- Directed by Patrick Archibald, Frank Paur (supervising director), and Dick Sebast
- August 29, 2007
- Doctor Strange-Bryce Johnson
- Wong-Paul Nakauchi
- Mordo-Kevin Michael Richardson
- Ancient One-Michael Yama
- Dr. Gina Atwater-Susan Spano
- Dormammu-Jonathan Adams
- Oliver, Doorman, Sorcerer, Additional Voices-Fred Tatasciore
- April, Lucy, Additional Voices-Tara Strong
- Additional Voices-Josh Keaton, Phil LaMarr, and Masasa Moyo
An injured doctor seeking to heal himself travels to Tibet where he learns of his destiny to be the Sorcerer Supreme of this world.
As direct-to-video animated releases go Doctor Strange: The Sorcerer Supreme isn’t too bad. The story is straightforward and doesn’t take any real chances and the script is serviceable enough. This was meant to simply please and nothing more. And that is just fine. Safe though does not mean worth watching more than once.
The biggest flaw in this whole animated endeavor is in the animation. It just comes off as super cheap. I’m not expecting movie quality animation but rather I’m expecting something as good as the better animated DCAU films. Come on! This is Marvel.
Aside from the cheapness of the animation, another point where this movie fails is the voice acting. The individual voicing Dormammu did just great. That voice was perfectly cast and executed but everybody else just is bland. The performances are real generic. It is as if they recorded a table read and not the actual session. There is little emotion or anything else.
Like many low budget films with big ideas, they ignored the background and focused on the foreground in Doctor Strange: The Sorcerer Supreme. There are a lot of scenes in the story taking place in streets, but the streets are empty and rather sparse in what’s in the background. No street signs or streetlights or the random fleeing citizen. It really jumps out. But bland backgrounds is the norm in this movie.
Dr. Stephen Strange is pretty much a jerk here. Part of part of his jerkiness comes from the loss of his sister April while he was working on her on the operating table. It’s a plot point that explains why he apparently only takes case cases he thinks he can solve. He’s going to take chances where he sees a possibility of success but he’s not willing to work on hopeless causes which in this story are a bunch of children who are inexplicably in comas. If you think that was going to be forgotten in the story you’re wrong.
Mordo, our sub villain, had a fairly petty reason for turning evil. He doesn’t get the job he wants. There was no real falling out but rather he gets passed over for a promotion. He wants to be Sorcerer Supreme but it’s going to be Doctor Strange because the Ancient One has seen it. Strikes me as rather shallow on Mordo’s part but perhaps if it had been explained a little better it might have worked. Maybe they cut some explanatory dialogue or scenes that made it all more serious. It bothers me too that there is no actual earning of the title on the part of Strange.
I give them props for the final fight. Not for anything particular in the fight. It’s a lot of blasting and breaking things but rather the flying monster monsters that attack everyone. They’re basically flying mouths that devour everyone they come in contact in a piranha-like style or at least the style you would find in a horror movie.
Everything in this movie connects to the threat of Dormammu. From the children to Stephen Strange’s accident to the events that precede it. There isn’t much extraneous in this film. Though Strange’s journey from jerk doctor to master of the mystic arts is a little swift. For a good chunk of the movie while he’s training under the Ancient One he’s doing menial work. That is aside from a scene or two where he fights Mordo. And then suddenly Strange is gifted the Eye of Agamotto and rather capable of taking on the bad guy. Both of them!
They toss out a lot of deep sounding mumbo-jumbo that I would ask you not to think too deeply about. It felt rather rushed or if the script writer didn’t put too much effort into that part. They needed to make the Ancient One sound wise, and they picked some superficial junk that they felt worked.
Doctor Strange: The Sorcerer Supreme is not terrible but it’s certainly not great. You won’t feel disappointed if you watch it once, but it won’t be high on your list to revisit if it’s on that list at all. In the end I think you can skip this one.