| Gotta Dance!
Gotta Dance! (Japanese: おどるポケモンひみつ基地 Secret Base of the Dancing Pokémon) is the 13th Pikachu short of the Pokémon anime. It was first broadcast in Japan on July 19, 2003 and in the United States on June 1, 2004.
It was shown in Japanese theaters together with the film Jirachi: Wish Maker, and released on a separate DVD. The English dub was included as a bonus feature on the Jirachi: Wish Maker DVD, in the original 16:9 widescreen aspect ratio.
A key difference between the original and the dub is the narrator: the original had a third-person narrator, whereas the dub was narrated by Meowth.
|Spoiler warning: this article may contain major plot or ending details.|
Trouble in the trees
The short opens on a scene of a tree. Mudkip appears romping on a branch and calls for Lotad to join it. Mudkip jumps over Lotad, sending Lotad tumbling to the ground -- but is caught by a low branch on the way down. Pikachu and Torchic hear the commotion and run to help Mudkip.
"Just look at 'em, not a care in da woild!" Meowth muses off screen as the Pokémon romp in the tree. "I coulda been happy like Pikachu and dose udders, but not since da day dat music changed my life!"
The scene shifts a little further up the tree, where we see Treecko relaxing on a short branch. He looks down to see what all the ruckus is, but in doing so he too slips and falls.
Pikachu, Mudkip, and Torchic see Treecko falling and jump to catch him -- freeing Lotad in the process. Suddenly, the branch springs back, sending Treecko, Mudkip, Torchic, and Pikachu flying.
Lotad frantically rushes about trying to catch the others, but misses: Treecko is the first to land, Pikachu and Torchic land tangled in a heap, and Mudkip lands face first. To make matters worse, the ground suddenly gives way, sending our heroes tumbling down the hill and into a rock.
When the group comes to a few minutes later, Lotad spots a large building painted to look like dice with a giant red R on it: a Team Rocket base.
"Now that our base has been beautifully built, we can bask in a carnival of the boss' complimentary comments!" James cries, apparently excited over Giovanni's impending arrival.
"And when he figures out what you've just said, I'll be his right hand woman and you two will be his left hand losers!" Jessie retorts, annoyed by James's giddiness.
"Climbing up the ladder, there is no one badder than us!" the three Rockets chant.
Meowth sniffles a bit... "Though it sure does a number on da noives!" he sobs, only to be whacked on the head by a frying pan!
"You have issues, don't you?" Jessie purrs. "James and I are off to meet and greet the boss before his arrival to inspect our base... think you can handle things while we're away?"
"Whatever you say..." Meowth groans.
"Wise answer... that would be my choice..." And so, Jessie and James depart, leaving Meowth in charge.
We look at the Whismur as Meowth explains: "I was in charge of the entertainment for da boss's arrival... so I gave da percussion job to dose three wacky Whismur." The Whismur began to chatter until Meowth booms, "Hey! I don't need no freaked out Whismur rappin', but I do need some Team Rocket maracas playin'!" The Whismur shake their maracas a little to appease Meowth, who smiles and continues, "Good! Now it's time to rehoise da welcome dance we dreamed up for da boss!"
The entertainment begins
He twirls a little, revealing a strange blue baton with a red and blue Poké Ball on the top, and various buttons on the bottom. "And dat's not all, I'm going to lead dis pack of performers with my newly invented Dancin' Pokébaton!" With that, he presses a button at the top of the baton, causing a rousing melody, "Polka O Dolka", to come blaring into the room.
"Dis cool contraption can control Pokémon, with dis device dey'll be shakin' their groove anytime, anywhere!" Meowth cries, and with that, the Pokémon begin dancing to the song as the credits roll.
We join Meowth and the others on the stage as the song concludes and the credits finish. "Mm-hmm.. dat's how it's done!" Meowth smiles... "Da boss will be blown away when he sees Pokémon dance using dis Dancin' Pokébaton! I bet he'll start dancin' a Poké-jig himself!
