Hellboy: Sword of Storms

Movie review by
Will Wade, Common Sense Media
Hellboy: Sword of Storms Movie Poster Image
Dark, fun ghost story for older kids and adults.
  • NR
  • 2006
  • 77 minutes

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Positive Messages

Some unusual situations occur as Hellboy and his squad -- which tends to follow a rather rigid military order -- face off against the unconforming undead. In the end, this movie really comes down to good vs. evil, and it's pretty easy to tell which side everyone is on.

Violence

Several violent battles against demons and ghosts, but the action, while dark, is more comic-like than graphic. One character is possessed by evil spirits.

Sex
Language
Consumerism

Part of a popular comic book franchise.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Some smoking. Hellboy does enjoy his cigars.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this comic book-based, made-for-TV animated movie delivers a big dose of the supernatural. There are plenty of ghosts, spirits, and demons, and one significant episode in which a character is possessed, which could be scary for young children.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written bydan555 April 9, 2008
Teen, 13 years old Written bystar1515 April 9, 2008
Kid, 12 years old April 9, 2008

What's the story?

Based on Michael Mignola's popular comic book series about a secret military unit that battles evil supernatural forces, the animated HELLBOY: SWORD OF STORMS follows the team to Japan, where a professor has become possessed by the twin demons of thunder and lightning, who were imprisoned long ago within a magical sword. The title character, Hellboy (voiced by Ron Perlman, who also starred in the live-action film), is the team's strongest member and its biggest secret, because he's a real demon, captured as a baby and raised to fight for good. With bright red skin, horns, a resistance to flame, and plenty of attitude, Hellboy has no patience for evil spirits. When Hellboy picks up the weapon, he's transported to a mystical land populated by monsters straight out of Japanese mythology who urge him to break the sword and free the demons. Though doing just that is Hellboy's only way back to the real world, the two vindictive spirits will almost certainly destroy the planet if loosed.

Is it any good?

This highly entertaining animated film is true to the spirit of Mignola's brooding comic series, and the writers have clearly done their homework when it comes to Japanese folklore. But don't make the mistake of thinking that since it's a cartoon, it must be for children. Though the violence is stylized and comic-like, the film has some complex themes, and the overall mood is pretty dark, making it a good fit for older tweens and up.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about what it means to be good. The main character, Hellboy, is -- quite literally -- a demon. And although he's been raised by the good guys and taught from birth to combat dark forces, there's no getting around the fact that he looks like the quintessential demonic spirit, with bright red skin, an oversized fist just perfect for smashing things, and a seriously grumpy attitude. How do others perceive him? Why is it important not to judge people based on how they look on the outside? Families who've seen the live-action Hellboy movie can also compare the two films -- which is a better representation of the original comic? Why?

Movie details

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