Detective Pikachu was a fantastic little movie, thanks in no small part to the gorgeous “realistic” takes on some of my favourite Pokemon. I still maintain that the designs we got shouldn’t have worked, yet there’s something inherently captivating about them.
A big part of the live-action Pokemon movie’s success is down to RJ Palmer, a man so talented that he actually got hired to work on the movie precisely because of his previous fan efforts that re-imagined Pokemon as super realistic looking mythical monsters.
Palmer currently works at Ubisoft, but that hasn’t stopped him from indulging his Pokemon love. He recently shared his own terrifying take on Venusaur that (mercifully) never made it into Detective Pikachu, which you can see above.
If nightmare Venusaur is a little too much for you (it keeps me up at night, personally) then I recommend you indulge yourself by drinking in some more of Palmer’s recent work. The artist has re-imagined the starter Pokemon from the upcoming Sword & Shield in Detective Pikachu’s style, and the results are utterly adorable.
Let’s start with the first of the three that Palmer decided to tackle; the water type chameleon Sobble. This Pokemon seems to have received a lot of hate since being unveiled, but I dug its vibe. Nobody can deny the charm of this realistic take on the critter, at any rate.
Next up we have the fire type starter, Scorbunny. The version we’ve seen from Sword & Shield looks a bit too Looney Tunes for my tastes, but Palmer’s version is just too precious for words – fiery feet and all.
Finally, we have Grookey, the grass type monkey Pokemon. Palmer has frankly outdone himself with this one, because all I want to do now is protect Grookey from the world at all costs, maybe take it home and feed it berries while giving the occasional tummy scratching.
Pokemon Sword & Shield didn’t exactly wow me when it was announced a few months back, but I have to say that Palmer’s takes on the three new monsters have reignited my excitement for the game when it lands on Nintendo Switch later in the year.
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Ewan Moore is a journalist at UNILAD Gaming who still quite hasn’t gotten out of his mid 00’s emo phase. After graduating from the University of Portsmouth in 2015 with a BA in Journalism & Media Studies (thanks for asking), he went on to do some freelance words for various places, including Kotaku, Den of Geek, and TheSixthAxis, before landing a full time gig at UNILAD in 2016.