New on Blu-ray: Dante’s Inferno: An Animated Epic

New on Blu-ray: Dante’s Inferno: An Animated Epic

Dante’s Inferno is one of three acts in Dante Alighieri’s poem The Divine Comedy, but it is the more widely known and referenced. An animated version of the quest was sure to be an interesting interpretation. Limbo, lust, gluttony, greed, anger, heresy, violence, fraud and treachery – these are the nine circles of Hell in […]

Dante’s Inferno is one of three acts in Dante Alighieri’s poem The Divine Comedy, but it is the more widely known and referenced. An animated version of the quest was sure to be an interesting interpretation.

Limbo, lust, gluttony, greed, anger, heresy, violence, fraud and treachery – these are the nine circles of Hell in Alighieri’s story. The tale is Dante’s (Graham McTavish) harrowing trip through Hell as he braves the forces of evil, slaying demons and monsters to save his live Beatrice (Vanessa Branch) from the clutches of Lucifer (Steve Blum). He is guided on his journey by the Roman poet Virgil (Peter Jessop). Six directors from around the world bring their visions to the epic story: Victor Cook, Sang-Jin Kim, Seung Kyu Lee, Shuko Murase, Jong-Sik Nam and Yasuomi Umetsu.

To hear a video game with the same premise is being released around the same time as this DVD release puts the film into a context that explains the style of the narrative. There is an absolute link to the game as Dante fights smaller monsters before going to battle against what would be considered a boss (or more difficult to defeat opponent), much like the varying stages of a video game quest. In addition, it is these action sequences that comprise most of the movie.

As the animators change, so does Dante’s appearance, which can be somewhat disconcerting and briefly takes you out of the story. With each new chapter, Dante’s and Virgil’s appearances alter – in the early sections, the changes are minimal; however, as the story nears the end, Dante’s look becomes increasingly different from the early renderings. The extensive modifications are quite distracting from the story. Personally, I prefer the earlier versions.

Special features include: animatics and the EA game trailer.