Much as Pokémon trainers would love to believe that their pocketable monster friends are well taken care of, each and every single Pikachu-centric short has made it abundantly clear that Pokémon thrive and are at their best when the humans are just gone. Left to their own devices, the Pokémon get to be their whole-ass selves, which is wonderful.
Though we spend so much time talking about Ash Ketchum and how the child apparently can’t age, the real magic of the Pokémon animated series and films has always been the Pokémon themselves. Too often they aren’t given moments to shine that don’t involve them being made to fight one another in vicious battles. This is the reason that each and every one of the shorts and specials featuring the Pokémon without their trainers is a gem worth revisiting.