Hellboy: Sword of Storms is the first of the Hellboy Animated series based on Mike Mignola's popular comic book series Hellboy and the live-action film of the same name. It was released in 2006. The second animated straight-to-DVD film, Hellboy: Blood and Iron, was released on 17 March 2007.
The film was produced by Starz Media's Film Roman and Revolution Pictures and co-produced, co-written, and directed by animation veteran Tad Stones. Stones is perhaps best-known as the creator of the popular Disney Afternoon series Darkwing Duck. He worked with Mignola on developing Atlantis: The Lost Empire into an animated series.
A Japanese professor of folklore named Professor Sakai opens a forbidden scroll and becomes possessed by the ancient Japanese demons of Thunder and Lightning, who seek to return and summon their brothers, the Dragons, to dominate the human world.
The Bureau for Paranormal Research and Defense is brought in after Sakai attacks one of his associates. Hellboy and a team of agents (including Kate Corrigan) investigate the possessed man's rampage, but when Hellboy picks up a mysterious, discarded samurai sword, he disappears into a weird wonderland of Japanese mythology. On his quest to return to our world, he encounters many monsters (yōkai) intent on taking the sword from him, including the kappa, a giant oni, a trio of rokurokubi, a Jorōgumo, and three restless ghosts. Hellboy also meets a group of nukekubi in a segment of the film that is adapted almost verbatim from the comic book story, Heads.
In dual side plots, BPRD agents Corrigan and Russell Thorne (a psychic) follow the trail of the possessed professor, while Abe and Liz are stranded on an island in the middle of the ocean where they battle one of the Dragons.
|Selma Blair||Liz Sherman|
|Doug Jones||Abe Sapien|
|Peri Gilpin||Professor Kate Corrigan|
Additional voices byEdit
- Additional material included on the DVD regarding the influences present in the films imply that the towering skeleton Hellboy faces off against in the conclusion was based on the Ukiyo-e print Skeleton by Utagawa Kuniyoshi.
Sword of Storms made its U.S. television debut on October 28, 2006 on Cartoon Network's Toonami Saturday action block (and aired again on December 30, 2006) and was released on DVD by Anchor Bay Entertainment on February 6, 2007. It aired alongside Hellboy: Blood and Iron on July 19, 2008 to promote the release of Hellboy II: The Golden Army.
The reaction to the film was generally positive. It scored an 8.7 from IGN, although a critic for JoBlo.com gave the film one star out of five. The special features, however, which include several commentaries and documentaries about the making of the film, were roundly praised. The voiceover work from returning cast members Perlman, Blair, and Jones was well-reviewed, as well as new addition Peri Gilpin as Kate.
Hellboy: Sword of Storms was nominated for Outstanding Animated Program (For Programming One Hour or More) at the 59th Primetime Emmy Awards.
- Hellboy Animated Series Production Diary
- The Doug Jones Experience
- Preview of DVD
- Hellboy Sword of Storms Review on Tokidokijournal.com