| Freeze Frame
Freeze Frame (Japanese: フリーザーＶＳプリン！ふぶきのなかで！！ Freezer VS Purin! In the Middle of a Snowstorm!!) is the 189th episode of the Pokémon anime. It was first broadcast in Japan on March 15, 2001 and in the United States on February 9, 2002.
|Spoiler warning: this article may contain major plot or ending details.|
On their quest to capture Articuno on film, Todd and our heroes run into a frozen Jigglypuff! Ash uses his Cyndaquil to defrost the melodious Pokémon. When Todd asks Jigglypuff if it has seen Articuno, Jigglypuff nods towards Snow Top Mountain. Undeterred by the incredible height and icy conditions, the gang heads up the mountain where they run into a Pokécenter. Both Officer Jenny and Nurse Joy explain the legend of Articuno; Centuries ago, a group of travelers were lost on the mountain. Certain they would perish, they almost gave up hope but an Articuno appeared and guided the group to safety. As a tribute, they created a statue of Articuno that still stands today. Some say that anyone traversing Snow Top Mountain is protected by Articuno. After hearing the story, Todd is convinced there are Articuno on the mountain and continues his vertical journey. With Ash and Co. in tow, a blizzard kicks up and temporarily blinds the group. Brock and Misty want to stay put and let the blizzard pass, but Todd and Ash are determined to continue. Little do they know, directly ahead of them is a cliff edge and a deadly drop. Will Articuno come to their rescue? Is this Legendary Pokémon really the guardian of the mountain, or is it merely a legend?
Ash, Misty, Brock, and Todd continue their search for the Legendary Pokémon Articuno as they walk towards Snowtop Mountain. Noctowl returns to the group, informing them that it didn't see any signs of Articuno by the mountain. However, Todd is certain that they saw Articuno fly to that mountain. Golbat also returns to the group, and when Brock asks it whether it saw anything, Golbat leads the group to Jigglypuff, who has been completely frozen along with its signature microphone. Brock notes that they haven't seen Jigglypuff in a long time, and wonders what it's doing there. Todd has a hunch that Articuno may have frozen Jigglypuff. Ash sends out Cyndaquil and has it use Flamethrower to unfreeze Jigglypuff. Right after Jigglypuff becomes unfrozen, Todd runs towards it and grabs it, frantically asking whether Articuno was the one who froze it. Jigglypuff becomes annoyed and slaps Todd in the face. Misty takes a different approach and politely asks whether Jigglypuff knows where Articuno went. To this, Jigglypuff points towards Snowtop Mountain, confirming the group's beliefs.
Meanwhile, Team Rocket is climbing up the side of Snowtop Mountain by using a rope and two ice axes. A Spearow suddenly takes one of the ice axes that Jessie is using, causing her to yell at it and demand for her tool back. Suddenly, an entire flock of Spearow surrounds Team Rocket. They peck at the last ice ax keeping them on the mountain, loosening it up and causing them to fall down the side of the mountain.
As Ash and friends walk towards Snowtop Mountain with Jigglypuff now in tow, they come across two Stantler, which Todd takes a picture of. Todd comes up with an idea to print out a whole bunch of those pictures and make them into Christmas cards. Pikachu then points out a nearby Pokémon Center, and the group walks towards it. As they approach it, they see a sign that says that this Pokémon Center is the highest of its kind in the world. Todd takes a picture of the rest of the group standing next to the sign. Just then, Officer Jenny pulls up by the Pokémon Center in her snowmobile and invites the group inside.
The group sits inside, warming themselves up, and Todd says that getting a picture of Articuno might be harder than he thought it would be. Ash comes up with an idea: once they find Articuno, they can just get Jigglypuff to sing its song. Then, Articuno would fall asleep, so Todd can then take all the pictures he wants to take. Ash praises himself, when Misty points out that Jigglypuff's singing would put Todd to sleep, as well. Todd mentions that he wouldn't want a shot of Articuno asleep, anyways--instead, he wants Articuno to look big, powerful, and majestic, just like he's always imagined it to be.
Nurse Joy then approaches the group, saying that Officer Jenny told her that they were looking for Articuno. Nurse Joy tells them that Articuno has been coming to Snowtop Mountain for as long as anyone can remember. The group is brought outside to an Articuno statue, and Nurse Joy informs them that the statue was brought there over 1,200 years ago. Travelers say that the Articuno watch over them on their journeys. Officer Jenny says that some people believe that the Articuno still has nests in all of the highest mountains and coldest places, and that it flies from nest to nest, bringing winter weather with it. She mentions that there is a diary of one of the people who brought the statue there that says that Articuno rescued him and lots of others. Todd suggests that that might be the reason why Articuno is in the area now.
