Dante's Inferno: An Animated Epic

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Dante's Inferno: An Animated Epic
Dante's Inferno AAE.jpg
Directed by
Produced by
Written by Brandon Auman
Based on Divine Comedy
by Dante Alighieri and
Dante's Inferno
by Visceral Games
Starring
Music by Christopher Tin
Production
company
Distributed by Starz
Release date
  • February 9, 2010 (2010-02-09)
Running time
88 minutes
Country United States
Japan
South Korea
Language English

Dante's Inferno: An Animated Epic is a direct to DVD animated dark fantasy action film released on February 9, 2010. The film is based on Dante's Inferno video game which is itself loosely based on Dante's Inferno.[1][2]

Plot

The movie is separated into several parts. Each chapter is animated with different styles. These vary in degree of difference and depict Dante with differing features, such as hair length, bodily proportions, and armour.

The film starts with Dante's return from the Third Crusade. Speaking in inner monologue, he describes the forests as gloomy and nearly worse than death. He can detect someone following him, but each time he tries to approach, his pursuer vanishes. Upon arriving, he finds his servants slain, his father dead and his beloved fiancee Beatrice lying on the ground, dying of a stab wound to the stomach. As she dies, she turns into a spirit and begins to ascend into Heaven. However, disguised as a shadow, Lucifer plucks Beatrice from the sky and into the gates of Hell.

Dante gives chase through the forest but stops as the portal that Lucifer opened closes around all three of them. Dante is attacked by, but subsequently slaughters, an oncoming mob of creatures, only to be captured by a score of serpent-like arms which suspend him immobile in the air. They sow a red cross into his chest and torso, a living tapestry, detailing his greatest sins in life. Virgil appears and offers to guide him through Hell. After Dante invokes his faith, he is able to tear open the gates and enter Hell for himself.

Not long after arriving in Hell, Dante and Virgil board the being Charon, itself a massive, demonic, living ferry that takes souls across the river Acheron to the First Circle of Hell. Charon commands demons to attack Dante, as no living being is allowed to enter. Dante fights them off, but loses his sword in the process and so takes up one of the demons' scythes as his own. He then proceeds to kill Charon, plunging his scythe into Charon's head and steering him into the coasts of the first circle, whereupon Charon is impaled through the head and neck.

Virgil and Dante enter the first circle, Limbo, which is home to mostly virtuous pagans and unbaptized babies. It is here Dante learns Beatrice was pregnant with his child while he was away, but miscarried after five months. Without time for sorrow, he is attacked by demonic children. As he and Virgil escape into a large building, they come across a hall of great rulers, philosophers, and thinkers such as Aristotle, Plato, Socrates, and Saladin, whose forces Dante had battled during his crusade. They move on and eventually encounter King Minos, whose task is to judge all condemned souls to their sin's corresponding circle of Hell. When he denies Dante access, they battle. Dante kills Minos by dropping him onto his own spinning wheel of judgment. Meanwhile, Lucifer tortures Beatrice in a cycle of killing her, tricking her endlessly with the hope of rescue, and taunting her that Dante had never kept his promises after he left.

Falling onto the storm-ravaged shores of the second circle, Dante notices bodies flying through the wind, intertwined. Virgil explains the island is the second circle of Lust and those in the wind are caught in a never-ending storm of passion and may never know rest. Following Beatrice's cries from the distance, Dante ends up in a room of succubi who transform into hideous demons. As they try to seduce him, he finally realizes that he did break his promise to Beatrice; during the Crusade, an imprisoned heretic woman offered "comfort" in ransom to save her husband from being beaten to death. Having been under the illusion he was 'absolved' of all sin by a mere summary declaration by a priest, he accepted her offer. Upon hearing this, Beatrice begins to lose her faith, yet refuses Lucifer's offer of his hand in marriage.

Coming to a grotto of men and women who had lived their lives without knowing fulfillment by gluttony, so they suffer lacking it entirely in death. Many starving individuals are caught and devoured by Cerberus and Virgil tells Dante the only way to the next circle is from within the beast. Dante allows himself to be eaten by it and enters the gut of the great hound of hell. He encounters Ciacco, a man from his village, and hearing his confession of gluttony, tells him to be free, before blessing him with his cross. Ciacco's spirit floats skyward, before a shadow of Lucifer appears to torment Dante. In order to escape Cerberus' belly, Dante attacks and destroys the beast's heart, causing the demon to spit him up and spew him out in a river of blood that flows down into the next circle.

Dante and Virgil's next circle of Hell is of men and women who wasted their lives in pursuit of material possessions. The condemned souls are tortured by being sheared in money presses, boiled in melted gold, and buried in enormous mounds of heavy gold coins. Within this circle, Dante confronts his father, having been promised a thousand years free of torture and endless gold if he would murder his own son. The pair battle fiercely, but Dante gains the upper hand, kicking his father into a vat of boiling gold.

The fifth circle of hell is Wrath. Virgil and Dante can sense the very rage in the air. They proceed to the River Styx in which violence is still running rampant among the spirits fighting in the shallow waters. They climb aboard Phlegyas, a demonic giant who traverses the river while men and women who know of Dante taunt him from within the boiling mud below. Dante has Phlegyas charge the city when he sees Lucifer within, announcing to the damned souls within of his intent to marry Beatrice. When he strikes Phlegyas down, Dante chases after the devil.

