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Pokémon: I Choose You! looks like our childhoods — with some big changes

The movie’s full trailer balances nostalgia and novelty

The Pokémon Company dropped the first full-length trailer for Pokémon the Movie: I Choose You!, the upcoming anniversary film that throws it back to the anime’s early days. Since the film’s Japanese premiere in July, we’ve already gotten hints that I Choose You! isn’t the straight retelling of Ash Ketchum’s origin story as we originally thought, but this new trailer makes that painfully clear.

The trailer starts off with some touching, memorable moments. Ash shows up late to Professor Oak’s laboratory and has to start his journey with Pikachu. Pikachu and Ash butt heads until a dramatic battle bonds them forever. To really put a point on how meaningful all of this is, the mysterious, legendary Ho-Oh soars overhead.

It’s moving stuff; good luck fighting the tears. (I had trouble.)

But the rest of the trailer? Not quite the familiar story we know and love from our youth. All of a sudden, Ash’s journey through the Kanto region features appearances from Pokémon native to other areas, including Entei, Incineroar and Lucario. (Not to mention that Misty and Brock are completely missing in action.) The action ramps up at the expense of our nostalgia.

Maybe that’s not a bad thing? The movie actually looks pretty action-packed, even exciting; that’s not something I’ve said about any Pokémon movie since, uh, 2003. Plus, my beloved boy Charmander still gets its moment, where Ash saves it from getting drenched in the rain.

Consider my interest piqued for Pokémon the Movie: I Choose You!’s stateside theatrical release. The movie will play screens nationwide on Nov. 5-6; tickets are on sale now.

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