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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great addition to a Hellboy fan's collection!
This animated movie's story is more in line with the Hellboy comic book stories than the live-action movie was, and while officially unrated, it's similar to the live-action movie and the comic books. I'd probably give Sword of Storms a PG-13, with [...].

I love, LOVE, the mythical creatures used in this movie, it's much like the comic in that way. I have a...
Published on February 1, 2007 by Mrs. Kilo Delta

versus
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars hell boy sword of storms
good story well told for the younger set. the animation is fair but not up to the quality of warner bros or marvel and well short of most japanimation films
Published on March 11, 2007 by dennis mcgarry


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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great addition to a Hellboy fan's collection!, February 1, 2007
By 
Mrs. Kilo Delta (Northwest, United States) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Hellboy: Sword of Storms (Animated) (DVD)
This animated movie's story is more in line with the Hellboy comic book stories than the live-action movie was, and while officially unrated, it's similar to the live-action movie and the comic books. I'd probably give Sword of Storms a PG-13, with [...].

I love, LOVE, the mythical creatures used in this movie, it's much like the comic in that way. I have a softspot for folklore monsters being used in comics, books, & movies, especially when it's normally obscure folklore stories (like the Japanese flying heads or the Baba Yaga, for instance... Hellboy comic readers know what I'm talking about). I'm just not into the Marvel spandex-and-cape-wearing superheroes, they don't appeal to me at all, so in contrast, Hellboy and his friends feel like the perfect superheroes to me.

Voice acting is great here, though I'm biased because I couldn't imagine Hellboy's voice before Ron Perlman took the part. The other actors do a great job as well, and the sound effects were great (I watched it with surround sound when it was on TV). The animation has great lighting and colors, I thought (I say "great" way too much, I know), although the characters do look a little, well, "Kim Possible". Just a little. Not a bad job, though. I kept up with the movie's production diary on another website, and Tad Stones (the movie's director) was saying why they had to do that style for the animation: Hellboy needed eyebrows to show expression, Kate looks younger than she does in the Mignola comics because in animation any lines on her face would make her look like she was 70, etc. Stuff like that.

Last thing, it's not mentioned here in Amazon's info, but every DVD of the 1st run (first 300,000, I believe) will come with a 32 page Hellboy comic called "Phantom Limbs", story by Jim Pascoe, art by Rick Lacey, inside the DVD case, along with a pin up by Mike Mignola. This info is straight from director Tad Stones, as another way to entice you to buy the DVD. Well, it worked for me, I'm buying it! A great way to feed my Hellboy habit while I wait for BPRD: The Universal Machine to land on my doorstep.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Uniquely Hellboy, February 19, 2007
By 
Simon (Brampton, ON) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Hellboy: Sword of Storms (Animated) (DVD)
Hellboy: Sword of Storms is the titular character's first-ever animated adventure. While investigating an ancient Japanese sword, Hellboy is sucked into a mystical world and is forced to do battle with monsters and demons before he can return home. And if he makes it home, he must face two ancient gods ready to destroy the world. But hey, nothing's ever easy.

Fans of Mike Mignola's comics or the recent Hellboy movie will love this adventure. True it doesn't use Mignola's distinctive art style, but it maintains a look that is distinctively 'Hellboy' while at the same time being much easier to animate. Ron Perlman, Selma Blair, and Doug Jones return to voice their movie roles, and seasoned vets Peri Gilpin, John Hurt, and Phil LaMarr carry the supporting characters. Perlman again proves he is the only choice for Hellboy, and his deadpan delivery is amusing in itself as well as emphasizing some of Hellboy's actions.

This dvd is fully loaded. Lots of featurettes, audio commentary, and footage taken from the panel at the San Diego comic-con. With the first release, Hellboy blows away all previous DTV efforts from Disney, Marvel, and Warner Bros.

I recommend this to anyone in search of a good comic book story with sharp writing and good animation. Truly fills the gap left open by the departure of Justice League Unlimited, and is far better than the recent Marvel efforts.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent adaptation of Mike Mignola's Comic, February 19, 2007
By 
H. A Huffman "haumf" (Mt. Prospect, IL USA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Hellboy: Sword of Storms (Animated) (DVD)
Usually, these direct-to-video animated comic adaptations are pretty bad, but this one is great. It has an involving story and decent animation. It is NOT a watered-down version of a story taken from the comic; although it is not as bloody as the comic but that was to be expected.

Well worth your time and $$$.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful animation and plot, February 18, 2007
This review is from: Hellboy: Sword of Storms (Animated) (DVD)
I was really surprised by this. After watching so many bad Marvel animated films (the avengers/iron man), it was refreshing to see a good plot, nice flow, and excellent stylized animation.

