Doctor Strange is an animated adaptation of the famous Marvel Comics character and coming from their own film stable, this is the story of Dr Stephen Strange, a neurosurgeon, haunted by his past in which he was unable to save the life of his sister, despite all his skills.
This has made him a somewhat arrogant and humourless character, brilliant, yet isolated. In the background, we have already become aware of a cadre of sorcerers who are battling an as yet unseen overwhelmingly evil beast. Strange has a terrible car accident during which his hands are mangled beyond repair. He does everything he can to reconstruct them and find a cure but to no avail. Left penniless, he tries to commit suicide but is saved by one of the sorcerers, who turns out to be fromTibet, where Strange ends up to begin his training for a new life…as a superhero. The new supreme sorcerer and with a solemn duty to rid the world of the evil force that threatens to tear it apart.
And so on. Absolutely typical Marvel and all the better for it, after all, we all grew up on these amazing and always engagingly written stories. Stephen Strange is one of Marvel’s more interesting characters and this movie does a good job of fleshing out his origin story, before letting rip with the well directed and fast paced action scenes that make up the final 60 minutes or so of the show. It’s an interesting and surprisingly deep journey that Strange takes, this is a man who learns to resist despair and defeat and emerges as a much stronger and more centered person because of it. Of course, being made a supreme sorcerer is always good for a bit of positive ego massage as well.
The animation and direction are both breathtaking, with a definite anime influence on display here and a great deal of attention to detail, making this ultimately an extremely stylish looking movie. Especially impressive are the monsters when they are finally revealed, a tremendous design backed up by some fine animation often a mix of 2 and £D work, seamlessly blended together. It’s clearly aimed at kids but big kids will get just as much of a kick out it, as will comic book fans so recommended for exactly what it is.
Directors: Patrick Archibald, Jay Oliva
Writers: Greg Johnson (story), Greg Johnson
Stars: Bryce Johnson, Paul Nakauchi, Kevin Michael Richardson