×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Hellboy Animated: Blood and Iron

Making a pit stop at Cartoon Network en route to DVD release, this second animated movie based on the comic-character-turned-movie franchise "Hellboy" boasts the feature's stars among its voice cast but proves a trifle slow-going and tame for the blood-and-guts audience, displaying animation only slightly better than the average Saturday morning 'toon.

With:
Voice cast:
Hellboy - Ron Perlman Liz Sherman - Selma Blair Abe Sapien - Doug Jones Professor Broom - John Hurt Professor Kate Corrigan - Peri Gilpin

Making a pit stop at Cartoon Network en route to DVD release, this second animated movie based on the comic-character-turned-movie franchise “Hellboy” boasts the feature’s stars among its voice cast but proves a trifle slow-going and tame for the blood-and-guts audience, displaying animation only slightly better than the average Saturday morning ‘toon. A mundane plot about a risen vampire doesn’t help matters, but foremost this 80-minute pic doesn’t fully exploit animation’s principal advantage — namely, to showcase the sort of action and f/x that would be cost prohibitive in the live-action arena.

Marvel has actually done a laudable job in that regard with its “Ultimate Avengers” direct-to-DVD animation, which would cost about $300 million to put on screen. By contrast, after an opening skirmish, “Hellboy” drags for an extended stretch before a final “Biff! Whap! Pow!” battle that’s less exciting than it should be.

For those who missed the movie or comics, Hellboy (Ron Perlman) is a demon who was summoned to Earth as a baby in 1944 and raised to fight evil by Professor Broom (John Hurt). With his hulking physique and enormous strength, he’s the center of the Bureau for Paranormal Research and Defense, and generally quite blasé about the various otherworldly perils that he has to dispatch.

In this case, the challenge involves a female vampire who has camped out in the hotel of a Donald Trump-like figure, sucking the blood of young women to restore and maintain her youth, which qualifies her to serve as a judge on the CW’s new “Pussycat Dolls” talent search. Having been slain by the professor years earlier, she’s now in league with an ancient goddess, which leads to a lot of portentous dialogue.

As constructed, though, the tone lands in a nether-realm where such material generally dies — too scary for little kids, and not engaging or clever enough for older kids, teens and young guys.

Strictly from a marketing perspective, it’s clever to feed the appetite for such characters with animation between or beyond live-action movies, and there’s reason to believe a small core audience will ante up, making such ventures economically viable. In general, though, the storytelling will have to be more compelling than this to avoid a one-way ticket back to Hell.

Hellboy Animated: Blood and Iron

Cartoon Network, Sat. March 17, 7 p.m.

Production: Produced by Film Roman and presented by Starz Media in association with Revolution Studios. Executive producers, Lawrence Gordon, Lloyd Levin, Mike Richardson, Stephen Brown, Morris Berger, John W. Hyde; supervising producer, Tad Stones; creative producers, Guillermo del Toro, Mike Mignola.

Crew: Animation producer, Stephanie Elliott; directors, Stones, Victor Cook; writer, Kevin Hopps; story by Mignola, Stones; music, Christopher Drake. Running time: 120 MIN.

With: Voice cast:
Hellboy - Ron Perlman Liz Sherman - Selma Blair Abe Sapien - Doug Jones Professor Broom - John Hurt Professor Kate Corrigan - Peri Gilpin

More Film

  • Ventana Sur Animation Panel Focuses On

    Ricardo Cortes Vera Talks Audience-Driven Content at Ventana Sur

    BUENOS AIRES, Argentina — Ricardo Cortes Vera, commissioning editor for Señal Colombia, introduced the audience-driven children’s content his company is renowned for in hopes of encouraging a crowd of animators into submitting their own work to the channel. He did so in a keynote address given Tuesday afternoon in Buenos Aires, at the Animation! strand [...]

  • Films by Francois Ozon, Fatih Akin

    New Films by Francois Ozon, Fatih Akin to Compete at Berlin Film Festival

    New films by Francois Ozon, Fatih Akin and Denis Cote are among the titles that will compete for the Golden Bear at the upcoming Berlin Film Festival, which announced its first batch of films Thursday. German director Akin’s “Der Goldene Handschuh” (“The Golden Glove”) and French helmer Ozon’s “Grâce à dieu” (“By the Grace of [...]

  • Picture Tree Sells Berlin Competition Film

    Picture Tree Sells Berlin Competition Title 'The Ground Beneath My Feet'

    Picture Tree Intl. is on board as the sales agent for “The Ground Beneath My Feet” (Der Boden Unter Den Füssen), which the Berlin Film Festival revealed Thursday will be in its main competition section. The Austrian drama, directed by Marie Kreutzer, stars Valerie Pachner, Mavie Hörbiger and Pia Hierzegger. The film centers on high-powered [...]

  • Katherine Jerkovic on FiGa Films-Sold Debut

    Ventana Sur: Katherine Jerkovic On Personal References, Icebergs, and Whispered Truths

    Canada-born with roots in Uruguay, Croatia and Argentina, Katherine Jerkovic split her childhood between Belgium and Uruguay. At 18, she settled in Montreal and studied film at Concordia University. After a few shorts (“The Winter’s Keeper”) and some video-installations, she has finished her first feature, “Roads in February.” The film is a co-production between Nicolas [...]

  • 1844 Ent, Distrib Films To Release

    1844 Ent. Acquires North America on Alejandro Fadel’s ‘Murder Me, Monster’ (EXCLUSIVE)

    BUENOS AIRES — 1844 Entertainment, an emerging player on the U.S. distribution scene, has acquired North American rights to Argentine writer-director Alejandro Fadel’s “Muere monstruo muere” (“Murder Me, Monster”), sold by The Match Factory.      The deal was negotiated by 1844 Entertainment’s Tommaso Cerqueglini, The Match Factory’s Michael Weber and Thania Dimitrakopoulou.   As [...]

  • Lucas (Jonah Hauer-King) and Bella (Amber)

    China's Bona Film Boards Brad Pitt's 'Ad Astra,' 'A Dog's Way Home' (EXCLUSIVE)

    China’s Bona Film Group is co-financing Brad Pitt space adventure “Ad Astra,” one of several films in a strong slate of international movies the company plans to release in the Middle Kingdom over the next year. Bona has also acquired Roland Emmerich’s war spectacular “Midway” and is investing in “A Dog’s Way Home,” the sequel [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content