AceCaseOR writes, Hellboy now has his first animated outing, a direct-to-video affair that has two of the major stars of the film reprising their roles. Read on for the rest of AceCaseOR’s review.

Cast and Crew

Ron Perlman as Hellboy
Selma Blair as Liz Sherman
Doug Jones as Abe Sapian
Peri Gilpin as Professor Kate Corrigan

Story by Mike Mignola and Tad Stones, screenplay by Matt Wayne, based on characters by Mike Mignola.
Produced by Mike Mignola and Guillermo del Toro.
Directed by Phil Weinstein.

Synopsis

Hellboy goes to Japan to investigate the possession of a professor of folklore.

High Point

“You just made the newbie face.”

Low Point

The faux-slow motion effect in some of the fight scenes just wasn’t pulled off right.

The Review

It’s based on a comic book series, so it’s not going to get top scores for originality. However, it’s an original story with the characters, plus the comics never particularly got around to Japanese folklore, at least not to the degree as this film does. That said, if you’ve watched a lot of anime or read a lot of manga, you’re going to see some familiar faces (as far as types of demons go). 3 out of 6.

Effects are pretty good. CGI, where used, works pretty well. There’s not a lot of it, but there doesn’t need to be a lot of it. 5 out of 6.

Story is very well done. The characters are true to form, though this is a different Liz, personality wise, from what we saw in the movie, but somewhat more in tune with that from the comics. As it is, it’s a good Hellboy story, with all that entails. 5 out of 6.

The film has an okay emotional response. There are significant characters you know will make it simply because if they were to be killed off, they’d be killed off in the comics. That said, it got the general reaction it was supposed to get, with the exception of the Abe Sapian/Liz Sherman romantic tension, though in all fairness, Mignola has admitted romantic tension is one of his weak points. 4 out of 6.

The production value is mediocre. When it’s good, it’s good. However, it has its bad moments, such as when they try to do slow motion. But, it’s an animated production for a network that is not known for its original productions (Starz), and they did a good job, and having some of the people who made the original film so good really helped. 4 out of 6.

Overall, when I put in the DVD, I legitimately wasn’t sure what to expect. I wasn’t worried about the story, because of Mike Mignola and Del Toro’s involvement in the production. I knew Perlman would do well, because he’s shown his voice acting skill in the past on shows like Teen Titans, and he did an superb job as Hellboy in the film. On the other hand, I was not aware of any voice-over work in Blair’s history, and I was concerned she’d phone in her performance. Fortunately, they both did fine, and the whole piece turned out well. 5 out of 6

In total, Hellboy Animated: Sword of Storms rates 26 out of 42.