"In fact, I know just what da boss is gonna say..." Meowth muses as the first scene in the dream shows Giovanni applauding, "I haven't been dis entertained in a very long time! And Meowth, your action was simply brilliant!"
"Of course, he'll have to give his Poisian da boss' big boot bye bye!" Meowth continues as we see Persian flying off into the sky, "and it'll be me, layin' in his lap whilst I wash my whiskers..." We see Meowth doing just that as the dream sequence fades.
Meowth laughs to himself, savoring the memory of his dream, but is soon back to business. "Now, let's take ten, kids!" he orders, slinging the baton over one shoulder. "And put dose Whismur back in their cage, ya got dat?"
Meanwhile, Pikachu, Torchic, Mudkip, and Treecko approach the base, eager to find a way in... Lotad tries to follow, but lags behind the others.
Back in the base, Seviper scares the Whismur back into a cage. "You weisenheimers put a sock in it while us real musicians put somthin' in our empty tummies!" Meowth orders.
Outside, Pikachu and the others discover an open air vent leading into the base's storage area... as they look inside, Lotad desperately tries to get a look, sending a rock rolling into the den of a snoozing Loudred... yet the rock miraculously does not disturb the large Pokémon.
"Come on gang, it's chow time, time to strap on the ol' feed bag!" Meowth smiles as he leads Seviper, Cacnea, and Wobbuffet up the stairs, unaware that Pikachu and the others are watching. As Seviper closes the door behind him, Pikachu and the others try to get a better look, but a push from Lotad sends all five tumbling into the room.
When the gang comes to, Pikachu hears the Whismurs' cries for help and runs over. He asks them what Seviper, Cacnea, Wobbuffet, and Meowth (complete with funny impressions of each one) are plotting. The Whismur reply that they're trapped. Pikachu notices the lock on the cage and suggests to the others to use their power to break it open...and with that thought in mind, Pikachu fires a Thunderbolt at the lock...Torchic adds an Ember and Mudkip helps with a Water Gun attack, all three attacks break the cage open, freeing the Whismur. This loud noise doesn't disturb the Loudred either.
"Hey, what's with da racket?" Meowth demands from another room. Pikachu panics and tells the others to hide...right as Meowth, Cacnea, Seviper, and Wobbuffet charge into the room.
Prepare for trouble
"Oh no!" Meowth yelps when he sees the broken cage. "How did dis happen? Who was da lamebrain..." he mutters in frustration. "Now what do we do? No maraca squad, no welcome dance for da boss... you lugs go look for da Whismur on da double!" he demands.
Seviper, Cacnea, and Wobbuffet quickly oblige, sending Meowth tumbling down the stairs and the Dancing Pokébaton goes flying...
"As if things weren't bad enough...." Meowth continues as the baton lands on Treecko's head, triggering it and causing Polka O Dolka to come blaring into the room.... Pikachu and the others begin dancing... even the Loudred from earlier and a passing Ludicolo join in, all except Treecko.
In his zeal to NOT dance, Treecko knocks over a barrel, closing up the baton in the process. Meowth suddenly realizes that Pikachu and co. are there.... "So! It was you behind all of dis, Pikachu!" he growls.
Pikachu and the others except for Lotad dive for cover, but Meowth demands "Give dose Whismur back, right now!" All the noise causes some barrels to come tumbling down...
When Meowth comes to, other junk comes falling on top of them, buying Pikachu and co. time to escape, but Meowth and the others are in hot pursuit! The Loudred just watches the mayhem, clueless as to what's going on.
Pikachu and co. hurry upstairs to a patio, where they climb atop one of the towers. Meowth and co. look around confused as to where Pikachu went, but Cacnea points out the group hanging to the tower for dear life!
