hiroshi Sakai
| Additional credits
Beauty and the Beach (Japanese: アオプルコのきゅうじつ Holiday at Aopulco) is the 18th episode of the Pokémon anime. It first aired in Japan on July 29, 1997 and in the United States on June 24, 2000.
After finally escaping the deserted island, our heroes arrive in Acapulco, the world's greatest resort. They begin their vacation on endless beautiful beaches lined with palm trees. Ash, Misty and Brock go joyriding in a cruiser belonging to an old man and, inadvertently, break it. Our heroes and their Pokémon work temporarily for the old man to pay off their debt. Business is booming, creating resentment from his main competitor. As a result, Team Rocket is employed to interfere. Ash and friends only see this as a temporary set back, and come up with a plan that will blow the old man’s competitor and her co-conspirators, Team Rocket, out of the water. During all of this commotion, Professor Oak and Ash's mother unexpectedly show up to witness Ash defeat his competitors and prove himself to be one step closer to becoming a Pokémon Master.
Ash and his friends have finally arrived in Porta Vista, a beachside tourist town. Wasting no time, Ash, Brock and Pikachu change into swimsuits and jump into the ocean. Meanwhile, Team Rocket, still using their Gyarados submarine, spy on beachgoers from their vantage point underwater. They decide to steal the money of the wealthy tourists. Suddenly, Jessie notices a speeding boat heading in their direction. The boat is piloted by Ash, who thought Brock borrowed it because Pikachu was on the boat. The boat collides with the sub and eventually crashes into a dock. Moe, the owner of the boat, comes out to survey the damage. Ash, Brock and Misty volunteer to work to help pay the cost of repairing the boat and the dock. Moe agrees to this.
Meanwhile, Team Rocket's submarine has washed up onto a private beach and they're greeted by a woman named Brutella. James asks if they can work for her restaurant to help pay for repairs to their sub, and she agrees. Later, it's revealed that both Moe and Brutella are restaurateurs and rivals. For a while, Brutella's restaurant has more customers and Team Rocket taunts Ash and his friends over this. Ash decides to have his Pokémon help out as well. Squirtle and Pikachu are told to hand out fliers advertising Moe's; Pidgeotto and Charmander are to help keep the grill going in the kitchen, and Bulbasaur is assigned to help Misty do her waitress duties. This works well until Meowth sabotages everything - sending fliers flying, spraying oil on the stove, and throwing banana peels on the floor to trip up Misty and Bulbasaur) - causing the crowd to leave Moe's restaurant for Brutella's. Ash apologizes for messing everything up.
Brutella arrives with Team Rocket a few minutes later and tells Moe that he needs to pay her the money he owes her. If he is unable to pay by the next day, she will take his boat as payment. Moe is despondent, as he does not think he will have the money by then. He explains that he had planned to take a world cruise in his boat. Ash then fervently encourages him not to give up on his dream. Then, two familiar faces appear: Professor Oak and Ash's mother, Delia Ketchum. Ash is surprised to see both of them. Professor Oak explains that the Beach Beauty and Pokémon Costume Contest is set to start shortly, and he suggests handing out fliers to the audience. He also suggests that Misty enter and (hopefully) win some prize money to help out Moe. Ash sends out Pidgeotto, who blankets the beach and town with fliers. Soon, Moe's restaurant is full again, much to Brutella's dismay.
As the contest begins, Moe sits with Delia and Professor Oak. He explains how Ash encouraged him not to give up on his dream. Delia says that she and the professor are in town with the Pallet Town Volunteer Patrol. The contest begins, with Brock as the announcer. Misty is the first contestant, and she uses her Starmie and Ash's Squirtle to form a UFO. Team Rocket's Ekans and Koffing are next, and they're costumed as an Omastar. They are kicked off of the stage by Gary Oak and his cheerleaders, who are apparently the next contestants. Gary grabs the microphone from Brock and insults Ash, who jumps out of his seat and heads for the stage. Meanwhile, Brutella tells Jessie and James that she knows they are Team Rocket members and that she has fixed their submarine. She blackmails them into stopping the contest and destroying Moe's restaurant so that the audience will come to her restaurant instead. Jessie tells Brutella that they can destroy things without even trying.
Back onstage, Ash challenges the always-cocky Gary to a battle, but Gary refuses, stating that he does not want to battle an amateur Trainer. Brock steps between the two rivals before Ash's anger gets the best of him. Just then, the Gyarados submarine explodes from the water, causing panic. People run away, thinking that it is a real Gyarados on a rampage. Ash grabs the microphone and tells the remaining frightened audience members that it is a mecha, not a Pokémon. Team Rocket then fires a heat-seeking missile from the sub. Under Gary's skeptical eye, Ash sends out Pidgeotto and Charmander. Charmander's Flamethrower attack hits the missile, which turns and changes course: straight for the submarine! Team Rocket pedal furiously to get away, but they crash into Brutella's restaurant, which is then destroyed by the missile.
Ash and his friends say farewell to Moe, who is heading off on his long-awaited cruise. Ash also says goodbye to Professor Oak and his mother, who is holding a trophy inscribed with the words: "First Place in Our Hearts: Ash Ketchum."
- Ash wins the Beauty Contest*.
- Delia takes possession of the Beauty Contest's trophy*.
- For a list of all major events in the anime, please see the timeline of events.
