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AICN Anime - An Animatic Preview of Dante's Inferno: An Animated Epic

Logo handmade by Bannister Column by Scott Green
On February 9th, Anchor Bay will be releasing Dante’s Inferno: An Animated Epic on Blu-ray and DVD. The anthology, with work from and Production IG (Kill Bill animated sequence), Dongwoo (Batman: Gotham Knight), Manglobe (Ergo Proxy, Samurai Champloo), JM Animation (“Avatar: The Last Airbender”), tie-ins to EA's upcoming Divine Comedy inspired action-adventure game. We at AICN have been fortunately enough to get a look at the several animatic story reels used to develop the work.
DANTE’S INFERNO (DVD) Street Date: February 9, 2010 Genre: Horror Format: 1.78 Anamorphic Widescreen Audio: Dolby Digital 5.1 Rating: Not Rated Run Time: 88 minutes Retail Price: $26.97 Bonus Features: EA Game Trailer, Animatics from the film DANTE’S INFERNO (BLU-RAY) Street Date: February 9, 2010 Format: 1.78 Anamorphic Widescreen Audio: Dolby Digital 5.1 Rating: Not Rated Run Time: 88 minutes Retail Price: $34.98 Bonus Features: EA Game Trailer, Animatics from the film

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  • Jan. 12, 2010, 3:45 p.m. CST


    by QuizKidDonnieSmith

  • Jan. 12, 2010, 4 p.m. CST

    looks alright

    by Kizeesh

    Game is just a glorified God of War modification.

  • Jan. 12, 2010, 4:48 p.m. CST

    Looks cool — Visuals are impressive—

    by blakindigo

    Not sure about the female lead's voice acting, but it's not fair to judge the entire film on a preview.

  • Jan. 12, 2010, 4:51 p.m. CST

    Who are the ad wizards...

    by wampa 1

    ...that came up with this one?

  • Jan. 12, 2010, 4:52 p.m. CST

    Someone needs to put Anime out of it's misery.

    by untamedc

    The whole style is tired. It haven't offered ANYTHING new in like a 20 years. It's a whole style based on imitation of past glories. Sure, the action is always visual stunning, but the stories and dialogue are consistently forced and stilted. Stop it, please! And any artist eager to work in Anime style, here's a clue, how about developing your OWN unique style.

  • Jan. 12, 2010, 5:04 p.m. CST

    Anime isn't tired, check out

    by blackwood

    Tekkonkinkreet.<p>Though broadly, I'm not interested in most Anime. Although I am a bit keen on this.

  • Jan. 12, 2010, 5:29 p.m. CST

    Peter Sarsgaard's in talks to play the villain in

    by Bruce of all Trades

    The Green Lantern. Slashfilm's already on this. Put up the news, you lazy-asses!

  • Jan. 12, 2010, 5:36 p.m. CST

    Loved the demo, can't wait for the game to come out.

    by Stalkeye

  • Jan. 12, 2010, 5:39 p.m. CST

    life friends is boring

    by ieatgarbage

    literature bores me. <p> wag

  • Jan. 12, 2010, 6:05 p.m. CST

    wtf was that?

    by torontoxic

    So they took the title and basic one line idea and just ran like a motherfucker with it in every direction? <P> Next up: Sartor Resartus Virtual Rape Extreme.

  • Jan. 12, 2010, 6:12 p.m. CST

    Tekkonkinkreet was wicked —

    by blakindigo

  • Jan. 12, 2010, 6:21 p.m. CST

    Someone needs to put TRAILER MAKERS out of their misery!

    by white_vader

    Or more accurately, creatively bankrupt copywriters. "Evil will Rise". Uh, yep... just because it didn't hit the nadir of "Titans will Clash" doesn't mean it isn't shit.

  • Jan. 12, 2010, 6:34 p.m. CST

    This looks fun and all but...

    by abuelito amazes me how far the game developers have gone to make this story a "boy has to rescue girl" cliche As anyone who has read the original knows, it was Beatrice who rescues Dante from eternal damnation (she's all happy and snug in Paradise, thank you very much). It's kind of ironic that a 12th century poem is actually more enlightened gender-wise than this 21st century version.

