C.J. Kay | Sydney, Australia | 03/21/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
I'd wanted to see all 3 Marvel Animated features but their release in Australia was limited to comic book stores only, and they never ordered enough to meet demand.
The Marvel Animated Features Gift Set was a better option, allowing me to own all 3 features, as well as receiving the very nicely made Iron Man bust. The box itself is covered by Bryan Hitch art and I'm a big fan of his work, so it looks really great on my bookshelf.
As for the movies themselves, I really enjoyed the Iron Man film. It takes established Marvel comics history and puts a nice, new sensibility on the character. The animation seems to be getting better film by film, and the upcoming (and previewed on this DVD) Doctor Strange feature looks to be the best yet.
I was slightly under whelmed by the first Ultimate Avengers movie -- it was fun to see these characters that I love moving on screen, but some of the voice actors I felt were miscast (especially Bruce Banner), the animation less than smooth and the finale a big letdown. The sequel was much better, the character of Black Panther really standing out. It was a much more epic film, providing the "wow factor" that had been missing from the original instalment. The animation was much more fluid and the action was scintillating.
The special features on all 3 DVD's were very informative and clearly showed that there is a lot of passion for these films in the creative staff. These guys seemed to really be striving for quality of story and strong character beats, and had me convinced that future releases will be handled with the same dedication. Considering these films could have been a cheaply made corporate exercise, I must say that I was surprised and delighted by their attitude -- it's clear that they are honouring the characters, their history and the Mark Millar/Bryan Hitch source material upon which it is based, and as a long-time comics fan, that was great to see.
I look forward to future releases of Marvel Animated features if the quality on display in these first 3 films is anything to go by."