INVESTIGATION: Are there Pokémon in Shang-Chi? Kinda.
In an interview with Collider, Marvel Studios Head-Boss-in-Charge Kevin Feige confirmed that some early viewers of the newest Marvel Cinematic Universe movie, Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, thought that certain Pokémon appeared in the movie!
While Feige wants everyone to know that this isn’t quite accurate, these audience members were actually picking up on a common source of inspiration for both the classic Nintendo franchise and the highest-rated MCU movie ever!
Gotta Catch ‘Em All
The main point of confusion for many audience members occurred just after Shang-Chi (Simu Liu), Katy (Awkwafina), Xialing (Meng’er Zhang), and Trevor Slatterly (Sir Ben Kingsley) have followed the guidance of Morris (Dee Bradley Baker, voice over extraordinaire) to reach the realm of Ta Lo, a dimension that protects Earth from the Dweller-in-Darkness, in the third act of Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings.
Not only does this dimension serves as protection for our world against the ancient evil, but it’s also something of a mythological creature preserve! Production designer Sue Chan previously confirmed these include other Dijiang; for example, the species from which Morris hails as well as some giant lion-like creatures (who are especially useful in the battle against the soul stealers).
However, there are also creatures that resembled a white fox with nine tails, which some viewers mistook for the Pokémon “Ninetails.”
“Some people think there are a couple of Pokémon characters in there, they’re not Pokémon characters,” Feige told Collider. “But they are inspired by similar things, I guess, which took me by surprise.”
As Feige explained, both the creatures from Shang-Chi and the Pokémon were inspired by a common mythological source, hence, their similarity.
According to Insider, both the Shang-Chi creatures and the Pokémon Ninetales are based on the huli jing (狐狸精 húlijīng), first described in an ancient Chinese text called the The Classic of Mountain and Sea, which is at least 2,000 years old.
In the text, huli jing are described as shape-shifting spirits who consume masculine yang energy and have cries that sound like babies. Jiuwei hu (九尾狐) refers to a nine-tailed fox, the oldest and most magical of these morally ambiguous mythological foxes.
However, in their brief appearance in Shang-Chi, the nine-tailed foxes seem much more benevolent than their man-devouring origins…
Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings
Have you had a chance to see Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings yet? Did you see the creatures who some viewers mistook for Pokémon characters in the third act?
We’re waiting to hear from you, Marvel Blog True Believers! Let us know what you’re thinking in the comment section.