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Amusing Openings For Animated Hellboy

Hellboy makes his debut on the small screen as part of Cartoon Network’s deal to air both planned Hellboy Direct To DVD movies this year and next. Direct To DVD has recently become a haven for animation fans as the state of Saturday morning usually leaves much to be desired as most of the people reading this simply don’t fit into the demographics the networks aim for.

Smoked demonWe’ve been treated to several high quality direct to DVD offerings over the past year or so, including The Batman Vs Dracula, The Ultimate Avengers and Teen Titans: Trouble In Toyko and Hellboy: Sword Of Storms certainly lives up to the quality of said features. It doesn’t quite match the brilliance of Batman Beyond: Return Of The Joker, but nothing has, in my opinion (although I do have high hopes for the upcoming The Invincible Iron Man DTV in January.)

For those not familiar with Hellboy, as I wasn’t before I sat down and watched the feature, the story goes as follows. A demon from hell raised by ‘normal’ people from Earth, Hellboy, as he was dubbed, works for the Paranormal Defence Unit and protects the world from all the weird, evil creatures that plague the world. The character is from one of the quirkier comic books on the rack and thankfully that quirkiness is presented in spades here. As much as I love seeing big guys beating the tar out of demons in beautifully staged, excellently animated fights I found the best part of this movie to be it’s humour. Hellboy’s hilarious response to whatever was thrown at him had me laughing constantly, especially his would-be catchphrase of “Crap”. The other characters in the feature weren’t quite as interesting as red himself, but to be honest, I didn’t much care – this was simply great fun from start to finish.

Creepy koto ladyAs said previously, visually, the feature is very nice. Whilst some Mignola fans are no doubt turned off by an unfamiliar style of their heroic devil, I personally thought the film looked really sharp. This was emphasised by some great backgrounds and lovely animation by DR Movie and Madhouse Studios. The casting helped, as Ron Perlman reprises his role from the recent live-action movie, and, as always, he was simply excellent in the role. He sounded tough when he was calling two gigantic Japanese gods dumb asses and hilarious when spouting the previously mentioned “Crap” line. Everyone else was fine in their roles, but once again, Hellboy himself stole the show.

Overall, the movie isn’t one I’d probably watch over and over again but that DVD will surely tempt me come February and I’d defiantly watch it if it were to turn into a weekly series. I’m already looking forward to seeing the sequel due to air next year. Whilst I’m sure Hellboy marks will get a huge thrill from this, for the rest of us, sit back, relax and enjoy one of the quirkiest cartoons you’ll probably ever see.

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