  • Jan. 12, 2010, 6:45 p.m. CST


    by Castlemonster


  • Jan. 12, 2010, 6:52 p.m. CST

    Midway in the journey of our life...

    by rabidfnark

    I came to myself in a dark wood, For the way was lost.

  • Jan. 12, 2010, 6:57 p.m. CST

    Abandon all brains...

    by Castlemonster

    Ye who watches this shit

  • Jan. 12, 2010, 6:58 p.m. CST

    Wasn't Daniel Craig going to play Lucifer...

    by rabidfnark

    in a live action version of this, or was that "Paradise Lost"? Either way, what happened to that? As for this Anime version it has the same feel as "Troy" did for me: it could be epic and should be epic, but in the end it won't be unless you tell the right story... one that bears at least a passing resemblance to what it is based upon.

  • Jan. 12, 2010, 7:06 p.m. CST

    I mean, this was a story about sin...

    by rabidfnark

    and where it lead, not about fighting monsters in grand action sequences. At best this is an unnecessary reinvention, at worst an insulting misinterpretation.

  • Jan. 12, 2010, 7:06 p.m. CST

    Dante wrote Inferno

    by Castlemonster

    so he could put all of his enemies, rivals and oppressors in Hell. It must have been very cathartic for him. Ironically, our conceptions of Hell are based almost entirely on Dante as the actual Buybull has next to nothing to say about it.

  • Jan. 12, 2010, 7:09 p.m. CST


    by Azlam Orlandu

    Still looks like a blast though.

  • Jan. 12, 2010, 7:39 p.m. CST

    Actually Azlam,

    by rabidfnark

    You raise an interesting point: the structure is similar to that of a videogame: levels(circles), bosses (conceivably. But why not make up a story about going to hell and fighting demons rather than pervert an important (we can argue over quality all day) piece of literature to suit your needs.

  • Jan. 12, 2010, 8:09 p.m. CST

    did they read the book?

    by therealrockinrolla

    i mean really wtf?

  • Jan. 12, 2010, 8:25 p.m. CST

    And according to the trailer...

    by rabidfnark

    there were some pretty creative minds behind this (people who worked on Ghost in the Shell, Samurai Champloo, etc.). They couldn't come up with something on their own? Kinda makes it even harder to understand.

  • Jan. 12, 2010, 8:26 p.m. CST

    Dante would be spinning in his grave.

    by Ingeld

    If he wasn't up in heaven with Beatrice. In many ways this is actually blasphemous against everything Dante Alighieri believed in. For the real Dante the only person who rescues us for damnation is Christ. For anyone else to even attempt to do so would be the sin of pride. People don't mistakenly go to hell. I am not preaching, just explaining.

  • Jan. 12, 2010, 8:29 p.m. CST

    It's a poem, technically

    by Castlemonster

    Inferno is just the first part of it. I wonder if the bodycount goes up over the rest of The Devine Comedy.

  • Jan. 12, 2010, 8:31 p.m. CST

    *Divine* Comedy

    by Castlemonster

    What the fuck. It's just another headache-inducing anime, anyhow.

  • Jan. 12, 2010, 8:40 p.m. CST

    The question isn't if they read it...

    by Castlemonster

    But if they read it in the original Italian. And did they read Dante's notes? Even the lost notes that no one knows about? Did they try to communicate with Dante's ghost at all and try to explain the concept of violent porn cartoons to him?

  • Jan. 12, 2010, 9 p.m. CST

    white_vader: "creatively bankrupt copywriters"

    by Regicidal_Maniac

    is a tautology. I should know. We all whores and clients' amends are almost always stupid and not worth the argument to challenge. In a World That Knows Only Fear, Evil Will Rise and ONE MAN Will Stand Alone to Fight for our Right to blah blah blah. It's simple short-hand to get the message across in :30 seconds. Everyone understands it and that's why it is still in use, because it works. Don't hate the players, hate the game.

