Monday, March 12, 2007

Animated Hellboy is quite enjoyable

Hellboy Animated: Sword of Storms

This animated feature was first broadcast on The Cartoon Network last year and is now on DVD with a ton of extras and a 32-page comic book, to boot.

I've been a fan of Mike Mignola's comic books for years. Hellboy was a baby demon that was rescued from a group of Nazis during the Second World War by Allied troops. His existence has been kept from the rest of the world and as an adult he now works for the Bureau of Paranormal Research & Defense, a government agency that "bumps back the things that go bump in the night."

Mignola's hero is a masterful combination of a hero with a dark side in this case as dark as it gets with the morality of a classic gumshoe like Sam Spade.

The character proved to be a hit with a live action movie and this animated one reunited Ron Perlman, Selma Blair and Doug Jones with the roles they played in the live action film.

The new animated film puts Hellboy in Japan where he an other members of the Bureau must understand why a noted professor has turned loose a pair of ancient Japanese demons.

The animation is well done and this could have been a theatrical feature. I think it will satisfy both fans of the comic as well as those who just know Hellboy through the live action film.

For more information, go to

Friday, March 9, 2007

Milton the Monster makes DVD debut

Here is the first post for this new blog dedicated to reviewing animation. My hope is that people will contribute their own reviews. Drop me a line a mdobbs at crocker dot com with your review. Hope to hear from you!

The Milton the Monster Show: The Complete Season
Posted by Mike Dobbs

I’m not sure just who at Shout Factory is a buff of obscure television
animation, but whoever it is let me say “Thanks!” The company, which
specializes in digging up pop culture gems, has just released the collected
“The Milton the Monster Show.”

Produced by the late Hal Seeger, “Milton” was an animated series that
ran on ABC in 1965 and ’66. It was clearly an animated way to ride the trend
set by “The Addams Family” and “The Munsters,” and it largely succeeded. The
cartoons have a wit about them that many animated offerings from the same
period lacked.

Milton isn’t much of a monster – he looks like a big friendly guy except
smokes comes out of his head. His creator, Professor Weirdo, is disappointed
in his lack of evil and is often trying to get rid of him.

Cartoons featuring other characters, including the lucky cowboy
detective Flukey Luke and the superhero parody Fearless Fly, accompanied the
Milton shorts. Some of the other supporting cartoons are a bit painful to
sit through – those with insufferable bad girl Penny Penguin were just
awful, for instance.

Seeger had worked for the Fleischer Studios (which produced the Betty
Boop, Popeye and Superman cartoons, among others) and he used many of his
Fleischer colleagues including animators Myron Waldman and Shamus Culhane
and voice actor and writer Jack Mercer.

While the animation is limited, the cleverness of the scripts frequently
makes up the deficit.

Milton is a monster animation fans won’t fear getting to know.

For more information, log onto

© 2007 by Gordon Michael Dobbs