Thursday, May 19, 2011

Film Yap: Thor - Tales of Asgard

With the current release of their big budget film Thor, it was smart of Marvel to release their latest animated adventure Thor: Tales of Asgard in the same month. Unfortunately all I can do now is compare the two. It has been very public how involved Marvel Studios has been in the screenplays of their live-action films so they can maintain continuity within the series and respect towards the source materials.

The best prequels are the ones that set up the character we already know and tell a worthwhile story in the process. Thor: Tales of Asgard does not succeed on either account. The older Thor in the film was tough, arrogant, and willing to fight for his kingdom. So who is this younger Thor? He seems unwilling to fight people, unclear on why he’s disobey orders, and completely dull.

The plot consists of young Thor and Loki randomly going on an adventure because they think they are being too sheltered within their kingdom. This is because Odin, the god of war, doesn’t want them to get into danger.

They get into danger but it’s always difficult to understand the stakes. Thor loses his sword and takes a really powerful fire sword that causes a war among the realms. After seeing the effects of the sword, Thor believes it’s too powerful and nobody should be allowed to use it. This is from the guy who is usually seen with the most powerful hammer in existence.

There is also another subplot involving women who hate men who train to become warriors and bathe naked. I think this is supposed to be for children. Any attempt at a feminist message is quickly abandoned and reversed by the end.

Everyone who watches this will just be bored. The dialog is completely lifeless and none of the performances will save it. The story is not worthwhile and doesn’t even feel like it’s Thor and Loki. The animation is misguided. They want to focus on the grand elements like a battle or a big castle, but those always fall flat. They should have focused more on the characters because most of their animated reactions were clich├ęd and laughable.

There are two commentary tracks for this 70 minute movie, because that’s what people were asking for. There is also a 20 minute making-of documentary that confirms this was intended to be a companion to the live-action film. These documentaries are always odd, because I end up liking their sketches more than the final product. There is also an episode of The Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes because why not.

Film: 1.5 Yaps

Extras: 2 Yaps

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