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DVD Review: Thor: Tales of Asgard


Thor with a sword? Yes, it's true! The cover art shows Thor wielding a sword instead of his iconic hammer, and indeed this film's plot focuses on that sword, but the cover is also a bit misleading because this is a tale of teenage Thor, where the guy on the cover looks like a full-grown man. I saw the live-action movie relatively recently prior to seeing this animated film, so I couldn't help but make comparisons between the two, and I must say that I enjoyed the live-action feature more. And even though this movie takes place before the live-action film, I wouldn't exactly call it a prequel, because in this film Thor learns pretty much the same lesson that he has to learn in the live-action film.

Okay, so teenage Thor is on the cusp of manhood, eager to prove his great fighting skills... except that his skill aren't that great because the guys he trains with always let him win. How logical is that? How can the prince grow into a great warrior king if they always just let him win? What's the point of even training if they don't help him improve? Seems like the king would insist on that. Oh, think he doesn't know about it? He does! He even admits it! But anyway... so this girl Thor likes actually tells him that his skills are weak, and so Mr. Hothead challenges her, and she bests him super quickly and easily using nothing but a stick and bucket. For some reason she then goes off to live and train with this group of Amazon-like women who hate men for no apparent reason.

Now, just being proven that his skill are weak, he decides to stow away on a ship where four warriors are going off on a super-difficult quest they take every year and apparently fail. Doesn't make much sense to me, but Thor is a hotheaded teen so I don't really expect him to be logical. Unexpected stuff happens but eventually the group end up on the quest for some sword that's been lost for a long time, and this quest takes place on the world of the Frost Giants, where the Asgardians aren't supposed to go because of some treaty. But they go anyway because who cares about the king's orders or the treaty or starting a war.

I have to admit, the actual quest ended a lot sooner than I expected. I figured it would be the climax of the film, but they succeed in finding what they were looking for like halfway through the movie, and it's here that things start taking a turn for the worse. I don't want to give away too much of what happens, but Frost Giants play a role, as do those stereotypical Amazon-like women, who could have been totally badass but really I just found them to be so flat and annoying. Actually, a lot of the characters here kinda felt plain. The overprotective father, the cocky prince trying to prove himself to his father, the suspiciously loyal servant, feels like we've seen these characters many times before.

The art here isn't bad, but for a feature film I was kinda expecting a bit more detail. For the most part, it felt more like a made-for-television film than a DVD feature, though there were a few scenes that I thought were really well done. I also liked how there were some moments in the film that had actual consequences, so definitely not a film for little kids. The extra features on the DVD consist of two separate audio commentaries, a half-hour making-of featurette, and an episode of The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes, which by the way is a great series, so definitely check it out.

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PROGRAM INFORMATION

  • Year of Production: 2009
  • Title Copyright: Marvel, Thor, all related trademarks, service marks, character names and the distinctive likenesses thereof are proprietary to Marvel Entertainment, Inc. and its subsidiaries and are used with permission. �THOR: TALES OF ASGARD� COPYRIGHT � 2009 Marvel Entertainment. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
  • Type: Home Entertainment Premiere
  • Rating: Not Rated
  • Genre: Television, Animation, Action, Adventure, Children
  • Closed Captioned: DVD � English; Blu-Ray - English SDH
  • Subtitles: English
  • DVD Format: 16x9 Widescreen (1.78:1)
  • Blu-ray Format: 1080P High Definition 16x9 Widescreen (1.78:1)
  • Feature Run Time: 77 minutes
  • DVD Audio Status: 5.1 Dolby Digital and Spanish 2.0 Dolby Digital
  • Blu-ray Audio Status: English 7.1 DTS-HD Master Audio
  • Website: http://www.marvel.com

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