In this recurring series, I’ll analyze the origins of Pokémon designs, their culture, and their historical allusions to British culture.
Galarian Mr. Mime
Mr. Mime surprisingly received a regional variant in Galar and is now an Ice/Psychic-type. It’s purple orbs have become blue and crystalline while its white mime gloves have turned into mittens. It is no longer classified as the Barrier Pokémon but as the Dancing Pokémon.
In Great Britain, a more common form of performance is tap dancing. It has cultural origins including Scottish step dancing, English clog dancing, and Irish jigs.
Its talent is tap-dancing. It can also manipulate temperatures to create a floor of ice, which this Pokémon can kick up to use as a barrier.
It can radiate chilliness from the bottoms of its feet. It’ll spend the whole day tap-dancing on a frozen floor.
Mr. Mime has thick shoe-like feet with a layer of ice at the bottom. In modern tap dancing, performers add metallic taps to provide a distinct sound that can be heard through a theater. Having a sturdy surface helps produce a staccato sound rather than sounding muddled.
Unlike Kantonian Mr. Mime, who was an expert at putting up barriers, Galarian Mr. Mime has the signature ability Screen Cleaner, which removes any screens on the field.
Galarian Mr. Mime has an evolution, known as Mr. Rime. Its name is a combination of Mr. Mime and rime, a form of supercooled water droplets. Like its predecessor it is an Ice/Psychic-type.
Mr. Rime has a distinguished design, with a hat like appendage on its head, a short mustache, an icy cane, and a clown face on its torso.
Its design comes in large part from Charlie Chaplin, a famous English actor who debuted a number of movies during the start of Hollywood and the silent era. Many of his movies showcase a character known as The Tramp, a bumbling good-natured person whose humor largely comes from physical gags.
This physical humor and close calls provides justification for one of Mr. Rime’s abilities, Tangled Feet, which raises evasiveness if confused.
It’s highly skilled at tap-dancing. It waves its cane of ice in time with its graceful movements.
Its amusing movements make it very popular. It releases its psychic power from the pattern on its belly.
The gentlemanly appearance of Mr. Rime combined with the apparent clown face are meant to show off its clowning movements while retaining the same skills of tap-dancing.
Much like Charlie Chaplin inspired a number of impersonators and films, Mr. Rime serves as a role model for Mime Jr.
It mimics everyone it sees, but it puts extra effort into copying the graceful dance steps of Mr. Rime as practice.
It looks for a Mr. Rime that’s a good dancer and carefully copies the Mr. Rime’s steps like an apprentice.Pokédex entries for Mime Jr.
Mr. Mime has always been a performer. In Galar, based on Great Britain, it takes on the local performance style of tap dancing. Mr. Rime takes this further by making the performance more entertaining and alludes to the birth of the film industry. Many continue to rate some of Chaplin’s movies as some of best films ever made.
Charlie Chaplin is not the first person who inspired a Pokémon, but now is added to the list of larger-than-life figures who continue to be remembered in our shared history.
Share your own thoughts on Galarian Mr. Mime and Mr. Rime in the comments below or in our Discord server!
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