Pokémon Releases Epic Super Bowl 50 Ad to Celebrate 20th Anniversary

The first big Super Bowl 50 ad has been chosen.

A 90-second commercial celebrating Pokémon‘s 20th anniversary, set to air during the big game on Feb. 7, was released by Nintendo on Monday, sending unsuspecting viewers on an international journey of wonder, confusion and — of course — big-ass monsters.

Viewed out of context, one might not even realize the commercial is about the popular monster-battling franchise until the 43-second mark, when the first Poké Ball appears in frame. This segues into a full-on stadium battle, populated by a handful of colorful characters my dad could neither remember nor pronounce during my childhood (which only makes that last shot of the father and son on the couch all the more special).

It should be noted that, while a Poké Ball doesn’t show up until midway through the ad, there’s a smattering of Pokémon-related easter eggs to be found throughout.

Pokémon has big plans in store for its 20th anniversary, including Season 19 of the animated series, coming Feb. 20 to Cartoon Network.

Your review of the Super Bowl commercial, aside from general disbelief that it’s already been 20 years since these wacky creatures first reared their battle-ready heads? Drop ’em in a comment below.

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