When it comes to animated adaptations of comics, many are quick to say that Bruce Timm's animated features based on DC Comics properties are far superior to anything Marvel Animation has put out and that Marvel's Animated films are terrible but I for one disagree about Marvel's films. While I don't deny DC has had some great animated shows and animated movies, it's just that most of their movies are about the same characters; which gets repetitive. Still though, their movies are nonetheless still superior to all of Marvel's animated movies.
Title Card written in Runic
Now then, the plot of Thor Tales of Asgard. The film follows a young Thor
( Matthew Wolf
) and his younger brother Loki
( Rick Gomez
) as they travel through the nine realms in search of the Sword of Surtur. To aid them in their quest, Thor recruits The Warriors Three ( Volstagg
). Of course the sword happens to lie in Jotunheim, the land of the Frost Giants with whom the Asgardians have a makeshift peace treaty with. Once their presence is discovered, war looms as Thor's actions don't sit well with the Frost Giants. But the threat isn't coming from the Frost Giants but from within the House of Odin itself.
The film acts as a prequel to The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes. It shows Thor becoming the hero we all know he is. Like the tagline says " Before The Hammer...Came The Sword" and so because Thor isn't that hero yet he does not have Mjolnir . Though while in his father's armory he does look at it.
In order to make a good animated movie, a good voice cast is more important than the art style. Some of DC's films like Justice League: Crisis on Two Earth's
look great but when it comes to voice acting, they don't sound too great. Luckily this film has an excellent voice cast and a great lead to be found in Matthew Wolf. However the stand out performance is Ron Halder as Algrim, a Dark Elf Advisor to Odin, and father figure to Thor and Loki.
I'll admit I prefer the characters as teenagers than I do as adults as well, Thor is boring in the comics and in the movie and animation he is brought to life. Loki in this film is also quite different as this takes place before he becomes the villain we all know he is. Loki is a hero in this film, that is up until the end of the film where we get a glimpse of who he will become. The funny thing though is that he appears to have a bit of an Australian accent in the film. Though I could be wrong as I'm not good at picking out certain accents correctly and the actor Rick Gomez is from New Jersey as well. One character I wish was in the film more is Amora, The Enchantress. I know she did have more scenes but they were cut from the final film as they felt her scenes were important enough to the story. The film briefly shows her pretend relationship with Loki as she wants Thor who rejected her for Sif
( Tara Strong
Warriors Three ( Volstagg, Fandral, and Hogun)
Because it features the Warriors Three, the film is very funny at times. Each actor brings something to each character and are better than the actors who played them in Kenneth Branagh's Thor
. While those actors weren't bad, one thing that was not good about them was making Hogun
Japanese. He is supposed to Mongolian and this film portrays that way. Out of three I like Fandral
, the charming swashbuckling lady's man.
The character of Algrim is actually surprisingly one of the most important characters in the film. Though unlike the comics he does not become the villain Kurse
. This version is one of the last Dark Elves after a war between them and The Frost Giants killed them all. In the comics, he is not Odin's Advisor but always a villain. Ron Halder really does a good job voicing the character and is easily my performance in the film.
One problem with the film is that the Valkyrie are portrayed too similar to The Amazons and not how they are supposed to be portrayed. It is not mentioned in the film whether they search battlefields and take the spirits of warriors who died honorably in battle to Vallhalla like they do in the classic Mythology. Here they are shown to be fierce warriors who hate men and live in their own land very much how The Amazons lived on Paradise Island, were fierce warriors, and had a hatred for men.
Thor Tales of Asgard is easily the best film to come from Marvel Animation and that;s not saying very much because even as a big Marvel fan, I'll admit most of their movies aren't that good as Marvel doesn't seem to understand that the majority of their audience is comic book fans and not kids. DC understands that and puts out movies that are more for comic book fans than kids. The film is fun but it plays everything too incredibly safe and when it comes down to it, that's the problem with all of Marvel's animated movies.