Marvel Animated Features (Part 8): Thor: Tales Of Asgard

Hello, my friends.  Hard to believe, but we have reached Ragnarok!  Welcome to the final entry of a review series known as…

Marvel Animated Features!

Hard to believe that I started looking that this series only 1 1/2 years ago, but we have come a long way in such a fairly short time.  As such, it’s time to take a look at our final entry called…

Our Title Card!.jpg

Originally released on May 17, 2011 (11 days after the Thunder God made his general MCU debut), this was the last film in this direct-to-video series.  I haven’t been able to find out why this particular line of films was brought to a close.  If I were to guess, it would have been that the Marvel Cinematic Universe needed as much attention as possible in order to guarantee its success.  After all, that film series has grown into the massive movie franchise that it is today.  Either way, let us go back in time and see a hero rise long before he becomes a familiar Thunder God.

thor-have-at-theesif-a-simple-spectator

Following the opening title sequence, we begin with a group of warriors called the Einherjar descending down to engage a young lad named Thor (voiced by Matthew Wolf) in combat.  High above, Lady Sif (voiced by Tara Strong) is among the spectators who have come to see him.

As such, Thor manages to showcase his swordplay for his adoring audience.  During the ruckus, he loses his grip on his sword and ends up disarmed.  However, the Einherjar don’t proceed to take advantage of their situation as their leader named Ander gives Thor his blade and engages him while his men stand back.  After seeing the competition taking it easy on him, Sif disapprovingly walks out.  As such, the fight concludes with Ander and his men conceding victory to Thor.

thor-encouragement-from-a-brother

After noticing that Sif had already taken her leave, Thor heads out while receiving praise and his scabbard from his brother Loki (voiced by Rick Gomez), who blames the dwarves for making his sword’s handle “too slick”.

sif-youre-a-pampered-boy-thorthor-fight-me-sif

We then cut to the stable where Sif is feeding her Pegasus.  As Thor arrives to tell her about his victory at the coliseum, she shoots his triumph down due to the fact that the Einherjar have tangled with various creatures across the Nine Realms while he’s never even been outside of Asgard, not to mention that they’ve purposely let Thor win his matches.  After Sif claims that he’s “never had an honest fight” before, he draws his sword and challenges her to prove him wrong.

sif-i-accept-your-challengesif-too-easy

As such, Sif reluctantly decides to fight as she picks up a pitchfork and breaks off the tines.  Thor charges as her, but she quickly ends the fight by using her stick to sling the feed bucket onto his head before tripping him up.

From there, she mounts onto her winged steed and starts to head out.  While waiting outside for his brother, Loki tells her that she’ll fit alongside the Valkyries.  Sif tells him to “stop protecting him” before taking to the skies.  As such, the scene ends with an embarrassed Thor taking his leave.

warriors-three-spinning-yarnthor-a-princes-fury

In the center of town, the Warriors Three, consisting of Fandral (voiced by Alistair Abell), Volstagg (voiced by Brent Chapman) and Hogun (voiced by Paul Dobson) are spinning a yarn about their recent venture which included searching for an item called the Sword of Surtur.  Just then, Thor wanders by as Hogun asks whether he would be able to join them in their next quest.  When Volstagg comments on how he’s not allowed to leave the kingdom, Thor snaps and grabs the plump warrior in anger.  Fortunately, he calms down and heads off.

odin-i-need-some-alone-time-with-my-sonthor-stop-treating-me-like-a-child

We then cut to the main palace where Odin (voiced by Chris Britton) and his assistant, Algrim (voiced by Ron Halder) have learned from Skala that the Valkyries have set up their headquarters over in Yggdrasill, just west of Svartalfheim.  Despite the fact that their recent scout hasn’t returned from tracking the female warriors, Skala explains that he and his men did follow their leader, Brunhilde, right after her private conversation with Lady Sif.  Afterwards, Odin excuses them as Algrim escorts them out in order for Thor to talk to his dad.  He wishes to join the Einherjar for one of their patrols, but Odin refuses.  Thor says that he wants to know how good his swordsmanship really is since he feels that the Einherjar have let him win his coliseum battles.  After Odin confirms their actions, Thor demands to know why.  Odin explains that his son has chosen to show off for his training, but the people have to be shown that their prince is skilled enough to prevail.  He also tells Thor that being a king is more than just fighting in battles, since it’s mainly about avoiding vicious conflicts altogether.  As such, the scene ends with Odin forbidding his son from leaving Asgard.

