A commercial for the Dante’s Inferno video game aired during the Super Bowl earlier this year, which gave viewers the impression that the game would be incredibly reminiscent of games like Devil May Cry and God of War. Although I never played the game, Dante’s Inferno: An Animated Epic was sent to me by the Amazon Vine program. My expectations weren’t very high and that seemed to pay off in the long run. The animated feature takes the Batman: Gotham Knight approach where six different animation directors take hold of the film, but Dante’s Inferno tells one semi-coherent story. The film surely has no issue with showing graphic violence, gore, or nudity as there rarely isn’t a moment in the 77 minute feature where buckets of blood aren’t falling from the sky or where Dante’s beloved Beatrice isn’t exposing her rather well endowed set of breasts. The changes in animation seemed rather infrequent and drastic at times while at others it felt a bit more natural. The voice acting is pretty top notch as the film utilizes voice actor veterans such as Mark Hamill, Steve Blum, and Kevin Michael Richardson. Dante’s descent through the nine circles of hell was unintentionally humorous at times though. The main example being when he’s fighting off and fleeing from the army of dead babies in Limbo. Also, his father accepting Lucifer’s offer to work for him in exchange for all the gold he desired and the slaying of his mortal son wasn’t surprising, but the fact that his mouth now looked like female genitalia was. Certain things just didn’t add up at times. In the end, Dante’s Inferno: An Animated Epic isn’t terrible but isn’t fantastic either. It’s not worth hunting down specifically, but is worth sitting through on a rainy day afternoon or something.
The only special features included on the DVD are the EA game trailer and animatics for five scenes in the film.
For those interested in which animation studio did what, here they are in order:
Film Roman (American animation studio, weak animation)
Manglobe (Samurai Champloo) picks up when Dante enters Limbo (directed by Shuko Murase who did Ergo Proxy and Witch Hunter Robin, easily the best out of the bunch)
Dongwoo Animation handles the next four circles of Hell (unfortunately)
JM Animation steps in when Virgil and Dante reach the City of Dis
The final circle is handled by Production I.G.
DVD Release Date: February 9, 2010
Directors: Victor Cook, Mike Disa, Sang-Jin Kim, Shuko Murase, Jong-Sik Nam, Lee Seung-Gyu
Genre: animation, action, fantasy, horror
Runtime: 77 min (DVD says 88 min, but the credits started rolling a little over 1:17:00)
Cast: Mark Hamill as Alighiero (voice)
Steve Blum as Lucifer (voice)
Kevin Michael Richardson as Phelgias (voice)
Graham McTavish as Dante (voice)
Vanessa Branch as Beatrice (voice)
Peter Jessop as Virgil (voice)
Tom Tate as Francesco (voice)
MPAA: Rated R for strong bloody violence throughout, nudity, and sexual content.
Overall Rating: 6/10
Sources: imdb.com, animenewsnetwork.com, youtube.com, wikipedia.org, otofotki.pl