In this first animated feature from Director Tad Stones (Buzz
Lightyear of Star Command), and Creative Producers Mike Mignola
(creator of Hellboy comics) and Guillermo del Toro (writer/director
of the Hellboy movie), a folklore professor becomes unwittingly
possessed by the ancient Japanese demons of Thunder and Lightning.
But when The Bureau of Paranormal Research & Defense dispatches
a team of agents to investigate, a cursed samurai sword sends
Hellboy (Ron Perlman) to a supernatural dimension of ghosts,
monsters and feudal mayhem. Now while pyrokinetic Liz Sherman
(Selma Blair) and fishboy Abe Sapien (Doug Jones) battle one
very pissed-off dragon, a lost and cranky Hellboy must find
his way home. Even if he can survive the perilous journey,
how much crap does a guy have to put up with from the two
most vengeful and ferocious spirits of Japanese legend?
The first Hellboy movie did modestly at the box-office,
good but not good enough to generate a sequel according to
Sony who financed it. (Sony later sold the rights to Universal).
begin with, Hellboy is not really a household name, definitely
not in the league of Marvel or DC characters such as Batman
or Superman so it’s quite a surprise the full-length
movie got me hooked at first viewing.
the voices from the movie and the characteristics of the comics,
the animation movies feature a sleeker look, very close to
the style of Genndy Tartakovsky’s "Samurai Jack"”
and what he did to "Clone Wars". In today’s
era of CG animation, it’s always nice to see touches
of hand-drawn animation. The artwork blends the backgrounds
and the characters well together. Most importantly you could
feel the essence of the original comics but also the genuine
efforts of the production team to give viewers old and new,
a fresh experience.
of Storms" involves a professor being possessed by two
ancient demons in which the BPRD is sent to investigate. Incorporating
some weird Japanese folklore into the story makes it even
more enticing. It’s fun seeing Hellboy dealing with
flying heads, spider demon, Liz and Abe fighting sea monster
and you can’t help thinking what if Del Toro were to
translate this to live-action?
had only one gripe about "Sword of Storms". Despite
the goodwill attempts by the writers to stretch this movie
to 75 minutes, I would have prefer some of the action bits
be toned down a little, shrink some of the unnecessary plotting
and make this an hour special. It’s nice to see a Hellboy
animation movie but it would fare much better as those 30
minutes episodic animation series.
you are a fan of the first movie or a loyal fan of the Mike
Mignola’s comics, you should attempt to get “Sword
of Storms” DVD. You are in for a treat.
a side note, Producer Tad Stones revealed on his blog that
the script for the third animation movie is done but the production
has yet to be greenlit (most probably financing). Oh crap…
SPECIAL FEATURES :
Hell And Back: How Mike Mignola Created Hellboy –
A 10 minutes feature which has Hellboy’s original creator
Mike Mignola talking about how he came up with the character
and it’s history.
New Breed: Creating The New Hellboy – The character
of Hellboy is reimagined in the animated movies and this segment
talks about how the final design came about.
Hellboy: The Actor's Role – Interviews with
the voice actors such as Ron Perlman, Selma Blair, Doug Jones
and also peeks at the recording sessions.
View from the Top: The "Heads" Sequence
– One of the bizarre sequences in the movie is discussed
of Hellboy - A Comic Con 2006 Panel Discussion –
An almost 45 minutes recording of the discussion panel at
the San Diego Comic Con two years back. Panelists include
the conceptual artist, writer, director, Mike Mignola and
also creative producer Guillermo del Toro of the animated
Commentary Featuring Hellboy Creator Mike Mignola, Supervising
Producer/Director Tad Stones and Director Phil Weinstein –
If you are keen to know more snippets of the movie, just enable
the commentary track and let the creators behind this project
overwhelms you with production details.
Goes East: A Revealing look at many of the inspirations, backstories
and secrets of Hellboy: Sword of Storms – This
segment discussed how a Japanese folklore inspires the story
arc and also interview with the animated movie composer Christopher
Code 3 DVD comes with the original English audio track and
Chinese subtitles only. The Dolby Digital 5.1 doesn’t
disappoint with its display of boisterous, sound effects from
the various corners and the visual transfer is excellent as
well. Colours, shades are deep and strong despite a majority
of night scenes.
by Linus Tee