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M22 : Mewtwo Strikes Back—Evolution
Pokémon movies
Secrets of the Jungle
ココ Koko
M23 English poster.png
Japan December 25, 2020
United States October 8, 2021
Home video
Japan July 14, 2021
United States October 18, 2022
English themes
Opening Always Safe
Ending No Matter What
Japanese themes
Opening ココ
Ending ただいまとおかえり
United States PG
Great Britain PG
Ireland ?
Canada ?
Quebec ?
Japan G
Germany ?
Australia PG
New Zealand ?

Pokémon the Movie: Secrets of the Jungle (Japanese: 劇場版ポケットモンスター ココ Pocket Monsters the Movie: Koko) is the twenty-third Pokémon movie overall. It was originally scheduled to be released in Japan on July 10, 2020, but it was delayed to December 25, 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. It was released worldwide outside of Japan, China, and Korea on October 8, 2021 on Netflix. It received a theatrical release in mainland China on September 10, 2021, and in South Korea on September 15, 2021.

It was first hinted at in a teaser following M22 in Japan featuring Pikachu. It was first revealed in a teaser trailer that aired on Oha Suta in Japan on January 10, 2020. A full trailer was later released on February 28, 2020. The first English teaser trailer was revealed on November 13, 2020.

It is set in the alternate continuity established in I Choose You! and continued in The Power of Us.

Other posters and logos


Deep within the Forest of Okoya, the Mythical Pokémon Zarude live in a troop and maintain a strict rule that forbids outsiders from entering their territory. Elsewhere in the jungle lives Koko, a human boy raised by a lone Zarude who left the troop. Koko has grown up never doubting that he is a Zarude. But one day, a chance meeting with Ash and Pikachu leaves Koko with his first human friend. Is he truly a Pokémon? Or is he, in fact, a human? When danger threatens the jungle, the bonds between Pokémon and human—and the love between parent and child—will be put to the test.


Deep within the Forest of Okoya, a tribe of Zarude lives at the Heart Tree and its surrounding healing springs. The Zarude reign over the jungle, regularly terrorizing other wild Pokémon and stealing their food. One day, after collecting stolen food, one of the Zarude hears crying and discovers a human infant in a cradle on the riverbank. Unable to let the child perish in the wild, the Zarude brings him back to the Heart Tree, incurring the wrath of the others as the law of the Zarude prohibits outsiders from entering the area. The Zarude decides to leave his tribe and go into exile to raise the boy, giving him the name Koko and being dubbed "Dada" by him in turn.

Ten years later, Ash Ketchum and Pikachu plan to travel into the Forest of Okoya from nearby Milyfa Town. They set out after a brief phone call between Ash and Delia that the former abruptly ends. A short time later, Ash and Pikachu come across a wild Cramorant in the jungle, but it escapes after attempting to swallow Pikachu and spitting him out. They then pursue a wild Flapple, which also escapes. Ash and Pikachu come across Sharon and a research team from the Biotope Company, a scientific organization studying the jungle in search of the healing springs. Nearby, Team Rocket spy on the conversation. James looks up information regarding the Biotope Company on his tablet and finds out about the group's goals as well as its leader, Doctor Zed. The trio and Wobbuffet decide to infiltrate the Biotope Company in search of whatever they can steal for Giovanni. They disguise themselves as new employees of the company to spy on Zed and are told by another scientist that they must not go near Zed's office.