Later, Thor makes his way to the armory where he proceeds to discard his current sword.  After Algrim comes out of the shadows shortly after his presence was noted, Thor picks up a more sturdy blade and brings up his recent argument.  As Algrim asks why the young lad requires this particular sword, Thor explains of a “secret quest” for young warriors to test themselves as “a rite of passage”.  It turns out that he’s going to hunt down the previously mentioned Sword of Surtur.  However, the item is located in the icy realm of Jötunheim.  Algrim warns him that they currently have a delicate truce with the opposing Frost Giants, even briefly mentioning that his own people met their fate at the hands of those frostbitten foes.  The scene ends with Thor promising to be careful, as long as Algrim doesn’t tell on him.

loki-magical-practice-makes-magical-perfectloki-ive-done-it

Sometime later, Loki is practicing his magic under the guidance of Amora a.k.a. Enchantress (voiced by Applejack & Rainbow Dash herself, Ashleigh Ball).  After she tells him to whisper his spell, he finally makes the water resemble a cobra.

loki-at-least-hes-on-the-right-pathloki-a-different-kind-of-magical-partnership

After it hilariously lunges at Loki and drenches him, Amora praises him for his perfected control of water, since it would also let him have power over both “mist and ice”.  As such, the two of them prepare to share a kiss with each other.

However, Thor comes in and asks Amora to leave him and his brother alone.  After she takes her leave, he asks Loki about his magical abilities.  When he says that his skills have become “fairly advanced”, Thor tells him that they’re going to stow away on a boat called the Thunder Runner.  From there, the scene ends with a shocked Loki trying to comically bow out by saying that he lied about his own powers.

Later, Thor and Loki make their way down to the docks.  They manage to climb aboard and hide down in the hold just as the Warriors Three arrive to sail off towards a week-long venture.

As such, Fandrall waves good-bye to his ladies fair as he and his fellow cohorts set sail from Asgard, with Thor and Loki hiding down below unbeknownst to them.

odin-im-worried-about-my-boysodin-im-glad-to-have-you-as-my-ally-algrim

Sometime later back on Asgard, Algrim is reading away when Odin comes in and asks him if he has seen his two sons.  Algrim says that he hasn’t, but it shouldn’t be a problem to be too concerned about.  Odin then brings up the argument that he recently had with his son.  Worried that Thor may commit a foolish act, he wonders about his status as a father and whether or not he protects his sons a bit too much.  Algrim states that despite his own kin getting slained before ever reaching adulthood, he says that too much protection would unintentionally separate them.  From there, the scene ends with Odin thanking him for his thoughtful wisdom before his takes his leave.

Meanwhile, Thor and Loki emerge from the Thunder Runner’s hold thinking that they’ve arrived in Jötunheim.  However, they find out that they’re actually at an otherworldly pub.  Inside, it turns out that the Warriors Three only come here to find adventurous stories that they can fabricate back in Asgard while drinking their worries away.

thor-hello-menwarriors-three-were-in-so-much-trouble

Just then, Hogun notices that Thor and Loki have shown up in the pub and groans about the trouble that they’re in for.  As such, Fandrall and Volstagg are shocked to see the young lads outside of Asgard.

As Thor grabs a goblet of ale from a nearby waitress, he hints towards their participation in an upcoming adventure.  Just then, a wolfman named Fenris (voiced by Brian Drummond) comes up and claims that the young lad has stolen his drink.  The bartender steps in to prevent a quarrel from taking place as Fenris retrieves his goblet and makes his way back to the bar.

loki-mischief-timefenris-that-does-it

However, Loki is incapable of leaving well-enough alone as he uses his magic on the ale in order to get Fenris drenched in his own drink.

fenris-its-onloki-cant-catch-me

Enraged, Fenris smacks Thor away in order to chase after Loki.  From there, a full-scale brawl erupts within the pub as the Warriors Three find themselves fighting various patrons.