It turns out that Team Rocket landed, but not in the most convenient of places: they are stuck on a small area of ice, and without their equipment, there is no way to get up and no way to get down. Meowth rolls over on his side and dreams of sleeping on a coffee table. Jessie and James scold him and try to wake him up, but to no avail. James suggests that Meowth has the right idea. Jessie becomes frustrated and stands up, shouting out for help. However, all she can hear is her own echo. James says that at least their situation can't get any worse, but just then, it starts snowing. Meowth wakes up, confused, and a blizzard starts. The three of them hug each other, thinking that they are doomed, when Articuno suddenly appears before them.
Back with Ash and co., Officer Jenny continues talking about the legend of Articuno. The legend is that three travelers were stranded on the mountain, when an Articuno found them and led them to safety. A year later, the same three people brought the statue to Snowtop Mountain to thank and honor Articuno. After hearing all about Articuno, Ash and his friends only become more determined to find it. Nurse Joy warns them that it is quite dangerous to climb an icy mountain like Snowtop. Brock promises Nurse Joy that he will guide the rest of them, and when Nurse Joy confirms that this will be Brock's first time ice climbing, she suggests that it might also be his last. Brock freezes up at this, and it starts snowing. Once a blizzard starts, Officer Jenny tells everyone to go back to the Pokémon Center. However, Todd sees something in the distance, and Articuno swoops up before Todd can get a picture of it. The blizzard suddenly stops, and the group notices a knocked-out Team Rocket mashed up in a pile of snow.
Back at the Pokémon Center, Jessie and James shiver in blankets, while Meowth bundles up in his blanket and lays on the coffee table, just like in his dream. Brock tells Team Rocket that Nurse Joy and Officer Jenny are preparing soup for the three. After Misty calls for Brock to help her out with the coats, Ash and Todd are left in the room with Team Rocket. Ash demands for Team Rocket to explain how they wound up in the pile of snow. Jessie and James explain that they were stranded and alone when a gigantic thing flew up out of nowhere and lit up, and then they all blacked out. Todd knows that they are talking about Articuno, and realizes that Team Rocket's situation is just like the story that Officer Jenny told the group. Todd runs outside to find Articuno, and Ash follows after him. Misty and Brock, holding thick jackets, see Ash run out. Brock mentions how they can't just run around a snowy mountain dressed like that. They run after Ash and Todd.
Now left alone, Team Rocket realize that Articuno must have saved them and realize that Articuno is a Legendary Pokémon. They toss away their blankets and decide to capture Articuno. When Nurse Joy and Officer Jenny come out with the soup, Team Rocket is already gone. When they go outside the Pokémon Center, Officer Jenny finds out that her snowmobile is gone and knows that Team Rocket took it. The two realize that a storm is on the way and is headed for the mountain, and know that they have to find them before the storm hits.
Ash and his friends, now wearing thick jackets, are walking through the snow when it starts snowing heavily out of nowhere. Ash thinks that the blizzard means that Articuno is somewhere nearby. Pikachu and Jigglypuff seem to sense something. Just then, Articuno appears before them, and the blizzard stops. Ash walks towards Articuno, greeting it, when it screeches at him. Ash wonders what's wrong when he looks below him and realizes that he's right at the edge of a cliff. The group realizes that Articuno stopped them from falling over the edge, saving their lives. Jigglypuff makes a move to sing, but Ash covers its mouth before it can. Todd focuses his camera on Articuno when something suddenly attacks it. It turns out to be Team Rocket.
Jessie tells Arbok to launch another Poison Sting attack while James tells Weezing to use Sludge. Ash has Pikachu use Thunderbolt, and Articuno launches an Ice Beam at Team Rocket. Team Rocket hides behind Wobbuffet, who uses Mirror Coat. Articuno dodges the attack, but the attack hits the ice behind it, causing chunks of ice to fall and hit Articuno. Articuno falls down and Ash and Todd run to save it, but the piece of ice that they're on breaks off, causing them to fall, as well. Pikachu and Jigglypuff jump over the edge after them. Misty and Brock ask if Ash and Todd are okay, but no response is heard. A blizzard starts up again, and its force is strong enough to blast Team Rocket off. Misty wonders how the blizzard started, and Brock suggests that when the ice hit Articuno, the power it was holding back was released all at once. Misty and Brock decide to head back to the Pokémon Center to get help from Nurse Joy and Officer Jenny in order to find Ash and Todd through all the snow.
