Pokémon (ポケモン Pokemon, // POH-kay-mon) is a media franchise published and owned by Japanese video game company Nintendo and created by Satoshi Tajiri in 1996. Originally released as a pair of interlinkable Game Boy role-playing video games developed by Game Freak, Pokémon has since become the second-most successful and lucrative video game-based media franchise in the world, behind only Nintendo's own franchiseMario. Pokémon properties have since been merchandised into anime, manga, trading cards, toys, books, and other media. The franchise celebrated its tenth anniversary in 2006, and as of 28 May 2010 [update], cumulative sales of the video games (including home console versions, such as the "Pikachu" Nintendo 64) have reached more than 200 million copies. In November 2005, 4Kids Entertainment, which had managed the non-game related licensing of Pokémon, announced that it had agreed not to renew the Pokémon representation agreement. Pokémon USA Inc. (now The Pokémon Company International), a subsidiary of Japan's Pokémon Co., now oversees all Pokémon licensing outside of Asia.
The name Pokémon is the romanized contraction of the Japanese brand Pocket Monsters (ポケットモンスター Poketto Monsutā). The term Pokémon, in addition to referring to the Pokémon franchise itself, also collectively refers to the 718 known fictional species that have made appearances in Pokémon media as of the release of the sixth generation titles Y and Pokémon X. "Pokémon" is identical in both the singular and plural, as is each individual species name; it is grammatically correct to say "one Pokémon" and "many Pokémon", as well as "one Pikachu" and "many Pikachu".
Pokémon: Lucario and the Mystery of Mew, originally released in Japan as Pocket Monsters Advanced Generation the Movie: Mew and the Wave Hero (劇場版ポケットモンスターアドバンスジェネレーション ミュウと波導の勇者 ルカリオ Gekijōban Poketto Monsutā Adobansu Jenerēshon Myū to Hadō no Yūsha Rukario, lit. "Mew and the Wave-Guiding (Aura) Hero: Lucario"), is an anime film directed by Kunihiko Yuyama as the eighth film in the Pokémon franchise. It was released in theaters in Japan on July 16, 2005, followed by the Japanese DVD release on December 22, 2005. The English dub made was first released on DVD in Australia on August 16, 2006, with the US release following on September 19, 2006.. The English dub of the movie premiered in the US for the first time at the 2006 Comic-Con in San Diego, California. The movie aired in the United Kingdom in July 2007 on Cartoon Network and it continues to air on CITV. This is also the last film to have been dubbed in English by 4Kids Entertainment, with the original cast. All future Pokémon episodes and films would be dubbed by The Pokémon Company International.
The background for Pokémon: Lucario and the Mystery of Mew was based on visits by Yuyama to Bavaria, Germany. Neuschwanstein Castle and Linderhof Palace were used as the basis of the film's setting.