During the scuffle, Thor manages to save Loki from Fenris’ wrath.  However, he quickly discovers that he lost his sword when he was initially hit.  From there, Loki offers to find the blade while the Warriors Three continue to tussle within the massive brawl.

After Fenris recovers and prepare to strike again, Loki finds a small wooden mallet and hands it to Thor.  The valiant lad proceeds to throw the tiny hammer at his foe, but misses.  However, it bounces around before hitting the chandelier’s cable, causing the fixture to crash down onto Fenris.  Surprised, Thor asks his brother if he somehow magically-enhanced the mallet, but Loki tells him that he didn’t.

At that moment, Thor manages to locate his sword.  However, Fenris quickly recovers and prepares to strike again.  With no other choice, our five figures are forced to retreat back to the Thunder Runner.

While our heroes climb aboard their vessel, Loki decides to buy them some escape time as he uses his magic on Volstagg’s ale barrel and combines it with some flaming torches to create a wall of fire at the front door.  From there, they manage to make their escape.

warriors-three-were-not-done-yetloki-onward-gentlemen

After the group share a good laugh, the Warriors Three prepare to head back towards Asgard.  However, Thor and Loki aren’t ready to head home yet.  From there, the scene ends with our group setting a course for Jötunheim in order to find the Sword of Surtur.

Over at Kona Lifandi within the realm of Yggdrasill, Lady Sif has joined the Valkyries as she hones her skills on a practice dummy that closely resembles someone far too familiar to the group.  Just then, the head Valkyrie Brunhilde (voiced by Cathy Weseluck) reminds her of what this pack of female warriors are all about: Becoming the greatest group of fighters without any interference from men, since they’re a nuisance to their cause.

thor-onward-gentlemenloki-i-feel-fine-in-the-cold

Meanwhile, Thor and company manage to reach Jötunheim, but not before the Thunder Runner becomes damaged beyond repair upon its arrival.  As such, our heroes begin their trek.  With the chilling winds blowing throughout the land, Thor and the Warriors Three try to bundle themselves up from the cold.  However, Loki feels perfectly fine despite being somewhat exposed to the elements.

warriors-three-ambushed-by-snow-spriteshogun-you-little-devil

Just then, our heroes stand still as Hogun senses danger.  Fortunately, it turns out to be a group of Snow Sprites who casually fly by the group.  However, one of the mischievous ice pixies tears off a piece of Hogun’s coat and flies away.  Afterwards, our heroes continue on their quest.

After a while, the search continues to not have any favorable results as Thor sits down alongside the mountain.  Loki joins his brother and wonders if he’s given up, since Thor feels that Algrim was right in the fact the sword is unable to be found.  After they bring up the fact that Algrim’s people were killed by the Frost Giants, Loki starts to have a breakthrough by reminding his brother of the “Tales of Valor” that they learned in their youth.  Suddenly, it dawns upon Thor that this is the exact realm where his father Odin defeated Surtur.

surtur-a-fiend-of-oldodin-a-mighty-warrior-of-legend

As Thor and Loki recall from the tale, Odin possessed the lone weapon that could stand up to Surtur and his fabled blade: a spear called Gungnir.  The future ruler of Asgard knew that he had to make his foe become exhausted from his battle in order to have his chance at victory.

As such, Surtur became physically drained from the fight and was forced to lift his sword over himself in order to strike.  This gave Odin his golden opportunity as he threw Gungnir at the beast’s chest, delivering the final strike in the process.

surtur-the-final-resting-placethor-we-have-our-answer

And so, the tale ended with Surtur falling in defeat while his sword plunges itself into the mountain.  As such, Thor sees said mountain as he and his group finally know where to search for the legendary blade.

