As you guys probably already know, we often get screeners to upcoming comic book animated movies from Warner Brothers and Lionsgate here at Comic Vine. With all the crazy excitement of the live-action Thor, Tony and I decided to do a combined review of the new 'Thor: Tales of Asgard' animated film from Marvel Entertainment and Lionsgate.
Tony: Lionsgate is releasing what most likely will be their final Marvel direct-to-video animated film now that Disney owns Marvel. I've enjoyed the movies in the past but I feel this is one that should have come out earlier. I could be wrong but I thought this project was announced shortly after Hulk Vs. was released.
Sara: I agree with Tony here. 'Thor: Tales of Asgard' does indeed feel like it should have been released prior to Marvel Studios' latest motion picture, the live action Thor movie. My greatest concern is that the release of this animated film will be overshadowed by the release of the the live-action Marvel movie, which opened well over a week prior on Friday, May 6th.== TEASER ==
Tony: It's a good movie but I can't say I was as impressed as I was with their past films. It's an interesting choice to see the adventures of young Thor and Loki (back when they got along). We also see some great characterization in the Warriors Three, something that would have been great to see in the live action Thor film. For me, the star was Sif. Her portrayal was superb. It was a shame she couldn't have more screen time.
Sara: It's hard for me to compare this film with the live-action Thor movie because this one is definitely targeted toward a younger audience- and that's really, in essence, one of the good things about it. If you feel like (as a parent) you can't (for whatever reason) take your child to see the new Thor film, you will likely have no problem letting them see this film. While there is definitely violence, it certainly isn't gratuitous. The plot is not really heavy, either, and the audience will find a turn of events they likely did not see coming, but that nonetheless will definitely be able to appreciate. I also liked Sif's character a lot in this (even if I wasn't crazy about the very last scene in the film) and thought actress Tara Strong was perfect for her voice casting.
Tony: The main problem I have with this, and it might be a little unfair, is the timing of the release. It makes total sense that it would be released so closely to the live action Thor but it might have been better if it was released before. I may be nit-picking by there are too many similarities and conflicting points between this movie and the live action one. What surprises me about that is the fact that Craig Kyle, whom I have deep respect for, was very involved with both.
Sara: This story is pretty far removed from what Thor fans have read in the comics; inspired maybe, but certainly not the same- and that's not necessarily a bad thing. Personally, I had a tough time determining how old Thor and Loki were supposed to be. Actor Matthew Wolf, the voice of Thor, has a very deep and brooding voice,; yet the character was drawn as a thin and lanky teenager. I've met teenagers with deep voices, but this was too much. There were also parts of the plot that left me rather confused. There were portions of the story's plot that I felt might be hard for someone new to Thor's mythology to fully grasp. For example, the "sword of Surtur" was very important to the plot, but the audience might not understand it's importance or even know what it is until half-way through the story. Although the Warriors Three got a lot of screen time, they weren't incredibly likeable characters and I could take or leave them.
Tony: Both movies involved Thor being brash and arrogant. Both movies involved fighting the Frost Giants. What doesn't mesh is these interpretations can't both happen. I know, I know, they're different mediums. One is live action and one is animated. It's just like things are different in the comics. It's because they're released so closely together that it bothers me. This is something that even my seven-year-old daughter picked up on. What she came up with was, "Maybe they forgot this happened in the [live action] movie."
It was fun and entertaining. My daughter enjoyed it. I just don't really feel compelled to watch it again anytime soon.
Sara: The film was fun, but somewhat forgettable. Marvel made a mistake releasing this animated film after the release of their live action film- particularly when both movies use a very similar plot. It's fun to watch, was just entertaining enough, but I wouldn't want it on Blue-Ray.