Ash and Todd are falling through the air, but Articuno uses its power to lift them up. Jigglypuff, with Pikachu on its back, inflates itself like a balloon so that it and Pikachu can float safely. Ash and Todd wake up to find themselves in the middle of nowhere. They are surprised that they survived the fall, but when they see Articuno looking at them, they realize that Articuno saved them. Jigglypuff and Pikachu land safely, and Jigglypuff deflates itself by letting out a breath. Ash and Todd realize that the two Pokémon must have followed them down there because they wanted to make sure that they were okay. They thank Pikachu and Jigglypuff, but Jigglypuff makes another move to sing. Ash and Todd tell Jigglypuff not to sing, but just then, Team Rocket lands a short distance away. Once they see Articuno, they are determined to capture it.
Jessie has Arbok use Poison Sting and James has Weezing use Sludge. As the attacks come closer, Articuno uses Powder Snow, freezing the attacks. Arbok and Weezing use the same moves again, but Articuno quickly dodges them with Agility. Articuno then sends out an Ice Beam, and Team Rocket hides behind Wobbuffet, who uses Mirror Coat again. However, the Ice Beam is too strong for Wobbuffet, and it is knocked to the ground. Articuno then uses Blizzard, and its force is so strong that Jigglypuff gets blown away with Team Rocket. Both Team Rocket and Jigglypuff get blasted off.
Ash and Todd watch them get blasted away when the sun emerges from behind the clouds, indicating that the storm is finally over. They notice Articuno, who is looking big, powerful, and majestic, just as Todd imagined it. He takes out his camera and takes his long-awaited picture of Articuno. Articuno then flies upward, and Ash comments that Articuno probably knew that Todd wanted to take its picture, to which Todd agrees. Just then, Misty, Brock, and Officer Jenny find them and approach them on the snowmobile. They get a glimpse of Articuno as it flies away and admire its beauty and strength. Misty questions where Jigglypuff is, and Ash and Todd reveal that it got blown away with Team Rocket. Ash hopes that Jigglypuff will be okay.
Back outside the Pokémon Center, Todd informs the group that he is going to stay around Snowtop Mountain. He wants to take more pictures of the Pokémon that live in the area. Todd wishes Ash luck at the Johto League, while Ash wishes Todd luck with his pictures. Ash, Misty, and Brock say farewell to Todd as they leave the mountain. The screen then shows Todd's picture of Articuno, which is displayed inside the Pokémon Center.
At nighttime, Team Rocket is shivering inside a small cave in the mountains. Jessie and James are exhausted and decide to go to sleep, when Meowth scratches at their faces, forcing them to stay awake. Meowth says that if they sleep when it is freezing this much, they may never wake up again. Jessie and James don't like the idea of that and decide to stay awake, but they suddenly hear Jigglypuff, who appears at the entrance of the cave. Jigglypuff stares at them with its microphone in its hand, and Team Rocket begs for Jigglypuff not to sing. However, Jigglypuff goes ahead and sings, its voice echoing throughout the cave and putting Team Rocket to sleep quite easily.
- Todd gets a photo of Articuno, and later parts ways with Ash and his friends.
- Jessie's Wobbuffet is commanded to use Mirror Coat for the first time.
- For a list of all major events in the anime, please see the timeline of events.
TV episode debuts
- When this episode aired on Kids' WB!, the first episode would follow it. The reason for this is unknown. It is possible that they may have lost the rights to air the last 20 episodes, much like they lost the rights to air the first 145+ episodes.
- This episode's dub title is both a reference to the photography term, freeze frame, and a pun on Articuno's category (Freeze Pokémon). It could also be a reference to the song of the same name by The J. Geils Band.
- This episode is featured on the Volume 5: Ice copy of Pokémon Elements.
- After Team Rocket blasts off and the sun comes out there is a shot of Ash wearing all white shoes instead of his black and white ones.
- The original airing of this episode on Hungama TV in India started the episode directly from the title card, skipping the part of the episode that comes before it.
In other languages
|European French||Vive le vent d'hiver|
|Hebrew||צילום צונןtsilum tsonen|
|Hindi||Articuno की तस्वीर! Articuno ki Tasvir! *|
|Portuguese||Brazil||A Foto Legendária|
|Spanish||Latin America||¡Imágen congelada!|
|This episode article is part of Project Anime, a Bulbapedia project that covers all aspects of the Pokémon anime.|