Meanwhile, Koko and Dada come across the aftermath of another of the Zarude tribe's rampages. Koko gathers seeds from the remains of the Berries left behind, and Dada plants them as their private garden. A wild Hoothoot appears and informs them of trouble; a Flygon and Pangoro are fighting nearby and Koko heads off to stop it. By the time he separates them, Flygon is injured, so Koko brings it to the healing springs. He is caught by one of the other Zarude and threatened, but Dada arrives to collect him and apologizes for violating the tribe's territory. When Dada later admonishes Koko for trespassing on the Zarude territory, Koko lashes out, complaining that he is beginning to believe he is not a Zarude despite Dada's claims due to his different appearance and inability to use moves. Koko runs off, and while swinging through the trees, hits a pipe erected by the Biotope Company and is knocked out, falling into a river. Ash sees him go over a waterfall and pulls him to safety, bringing him to Milyfa Town's Pokémon Center for treatment. When Koko awakens, he grows alarmed and flees into the city. Ash follows and witnesses Koko calm a rampaging Drednaw. Seeing Koko communicate with Drednaw and Pikachu, and react in confusion to witnessing the use of a Poké Ball, leads Ash to realize Koko believes he is a Pokémon and has not seen other humans before. Ash introduces himself and manages to learn Koko's name, and the two spend time in Milyfa Town together, acquiring human clothing and food for Koko and watching people and Pokémon interact. That evening, they come across a Falinks driving humans away from the site of a planned fireworks display. After communicating with the trooper members of the Falinks, Koko saves their brass from one of the firework tubes, resolving the issue. Milyfa Town's mayor later thanks them for the aid and explains that the display is to honor Celebi, who is said to visit in times of peace and leave an egg from the future behind in its wake.

After seeing a parent and child in the town, Koko becomes excited to introduce Ash and Pikachu to Dada. He brings them into the jungle, but when Dada restrains them in vines and confronts Koko, Koko argues back that he now believes he is a human and demands the truth. Dada admits that this is indeed the case and brings all three to a remote laboratory he discovered years earlier, where he gives Koko the pendant he was wearing when Dada found him, and an old photograph of his infant self with his biological parents. Dada, admitting that he believes the laboratory to be Koko's parents' nest, leaves to return to the Heart Tree alone. There, the elder of the Zarude tribe tells him Celebi has not been seen since the day Dada appeared in the jungle, expressing a worry that something terrible is about to happen. Meanwhile, Team Rocket attempt to hack the security lock on Dr. Zed's office, but the drive containing their data is swallowed by the Cramorant from earlier.

That night, Ash recalls a memory of his father assuring him that his dream was in his heart and would come true if he never gave up. Inspired, Koko begins searching the laboratory for more evidence of his past and comes across a wallet with the Biotope Company's logo on it. Recognizing the symbol, Ash brings Koko to the company's building the next day. Dr. Zed greets them but is visibly shaken when he sees Koko. Upon Ash showing him the photo, he explains that Koko's parents were Chrom and Phossa Molybdenum, his former colleagues on the healing spring research and that Koko's real name is Al Molybdenum. However, he further elaborates that Chrom and Phossa perished in a car accident ten years earlier, after which Al went missing. To confirm Koko's identity, Zed has Sharon scan his pendant, which reveals a cache of corrupted data and an image of the Heart Tree. Zed urges Koko to tell him where the Heart Tree is to honor his parents by finishing their work, but he grows upset and flees back into the jungle. As he draws close to the Heart Tree, he discovers a tracking chip planted on his shoulder by Dr. Zed, who has followed him on a motorcycle with several trucks and a giant spider-tank mecha in tow. Ash and Pikachu, who tried to follow Koko but became lost, are led to the scene by a Skwovet Koko befriended. Zed captures Ash, Pikachu, and Koko in his Ariados's String Shot and imprisons them in one of the trucks to prevent their interference while he leads the rest of the team to the Heart Tree.

At the Heart Tree, the Biotope Company team detects a powerful energy source. Dr. Zed orders anchoring missiles to be fired into the tree, releasing the healing spring water; he informs a horrified Sharon that his target was never the water but the tree itself, as the energy inside it is the source of the healing springs' power. His subordinates notice the Zarude around the Heart Tree and realize that it is their nest, but when they try to convince him to stop, Zed grows furious. Meanwhile, Team Rocket scheme to steal Pikachu by hijacking the truck Ash, Pikachu, Koko, and Skwovet were imprisoned in. When the Cramorant reappears, they instead decide to take advantage of Cramorant's habit of swallowing Pikachu, but when it coughs up the drive it swallowed, they let Ash, Pikachu, and Koko go in favor of breaking into Zed's office.

