I am thrilled by the fact that Marvel and DC are releasing old school animation feature films! It’s nice that they have decided to keep that style alive and even try to recreate current comic books arcs into mini movies. The reality to this however is that they really aren’t doing the stories too much justice. Which seems to be the case again with Marvel’s newest animated movie that was released this last tuesday: Planet Hulk.
First off I must say that aside from the Hulk vs. Wolverine cartoon (which was pretty amazing) most of their animated efforts have been pretty uninspiring. The animation really is not much better than a saturday morning cartoon. Which in the end I guess is totally fine since I am a huge fan of some pretty poorly animated saturday morning cartoons. I guess I really expect a bit more from Marvel being the money generator is its today. I would expect these cartoons to be some of the BEST animation to hit the market. I think that the stills look pretty good but the characters actual robotic movements leave little to be desired. How hard would it be to simply add more frames and little more detail to give us something truely epic? Come on Marvel step up to the plate!
Don’t get me wrong I did enjoy watching Planet Hulk and for the most part the story loosely covers his time on Sakaar albeit very quickly. They kinda skimped on the intro too as they perhaps could have given a little more insight on the people who banished him and given a little more insight the reasons why Banner was on the spaceship that takes him to Sakaar in the first place. Another thing that confuses me at times in the comics and here as well is when The Hulk suddenly has an intellegent mind that is clearly not Banner’s. What triggers this shift anyway? I know Banner only makes a small appearance in the Planet Hulk comic arc but it would have been pretty awesome to include him here in this story if only a small part as well.
Most of the characters from the comic arc were represented pretty well visually at least. It’s just that everything happens so quickly you barely get to know them. Many major plot points were left out but what can you expect from a movie that’s actual story only runs for about 70 minutes? One thing I did enjoy was the switch of the Silver Surfer (Silver Savage), who fights the Hulk in the Comic version, to Beta Ray Bill. I am sure purists of the Planet Hulk comics will disagree but this is clearly NOT the comic book version being represented. I’ve been a big fan of Bill since I was a kid and always wanted to see him and the Hulk tangle and that’s exactly what happens here in a very violent gladiator style battle.
One thing I am proud of Marvel for doing with their features thus far is really bringing the violence of the comics to the animated movies. This is one thing I would have NEVER expected. These animated features go much further that their big screen movie counter parts on the action and violence of a superhero battle. It’s funny that you never get any blood in a Wolverine fight scene on the big screen though he’s using giant blades from his knuckles to battle, yet in the animated Marvel movies you get blood, severed limbs and serious ass kickings. Funny you’d think these animated movies would be better for kids? Definately not the case. So in that respect these movies thus far give you a far better representation of the comic characters than the big screen bummers.
I imagine though these movies will only get better. I seriously hope this animated movie trend continues with Marvel and DC. As long as they pump ’em out I will watch them. It’s a releif they haven’t went cg on these yet though I’m not holding my breath. Hopefully they will take a little more care in the animation and the storylines an give us fans of the comics something we can truely drool over…