Later, our heroes make their way inside the mountain.  However, Volstagg decides to sit down out of exhaustion.  Shortly afterwards, our heroes start to hear some massive cracking beneath their feet.  From there, the scene ends with the floor giving way as our heroes plummet downwards.

Back in Asgard, Algrim tells Odin that a visitor wishes to see him.  After he mentions that it concerns his sons, the Bartender is allowed inside as he demands compensation for the damage done to his pub, due to Thor and Loki’s actions, before revealing his proof.  As such, the scene ends with Odin shocked upon the reveal of his own sword, discovering the mischief that his sons have caused.

thor-mission-accomplishedsword-of-surtur-discovered

Back in Jötunheim, our heroes have survived their fall as they pick themselves up from the snow and make their way towards a grand discovery.  As such, they find the Sword of Surtur (known by the dwarves as “Elderstahl”, as explained by Thor) hanging from the icy roof.

hogun-ive-got-thissword-of-surtur-its-ours

From there, Hogun proceeds to throw his mace at the precise spot of the ceiling, causing the massive sword to plunge into the ground.

thor-its-magnificentthor-got-it

Afterwards, Thor walks up to the gigantic blade.  Immediately upon touching it, the legendary weapon proceeds to shrink down to his size as Thor picks it up.

Shortly upon wielding it however, the Sword of Surtur starts to glow.  As the blade becomes engulfed in flames, it suddenly unleashes a powerful fire beam through the mountain side.  Fortunately, Thor manages to place his newly-acquired sword into his scabbard.  As Loki warns his brother about not being spotted, a newly-confident Thor proclaims that nothing can stand in his way as our heroes take their leave.

warriors-three-gotta-get-outthor-sif-can-help-us

As our heroes trek their way through Jötunheim, Thor explains to his brother how he plans on them getting back to Asgard: They’ll head to the Valkyries’ base so that Sif can acquire them a group of Pegasus horses.  Loki has doubts about his brother’s plan, while we learn from Fandrall why the targeting dummies look like him.  It turns out that he had romantic endeavors with several of the women warriors in the past, but each one ended badly.

snow-sprite-we-have-intrudersfrost-giant-we-have-intruders

Unfortunately,things start to take a turn for the worse as the mischievous Snow Sprite reaches the Frost Giants and tells their leader that their realm has some unwanted company.

snow-sprite-heres-the-prooffrost-giant-hunting-season-is-on

If that wasn’t bad enough, the tiny being then gives them the torn piece of Hogun’s coat.  Afterwards, he gives the fabric to his polar bear so that it can pick up a scent.  As such, the Frost Giants begin their hunt.

Meanwhile, our heroes manage to reach Jötunheim’s lone northern exit with two giant sentries standing right beside the entryway.  However, they spot the Frost Giants heading right towards them.

With Loki proclaiming that the sentries are in slumber, Thor and company proceed to make their way out of the realm while having their weapons at the ready.  However, the head Frost Giant yells at them to stop. This awakens the sentries who proceed to attack our retreating heroes.

thor-stay-back-naivesthor-stay-back

To buy his comrades some time to escape and prevent any harm from reaching his brother, Thor decides to wield the Sword of Surtur and fend off the approaching sentries.  Despite demanding them to stay back and let his friends pass, the gigantic guards keep up their pursuit.

thor-i-said-stay-backthor-unintended-murder

As such, Thor whips out a fire beam in order to fend off the sentries.  However, the blast didn’t have the result that he was hoping for as it unintentionally obliterated one of the guards to its death.

Not only that, but the destructive power also shattered the bridge.  The remaining sentry tries to leap at our heroes, but the collapsing structure causes him to fall into oblivion.  As a result, Thor is shocked and saddened by what he didn’t mean to do.

thor-time-to-leavefrost-giant-our-king-must-hear-of-this

From there, the scene ends with Loki escorting his brother out of the realm while the head Frost Giant tells his comrades to inform their king of what has transpired.

wariors-three-almost-therethor-still-feeling-the-guilt

Later, our heroes have arrived in the realm of Yggdrasill where they make their way towards the Valkyries’ base.  Despite Loki saying that it wasn’t his fault since they were attacked, Thor still feels guilty since they intruded in enemy territory and he unintentionally slayed two opposing Frost Giants.

