Movies / Animé and Toons

The Ultimate Avengers: The Movie

By Hervé St.Louis
March 5, 2006 - 19:27

Executive Producers: Avi Arad, Craig Kyle, Eric S. Rollman
Co-Executive Producer: Stan Lee
Editor: George P. Rizkallah
Music Compositor: Guy Michelmore
Music Supervisor: David Ari Leon

The Ultimate Avengers: The Movie is an adaptation of the Ultimate Avengers’ comic book released in 2001 by Marvel. In the original comic book series, Marvel revamped the Avengers as part of its modernized Ultimate comic book line for a new audience. The movie borrows from the re-imagined Ultimate comic book line and the older standard Avenger’s series.

In this movie, The Golden Age Captain America is revived by SHIELD, a spy agency to lead the Avengers against a new alien threat called the Chitauri. SHIELD’s commander, Nick Fury, recruits playboy industrialist, Tony Stark, also known as Iron Man, eco-activist Thor and scientist Hank Pym and wife Janet Pym, also known as Giant-man and the Wasp. At the same time, the team must control an attack from SHIELD scientist Bruce Banner who has turned into the Hulk.

The story is closely based on the Ultimates’ comic books’ script by Mike Millar. The focus is on Captain America and his efforts to accept his new leadership position. The first part of the movie is slow to start. In fact, there is but two main acts with action in this film. There is a sequence where the Avengers try to capture a Chitauri agent and the final fight versus the aliens.

If you seek action, this will leave you wanting for more. The surprise fight with the Hulk is the movie’s climax. There are hints of many subplots concerning Hank Pym and his Janet’s relationship, but nothing worth is developed. As an introduction to the Avengers, this film works, but it falls short of being a great story.

The character design is based on Bryan Hitch’s work. Although Hitch’s work has a style reminiscent of comic great Neal Adams, this type of design is not suitable for animation. The closest character designs I have seen in years would be Marvel’s G.I.Joes cartoons from the 1980s. That series was animated more fluidly than this one. Although a film release, the animation in the Ultimate Avengers was based on a television series’ frame rate of about 12 original drawings per seconds. The opening sequence in World War Two and the opening credits were quite entertaining and let viewers expect a film of much greater quality than what was about to follow.

Some of the DVD extras are great. For example, the Avengers Assemble feature had a great recap of the entire Avengers’ history, including the Ultimates’ version and the New Avengers’s comic book series. Joe Quesada’s attempt at justifying his decision to revamp the Avengers into the New Avengers was exaggerated. If it was such a universal success, as he claims, he would not have to spend so much time defending it.

The talents search where Marvel Comics invited comic book fans to audition for roles on the cartoon film were not very fun, although they were in the same vein as B footage from American Idol.

Last Updated: September 6, 2021 - 08:15

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