Magic and Violence: The Best of the Marvel Animated Films

Marvel has been getting talked about a lot these last few years. With The Avengers in theaters recently, it seems that Marvel is the king of comic book films. Things might change after the general consensus of The Amazing Spiderman comes in, but even that can’t ruin Marvel’s name like The Green Lantern did for DC (to an extent).

DC, in my opinion, has the better selection of animated films. That probably has to do with the fact that DC has better stories, and more “mature” characters. With that said, Marvel’s animated films are fun, and with the next Spiderman film coming out, I thought now is a better time than any to talk about which ones I like the most.

Planet Hulk

Planet Hulk is probably my favorite of the Marvel animated films. It takes the story of Hulk being thrown, in a spaceship, off Earth by Iron Man and company because he is seen as too much of a threat to society. He is unable to change back into Bruce Banner, and is now unable to deal with humanity. His ship ends up on the planet of Sakaar. There he is made a slave and is forced to fight in gladiator events to win his freedom. In the end, The Hulk defeats the Red King (the ruler of Sakaar), and becomes king of Sakaar.

I enjoyed this one because at its core, it is about the Hulk finding identity in his new, unchangeable form. Hulk is left to rediscover himself and WHO he is. Planet Hulk is also a battle royale and has plenty of great action scenes. Top all that with great animation and you have an entertaining time.

Doctor Strange: The Sorcerer Supreme

Dr. Strange is one of my favorite Marvel characters who is about due for his own film, but I don’t think that is in the cards of the studios right now. Everyone is more concerned with running with this Avengers stuff before they branch into something a little more obscure like Strange. His animated adventure is a little longer than the other films, but I enjoy this one a lot, even if got mixed reviews.

Like Tony Stark, Dr. Strange is very dismissive of others and arrogant, and this story is a way for him to become a better person for society and, you know, save the world. Dr. Strange is a surgeon and after a terrible accident caused by a hallucination, he hands are forever ruined. He goes to Tibet to seek healing (sounds a bit like Nolan’s Batman origin story), and once there, he learns to open the power of “magic.” The story then is a chase to defeat the ultimate evil, Dormammu.

Magic and mysticism (well, I guess Thor counts) is something I would like to see more of in live action Marvel films. Dr. Strange pulls it off the magic well and there is something awesome about Strange fighting off a giant demon to save the world. The story is what drew me in, and it is usually what draws me into these animated films. Sometimes they can focus on only the fighting and not enough on WHY the characters are fighting.

I really liked this one, though, there are some who might not agree with me, but that’s OK, they are not writing this post.

Ultimate Avengers: The Movie

So, I can assume that many of you have seen The Avengers in theaters recently. Do not fear, this is a different storyline that is shorter (seventy minutes) and a little more focused on Captain America. Captain America is not my favorite character, but they do a good job at showing the Caps’ transition into modern-day better than the live-action film.

Captain America is frozen during WWII in icy waters and is awakened 70 years later by Nick Fury to help on an assignment to defeat an alien race that tried to destroy Captain America years before. CA also believes he can cure Bruce Banner with the super-soldier serum that runs through his veins. In order to defeat the Chitauri, the alien race, Nick Fury gets Iron Man, Black Widow, Bruce Banner, Thor, Wasp, and Ant Man. Yes, Ant Man…sigh. In the end, they defeat the aliens, but the Hulk gets out of control. They finally capture him and put him in prison. This probably leads into Planet Hulk, to an extent.

Hey, there is not much to hate here. If you liked The Avengers film, you’ll dig this. A bunch of your favorite heroes get together to kick ass and save the day. Captain America is better in this than the live-action films, I think, because the director/writers make you sympathize with him a bit as you see his world has deteriorated. I could have done without Ant Man (he IS voiced by Nolan North, though), but it is not so bad that he is in there.

These are three really great and entertaining animated films. It may sound silly that anything animated can be worth a purchase, but I guarantee that you will enjoy yourself. If you love comics, I don’t know why you are still reading this and not heading over to Amazon right now to add these to you cart.

About Jesse Bartel

I write about stuff.
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  • Gerardo

    The DC Animated movies have been much better than the Marvel ones

    • Jesse Bartel

      I agree!

      • Luksonna


  • BigD!

    I’m not getting paid to take sides. I enjoy em all.

    • Jesse Bartel

      Takes sides on what?

  • jon

    didnt like planet hulk very much. the animes and motion comics are cool too (esp iron man extremis)

    • Jesse Bartel

      The Motion Comics are rather great!

  • Todd

    I agree that these are the 3 best Marvel animated films and pretty much all the others were awful! Iron Man, Ultimate Avengers 2, the Hulk Vs. Thor/Wolverine but in that order of worst to best. The Hulk Vs movies were tolerable depending on the day but Iron Man was just horrible and UA2 wasn’t too much better. DC definitely has the animated movies on lock and kicks Marvel’s tale in that area but with the exception of the Nolan Batman movies, DC can’t make a good live action movie to save it’s life whereas the vast majority of Marvel’s live action movies were really good to fantastic! And considering live action movies definitely make more money and Marvel has produced many more of them, they are absolutely trashing DC in adaptation revenue. I had such high hopes for the Green Lantern movie because he’s my favorite DC hero but they just didn’t get it done, but the two Green Lantern animated movies were amazing! C’mon DC, get it together! Until then, Make Mine Marvel….. in the theatres!