Back in Jötunheim, a Frost Giant makes his way to his kingdom’s castle where he tells the king’s son Geirmarr (voiced by Michael Dobson) and the king himself Thrym (voiced by John Novak) how not only was the Sword of Surtur a.k.a. Elderstahl taken, but their two sentries were also slayed by “the sons of Odin”.  Enraged by what has happened in their own realm, Gerimarr asks his father for their response.  From there, the scene ends with Thrym declaring war on Asgard.

Meanwhile, our heroes have reached Kona Lifandi as Thor climbs into Valkyrie headquarters while Loki and the Warriors Three watch from afar.  After coming across the relaxation pool (where just like the Amazons in “Wonder Woman”, the Valkyries swim around in their birthday suits), he makes his way over there and happens to see Sif who’s about to join her fellow sisters.

He tries calling out to her, but Sif gets startled as she uses her robe’s belt to ensnare Thor by the neck.  After she releases him from her belt’s grasp, he tells Sif that he needs five Pegasus horses in order to get back to Asgard since he’s just come from Jötunheim.

When she asks why he was in an opposing realm, Thor quickly shows her the Sword of Surtur.  Before he can receive some proper help, he suddenly finds himself surrounded by a group of Valkyrie archers.  From there, the scene ends with one of the female warriors sneaking up and hitting Thor from behind with enough force to knock him out.

odin-war-is-comingalgrim-ill-prep-your-chariot-my-lord

Back in Asgard, Odin sees the approaching snow as a sign of past trouble rearing its ugly head.  As such, Algrim goes to prepare his master’s chariot.

odin-i-wish-to-speak-with-your-kingthrym-well-have-a-temporary-ceasefire

With Jötunheim’s army gathered outside the gates of Asgard, Odin emerges on his chariot and asks if their peace accord should be shattered by his son’s reckless actions.  When Geirmarr brings up the fact that Thor found Elderstahl and used it to slay two sentries, Odin is shocked by the news and tells Thrym that he was unaware of the incident.  However, Jötunheim’s king says that this doesn’t change anything since war has still been declared.  From there, Odin asks how this vicious battle can be averted.

odin-we-have-until-sunrise-to-avert-waralgrim-ill-get-your-son-back

A short time later, Odin heads back into his castle and tells Algrim that he has until sunrise to return the Sword of Surtur.  Amazed that the legendary blade was found, he tells his master that they must locate Thor and Loki.  When Odin asks how that can be possible since they don’t know where to look, Algrim takes out a map that shows the various realms.  He assesses that they since they traveled north from Jötunheim, then they would have to go though Svartalfheim in order to get back to Asgard. As such, he offers to join the Einherjar in order to get Thor and Loki back.  From there, the scene ends with Odin thanking him for his “selfless actions”.

Back at Kona Lifandi, Thor finds himself chained in the throne room while Brunhilde has taken claim to the Sword of Surtur.  If that wasn’t bad enough, the Warriors Three were also captured as she prepares to execute her prisoners for “spying” on them.

loki-your-ace-in-the-holeloki-let-my-brother-go

Fortunately, Loki managed to elude their grasp.  Despite Thor telling her that he wasn’t spying on the Valkyries and that he only wanted help in returning to Asgard so that the fabled blade can avoid falling into devious hands, Brunhilde doesn’t believe him at all.  Just then, Loki managed to snatch the blade and demands for Thor and the Warriors Three to be released as he threatens to use Elderstahl.

However, Brunhilde calmly walks towards him and says that Thor will die unless he stays his hand.  Due to Thor begging him not to use it since they had first-hand experience of its destructive power, Loki places the blade back in its scabbard and hands it over.  With both sons of Odin now captured, she gives the order for her women warriors to execute them.

frost-giants-weve-come-for-the-swordfrost-giant-a-clash-with-a-valkyrie

Suddenly, a wicked chill takes hold of the air as the Valkyries find their home invaded by a group of Frost Giants due to them hunting for the Sword of Surtur.  As such, the two sides immediately clash against each other.