The sixth circle of Hell is for the heretics, people who have gone against the teaching of their churches. As they travel through halls of men and women who forever burn in fire and are therein also tortured by various implements, Dante comes across Farinata, another man that Dante hated in life, who taunts Dante by revealing Lucifer's plan to wed Beatrice and how he would be trapped in Hell forever. Dante angrily kills Farinata just before fleeing the sixth circle and before it collapses from the force of Christ's death which, Virgil explains, quakes the circle eternally.

Virgil helps Dante face the Minotaur, guardian of the Circle of Violence, causing an easy defeat by allowing the beast's anger to get the better of him. Dante and Virgil enter the seventh circle, Violence, having been helped across the river by the centaur Nessus. In this river, they behold many souls boiling in a vast river of the blood of their own victims, the violence they had inflicted upon others. Entering the Forest of Suicides, Dante hears a familiar cry and finds his mother growing from the sapling of a tree, forever in pain for killing herself and not finding the strength to stand up against or leave her husband, Dante's father; she eventually hanged herself. Dante had been told she died of a fever. Having been overwhelmed with sorrow, Dante uses his cross to free her soul. They move onto a graveyard within the Abominable Sands where his one-time comrades and one of his close friends Francesco rise from the grave, with his fallen comrade Crusaders as undead warriors. This graveyard is where souls are condemned for committing acts of violence in the name of God. Dante defeats Francesco by slicing his head in half laterally. It is in this that Dante reflects upon slaughtering several heretics including men, women, and children without mercy.

After being carried by the geryon, Virgil parts ways with Dante upon entering the realm of Fraud, the eighth circle, telling him he only needs to cross a continuous series of several very large bridges in order to stop the marriage of Beatrice and Lucifer who are just beyond the far end of the bridges. As Dante starts crossing, he begins to reflect upon his own sins. He realizes his father, family servants, and Beatrice were slain by the husband of the woman with whom he had been unfaithful to Beatrice and thus blames their deaths on himself. Beatrice finally gives in to her sorrow of Dante's betrayal, thus wedding Lucifer and fully becoming a demon, losing her wings and rights to heaven. Her body engulfed in flames, Beatrice proceeds to attack Dante, overpowering him and forcing his gaze into the into the ninth circle of Treachery to make him see the greatest sin. This cardinal sin had been his allowing her brother to willingly take the blame for his slaughtering of the heretic prisoners. Overwhelmed with grief, he presents Beatrice her cross, which he had promised to give back to her upon his return from the Crusade. She relents as he begs for forgiveness and pleads with her to once again accept the love of God, and so she forgives him, causing her to return to her previous angelic form as she kisses him. A two-headed angel descends from Heaven to take her. Beatrice promises they will be together soon, but in order to escape Hell, he will need to face Lucifer alone.

Descending into the final circle, the cold caverns of traitors, and after wandering in the dark, he comes across a very large cave filled with huge frozen chains blocking the path and then mows through them, only to encounter a three-faced demon in the center which appears to be Lucifer's corporeal form. So then Lucifer, having been freed by the rending his chains, attacks Dante. Dante slays the beast and is within a short span of escaping Hell and entering Purgatory, where his salvation awaits. Lucifer, however, now freed from his previous frozen form, reveals his true corporeal form and breaks free from his false body and easily overpowers Dante, while also revealing that many heroes have tried to kill him, such as Ulysses, Alexander, Attila, and Lancelot. But none of them had a soul black enough to allow Lucifer to free himself. He also reveals that Beatrice was merely bait to lure Dante into Hell to free him from his prison. He promises to enter Purgatory, and then even Paradise, to rend Heaven into a new and greater Hell. Dante realizes he cannot stop Lucifer on his own. So Dante then prays and repents in humility and begs for divine forgiveness and to sacrifice his own soul to defeat Lucifer and so prevent him from his sworn conquest of the higher realms, pleading for the power to trap Lucifer with him forever. Lucifer runs back in shocked horror, trying to stop Dante from making this pact; however, he is stopped by an explosive beam of light, emanating from Dante, that freezes Lucifer solid.

Free to move on, Dante dives into the chasm that leads through the earth to Purgatory to be with Beatrice, now "neither completely living, nor completely dead", as he puts it. Later that night, the flesh-emblem of sin he ripped off his chest transforms into a serpent, supposedly Lucifer waiting to get his revenge, that slithers away into the distance.

Cast

Crew

Co-Directors (1 each from the various studios)

  • Victor Cook
  • Mike Disa
  • Sang-Jin Kim
  • Shûkô Murase
  • Jong-Sik Nam
  • Lee Seung-Gyu
  • Yasuomi Umetsu
  • Charlie Adler - Voice Director

Development

The film was animated by Film Roman who also animated Dead Space: Downfall, which was also based on an EA game. The Japanese animation studio Production I.G helped animate Hell. A total of six animation studios were involved with the film. It was released on February 9, 2010.

Reception

Anime News Network gave the movie an Overall: B-.

References

  1. ^ DVD Verdict
  2. ^ Dread Central

External links

  • Dante's Inferno: An Animated Epic on IMDb
  • Dante's Inferno: An Animated Epic at The Big Cartoon DataBase
  • Dante's Inferno: An Animated Epic (anime) at Anime News Network's encyclopedia
  • and Details: Anchor Bay's Animated Dante's Inferno Feature
  • Animated Dante's Inferno on the Way
  • Dante’s Inferno: An Animated Epic review
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