Monday, February 1, 2010

Dante's Inferno: An Animated Epic review

Animation is weird to review.

More then any other style of entertainment, I find reviewing and critiquing animation becomes very subjective. Essentially it boils down to the content and the art style.

Let's take the DC Universe style of animation for instance. As listeners of the TATANS podcast know, I love the DCU style and have ever since Batman: The Animated Series. My co-host, Adam, doesn't like it at all. He likes the writing and the stories but doesn't like the over all design and look of the cartoon.

Which brings us to Anchor Bay's latest animated offering, Dante's Inferno: An Animated Epic.

Based on the video game that's loosely based on the first part Dante's Divine Comedy.

Very loosely.

Story wise, Dante's Inferno is pretty decent. We follow crusader knight, Dante as he goes through the various circles of Hell in order to get his beloved Beatrice away from Lucifer.

Dante does this while wielding a huge scythe. Huge. Like Ryu Haybusa would be proud of this sucker.

Dante does this while slaughtering demons and confronting his sins.

Overall a pretty decent plot. The only part that I didn't like story wise was a bit of the dialogue.

Here's a preview of what you hear a lot.

Dante: "BEATRICE!"

Beatrice: "DANTE!"

Dante: "BEATRICE!"

Beatrice: "DANTE!"

That happens a lot.

Voice overs include Graham McTavish (who I love in Rambo) as Dante and a nerd favorite, Mark Hamill as Dante's dad. The voices are pretty good as is the overall sound design.

And then there is the animation.

Dante's Inferno is another in the parade of animated films that uses different Japanese animation studio per story chapter. We've seen this before in things like The Animatrix and Batman: Gotham Knight.

And much like those previous mentioned features, Dante's Inferno is a bit of a mixed bag but I will say that due to the nature of going through various circles of Hell, it does work a bit better the Gotham Knights did but not as well as The Animatrix. My favorite segment is probably the last battle between Lucifer and Dante, great animation work, good action. it worth buying?

I would give this a definite rent with a maybe to buy. The story is decent the animation is good, the voice over work and sound are great but there seems to be something a little lacking.

We will have another review of this dvd later in conjunction with a review of the video game from Guesthole Evan Fraser.

Dante's Inferno: An Animated Epic is available on February 9th on DVD and Blu Ray from Anchor Bay Entertainment.

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