Dr. Zed, remembering Chrom Molybdenum telling him something about Pokémon and humans being equals in the past, swears that he is making the right decision before coldly deeming Sharon and his other subordinates the same as Chrom. Ash, Pikachu, and Koko catch up to the Biotope Company team, and their intervention causes Zed to completely snap. He throws the spider mecha's pilot out of its cockpit and seizes its controls himself, then confesses the truth: when Chrom and Phossa found the Heart Tree in the past, they realized that it was the Zarude troop's nest and decided to suspend the healing spring research out of respect for them. Zed, considering Pokémon below humans, tried to convince them to change their minds but was unsuccessful. Team Rocket discovers an old video log in Zed's office, showing him descending into madness and trashing his desk before deciding he should lead the Biotope Company himself, and thus must eliminate the Molybdenums. He pursued them through the forest, running their car off the road and causing a fiery wreck before stealing their sample of the spring water and leaving them to die in the subsequent explosion. Unbeknownst to him, they had sent the infant Al down the river in a cradle with their remaining data contained within his pendant, leading to Dada finding and saving him.

Deeming Koko's survival as a fortunate miscalculation, Zed closes himself up in the mecha and swears that he will not be stopped. The Zarude troop, rallied by their alpha, join Ash, Pikachu, and Koko in fighting Zed, but the mecha overpowers them until Dada, despite being injured, arrives with the Pokémon of the jungle, having convinced them to aid by apologizing for his troop's previous selfish behavior and asking for help saving his son. The army of Pokémon engages Zed in a lengthy, vicious battle, with the doctor declaring that he will do what the Molybdenums could not and prove to the world that his ideas are correct. During the battle, Dada suffers a grievous wound protecting Koko from one of the mecha's strikes. The elder Zarude urges Koko to bring Dada to the healing spring, but when they get there, the water does not heal Dada's injury due to Zed's missiles blasting the Heart Tree open. Dada begins to succumb to his wounds, thinking as he dies that he finally understands the meaning of being a father to be having something you want to protect even more than yourself. Koko, unwilling to accept Dada's death, decides to use his special move, which Dada told him only special Zarude could perform. When the elder tells him that it is hopeless as he is a human, Koko calls himself a Zarude. Miraculously, the jungle responds to Koko's wish, and he is able to harness its power to revive Dada. As Ash and his allies struggle to stop Dr. Zed, the mecha's original pilot remembers that the control mechanism for it is located on its back. With the aid of several of the jungle Pokémon and the Zarude, Pikachu manages to get behind the mecha and destroy the mechanism with Iron Tail, shutting it down. Zed flees from the scene of the battle, still believing that he can prove his ideas to be correct, but is spotted by Koko and Dada. Koko chases and corners him on a fallen tree overlooking a river, where Zed tries to escape by leaping into the water only for Koko to trap him with a vine.

In the aftermath, Ash and Pikachu join with the Biotope Company employees, the jungle Pokémon, and the Zarude troop as they repair the damage caused to the Forest of Okoya. At the Milyfa Town Pokémon Center, Ash calls Delia again, having just wanted to talk to her. A disguised Team Rocket watches a news report in the lobby revealing that Dr. Zed was arrested by Officer Jenny as a result of the information they leaked from his office. Ash later bids Koko farewell, but Koko subsequently decides that he wants to travel the world and act as a bridge between humans and Pokémon. He gathers a bag from Dada's nest and catches up to Ash, but trips and spills its contents, discovering that Dada left him a goodbye gift in the form of berries grown from the plants in their garden. Dada and the rest of the Zarude give him a final farewell by turning the healing springs into a geyser, and he bounds into his new future, embracing his dual identity as both human and Zarude. Later, at the Heart Tree, Dada sees that Shiny Celebi has returned to the jungle, heralding a new era of peace between all of its Pokémon.