Wonderful. I can't wait to see the next one.
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12 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "Ugh! I was breathing your burps?", December 31, 2006
By 
H. Bala "Me Too Can Read" (Recently moved back to Carson, California, or as I call it... the center of the universe) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Hellboy: Sword of Storms (Animated) (DVD)
HELLBOY: SWORD OF STORMS is the first of two (so far) animated Hellboy films; it debuted on the Cartoon Network on October 28, 2006. The second animated offering, HELLBOY: BLOOD AND IRON, is slated to air in 2007. For those not in the know, Hellboy is a very popular and successful Dark Horse comic book character conceived, written, and illustrated by long time comic book artist Mike Mignola. HELLBOY: SWORD OF STORMS is not a follow up film to the live action HELLBOY, but, instead, bears a closer similarity to the comic book version. Here, for example, Hellboy and Liz do not have a romantic relationship and Abe Sapien is not psychic. However, pertinent cast members from the live action movie do lend their voices to this animated effort, with the exception of the film-uncredited David Hyde Pierce, who had originally voiced over Doug Jones's Abe Sapien role. Here, Doug Jones gets a chance to do his own vocal work, and he doesn't suck.

Some more background for the casual viewer: Hellboy, a baby demon summoned to Earth by Nazi occultists in 1944 - during WW2's final days - and subsequently adopted and raised by the U.S. Army from infanthood on, is one of the good guys. Hellboy makes a powerful ally as his demonic origins equip him with superhuman strength, near invulnerability, an immunity to fire, and a gigantic stone hand (called the Right Hand of Doom, which is prophesied to be instrumental in bringing about the Apocalypse; but that's got nothing to do with this film). Hence, the big coat-wearing, big gun toting, now mature Hellboy has become the primary agent of the U.S. Bureau of Paranormal Research and Defense, an entity dedicated to defending humanity from supernatural threats. Which now brings us to HELLBOY: SWORD OF STORMS.

SPOILERS ALERT: When a Japanese folklore expert reads and is possessed by a mystical scroll, the B.P.R.D. sends Hellboy and a team of agents to Japan to look into things. They quickly learn that the possessed professor and a certain enchanted sword are the keys to unleashing the Storm Demons, Thunder and Lightning, who, in turn, upon release, will summon their brothers, the Dragons, to lay waste to the world. During the course of the investigation, Hellboy chances upon the sword, picks it up, and is instantly transported to the horrific fairy-tale world of Japanese mythology, where folklore legends are real and mostly...not very welcoming.

Meanwhile, the team members back home press on and attempt to locate the possessed professor. They are also encumbered with their own challenges (the aforementioned professor now effecting meteorological mishaps, an implacable sea leviathan, and animated furniture which would horrify the Disney empire). In the end, of course, the fate of the world is left in the mismatched hands of Hellboy. However, he faces a perplexing quandary as he learns that, to get back home, the Sword of Storms must be shattered, but that the same act will cause the demons Thunder and Lightning to be freed into our world.

Creator Mike Mignola's storytelling leans heavily on the horror aspects of worldwide folklore and mythology. In fact, he revels in it. This time out, he delves deep into Japanese folklore as he has his hero facing off against the Rokurokubi (human-looking creatures who can elongate their necks), a Gataro (the cucumber-loving, shelled water demon), a Tsuchigumo (the arachnid woman), a group of Nukekubi (human-appearing monsters, who, at night, are able to detach their heads from their bodies), and your generic Oni (your basic demon or ogre). Hellboy, by the way, has already had a prior encounter with the Nukekubi (in a story titled "Heads") as evidenced by his decisive actions in dealing with them here. The only supernatural being who, on the surface, doesn't seem to have it in against Hellboy is the kitsune, an intelligent fox who imparts advice to our demon protagonist. HERE ENDETH THE SPOILERS.

Those who've experienced Hellboy only thru the live action movie have been missing out on some great, distinctive art by Mike Mignola; viewers are urged to check out Dark Horse's various Hellboy releases (in particular, HELLBOY: SEED OF DESTRUCTION, the initial Hellboy graphic novel). With his minimalist style, prodigious use of the color black and his propensity for heavy shadows in juxtaposition with the more vivid hues, Mignola excels in establishing a dark, atmospheric universe for his hero, with a design steeped in steampunk technology and Gothic visuals. Unfortunately, Mignola's artwork isn't fully translated to this film. While the color palette here is somewhat and sometimes reminiscent of Milogna's preferences, there are several sequences where the design and the look stray from Mignola's stark and brooding artistic renderings; at times, it even has a tendency to more closely resemble the JACKIE CHAN ADVENTURES in its style and sensibilities. Not that that's a bad thing; it just isn't Mike Mignola art. I don't mean to quibble but I was hoping to be exposed to a cohesive animation done up ala Mignola; instead, I only get glimpses. Just, more darkness next time, please.

