Meet the animator who turned Pokemon Red into a 3-hour film after 2 years of work

Pokemon Red fan film
(Image credit: Pedro Araujo)

Two weeks ago, animator Pedro Araujo (opens in new tab) released Pokemon Red: Full Game Animation (opens in new tab). When I first saw this video, I figured it would be 15 to 30 minutes of the most iconic moments from the classic game, lovingly adapted by hand in a Flash-reminiscent style which makes for some incredible still-frame reaction images.

It's passed a million views since then, and oh yeah, it's three and a half hours long. 206 minutes. Holy shit.

Turns out, it does feature the best moments from Pokemon Red. Like, all of them. I reached out to Araujo to learn more about what went into this mammoth project, which has finally been compiled into one epic anime from dozens of individual snippets released over the past two years. 

"Daily, I spent about four to six hours working on it, or in the other series of the week," Araujo tells me. He's also released other anime in the time Pokemon Red has been in the works, including quite a few Sonic bits. To nobody's surprise, he says he did indeed get into Flash animation back in the day with some simple stick works. "Animation was always a part of me," he says. 

"I balance my time going for one episode of each series a week," he continues. "I have two friends who work with me doing the color art. So I make the storyboard/sketch animations and video edit and send it to them to color. Meanwhile, in the two weeks while they color, I use the next week to make this pre-production process of the next video or other series." 

The video is a remarkably detailed and faithful adaptation of the game, but it also embellished and added a few elements based on viewer feedback. 

"Every main moment and every main battle. That's all in there," Araujo says. "Even after creating some non-canon moments, like the battle in Silph Co. that I decided to create to give more importance to the last battle with Team Rocket, there are still the two canon moments - the rival battle, and the 1v1 vs Giovanni with four Pokemon."

"The things I decided to give more attention to were based on the feedback I had from the audience during these two years," he says. "People loved the romance between Red and Misty; the more dramatic, 'made me cry' moments; and the Giovanni backstory I've created. So I focused a lot on these to try to give the community what they liked the best." As for his personal favorite scene, Araujo says he's especially proud of the ending of the Lavender Town arc. 

I asked Araujo if he considered adapting any of the other Pokemon games before or instead of Red. The Johto generation is actually his favorite, and he's already working on animated pieces for it, but he says the OG had to come first. "I take it as a matter of respect," he says. "We have now nine generations, many protagonists and champions. But everything started in Pallet Town with 151 Pokemon." 

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Austin Wood

Austin freelanced for the likes of PC Gamer, Eurogamer, IGN, Sports Illustrated, and more while finishing his journalism degree, and he's been with GamesRadar+ since 2019. They've yet to realize that his position as a staff writer is just a cover up for his career-spanning Destiny column, and he's kept the ruse going with a focus on news and the occasional feature.