While Thor attempts to free himself from his chains, Sif tries to use her bow & arrow in order to help out the Warriors Three.  However, a, incoming polar bear interrupts her aim, causing only a minor cut on the rope as she’s forced to flee for her life.

With the lead Frost Giant heading towards both Brunhilde and the Sword of Surtur, Thor summons enough strength to rip his imprisoning chains from the ground, grabs a nearby spear and gets himself into position.  From there, the head Frost Giant steps on the pointed end and is forced back.  However, he quickly recovers and prepares to avenge his fallen sentries.

Fortunately, Lady Sif comes to the rescue as she uses her Pegasus to lure the pursuing Polar Bear towards the Frost Giant.  She flies out of the way in time as the bear rams into the icy warrior.  He gets hit with enough force to get flown out of the throne room and crash onto the ground below.

wariors-three-freedomwarriors-three-glad-to-assist

From there, the damage done to the Warriors Three’s rope takes its toll as their combined weight rips the twine apart, resulting in them landing safely on top of the Polar Bear’s head, knocking the creature out in the process.

While Fandrall takes the opportunity to take the Bear’s fangs back home, Brunhilde watches as Sif relieves Thor of his bonds.  Afterwards, the two of them take hold of each others’ hands.

However, a remaining Frost Giant summons a gigantic ice ball and hurls it towards them.  Fortunately, Loki steps in and uses his magic to turn the incoming projectile into water as it safely splashes our heroes.

brunhilde-take-this-and-leave-nowthor-were-gone

Just as the Warriors Three rejoin them and prepare to fight the Frost Giant off, Brunhilde steps in and gives them different orders.  After giving the Sword of Surtur back to Thor, she orders Lady Sif to help escort her friends back to Asgard.  After Brunhilde orders her to never return until she’s “truly ready”, our heroes mount onto their Pegasus horses and begin their trek home.

Algrim-They're Bound To Be Here, Gentlemen!.jpg

Over in Svartalfheim, Algrim and the Einherjar have arrived in order to search for Thor and his friends.  During his conversation with the team’s leader Ander, Algrim talks about his horrific past and why nothing grows in this realm.  Even though the vicious fight between King Thrym’s Frost Giants and Algrim’s people ended in Jötunheim, his people apparently starved to death when glaciers were sent down to the realm.  In time, all nourishment eventually died out and the realm became a vast wasteland.  After regaining himself from the horrid tale, Algrim tells the Einherjar that Thor and company would have to nourish themselves with water in order to make it through the realm.  As such, the scene ends with the group making their way towards the lone aquatic source in the entire land.

A short time later, the Einherjar arrive at the lagoon as they see our heroes’ Pegasus horses feasting on water.  Shortly after the warrior group begins their search, Thor and company make their presence known as they reunite as one.  As much as Algrim is glad to see Odin’s sons again, he delivers the bad news.  Because of their actions, the Frost Giants have arrived in front of Asgard.  If the Sword of Surtur isn’t back in their possession, then a deadly war will begin.  However, Thor isn’t willing to hand over the blade due to his first-hand experience of its devastating power.  Algrim offers to relieve some of this vicious burden from Thor and offers to take the sword from him.

After the young lad gives the fabled blade to him, Algrim then proceeds to give one final detail about his torturous past.  It turns out that he and his people actually asked Odin for help against the Frost Giants, but were refused.  In desperation, the elves were forced to have Surtur itself help them.  However, it forced Odin to go to war against them, which he would go on to slay the fiery beast.  As he’s telling this, Ander and the Einherjar arm themselves due to the rising anger in his voice.  After believing that he was left alive in order to get vengeance on Odin, Algrim proceeds to wield the Sword of Sutur as he incinerates the Einherjar.

Fortunately, Ander jumped out of the way and throws a dagger at the malevolent elf’s face.  Despite scoring a hit, Algrim uses the blade to send him to a fiery grave.

algrim-time-to-kill-a-kingthor-what-have-i-done-this-time

After our heroes successfully dodge his flaming attack, Algrim mounts onto one of the Pegasus horses and warns Thor that he’ll personally kill him should he return to Asgard.  From there, the traitorous elf begins his murderous trek back to the home realm.

