|"The Big Balloon Blow-Up"|
|Pokémon: Johto League Champions|
|June 14, 2001||May 25, 2002|
Ash and co. are still trekking to Olivine City by walking across a meadow. They notice a strange pattern in the grass; it is an X with a circle around it. They speculate on what it might be. A ball suddenly drops from the sky, and lands inside the circle, scaring them. An air balloon gracefully flies into view; it is being pulled by a Fearow. A boy jumps out. The boy was responsible for dropping the ball from the sky. The boys name was Skyler, he tells the gang that the ball was in fact a marker that he uses for target practise, and he was practicing for a ballooning competition. They found out that Skyler wants to be a professional ballooning pilot. They walk to Skylers house, and are introduces to his father, they learn that his father designs hot air balloons that look like Pokémon. They find out that Skylers father has a Pikachu balloon in his garage; he agrees to let them use it for the ballooning competition. The aim of the competition is to be the first team to get to the target, and to throw a marker as close as possible to the centre of the X. You have to do this from a height of at least 1000 ft within the given time limit. They learn that they get to use their Pokémon to pull them. While the gang and Skyler and his dad are practising in the sky, Team Rocket watch them. Meowth discovers a poster explaining the ballooning competition, first prize is a new balloon engine! (During the night Jessie and James are seen with hammers, implying that they damaged the other competitor’s balloons) The next day is the day of the race. Ash and co. see the Meowth balloon, and learn that Team Rocket are also in the competition. The race starts, but something seems wrohttp://pokemon.wikia.com/wiki/JE086:_The_Big_Balloon_Blow-Up?action=edit§ion=1ng, a lot of the balloons seem to have holes in them, and they are seen crashing to the ground. Ash learns that Team Rocket sabotaged the race. Meowth does not seem like he want to cheat, but Jessie and James know nothing different. James calls out Weezing, Weezing uses smoke screen, more balloons drop out of the sky at this point. Meowth moans at Jessie and James as he wanted them to win the race fairly, without cheating. Jessie now calls out Arbock, Arbock uses poison sting, and knocks one more balloon out of the sky, Skyler and Ash manage to dodge the attack. (At this point, only Ash, Skyler and Team Rocket are left in the competition.) Meowth scratches Jessie and James, he tells them that he wants to win without cheating. Jessie and James tie Meowth to the centre of the basket, so they can continue cheating. The balloons drift into a storm cloud, Team Rocket unveil their newest contraption, rockets attached to the bottom of their balloon! They turn them on, steam through the storm. Ash and skyler are flying through the storm, Skylers balloon seems undamaged, but Ash's burner seems broken, it goes out and they begin to lose altitude. Ash calls out Cyndaquil to replace the burner, Cyndaquil uses flamethrower to heat up the balloon. It works, and they shoot up into the sky. Team rocket drift out the other side of the storm, and are very happy when they do not see any other balloons. A few seconds later, Ash and Skylers balloons shoot out from the top of the storm, team rocket are very unhappy. They launch a volley of rockets into Ash's balloon, knocking Cyndaquil from his position on the top of the burner. Ash quickly jumps, and saves Cyndaquil. A rocket explodes near Ash, hurting him and throwing him to the other side of the balloon. Pikachu gets mad and wants to fight, however Team Rocket use their jet engine to flee away. Ash tells Noctowl to let go of the rope, and to allow Pikachu to ride on his back, they fly off towards Team Rocket's balloon. James uses the missiles to try and fend off Noctowl and Pikachu. Skyler instructs Fearow to distract team rocket while Pikachu launches a thunderbolt at Team Rockets balloon. It his, exploading the balloon, sending them off into the sky. Ash and Skyler continue towards the target. They throw down their markers and both get a bulls-eye. As there is only one burner, Ash gives it to Syler. They then depart for their next adventure!
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