Skynet Ultron Style
A 99% Avengers Free Avengers Movie
Marvel has been loose with control over their properties. Certainly more so than DC. Believe us, we know this first hand. On the up side this can allow for more exciting stories in which your favorite Marvel heroes can participate. On the down side it can allow for stupid stories that should have been vetted, edited or outright turned down.
Next Avengers, another one of those Marvel direct-to-video animated releases is just one such story. Many people who watch this will not be the young kids who know little about the Avengers history to which this movie was obviously aimed. They will be those like us who appreciate the Marvel heroes.
We knew going in this was a story about the avengers kids having an adventure sometime in the future. Marvel often plays fast and loose with alternate futures. However that does not mean one will enjoy a skeletal telling of the questionable death and disappearance of all those original heroes we care about at the hands of Ultron. It definitely does not mean we will enjoy an entire movie filled with disobedient punks who cannot get along.
Our one sentence synopsis for this lame plot: In a future world dominated by conquering Ultron the original avengers have been defeated but secreted away their offspring in some stupid hope that the whiny brats would be able to someday beat him and along the way the kids will learn the true meaning of friendship, family – and unleash the Hulk.
The animation quality was not high. Certainly it was below other direct-to-video offerings from Marvel like Hulk versus Thor. Perhaps they thought the kids would not care. (Perhaps they are right.) The art direction is hit-or-miss, falling mostly on the “miss” side. Old Tony Stark is decently designed, but do not expect to see any cool futuristic Iron Man armor.
The majority of the art direction “hits” were on the four grousing progeny. Disregarding his lousy sullen attitude the Captain America kid had an interesting design with a pleasing dark jacket outlining a large star and an energy shield wrist unit that needed more explanation.
The Black Panther wanna-be had some interesting glowing panels light up on his dark outfit when he went electric. That was at least visually interesting. The Wasp/Giant Man kid was nothing special. He wore a suit that more or less seemed designed for the back of a cereal box.
The best design hit was Thor’s daughter Toruun. A muscular youth with long blond hair and an enchanted sword. Her use of old English like her father was endearing and her angst knowing her father was alive but not contacting her seemed the most real. Never mind the yarn they spun about Odin dying and Thor taking over in Asgard. If you care about the Thor universe, you are better off getting a snack when that stuff comes up.
Ultron was handled well, though for whatever reasons they wrongly attributed his origin to Stark rather than Hank Pym. In fact Stark and Ulton were voiced by the same actor, but done well. It was a nice touch considering their origin change. Ultron was creepy, cold and cruel. Kind of scary for young kids. Though his art direction was nothing special and he seemed a metal-ish colored robotic blob from the neck down.
It was strange that the protagonists kids relied on the Hulk to finally take Ultron down. (Certainly they could not do it themselves.) We would have preferred the kids somehow engineering the reconstitution of the original Avengers. Unless you are age 6, skip this one.
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