Blu-Ray Review: ‘Thor: Tales of Asgard’ Feels Like Cheap Blockbuster Tie-In

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CHICAGO – Animated Marvel Features and Lionsgate very purposefully released a straight-to-DVD Thor movie this month to try and cash in a bit on the success of the summer blockbuster “Thor” with Chris Hemsworth and Natalie Portman. With some of the same characters, enemies, and locations, the animated version plays not unlike a Saturday morning cartoon version of what you just saw in theaters. Potential viewers under twelve should find enough action here to not consider their time wasted, but anyone older will surely be a a bit bored. Blu-Ray Rating: 2.5/5.0
Blu-Ray Rating: 2.5/5.0

Kenneth Branagh’s “Thor” is about to crest $400 million worldwide and so it makes sense that toys, games, and other peripheral merchandise would hit the market to try and cash in on the film’s success. “Tales of Asgard” could have been a clever expansion of the Marvel comic and hit film but it plays too much like an afterthought, like the dream that a pre-teen boy would have after seeing the movie. The film isn’t exactly “Young Thor,” but it’s not far from it as it was so clearly conceived and executed with that adventurous young audience in mind.

Thor is hungry for adventure and he convinces his brother Loki to quest with him for the legendary Lost Sword of Surtur with the Warriors Three. The film is a pretty standard quest piece with some decent action, the Frost Giants, and some hammer throwing. It’s never awful but it also doesn’t quite click creatively beyond most of the superhero cartoons you could find on a Saturday morning. There have been more successful and creative Marvel Animation features in the last few years. Hardcore fans of the movie or comic should take the trip to Asgard. Casual ones can stay home.

Thor: Tales of Asgard was released on Blu-Ray and DVD on May 17, 2011
Thor: Tales of Asgard was released on Blu-Ray and DVD on May 17, 2011
Photo credit: Lionsgate Home Video

Before he ever lifted his mighty hammer…Fantastic journeys beckon from the mysterious nine realms. Places of dark mists and fiery voids. Of winged creatures and giants in the ice. And of the most alluring quest of all - the search for the legendary Lost Sword of Surtur. Hungry for adventure, Thor secretly embarks on the journey of a lifetime, joined by his loyal brother Loki, whose budding sorcery equips him with just enough magic to conjure up trouble, along with the Warriors Three - a band of boastful travelers reluctant to set sail on any adventure that might actually be dangerous. But what starts out as a harmless treasure hunt quickly turns deadly, and Thor must now prove himself worthy of the destiny he covets by saving Asgard itself.

Special Features:
o Worthy: The Making Of Thor: Tales Of Asgard
o The Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes Bonus Episode
o Feature-Length Audio Commentary - Supervising Producer Craig Kyle and Screenwriter Greg Johnson/Supervising Director Gary Hartle, Director Sam Liu and Character Designer Phil Bourassa
o Trailer Gallery
o DVD Version

“Thor: Tales of Asgard” features voice work by Rick Gomez, Tara Strong, and Matt Wolf. It was released on Blu-ray and DVD on May 17th, 2011. content director Brian Tallerico

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