Thor-A Tall Task Awaits Us!.jpg

Afterwards, our heroes emerge as Thor discovers Ander’s sword.  When Loki asks him what they should do now, Thor picks up the blade and ends the scene by telling his friends that they’ll recover their horses and stop Algrim’s mad scheme.

Meanwhile, Algrim has arrived back as Asgard.  After seeing that he’s wielding the fabled blade, Geirmarr wants to go after him in order to retrieve it.  However, King Thrym tells him that he gave Odin until sunrise to hand it back over to them and he’s going to honor that promise.

A short time later, Odin arrives at the armory in order to retrieve his fabled spear Gungnir and prep for war.  After noticing that a Pegasus horse has perched itself right outside, he calls out to Algrim.  The dark elf makes his presence known as he unleashes a fiery blast onto Odin that also greatly damages the room.  After he wields Gungnir towards himself, Asgard’s king realizes why Algrim is attacking him.  Odin explains that the war against the Frost Giants was unwinnable, even if every Asgardian solider gave their life in the process.

odin-protection-from-a-traitoralgrim-odin-odin-everywhere

Enraged and still not believing of what was told, Algrim launches a powerful stream of fire from Elderstahl.  Odin uses Gungnir to protect himself with a force field.  Afterwards, he creates a number of illusions in his image in order to tell Algrim that Surtur only joined forces with him in order to claim Jötunheim and eventually all of the Nine Realms.  However, the traitorous elf manages to fire through the hallucinations and hit Odin.

algrim-final-strikeodin-defeated

From there, the two sides lunge at each other in one final strike.  However, Odin is overpowered and lies in exhaustion, with him being too weary to summon Gungnir towards himself.

geirmarr-sunrise-has-comethrym-let-loose-the-dogs-of-war

If that wasn’t bad enough, sunrise has finally come to shine upon the land.  With Geirmarr mentioning that Elderstahl hasn’t been returned to their side, King Thrym gives the order to begin their attack on Asgard.

From there, both sides begin their war against each other.  While Asgard’s forces manage to slay the initial wave of icy soldiers, the kingdom gets rocked asunder by the catapults’ opposing fire while several of Jötunheim’s forces try to gain entry with their battering ram.

thor-youre-with-me-brothor-we-have-a-war-to-stop

Meanwhile, Thor and company arrive back to see the carnage unfold.  Upon seeing some commotion still taking place at the main palace, he tells Lady Sif and the Warriors Three to help the Asgardian soldiers hold the front line while he and Loki head off to save their father.  From there, our heroes put their plan into action.

frost-giants-were-inlady-sif-the-warriors-three-fighting-as-one

Shorly upon reaching their kingdom, our heroes split up as Lady Sif and the Warriors Three join their fellow comrades.  Just then, the Frost Giants manage to break down the main gates and start to pour in.  From there, the scene ends with our fearsome foursome and the Asgardian troops engaging their enemy.

odin-fallenalgrim-die-asgardian-scum

Meanwhile, Odin has finally been defeated as he lies battered and exhausted.  Satisfied that Asgard is slowly falling, Algrim prepares to deliver the finishing strike.

thor-you-will-not-slay-my-fatherthor-feud-of-former-friends

Fortunately, Thor arrives in time as he uses Gungnir to fend off the opposing strike.  From there, he proceeds to engage his former ally.

loki-dont-leave-us-fatherodin-weary-from-an-un-needed-feud

Meanwhile, Loki rushes over to his father’s side as Odin lays unconscious from his recent fight.