  • Jan. 12, 2010, 9:03 p.m. CST

    we all = we ARE all

    by Regicidal_Maniac

    ehh, nobody's paying me to write this, so who cares?

  • Jan. 12, 2010, 9:33 p.m. CST

    untamed, don't write off the genre... try these

    by MurderMostFowl

    Paranoia Agent <BR>Perfect Blue <BR>Ghost in the Shell (movie) <BR>Cowboy Bebop<BR> To me, those define what good "anime" is or can be<BR><BR>Some less perfect but really fun ones are: <BR>Ghost in the Shell ( TV series )<BR> <BR > Death Note ( season 2 got kind of labored ) <BR>Macross Frontier ( no English dub of this yet ) <BR> FLCL ( it's over the top, but is aware of that ) <BR> And my favorite guilty pleasure "Big O" which is flat out b movie material and exactly the typical anime you are complaining about, but for whatever reason it works for me.

  • Jan. 12, 2010, 9:35 p.m. CST

    6 directors? Animatrix?

    by MurderMostFowl

    So is this an "Animatrix" sort of thing where it's all different stories only loosely related?

  • Jan. 12, 2010, 9:37 p.m. CST

    English language anime = FAIL

    by jackknifed_juggernaut

  • Jan. 12, 2010, 9:50 p.m. CST

    The contrapasso--the law of the inferno

    by Ingeld

    in which sinners are punished by the fulfillment and perfection of their desires. The lustful are forever bound to those whom they lusted after in life. The makers of this animated epic/game will most likely spend an eternity being forced to watch and play their abomination--probably in the eight circle of the inferno--for those guilty of fraud. Dante's Inferno it is not.

  • Jan. 12, 2010, 10:07 p.m. CST

    jackknifed_juggernaut don't be self important

    by MurderMostFowl

    if Anime gets dubbed into English to get a wider audience, that's great. There are lots of houses who do some real class act dubs these days. I haven't heard a bad dub in quite awhile. ( And I'm an 80's anime child.. there are plenty! ) <BR><BR> Don't make yourself sound cool because you think you're supposed to be upset when a show isn't in Japanese. If you can understand it, or prefer reading the subtitles, I applaud you. I prefer dubs because they let you concentrate on the film itself and not get detracted from reading. That said, there have been a couple of series lately I've watched straight through in Japanese. Hell I have watched the 25th anniversary of Macross DYRL Perfect Edition so many times I don't even need the subtitles anymore :)

  • Jan. 12, 2010, 10:40 p.m. CST

    Ingeld, explain to me

    by blackwood

    How this film, and the game, are a travesty. I'm not trolling, I genuinely want to know why you think that.<p>Does it go beyond the quality of the adaptation? That it's not literal is one thing - many stories are changed to better suit the mediums they are adapted to. Is it because you are a purist? Do you think this damages a work that has stood the test of literal centuries?

  • Jan. 12, 2010, 10:56 p.m. CST

    Millennium Actress

    by Toonol

    If somebody continues to criticize anime after watching Millennium Actress, you are justified in dismissing their criticism as absolutely meaningless.

  • Jan. 12, 2010, 10:57 p.m. CST


    by rabidfnark

    The reason I'm upset (though I'm not who you asked) is because it looks like they've strayed very far from the source material of a very important work of literature, simply to make a movie about killing monsters. Or at least that's how it seems

  • Jan. 12, 2010, 10:59 p.m. CST


    by Toonol

    I personally don't really care whether anybody watches a show subbed or dubbed; I think it's silly to be strident over a trivial matter.<p> But, a question: Do you prefer dubs for ALL foreign films? I.E., would you rather watch a French film dubbed into English than subtitled? Or do you feel differently about animation than live action?

  • Jan. 12, 2010, 11:25 p.m. CST

    Anime is a Carcinogen

    by Castlemonster

    Woah! Dante! Dude! It's us, Bill and Ted! We got sent here by our evil robot clones who are, like, scamming on our girlfriends! You gotta help us get out of this totally bogus movie, dude!