Featured Pokémon

Major events






Ash Sarah Natochenny Satoshi Rica Matsumoto サトシ 松本梨香
Pikachu Ikue Ohtani Pikachu Ikue Ohtani ピカチュウ 大谷育江
Jessie Michele Knotz Musashi Megumi Hayashibara ムサシ 林原めぐみ
James James Carter Cathcart Kojirō Shin-ichiro Miki コジロウ 三木眞一郎
Meowth James Carter Cathcart Nyarth Inuko Inuyama ニャース 犬山イヌコ
Delia Sarah Natochenny Hanako Masami Toyoshima ハナコ 豊島まさみ
Narration Rodger Parsons Narration Kenyu Horiuchi ナレーション 堀内賢雄
Special appearances by
Dada Edward Bosco Zarude Nakamura Kankurō ザルード 中村勘九郎
Elder Zarude Kellen Goff Elder Zarude Hiroshi Naka 長老ザルード 中博史
Alpha Zarude Ryan Andes Leader Zarude Kenjiro Tsuda リーダー・ザルード 津田健次郎
Sub-Alpha Zarude Major Attaway Sub-Leader Zarude KENN サブリーダー・ザルード KENN
Koko Kimlinh Tran Koko Moka Kamishiraishi ココ 上白石萌歌
Doctor Zed Billy Kametz Dr. Zed Kōichi Yamadera ゼッド博士 山寺宏一
Sharon Michelle Ruff Karen Shōko Nakagawa カレン 中川翔子
Dr. Chrom Molybdenum Kaiji Tang Dr. Chrom Molybden Tokuyoshi Kawashima クロム・モリブデン博士 川島得愛
Dr. Phossa Molybdenum Lisa Ortiz Dr. Rin Molybden Arisa Sekine リン・モリブデン博士 関根有咲
Mayor Marc Thompson Mayor Kenichi Ogata 町長 緒方賢一


Created by
  • 田尻智
  • 矢嶋哲生
  • 冨岡淳広
  • 矢嶋哲生
Executive Producers
  • Jun’ya Okamoto
  • Hidenaga Katakami
  • 岡本順哉
  • 片上秀長
  • Satoshi Shimodaira
  • Yuta Uchiyama
  • Ayaka Sekiguchi
  • Rui Kawaguchi
  • 下平聡士
  • 内山雄太
  • 關口彩香
  • 川口類
Animation Producer
  • 加藤浩幸
Character Design
  • Hirotaka Marufuji
  • 丸藤広貴
Executive Animation Directors
  • 丸藤広貴
  • 西谷泰史
Sound Director
  • 三間雅文
  • 岡崎体育
  • 宮崎慎二
Animation Production
  • OLM
  • OLM
Executive Production
  • Pikachu Project
  • ピカチュウプロジェクト
  • 東宝


Main article: Koko Theme Song Collection
Main article: Koko Music Collection
Main article: Pokémon the Movie: Secrets of the Jungle (single)

Manga adaptations

Main article: Pokémon the Movie: Secrets of the Jungle—Another Beginning


  • This movie was released between JN049 and JN050 in Japan.
  • This movie is directed by Tetsuo Yajima, who had previously directed Pokémon the Series: XY and the movie The Power of Us. He returns to the position after the previous movie was directed by Kunihiko Yuyama and Motonori Sakakibara.
  • The theme of Koko being raised as a Pokémon may act as a reference to the theme of Tarzan being raised as an ape in Tarzan of the Apes and the theme of Mowgli being raised as a wolf in The Jungle Book. It is also similar to The Kangaskhan Kid, where Tommy was also raised by Pokémon.
  • This is the only movie to:
    • Be dubbed by Iyuno-SDI Group.
    • Feature Kenyu Horiuchi as the narrator in the Japanese version.
    • Not feature a Legendary Pokémon.
    • Be delayed from its original release date in Japan, due to concerns over the COVID-19 pandemic.
      • As a result, it is also the only movie to be released outside of the month of July in Japan.
    • Not use an opening theme from the main series, not counting movies that don't have an opening theme.
  • This movie marks the first time Ash mentions his father, the previous two references having come from Delia.
  • Had this movie been released on its intended date, it would have marked the anime debuts of Cinderace and Greedent, as well as Cinderace's signature move Pyro Ball.
  • Several photographs of scenery from this movie, including the Milyfa Town Pokémon Center, the Great Tree, and the Biotope Company building, appear on the wall of Professor Mirror's laboratory in New Pokémon Snap. These are described in the game as "landscape photographs taken by Rita" that are from an unclear region other than Lental. Accordingly, Rita and Phil make cameo appearances in this movie, taking photographs in Milyfa Town.
  • This movie features the least species of Legendary and/or Mythical Pokémon out of all the movies, with only one, if Spell of the Unown: Entei is not included, where the movie's only Legendary Pokémon, Entei, was an illusion.
  • This movie is unusual in that while all the Zarude are seen speaking human language, it is not through telepathy or them learning to speak but rather their speech being translated for the audience's benefit when in each other's, Koko's or the company of the other jungle Pokémon. As a result, in scenes in which other humans besides Koko (who also has his basic speech translated) meet the Zarude, they are shown to be like other Pokémon and can only say their name.
  • Koko is seen using Jungle Healing during the climax of the movie, making this the first instance of a human using a Pokémon move in the anime.
  • In Pokémon Masters EX, Jessie, James, and Meowth wind up on Pasio while chasing after the Shiny Celebi that appears in this movie.
  • The movie was largely unsuccessful at theaters, earning the lowest total box office revenue since M19. This was largely because of Japan reinstituting lockdowns under a national emergency regarding an unexpected spike in COVID-related cases in January around the time of the film's release.


