Director: Patrick Archibald, Jay Oliva, Richard Sebast, Frank D. Paur
Cast: Bryce Johnson, Paul Nakauchi, Kevin Michael Richardson, Michael Yama
Have I Seen it Before: Never. Never really thought I would have the interest.
Did I Like It: I suddenly find myself scouring the earth for Doctor Strange material, so this is certainly satisfying the itch if for only a moment.
A funny thing happened during my most recent viewing of Doctor Strange (2016). I started really digging his vibe. Normally, I’m immune to the charms of stories about magic users, the occasional Harry Potter not withstanding. But there’s something about that Sorcerer Supreme that has lit the imagination of this magic-averse on fire.
Is it the psychedelic nature of Strange’s world? His easy desire to wield the tools of a trickster in service of the greater good? Partially, but I think it is far more as a result of his supremely (if you’ll forgive the unintentional pun) cerebral nature.
His powers are not innate, nor are they as a result of some supernatural transformation. True, Iron Man and Batman owe a large amount of their power to their intellect, but Stark largely hides behind his improbable machines, and the Dark Knight has trained his body to perfection. Strange’s body has failed him, and literally all of his powers are learned. Maybe it is intellectual vanity on my part, but a superhero exclusively of the mind appeals to me.
But enough about that, how did this movie fair? In constructing Strange’s origins, this one falls a little short in relation to the live action movie. With a shorter run time, I would have wished the animated filmmakers got Strange to be far more strange far more quickly. It does effectively tap into the more mind-bending aspects of the source material, but it is well past the halfway point of the film before Strange dons his cloak of levitation. I’d like to see full-length movies where he is always his iconic image. Maybe I just need to be more patient for the forthcoming Doctor Strange 2.