"Dis dance is over! You've got nowhere to run now!" Meowth starts. Pikachu, however, attempts to fire a Thunderbolt at Meowth, but Wobbuffet uses Mirror Coat to send it back at our heroes, and Mudkip nearly falls! She looks, and notices that it's a long way down -- in her panic, she triggers the Dancing Pokébaton -- Polka O Dolka begins again, everyone but Treecko dances (again). All the dancing causes the patio to give way -- Lotad slips and causes the baton to play a tango. Everyone partners up and tangos their way to safety right before the patio completely falls off, after which everyone resumes dancing on a catwalk... until Pikachu accidentally switches the baton off.
The chase resumes as our heroes duck into the kitchen. Mudkip climbs on a table, sending all the food and silverware atop Meowth. Torchic sends Cacnea flying into the ceiling, angering him to the point where he begins firing Pin Missiles in rapid succession, destroying almost the entire base in the process -- even opening the party balls in the kitchen!
The Chaos Continues
In his frustration, Meowth accidentally triggers the Pokébaton and Polka O Dolka begins again, and in his panic to turn the baton off, sets it to play a hula, which everyone save Treecko does, at least until a party ball lands on Meowth, deactivating the baton and resuming the chase. The Loudred, however, continues doing the hula as if nothing's going on.
"Catch them on da double!" Meowth calls as he chases our heroes across the rafters. During all the commotion, Cacnea trips and falls on a piece of wood, sending a bucket on top of Seviper. Seviper crashes into Meowth, sending them crashing to the ground... but they trip on a band, and go flying through the air... the Pokébaton, meanwhile, falls on Wobbuffet's head, triggering it. Polka O Dolka begins again, (are you beginning to detect a pattern here?) and everyone tries to dance on the rafters.
In his rush of joy, Wobbuffet tosses the baton in the air... it lands in a pile of wet dirt, causing it to malfunction, and the first thing it does is trigger a waltz; which finally spurs Treecko to join in the dancing. He sweeps Mudkip in his arms and spins her around, getting her dizzy in the process.
As the baton continues to go haywire, the music gets faster and faster, until the baton finally explodes due to overload.
But the mayhem isn't over yet; irked by the spoilt fun, the Loudred grabs a pipe and proceeds to chase everyone, ultimately smashing a column. The whole building shakes; everyone huddles up in the teetering room in fear -- and then Lotad sneezes, causing the whole building to collapse and sending everyone tumbling to the ground!
Lotad fires a Water Gun to halt the impending collision of their half of the flying floor with a cliff wall. Once the gang has landed safely, Pikachu leads the celebrations!
"So dat's da story of how music ruined my life...." Meowth muses as he trudges back to the storage room. "My dancin' days are over..." With that, he opens the door... and it falls to the ground, revealing the scope of the damage all the mayhem caused. "Now at least dat stupid stick's broke so nuttin else can go wrong, right?" No sooner does he say that, the entire base comes crashing down completely, taking Meowth with it. "Dis is not my day!" he screams as he falls.
- In the beginning of the short, Meowth is dancing beside a roller showing various things taken from Pikachu shorts: the mountain from Pikachu's Vacation (still misspelled as "Pokemon"), the tree from Pikachu's Rescue Adventure, the house of tires from Pikachu & Pichu, the stairs from Pikachu's PikaBoo and the mine from Camp Pikachu, respectively.
- This is the first time Meowth has had a boss fantasy outside of the main series.
- Although Ash's Treecko, May's Torchic, Brock's Lotad, and Brock's Mudkip are present alongside Pikachu, Ash, May, Brock, and Max are not present at all, meaning the only humans that are present in this short are Jessie, James, and Giovanni (he appears in a fantasy sequence).
- Also, in this short, the Hoenn starter Pokemon (consisting of Ash's Treecko, May's Torchic, and Brock's Mudkip), Brock's Lotad, and Pikachu, as well as the Pokemon owned by Team Rocket remain outside of their Pokeballs for this whole entire short.
- Although the main anime was using the digital animation process, this short along with the movie "Jirachi: Wish Maker" were all produced using traditional hand-painted cels.
- During the practice, Seviper's bottom jaw is colored orange instead of yellow.