Lights, Camerupt, Action! (Japanese: 映画はバクーダに乗って！！The Film's Riding on Bakuuda!!) is the 86th episode of the Advanced Generation series, and the 360th episode of the Pokémon anime. It first aired in Japan on July 22, 2004 and in the United States on July 16, 2005.
Ash is ready for his next badge—which means heading to Mossdeep City. To get there, Ash and friends will need to take the ferry in Lilycove City. On their way there, the kids encounter a Trainer named Elijah and his Camerupt, stuck in a river. They help get Camerupt out, and Elijah explains that he travels around, showing movies to the small towns in the area.
Traveling together, the group falls into a Team Rocket trap, and Camerupt is stolen. Corphish attacks the thieves and they get Camerupt back. While camping out in the woods, the kids reminisce about the last time each of them went to the movies, describing the movies each of them saw.
They arrive in a town, and Elijah sets up the equipment and begins to show the feature: "Plusle & Minun and the Princess Rescue". Team Rocket bust up the screening and run off with the equipment. Brock stays behind to entertain the crowd, while Elijah, Ash, May, and Max chase down the thieves. A trail of film leads the kids straight to Team Rocket, and Ash’s Grovyle takes them out.
Elijah shows the rest of the movie, and everyone enjoys it—even Team Rocket, watching from a hiding place in the bushes.
Having just earned the Feather Badge, and with only two more to go before he could enter the Hoenn League, Ash triumphantly declares that they're heading to his seventh Gym battle, before Max points out that Ash has no idea what or where that Gym is. After consulting his guide, Brock announces that they're now on their way to Mossdeep City, which they will reach by way of ferry in Lilycove City. On the way, they encounter Elijah, whose heavily burdened Camerupt has gotten stuck in the river. With the help of Ash and his friends, Camerupt is soon across the river. When Max asks what his Camerupt is carrying, Elijah reveals that he runs a portable movie theater, with all of the equipment stored on his companion's back. Since Elijah and the gang are going in the same direction, they decide to travel together.
Meanwhile, Ash is being shadowed by Team Rocket, who are looking to capture Pikachu as usual. Meowth, meanwhile, notices from up high that Camerupt is carrying movie equipment. For extremely dubious reasons, Meowth decides that Camerupt and the theater system would be perfect gifts for Giovanni. James and Jessie are less certain, but decide to go ahead with the scheme anyway. Team Rocket ambushes Ash and friends with a classic pitfall trap at the next river crossing. After cutting the motto short, they steal Camerupt and prepare to make their getaway. Ash is quick to call out his Corphish, which promptly frees Camerupt and sends Team Rocket blasting off with a Bubble Beam. With Team Rocket now temporarily indisposed, the group continues to a dangerous mountain path. While fantasizing about "May's Expedition", May herself nearly gets flattened by a boulder, which then blocks the narrow road. Unable to advance, the party camps for the night.
Over dinner, Elijah mentions that his work is very dangerous, but he does it anyway because he feels he has an obligation to those he entertains. Elijah also reveals a letter he got from a young girl, Mariah, in a town without a movie theater which has reinforced his determination to continue his dangerous unpaid job. Ash, Brock, Max, and May reminisce about movies they saw before leaving on their journey. Elijah offers to read the group the narration of the new Plusle and Minun movie (it is a silent movie for reasons that aren't explained). The group reaches the town the following morning and the group resolves to stay in the town long enough to see the movie. The villagers happily greet Elijah as they arrive, and they meet Mariah on the way into town.
The movie starts later that night, with Elijah narrating (the movie is a slapstick comedy about the kidnap and rescue of a Kirlia princess). However, the movie is cut short by the intervention of Team Rocket, who appear from behind the screen, once again bent on stealing the movie equipment. Jessie calls out Seviper to use Haze and in the subsequent confusion steal the projector. Leaving Brock and Lombre to entertain the crowd, Ash, May, Max, and Elijah dart off to find Team Rocket. Finding a trail of film that Team Rocket dropped, they soon trace Team Rocket. Grovyle quickly sends Team Rocket flying and gets back the projector, and relieves Brock (who's been singing the only song he knows over and over again). The show goes on (and it is revealed that Pikachu is a star), with even Team Rocket sneaking in to watch.
This episode features a brief appearance of characters from the Pokémon Pocket Monsters manga series in the movie "The Gluttonous Visitor, Clefairy" (the title is a parody of the title of the seventh movie "The Sky-Splitting Visitor, Deoxys"), which is the only time characters from a manga series have appeared in the anime.
The title of this episode is similar to an earlier episode and both episodes focus on movies. Both dub titles are also a reference to the phrase, "Lights, Camera, Action!".
The movie May described, about a luxurious spaceship with a Natu and Xatu in love who are separated because of an ice asteroid, is a parody of the movie Titanic while the ship as displayed in the film is similar in design to the titular spaceship from Space Battleship Yamato.
The movie Max described, about a giant Meowth destroying a city and battling against Pichu fighter pilots and a giant Marshtomp is based upon the Japanese television show Ultraman.
When Team Rocket got blasted off earlier, James's Chimecho was heard despite it being in its Poké Ball. But after getting blasted away again by Ash's Grovyle, Jessie's Seviper disappears and Wobbuffet was seen even though he was in his Poké Ball.
Unlike in the manga from which he originates, Red's Clefairy is implied to be female in the dub.