Wednesday, August 15, 2012

ANI-MOVIES, *Firebreather

Cartoon Network decided to go an extra step further with one of their regular productions with this CGI made-for-TV movie based on the Image Comics series by Phil Hester and Andy Kuhn. The comic has been was two seperate mini-series and a one-shot special, although the title character is a regular part of the Image Comics universe, and seen in comics like Invincible and Bomb Queen, even though he was first concieved to be part of Marvel Comics’ Young Avengers team. The film was written by Jim Krieg who also wrote for Ben 10 and Spider-Man, plus it was directed by Peter Chung(creator of Aeon Flux!).

The movie takes place sometime after a there was an an attack of giant monsters referred to as “kaiju” that ravaged metropolitan cities across the country. The king of the monsters, Belloc, reaches somekind of treaty with the humans by having a woman bearing his child. There is never any explanation as to how this was done! I mean, did they go out for a movie and some dancing, and then end up doing it on top of the Houston Astrodome? The sheer size-difference is mindboggling enough! It’d be like Smurfette trying to get it on with Wilt Chamberlain! Anyway, cut to 16 years later, and Godzilla Jr. has grown up into a slightly normal looking teenager boy named Duncan, aside from the orange-ish skin and rugged skin that most people must think is zits. He and his mom Margaret have moved into a southeastern suburban town, and Duncan has trouble dealing with the token a-hole jocks at his new school. Duncan goes to a party later that night and tries to pick up a cute blonde there, but it all goes to Hell when his Dad shows up and carries him off to his underground lair. Belloc explains to him since he is the heir to the kaiju monarchy that the other kaiju can challenge him for succession. Duncan mutates into full dragon-humanoid mode where he can breath fire and has superstrength. He is later found by the anti-kaiju military force, one of whom is undercover as his school’s gym teacher, and Duncan is brought home to his mother. Later, he becomes the target of two rebellious kaiju who want to take over. Duncan sprouts large wings(larger than what he had in the comic), and manages to bury them under a mountain of snow, which is weirdly enough right by the desert. Despite his secret being blown, Duncan goes back to being a high school student, even though you’d think that he’d have to be swarmed by paparazzi after taking down some rejects from Monster Island.

This was a pretty well executed movie. There’s some great action scenes, and the animation really grabs the full scale of the giant monsters. You’d almost wish that these guys were working on Power Rangers. I’m not sure if some of the animators who did this worked on The Clone Wars, but it was a vast improvement from their normal work if it was. I’d highly adise you to check this out next time it plays on TV, or if when it makes its inevitable DVD release.

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