- Co-Produced, Co-Written, and Directed by Tad Stones
- October 28, 2006
- Hellboy-Ron Perlman
- Liz Sherman-Selma Blair
- Abe Sapien-Doug Jones
- Professor Kate Corrigan-Peri Gilpin
- Lightning, Kappa, Pilot-Dee Bradley Baker
- Bureau of Paranormal Research and Defense Member, Pilot-Phil LaMarr
- Russell Thorn-Mitchell Whitfield
- Kitsune-Gwendoline Yeo
Hellboy journeys to Japan to fight an ancient demon who threatens the world.
Hellboy Animated: Sword of Storms is a direct to video animated feature that I dare say is as good as any of the original Hellboy films. I place those films pretty high up currently as comic book adaptions go. Not only are they something different but they are also rather good and unique among the plethora of comic book inspired films.
I admit I am barely familiar with Hellboy as a comic book iteration. I know a little about the Mignola-verse but not too much. Having said that, from what I can tell these animated films are closer to the comic books that inspired them than the original Hellboy films are. So sadly I must conclude these do not necessarily share continuity with those movies even though some of the original cast does return to voice their respective characters here. I really want more from that set of movies.
Even doing voiceover work Ron Perlman is still the best version of Hellboy. The man is a talented actor, and he brings as much life to this animated iteration of the character as he does to the live action iteration of the character. Hellboy is essentially just a guy doing a job. He’s very used to what he has to deal with to the point he is relatively unfazed by giant monsters or heads that can detach from their bodies. He reacts with sarcasm and a “not this again” attitude.
Selma Blair and Doug Jones return to the Hellboy universe as Liz Sherman and Abe Sapien respectively. Abe in design looks close to how he does in the films but Liz has little resemblance to Blair. Also the relationship between Liz and Hellboy is much more professional than it is in the films. They are work friends that care about each other and not apparently lovers.
New to the cast is Peri Gilpin as Prof. Kate Corrigan. Gilpin may be best known for her work on Frasier. Much like Perlman she brings her character alive. Good actors can do that in animation. And these are all good actors here. They are not the biggest of names. They are just talented.
The plot of Hellboy Animated: Sword of Storms centers around demons after a magic sword. It all intersects with a tragic love story involving a samurai and a young woman who is killed by her father because the samurai, using his magical sword, was able to defeat the demons. Now events are playing out in modern times.
The tragic romance portion of the story is just okay. You really do not get any emotional feels from it. The story in the film works best when it focuses on Hellboy and his supporting cast along with events in the present. I think if there was a little more time dedicated to developing the romantic portion of the story it would be different. As it is the whole thing comes off as more of a mention.
There are some twists and turns and a statement concerning what will happen if the barer of the magic sword breaks it that isn’t quite what it seems on the surface. What else do you expect anyway? That’s how it always works in these types of movies but that isn’t a complaint. You need a little something to figure out otherwise you’re not significantly invested in a film involving mysteries.
Animation doesn’t have to be the most expensive. It just has to look good. And this looks good. It gives Mike Mignola’s art style a bit of a Saturday morning twist. His work has always been good but I’m not sure how well his stuff would work in anything feature length.
Hellboy Animated: Sword of Storms has nothing too shocking visually. It’s not heavy on blood or gore. The death of the samurai’s love is implied rather than shown. You could sit down with your kids to watch this movie or watch it on your own and thoroughly enjoy it. It doesn’t talk down to anyone at all.
With a good script and well-done characters, Hellboy Animated: Sword of Storms is a fantastic feature. If you like Hellboy or are looking for something a little different in your movies this is a watch it!