Erroll is a writer with an enthusiastic love of Japanese monsters and the games which feature them, from Pokemon to Power Rangers to Pacific Rim and everything in between. You can learn more about this and plenty of other games and nerdy things by following @errollm
Nintendo’s June 5th Pokémon Direct highlighted a handful of new features for the upcoming Pokémon Sword and Pokémon Shield. Among these new features, a brand new battle mechanic called Dynamax was introduced. Dynamax temporarily increases the strength and size of a Pokémon for three turns, and like the previously introduced Mega Evolutions and Z-move mechanics, can only be used once per battle. Additionally, Max Raid Battles, which feature a group of trainers battling against a Dynamax Pokémon, was also introduced, although these wild Pokémon stay titan-sized until they are caught by one of the trainers. While seemingly all Pokémon can use this Dynamax ability, the upcoming eighth generation of the series is far from the first time the franchise has featured kaiju-sized Pokémon. Here are some of the biggest Pokémon from the franchise up until now.
(Note: this only covers Pokémon who are a closer equivalent to Dynamax Pokémon, for larger than average Pokémon such as Totem Pokémon and others, check out Bulbapedia’s list on Giant Pokémon)
The Pokémon anime series has had plenty of giant Pokémon throughout the years, perhaps the most notable of which are from its earlier seasons.
Dragonite – Episode 13 Mystery at the Lighthouse
In this relatively early episode, the anime version of Pokémon PC inventor Bill claimed this Dragonite was the largest Pokémon ever and likely the last of its kind, probably due to its uncommonly gargantuan size. When Dragonite finally appears near the end of the episode, it wrecks the titular lighthouse due to Team Rocket angering it with missiles. After that, it walks away, with Bill later stating that he was happy to have seen it at all.
Blastoise, Charizard, Kabutops, Moltres, Pikachu, Venusaur, and Zapdos – Episode 17 The Island of Giant Pokémon
These seven Pokémon are encountered on a seemingly uninhabited island after Ash, Brock, Misty, and Team Rocket are shipwrecked while aboard the S.S. Anne and are separated from their Pokémon. After being chased and attacked by these giants for most of the episode, it’s revealed that these are not actually Pokémon at all and instead are giant robots that are part of a Pokémon Island attraction owned by Giovanni.
Tentacruel – Episode 19 Tentacool & Tentacruel
The episode that this enormous jellyfish stars in is notorious for a number of reasons. In the episode, Tentacruel and a group of Tentacool attack the city of Porta Vista due to episode villain Nastinas’ plan to build a hotel on their territory. Misty eventually convinces Tentacruel to stop destroying the city.
This episode was banned after the September 11 terrorist attacks due to Tentacruel destroying a skyscraper, which is also shown in the opening and was never changed. The episode aired once on Kids’ WB! a month after the attacks, but didn’t air again until after Pokémon had also started airing on Cartoon Network. Additionally, the episode was banned again for a few weeks after Hurricane Katrina due to portraying a city flooded with water.
Alakazam, Gengar, and Jigglypuff – Episode 72 The Ancient Puzzle of Pokémopolis
These strangely-marked ancient Pokémon awaken after a group of archeologists discover some mysterious artifacts from the ancient city of Pokémopolis. Gengar is released first, and starts to absorb humans and Pokémon alike on its way to go destroy the nearest city, which just so happens to be Pallet Town. A pair of artifacts later awaken a giant Alakazam, which starts to fight Gengar and eventually leads to a beam struggle between the two Poké-Kaiju, a threat with the ability to not just destroy nearby areas, but the entire planet. After a failed attempt by Jigglypuff to lull the rampaging pair of Pokémon to sleep, the song summons an ancient Jigglypuff from a giant bell which successfully puts the other Pokémon to sleep with its song. By the end of the episode, all three ancient Pokémon disappear.
Groudon – Movie 06 Jirachi: Wish Maker
This Groudon was created by movie villain and former Team Magma member Butler but was revealed to be a manifestation of pure evil due to a combination of Butler’s and Jirachi’s selfish desires. This pseudo-Groudon could absorb people like the aforementioned ancient Gengar as well as absorb energy from the earth itself, and had a number of tentacles coming out of its body. It was destroyed by Jirachi’s Doom Desire attack
Gulpin & Treecko – Episode AG065 Gulpin It Down
When a group of Gulpin keep eating all of the food in a town near Petalburg City, a man by the name of Professor Jacuzzi creates several machines to help get rid of them. When one of the machines malfunction, it causes the remaining Gulpin and Ash’s Treecko to grow exponentially and have a kaiju battle of their own. Treecko eventually shrinks back down to its regular size, but Gulpin is caught with a Poké Ball and remains in its larger state for the rest of the episode.
Caterpie/Metapod/Butterfree, Cacnea, and Dustox – Episode AG142 Caterpie’s Big Dilemma
This episode features a Caterpie, owned by one-time character Xander, who eats a couple of enhanced rare candies developed by a scientist named Dr. Gordon. These special rare candies cause Caterpie to grow in size and evolve into a giant Butterfree over the course of the episode (literally described as “Mothra-sized” on Bulbapedia.) James’ Cacnea and Jessie’s Dustox also grow to about the same size after consuming the enhanced rare candies, and another Poké-kaiju battle ensues, this time in the sky. Once Team Rocket is defeated all giant Pokémon return back to normal.
The Electric Tale of Pikachu
Haunter – ET 04 Haunting My Dreams
This is one of the coolest as well as most terrifying giant Pokémon to appear in the franchise and I could probably write an entire separate article on it. This humongous ghost, known as the Black Fog to the residents of Saffron City, steals the souls of humans and Pokémon with its Dream Eater attack and even took the life of gym leader Sabrina’s Pokémon when she was younger. A giant Poké Ball is designed to capture it and it’s almost caught before using Explosion to free itself, which weakens it to the point that it could be captured with a regular Poké Ball. Just before Ash can capture it with an Ultra Ball, it uses Self Destruct, killing itself in the process. It’s later revealed that Pokémon were once worshipped by humans, and the Black Fog became so used to it that it believed killing itself would be better than letting a human catch it.
Pokémon: Detective Pikachu (Film)
The most recent example of larger-than-life Pokémon were featured in Pokémon: Detective Pikachu. These Torterra are genetically enhanced and are the size of mountains, and for the most part lay dormant, becoming extremely dangerous to any unsuspecting travelers who end up in their territory.
That’s all of the biggest Pokémon previously featured in the franchise. What else does the eighth generation of the beloved Pocket Monsters have in store for us? And with the mention of Godzilla during the Pokémon Press Conference, as well as both the Monsterverse (Godzilla, Kong: Skull Island, Godzilla: King of The Monsters) and Pokémon: Detective Pikachu both having been produced by Legendary Entertainment, is a Godzilla and Pokémon crossover more likely due to Dynamax? Or is that just a weird dream of mine? Only time will tell.