  • During the rainfall in the Forest of Okoya near the end of the movie, wild Cherrim can be seen in their Sunshine Forms despite the sun not being out.
  • In the credits for the Song of Zarude in the English dub, Mason Lieberman's name is misspelled as "Mason Leiberman."

Dub edits

  • Always Safe replaces Koko as the opening theme, My New Friends and See What I See respectively replace Show Window and Strange and Wonderful Creatures as insert songs, and No Matter What replaces I'm Home and Welcome Back as the ending theme.
  • Time to Stuff my Face!! is replaced with silence.
  • The Heart Tree was originally referred to as (神木 shinboku) in the Japanese version, which translates to "sacred tree" or "holy tree".
  • In the Japanese version, when the Dada Zarude returns to the pack in the beginning of the movie with Koko, the Zarude elder mentions that the Zarude will die if things change in their territory, and the Dada Zarude mentions the child will die if gotten rid of. The pack yell to get rid of it. In the English dub, death isn't directly mentioned, as the Elder says that the pack will wither away, and the child won't survive. The pack still yell to get rid of it.
  • Koko is given a slightly larger vocabulary and less broken grammar in the English dub, likely to account for discrepancies in syllable structure between English and Japanese.
  • In the Japanese version, the Dada Zarude claims he never knew either of his parents so he couldn't become one. In the English dub, he claims he never had a father so he never became one.
  • In the Japanese version, James agrees with Meowth's assessment that there isn't anyone around when Jessie finds the Pokémon food. In the English dub, he says Pokémon food gives him gas.
  • In the Japanese version, the Zarude directly quote the Song of Zarude multiple times in dialogue throughout the movie. In the English dub, the lyrics are paraphrased when referenced in dialogue, although the song is reprised word for word at the very end of the movie.
  • In the Japanese version, Dr. Zed calls Chrom and Phossa Molybdenum by their first names when asking them where the data is. In the English dub, he simply calls them "you two", and their first names are only mentioned in closed captioning.
  • The closing narration removes the explicit mention of humans and Pokémon not being related by blood.
  • In the Japanese version, the credits show pictures of the drawing contest for the movie. In the English dub, the pictures aren't shown.

In other languages

External links

Pokémon movies
Original series
Mewtwo Strikes BackThe Power of OneSpell of the Unown: EnteiCelebi: The Voice of the ForestPokémon Heroes: Latios & Latias
Pokémon the Series: Ruby and Sapphire
Jirachi: Wish MakerDestiny DeoxysLucario and the Mystery of MewPokémon Ranger and the Temple of the Sea
Pokémon the Series: Diamond and Pearl
The Rise of DarkraiGiratina and the Sky WarriorArceus and the Jewel of LifeZoroark: Master of Illusions
Pokémon the Series: Black & White
White—Victini and Zekrom / Black—Victini and ReshiramKyurem VS. The Sword of JusticeGenesect and the Legend Awakened
Pokémon the Series: XY
Diancie and the Cocoon of DestructionHoopa and the Clash of AgesVolcanion and the Mechanical Marvel
Pokémon the Series: Sun & Moon
I Choose You!The Power of UsMewtwo Strikes Back—Evolution
Pokémon Journeys: The Series
Secrets of the Jungle
M22 : Mewtwo Strikes Back—Evolution
Pokémon movies
  This movie article is part of Project Anime, a Bulbapedia project that covers all aspects of the Pokémon anime.