The voice actors do a decent job. Ron Perlman is invaluable as the taciturn Hellboy, whose battle cry seems to be, "Oh, crap." Selma Blair returns vocally as Liz Sherman, who still doesn't have full confidence in her pyrokinetic gifts. I've gotta say that Liz's cartoon incarnation doesn't look at all like Selma Blair, but, it's no big deal. Doug Jones as the amphibian Abe Sapien does a good job mimicking David Hyde Pierce's verbal mannerisms, while Peri Gilpin comes on to the series as Professor Kate Corrigan.

Based on HELLBOY: SWORD OF STORMS, I'm looking forward to HELLBOY: BLOOD AND IRON. Come to think of it, I also can't wait 'til the second feature film comes out. While SWORD OF STORMS does suffer from an unexceptional, straight-forward plot and a lack of character-driven moments (one exception is the underwater scene between Liz and Abe and their interaction afterwards), the viewer does become privy to plenty of demon-slaying action and a lesson in Japanese folklore. So, while I think it's pretty cool, it doesn't really resonate within me on an emotional level. But, hey, let's not go further down that path. The Hellboy franchise will always be more of a visual vehicle than a stage for the touchy-feelies. So, if you get kicks out of watching Lovecraftian monsters, a no-nonsense hero demon armed with a friggin' gynormous gun, and superpowered misfits all wrapped up in a nice Gothic/pulp adventure package, then Hellboy is right up your alley. Three and a half stars for this one. Oh, and if you're gonna check out HELLBOY: SWORD OF STORMS, then you might as well also get the excellent AMAZING SCREW-ON HEAD, also by Mike Mignola.
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12 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The World Needs Heroes, February 5, 2007
By 
R. J Rey (Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Hellboy: Sword of Storms (Animated) (DVD)
The world's greatest paranormal detective continues his battle against the forces of evil in "Hellboy: Sword of Storms". When a university professor of mythology opens an old forbidden scroll and becomes possessed by ancient Japanese demons, the secretive Bureau of Paranormal Research and Defense sends Hellboy and a team of agents to Japan to investigate. While examining the crime scene, Hellboy discovers a cursed samurai sword and is transported to a supernatural dimension of Japanese folklore. From comic book creator Mike Mignola and director Guillermo Del Toro, "Hellboy: Sword of Storms" is a very entertaining animated adventure that fans of the comic book hero Hellboy will certainly get quite a kick out of it. An engaging storyline, stylized animation, cool action sequences and Ron Perlman's outstanding voice talents highlight this well produced extension of the "Hellboy" franchise. The voice cast also includes Selma Blair, Doug Jones and Peri Gilpin.

"Hellboy: Sword of Storms" is a truly excellent DVD. The animated feature is presented in a 1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen format. The DVD contains a rich and colorful video transfer and a great 5.1 Dolby Digital sound. The DVD is also packed with an insightful audio commentary with Hellboy creator Mike Mignola and production crew, three short but informative behind-the-scenes featurettes (To Hell and Back, A New Breed & Conquering Hellboy), a 42-minute Comic-Con panel discussion, four trailers and colorful interactive menus. Overall, "Hellboy: Sword of Storms" scores a worthy "B".
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good in a different way, February 8, 2007
This review is from: Hellboy: Sword of Storms (Animated) (DVD)
I liked it. It was a bit manga, but the theme of the episode is Japanese, so it can be expected. I was expecting more of a "Batman the animated series" look but it was more "Jackie Chan adventures". The story is good and the action fast. It isn't for kids, as the language is in the pg area. "Hey dumb-a**, now I'm pis**d" and there's also a lot of decapitaion, violence and cartoon killing like a lot of manga. It feels a little like ninja scroll in the quest with the sword and the many monster trials he faces to get to the climax. I look forward to the second installment and a more familiar hellboy setting.

One weird thing about the dvd, every time a monster is about to attack, a computer generated fox shows up in the bottom right corner of the screen. Anyone know what the deal is with that?
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Terrific animated spin-off movie!, March 6, 2007
By 
John Lindsey "John" (Socorro, New Mexico USA.) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Hellboy: Sword of Storms (Animated) (DVD)
Hellboy (Ron Perlman) with his friends Liz Sherman (Selma Blair) and Abe Sapien (Doug Jones) are sent to Japan to investigate after a professor accidently unleashes an old curse involving two powerful demons of lightning and thunder. Hellboy however picks up a special sword that sends him on a weird trip where he meets and fights weird monsters while Liz and Abe go off to fight a monstrous dragon for he must return back to the real world to fight the real monsters.

