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3.5 out of 5 stars
3.5 out of 5 stars
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on 9 August 2017
awesome dvd hellboy kicks ass 10/10 A+
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on 3 June 2007
I saw the film and liked it, although Hellboy did battle the doggy(s) a few too many times. Then I saw this DVD and bought it on the strength of the film.

I liked a lot of the elements of this DVD such as the musical score, use of mythology and particularly using the actors from the film - fantastic voices.

I thought the animation could have been of better quality (I really mean the frame rate), but I guess this puts costs up. The CGI of the clouds in the storm towards the end was bad, but many other things were fantastic (plane crash, many of the big baddies, the heads).

I gather they could not use the drawings from the original comics so had to come up with a new look for the characters. I quite liked the new shapes of the characters, although I guess it will not be to everyone's taste. After about 10 minutes I found myself drawn into the story and semi-forgot it was a cartoon.

Did I say I really loved the music/score/sound effects and how they meshed with the film?

A bit more character development, plot intricacy and quality for the cartooning and I would give it 5 stars, but I do like cartoons.
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Japanese folklore is rich with monsters and demons... so it seems appropriate that Hellboy would encounter one or two along his way.

And the animated spinoff movie "Hellboy: Sword of Storms" does a decent enough job ushering some fun Japanese goblins and monsters into Mike Mignola's world. The entire storyline is rather straightforward and bogged down by a tepid tragic-love-story-from-the-past that putters out, but Hellboy's adventures in a menacing Wonderland and the attacking dragons make for a good adventure story.

First off: the team ventures into a green, slimy, root-filled underground temple, where they must battle an ancient bat-deity and a small army of Aztec mummies. Then to the main plot -- a history professor receives an ancient scroll that tells the story of the demonic brothers Thunder and Lightning, and a doomed love between a princess and a young samurai. And when the professor finds the samurai's sword -- surprise! -- he gets possessed by the demons.

But when the BPRD is called in, Hellboy touches the sword as well -- and is sucked into a bizarre otherworld full of monsters, ghosts and magical creatures. In the meantime, Abe and Liz are caught in a typhoon that strands them in the middle of nowhere -- and it turns out that dragons are on the way. To save human civilization, Hellboy must not only escape from the otherworld of Japenese legend, but also deal with the demons and some tragic ghosts....

"Hellboy: Sword of Storms" is not quite the twisty, mysterious tale that its sister story "Blood and Iron" is: it's a pretty straightforward action/fantasy story of monstrous creatures about to be unleashed on the world, and a rather sentimental ghostly "Romeo and Juliet" tale. The latter is the weakest part of the entire movie, actually -- none of the ghosts are very interesting, and the climax of their subplot just sputters out and dissolves like a wet firecracker.

Fortunately the rest of the story is more entertaining -- lots of thunderstorms, very angry dragons, and Hellboy's rather peeved journey through a very creepy world of Japanese legend. Bouncing-head goblins, a vicious kappa ("He really likes cucumbers... WHAT IS YOUR NAME?!"), an eerie spider-woman who spins bloodied threads on an instrument, and a fox that has a knack for turning into a wise old lady all make appearances, and most of them end up at the wrong end of Hellboy's stone fist.

Of note: The head-goblins actually are from a Mike Mignola short story that goes the same way, but the writers managed to sneak in a few other references to Mignola's comics (including Katie rambling about a mythic king and his berserker warriors).

Ron Perlman's vocals make this Hellboy absolutely perfect -- he's sarcastic but good-hearted ("You're lucky we let you be seen with us!"), while Doug Jones is excellent as the resourceful, mellow fish-man Abe. Selma Blair has some trouble (which she admits, if you watch the making-of featurette) making Liz sound lively, but after some initial rockiness she does manage it. And the animation is pretty good stuff -- the jewel-toned landscapes of Japanese legend have a bad habit of turning into spooky nightmares.

"Hellboy: Sword of Storms" suffers somewhat from a padded ghostly-romance subplot, but the rest of it is a solid, straightforward tale of Japanese folklore and the occasional cursed sword. Worthwhile spinoff.
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on 26 August 2011
Fairly quirky, sometimes amusing and occasionally hard edged as western animation goes, this is ultimately an unsatisfying and very forgettable experience. Not as successful as its stablemate, Blood and Iron.
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VINE VOICEon 11 July 2007
Having read the comics and seen the film, I can safely say that the cartoon isn't quite what I was expecting. But in another way, I guess it was. In the same way that the Real Ghostbusters cartoon took the source material of the film and skewed it, giving Egon a Billy Idol hairdo, and gave Venkman the voice of Garfield (ironically, Lorenzo Music being replaced by Bill Murray as the voice of the big screen Garfield) so this cartoon seems to be based on the film, rather than the comics (which is fair enough, I guess), but with designs and alterations that fit a more kid-friendly demographic.