  • Jan. 13, 2010, 12:05 a.m. CST


    by blackwood

    Thanks for your opinion. I'll admit I still don't get it - if anything, this is a lot like putting a flower against a black background on a paperback reissue of Wuthering Heights, so as to confuse Twitards into reading something classic and of substance. I think it's an effective marketing tool for a centuries-old manuscript that lives in the hearts of academics and the high walls of white towers and really, no where else. The game that this film is based on comes with a copy of the Longfellow translation - sure, there will be people who read it expecting lots of tits and blood, but maybe it will reach a whole new audience and gain a new generation of fans - all because of a non literal and fairly exploitive adaptation. I guess I just see it as an overall win for the work, and a gory good time in the interim.

  • Jan. 13, 2010, 12:26 a.m. CST


    by rabidfnark

    If this leads people to read the original text, then that's a good thing. But I think that if it was presented as something somewhat close to the source material, those same people would be just as enthralled. I mean it's "An Animated Epic" people would still be drawn in and mesmerized without having to bastardize the meaning. They already have "Devil May Cry" and stuff like that for a souped up action romp through hell. Why not do the original right?

  • Jan. 13, 2010, 12:56 a.m. CST

    Commedia actually ...

    by ReportAbuse

    People added the "divine" adjective years later as an indication of the stature the work held. Also I think Dante was strongly inspired by Virgil's depiction of a very similar journey to the underworld. However it seems the game makers here have borrowed the old "rescue of Persephone" plot which was also used by Cocteau in his 1950 film "Orpheus" (in which the hero goes to Hades to rescue Eurydice ...)

  • Jan. 13, 2010, 1:06 a.m. CST

    As for anime ...

    by ReportAbuse

    Much as I love Miyazaki, et al, I think South Park basically pwned the generic anime style in an episode years ago. As for Dante, the continuing popularity of the commedia is pretty well proven by the seemingly endless stream of new translations that keep coming out every few years. My favorites are still Ciardi, Musa, and Mandelbaum's versions. There's also an interesting modernized version by Marcus Sanders & Sandow Birk which includes extensive illustrations setting the commedia in 21st century San Francisco.

  • Jan. 13, 2010, 5:44 a.m. CST


    by Ivan Alexeev

    You Cock-Smoker.

  • Jan. 13, 2010, 6:50 a.m. CST


    by white_vader

    ;) <p> Although, "Titans will Rise" was both shit AND judging by the (appropriate) backlash, did NOT work. Not to mention also the most hilariously redundant howler of all time. But I'm sorta past that and on to worrying about the fucking rock music looking like it'll make it's way from the trailer (after spreading to the Wolfman one) into the movie itself. Faaarrk! <p> THIS SUMMER, vote NO "In a world, for anybody who ever dared to dream..."!

  • Jan. 13, 2010, 8:13 a.m. CST

    RE: Blackwood

    by Ingeld

    Dante's Commedia is arguably one of the greatest works of literature ever--certainly the greatest medieval work. It is an amazing synthesis of medieval theology, history, philosophy and history. While its themes are many, it presents the value that the love of God supersedes any other kind of love. That, in fact, sin is misdirected love--a love of things of this world or even other people more than God. The main theme of the DC is that grace is bestowed upon as we put our heart, mind and soul toward reaching the beatific vision of God. This animated epic/game takes a text that is supposed to assist the reader in aligning oneself with the divine and redirects its theme 180 degrees. In this adaptation Dante is not assisted by Beatrice who allegorically represents grace. Instead Dante must "save" her from the Inferno! It is the pagan Orpheus myth dressed up in Dantean costume in an excuse to battle monsters. This idea is antithetical to the entire business of the original epic. For the real Dante, the business of saving belongs only to the Son of God. No one goes to hell wrongly. That would imply that divine justice is not just or that God errs. In general then the movie/game is a travesty simply because it takes a great work of literature and discards its heart and vitals only to reduce it to its thin outer hide--a journey to the underworld, guided by an old Roman in relation to a former love who passed away. This "adaptation" is like killing a lion only for its hide and then calling that hide that lies on your floor a lion.