The first animated spin-off movie from the popular underground comic character Hellboy does justice to both the comics and the movie! Guillermo Del Toro (director of the first movie) and Mike Mignola (creator of "Hellboy") serve as producers of the film. The animation is quite anime-ish yet works and so does the storyline, this could almost be superior to the Marvel animated movies and is highly recommend for fans of comics, Hellboy and animation alike.

This DVD has very good extras such as audio commentary, trailers especially to the next animated movie, and five featurettes.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Hellboy vs. Japan, November 2, 2007
This review is from: Hellboy: Sword of Storms (Animated) (DVD)
Hellboy serves up exactly what I love. Creator Mike Mignola pits his gruff red giant against a magical mystery tour of the world's dark realm of gods and monsters, delving deep into authentic folklore and legends, serving up a concoction that is part scholarly research, part Gothic horror, and full-on balls-out entertainment. The problem comes when transferring a creation that is such a singular vision of its creator, with a unique art-style and atmosphere, into a fluid medium. It is rarely going to be a complete success, and the best attempts come when the animation team brings something new to the character, something that couldn't be achieved within the confines of the printed page.

"Hellboy: Sword of Storms" attempts to strike a balance between the "Hellboy" movie, which was a decent adaptation, and the original comic. Most of the original cast has been brought in for the voices, which is a real coupe as they are already familiar with the characters. That makes a nice grounding point for the audience as well, as there are no shocks or disappointments when they start speaking. The animation could have been a little stronger, and shows the influence of Paul Dini's now-familiar "The Animated Series" style that most comic animations follow. In the DVD extras, it is revealed that the animators wanted to use the actual look of Mignola's art-style, but they were contractually forbidden to do so, which is a bit of a shame.

For the storyline, Hellboy is sent against the invisible realms of Japanese mythology, attempting to return back to the physical world while retaining possession of the Sword of Storms, a mystical samurai sword, and thus save the world. As usual, the monsters are all authentic creatures from Japan, including the gods of Thunder and Lightning. He takes on a kappa, an oni, a joroguma, rokurokubi and the collection of nukekubi that was adapted from the Mignola story "Heads". Even with the deviations in the visual style, the story is pure Hellboy, and it is great to see it animated. I do miss the subtlety of the comic, with the tiny background details that manifest the atmosphere, but even without that I would call this a successful adaptation.

The DVD extras are a real boost as well, with interviews with Mignola detailing the creation of Hellboy, and even more fascinating are interviews with the director and animation team explaining the choices they made when transferring the comic to moving pictures. Its makes one a little more forgiving when you realize the compromises that had to be made, and they they did their best to retain the integrity of the work of art they all adore.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars I Think I'm Turning Japanese, I Really Think So..., October 21, 2007
By 
TorridlyBoredShopper "T(to the)B(to the)S" ("Daddy Dagon's Daycare" - Proud Sponsor of the Little Tendril Baseball Team, USA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Hellboy: Sword of Storms (Animated) (DVD)
The animated tales of Hellboy, brought first to television by Cartoon Network and then to DVD by Anchor Bay, follow Hellboy and his friends in the B.P.R.D. through a few more days at the office. Sword of Storms begins with the acquisition of a little something on the origins of something really terrible, connects the dots with a wonderful sword and a nice little demon that has an interesting tale empowering it all, and ends with - well, that would spoil all the fun. It incorporates the minds behind the Hellboy movie, looks into the mind behind the character, and gives a good animation team a great project and a nice little tale of Japanese conundrums. The tale is a good one in my mind, too; if you follow Hellboy and like the design of the work that Mignola and others have put into the unique storytelling Hellboy often encounters then this is something of a nice trip. It is different in some ways when you add in a carton appeal, but Hellboy has always adapted quite well and does so here as well.

The one thing I have to say about Hellboy is that you know something like this never leads to any type of horrible conclusion. The main pieces of the puzzle never fall to the wayside, the evil elements are always a little on the oddity side of the spectrum, and some of the pieces are just there to be a bit strange. Still, this is Mignola working on the film so you know it will have good composition, something to say on the horror that is the "it" in our tale of twisted time, and it will be enjoyable.
When you add the fact that you do not have to watch commercials into the equation it makes it A LOT better. I actually bought it because I couldn't stand the disruption that those brought and was glad I did so.

If you expect something really dark, you might be a tad disappointed. It is a cartoon and, despite what can be done with cartoons, it is slightly toned down. It still has the twisted mind of Mignola, though, and that makes the watch pleasing. So, if you like Hellboy, this might be something for you. It has a fairytale quality (with Hellboy punching it now and again) and makes for a light audio-visual lunch.
Also, pick up Hellboy: Blood and Iron and The Amazing Screw-On Head if Mignola-based material is something you want/ need on DVD.
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Hellboy: Sword of Storms (Animated)
Hellboy: Sword of Storms (Animated) by Phil Weinstein (DVD - 2007)
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