The infamous scene cut from the dub
Another shot cut from the dub
Meowth's outstretched paw showing its pads
- Of the four banned episodes that have aired on Japanese television, this is the first one that was banned in all countries outside of Asia.
- The reason why the episode is "banned" was because there is a scene halfway in when James crossdresses and wears inflatable breasts for a beauty contest. Although intended for comic effect, the nature of the scene caused so much controversy that the whole episode was banned for almost 3 years, until it was aired as a heavily cut version that was only 18 minutes long. This edited version was titled "The Lost Episode" when it aired in 2000. The ending of this episode was shown as a flashback in the dub of Hypno's Naptime.
- According to Diana Pérez, the voice actress for Jessie in Latin America, this episode was dubbed into Latin American Spanish. She additionally commented that when dubbing anime, the dub staff usually receives the uncensored versions instead of the already-cut 4Kids-edited version. This could mean that the episode was translated by Western dubbers, since these are all based on the US version, but it was still never aired for those regions.
- This episode marks the first chronological appearance of Team Rocket's Gyarados submarine.
- After premiering on June 24, 2000, this episode was rerun only on August 18, 2000 and then never shown again in the United States.
- This episode was not dubbed when Nathan Price was voicing Meowth, so it is chronologically the first episode in which Maddie Blaustein portrays Meowth.
- This episode's dub title is a reference to the fairytale, Beauty and the Beast. It shares this trait with the episode Beauty and the Breeder.
- This episode shares its dub title with a Nintendo Comics System story of the same name.
- Misty's beach ball appears similar to a Master Ball.
- Contrary to popular belief, Delia does not win the Beauty contest in either version, as she never entered. The winner of the contest is actually unknown and unspecified.
- Of all banned episodes, this is the only one that was intended to be skipped completely by 4Kids, and ironically, was the only one that eventually made it to the air.
- It is also the episode which has the longest time between its original Japanese airing and its first dub airing, at nearly three years.
- About halfway through the episode, music from the second season's theme, Pokémon World, is heard playing.
- In some airings of the Japanese version a subliminal frame is shown in the middle of the impact animation when Misty throws the beach ball at Ash. This frame depicts Misty posing in a bikini and Pikachu holding a paper fan and a sign reading "日本一" (Japan).
- This is one of the few occasions where the Japanese writing on signs and fliers is not painted out in the American version.
- Even though the English dub removed James's inflatable breasts, this episode is not featured on Netflix nor included on the Pokémon TV feature on the Pokémon.com website. Furthermore, this episode was only aired back when the show aired on Kids' WB!, and was never given a rerun on Cartoon Network.
- In the English dub, Brock mistakenly calls Misty's Starmie a Staryu.
- Meowth's paw is seen with pads when talking to Jessie about fixing the Gyarados Submarine. Meowth in general are not usually seen as having this body feature.
- When Ash calls out Pidgeotto and Charmander, Charmander's tail-flame is in front of Pidgeotto's foot, even though Charmander is behind Pidgeotto.
- When Ash calls out all of his Pokémon, Butterfree is strangely absent, even though he said "I choose everybody!"
- When Meowth is seen using the fan to blow the flyers away, the lines on his charm are missing.
- After Ash says goodbye to Delia and Professor Oak, the colors of the label and stripe on his backpack are swapped.
- In the English version, Moe tells Misty that she reminds him of his granddaughter, while as in the Japanese version, he thinks about "having fun" with her when she's eight years older.
- Ash and Brock were inviting everyone to have peculiar dishes such as French-fried flounder, seven-layered crab cakes, squid on a stick, and clam-juice snow-cones in the dubbed version. In the original, they only invited everyone to have ramen and shaved-ice and to take a break from the sun.
- The term "Oil" on the oil barrel that Meowth is pumping into the restaurant is edited out.
- Unusually, the Japanese texts in the episode were not edited out at all.
- Brock's mention of the "$1,000 prize for the winner of each category" is dub added.
- James was wearing an inflatable bikini. This scene, which caused the episode to be banned for almost three years for being unable to get past the censors, was cut completely from the dub.
- In one of the cut-out scenes, James says to Misty, "When you're older, you'll have a chest like this".
- After Misty finishes her turn at the contest, the next footage shows James showing off his inflatable bikini. Then, their Pokémon posing as an Omastar comes on stage. Only the Pokémon were seen in the dub.
- After Brock comments about Gary's cheerleaders, Jessie and James, with the bikini still on are seen fuming before being pulled aside by Brutella. In the dub, this scene skips and goes straight to their conversation with Brutella.
- During the part where fliers for the contest was shown, Pokémon World was played in the background, but the episode used Pokémon Theme as intro.
- James's response to Brutella's command to destroy Moe's restaurant is different between the two versions. Originally, James says "We'll go through the fire and through the water!", which is also the first line in Aim to Be a Pokémon Master. In the dub, he says "You can count on us! Destroying things is our specialty!"
- In the original scene where Jessie retakes command of the Gyarados submarine, she uses the "-baba" suffix, a normal trademark of the hag, by accident. Because Brutella doesn't use that term in the dub, the scene is rewritten to simply have Brutella's raspy voice rubbing off on Jessie instead.
- In the Japanese version, no winner is specified, and it's implied that Delia was only holding on to it for the winner. In the dub, Ash is the winner, being awarded for saving the contest from Team Rocket and Brutella.
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