I can't quite understand why, when they go with such a strong stylisation of the characters, they didn't simply adopt Mignola's designs. Or maybe I do, the swamping with atmospheric shadows that is Mignola's trademark probably wouldn't come off that well and the design on Liz Sherman makes her look even younger than she did in the film presumably to make her the identification point for kids. Except that she is so aggressive and sullen it's hard to like her. I could accept that, but for a cartoon film, the animation doesn't stand up to what you get in the average episode of Futurama. It isn't very smooth and took me out of the narrative at a couple of points.

The story is pretty good, and standard Hellboy stuff, and the ending a bit different to what you'd usually get in American cartoons. Ron Perlman continues to be the perfect voice for Hellboy and it's nice to see Kate (as portrayed by Peri Gilpin) making her debut outside the comics. Japanese demons threaten to destroy the world and Hellboy wanders through a Japanese dream world of myths and folklore. It's not been done in the comics and is good fun. But it does lack the doomladen atmosphere of the comics and isn't as stylish as the live action film.

So to sum up, it wasn't what I was expecting, and I guess it's the sort of thing where had it been likely to be on telly I would have just watched it for free rather than shelling out for the DVD. But I still think it has entertainment value. But please please please people that animated it, try a bit harder next time.
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on 13 September 2011
HI I added this to my collection as i have all the live action HELLBOYS and the feature is good but the extras take or leave them, any way not bad.
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on 18 May 2008
My expectations were set pretty low after reading the under-whelmed responses here and elsewhere to this first animated outing for the Right Hand Doom himself- the mighty Hellboy. But having now watched it for myself, I really don't believe the average three-star rating is warranted, not considering how well the writers, producer and director have managed to deliver the flavour of the original comic books, whilst still incorporating the fantastic atmosphere of the film version. I really did enjoy `Sword of Storms'. It's a solid adventure yarn that comes alive thanks to pitch-perfect voice-acting, characters the viewer already has an affinity for and a story that explores a selection of intriguing Japanese folktales complete with a vast array of off-the-wall & elaborately detailed monsters.

Christopher Drake does a great job with the score, although when his (undeniably excellent) version of Marco Beltrami's atmospheric film theme kicks in, the epic quality of the theme can't really impress when used to punctuate the (admittedly) run-of-the-mill story. So the only thing I'd wish for in the next chapter `Blood and Iron' is for the writers to take more chances with the plot and be a bit braver with putting characters in jeopardy.

There's a wealth of special features to enjoy on this DVD too, mini documentaries covering every creative aspect from script to screen. I especially liked hearing what the actors had to say about the art of voice acting and how they found the experience differs from that of live-action. But in truth a four-star rating is most deserved if only for the occasions when Hellboy -with typically perfect timely- remarks sardonically "Oh crap".

P.S. Be sure to get yourself an exclusive version of this DVD i.e. with a comic book, unique sleeve or other special feature. There are lots on the market on various online stores for around the same price, so you needn't settle for the basic version.
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VINE VOICEon 26 March 2009
Wasn't sure what to expect from this - it lurches from dull to interesting and back again, the most interesting part of the story being the Japanese 'Heads' short story from the comics incorporated into the plot at one point. Unfortunately the whole film is let down by the lousy animation. It's of the bog standard, cheap saturday morning kids tv variety, knocked out as quickly and for as little money as possible. Which makes it all the more galling that most of the extras consist of all those involved (including Mike Mignola) raving about how beautiful and groundbreaking the animation is.

Well, it ain't.

This isn't a patch on either of the Hellboy films, and certainly not the original comics. While there were some parts that I enjoyed, I doubt I'll ever bother watching it again. Shame.
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on 21 June 2007
I love this movie it is really great my one complaint is that it is far to short, but everything else is great from the story and use of japanese mythology, the music is also great very atmospheric a lot of people may complain that the look of the animation is not based on the art of mike mignola but that doesn't matter it still looks great and it's still hellboy... buy this movie you'll be glad you did
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on 13 September 2008
I enjoyed this very much. Good story great characters.
The style has not been ripped from Mike Mignolas comic books but this is no bad thing, infact this is intentional. The style is pretty much Anime but with a little style of it's own.
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