  • Jan. 13, 2010, 9 a.m. CST


    by David Cloverfield

    BEATRIIIIICE! This shit is hillarious. I don't know which classic should get this treatment next. But taking a serious, loved work of literature centuries old and turning it into this... awesome.

  • Jan. 13, 2010, 10:05 a.m. CST

    Character Names by Dante Alleghri

    by Nabakov

    Not much else pertains. How about a game in which you try to hunt down and kill Jane Austin before she can write Emma? I'd buy that!

  • Jan. 13, 2010, 10:31 a.m. CST


    by blackwood

    Thank you - I appreciate you laying it out for me. I still maintain that it might do some good (to borrow your analogy, perhaps seeing the hide will cause some people to seek out the lion), but I respect where you're coming from. I do think it is an interesting experiment (and I'm talking more of the game than this film), whose failure will be ultimately beneficial to discourse around literature, adaptation and gaming.

  • Jan. 13, 2010, 10:54 a.m. CST

    RE: Blackwood

    by Ingeld

    No problem. You asked an honest question. Honestly, I am not upset or in a lather about this film or video game. Dante's literary legacy is quite safe. And you are right this video/game might get people wondering about the literary text.

  • Jan. 13, 2010, 11:31 a.m. CST

    I'd rather play as Dante.

    by Kontarsky

    Who the fuck is this knight idiot? Dante already *is* spinning in his grave, or spinning in Heaven, so the obvious doesn't need to be stated again. He'd hate this shit as much as I do. At first, I thought we were getting an ACTUAL CARTOON of Inferno, my first foray into classical literature. Instead, I see it's just another tie-in with a piece of shit. Fuck it. People are getting dumber and dumber. Idiocracy might be coming true after all. Can't wait to see what they do to the Canterbury Tales next. Probably knight-jousting action and no one is religious or even on a fucking pilgrimage.<p>PS, Dante's literary legacy isn't safe. It might be safe on terms of someone not suing the idiots making this, but it's not safe for most people with half a braincell who have read it.

  • Jan. 13, 2010, 3:48 p.m. CST

    It's too bad

    by veritasses

    that they never seem to get how important the voice acting and directing is. Though I suppose it could just be that they don't have a big pool of talent to choose from. A shame...

  • Jan. 13, 2010, 4:17 p.m. CST

    That's funny, don't remember any of that from the original

    by KingNineReturns

  • Jan. 13, 2010, 9:55 p.m. CST

    Toonol... not really

    by MurderMostFowl

    I can't say I prefer dubbed films, but I do believe that subtitled films often get a free pass. This only works if the movie is otherwise good. For instance, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon is good, but people elevate it up to something more than it is because it's in a language they don't understand. <BR><BR> It adds an austere quality that isn't really there. <BR><BR> Dubbing in a real film has the side effect of taking you out of your suspension of disbelief. If you doctor the script too much to make the words match up better with mouth movements you get dangerously close to losing your audience. <BR> In animation you have considerably more freedom with this because the mouth movements are not perfect anyway and end up more forgivable. <BR><BR>AI'd rather have someone watch a dub of some great anime than not have them watch it at all you know?

  • Jan. 13, 2010, 10:35 p.m. CST

    by anonymoose

  • Jan. 14, 2010, 2:09 p.m. CST


    by Death_By_Konami

    That is some epically bad VO on the girl's part.

  • Jan. 15, 2010, 12:11 a.m. CST

    untamedc, which particular style is tired?

    by Johnno

    Since Sutiod 4C came on the block, there's been a vairety of art styles to follow. Not to mentions Animatrix itself highlights each episode with a unique and varying and experimental style. As for stories and shit, name some you hated and we'll get a nice view of the limited amount of shit you bothered to watch. Nice try being a blanket statement making-jackass. There's one in the anime talkback everyday. Find something unique to complain about next time.

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