Just then, Algrim uses the Sword of Surtur to extinguish every single torch and flame within sight and proceeds to put the blade away in order to send the room into complete darkness.  With the electrifying sparks of Gungnir as his only light source, Thor is forced to react and dodge to Algrim’s surprise attacks.

thor-ill-find-you-former-friendalgrim-pinned

Fortunately, Thor calms himself down and proceeds to close his eyes.  At that precise moment, his hearing catches Algrim’s shadow movement as he hurls Gungnir at the general direction.  His strategy pays off as the traitorous elf finds himself pinned to the wall while the Sword of Surtur become slightly removed from its scabbard as it provides the room’s lone light source.

From there, Thor removes the spear from the surface.  Although he tells Algrim that he’ll never forgive him for his cowardly act against his father, he won’t kill him since he was both a family member and his friend.

Suddenly, a cry of “MONSTER!” is followed up by a massive blast of fire which incinerates Algrim into oblivion.  Afterwards, Thor looks to discover that Loki used the Sword of Surtur in order to condemn the traitorous elf to death.

Thor relieves his tearful brother of the infernal blade and tells him that it’s OK before they embrace in a comforting hug.  From there, he tells Loki to stay with their father while he heads off to stop the fighting.

Thor rides out in his father’s chariot as Geirmarr charges at him. Fortunately, our hero dodges the attack and reaches King Thrym.  While held at spearpoint by Jötunheim’s soldiers, he offers the return of Elderstahl and surrendering himself as his prisoner if it brings an end to the war.  Geirmarr approaches and retrieves the blade, which grows to his size.  However, he tells his fellow warriors to kill Thor.

thrym-no-more-bloodshed-todaythrym-elderstahl-is-ours-again

Fortunately, King Thrym halts the attack and asks about Odin.  Thor explains that Algrim betrayed his father and has badly wounded him before his brother slayed the traitorous elf.  As Thrym approaches him, he explains that he warned Odin about helping Algrim and that anyone can be tempted to wield the Sword of Sutur.  As such, he accepts our hero’s peace offering.  Gerimarr wants to strike back, but Thrym refuses since they reclaimed Elderstahl.  Even better, the icy king won’t be taking Thor as a prisoner since despite our hero slaying his two guards, many lives have now been saved.  As such, the war is over as the numerous Frost Giants begin their trek back to Jötunheim.

loki-the-villainous-descent-beginsthor-future-family-feud

A short time later, Loki conjures up another aquatic cobra from the fountain water.  However, he blows onto it and causes it to freeze.  It shatters just as Thor makes his way in to talk about his brother killing Algrim.  He says that he understands his brother’s regrettable task since it was to save his family, but Loki says that he wanted vengeance and that he wouldn’t have done anything else if he was in Algrim’s shoes.  However, Thor says that any sort of act is possible when your own family is in peril and hopes that they never have to make any sort of horrid choice like that ever again before taking his leave.

Odin-I Couldn't Be More Proud Of You!.jpg

Afterwards, he goes to see his father who’s recovering in bed.  Thor says that he should have listened to him, since he only wanted to show his own worth.  However, Odin says that he should have listened to own son, since Thor was a growing man who wanted to test himself but didn’t see him as anything more than his young boy.  Thor says that he regrets his actions since a war was spawned from it, but Odin tells him that he still found a peaceful solution.  As such, he exclaims that he and the kingdom of Asgard couldn’t be more proud of his act of valor during the situation.

Later, the Warriors Three are telling a fabricated story describing their recent adventure.  As Fandrall gives each of his two lady lovers a necklace with a Polar Bear’s fang attached, Thor comes in and adds some excitement to their tale.  With the crowd amused, our hero takes his leave.

thor-father-is-wellsif-im-joining-the-einherjar

We then cut to the stable where Sif is tending to her Pegasus.  Thor arrives and lets her know that his father is recovering, while we also learn that she’s been accepted into the brand-new Einherjar.  Thor says that she has more than proven her worth in combat and is glad that it was no longer “a mere maiden” that defeated him “with a barn tool”.  As such, they agree to have a rematch.

However, it turns out that it was a perfect excuse as Thor pulls Sif towards him and brings the film (and the series, as well) to an end with a passionate kiss.

Thor-Into The Fire For A Final Fight!.jpg

Kicking off our last batch of character analysis for this series is our main protagonist, Thor.  Similar to the titular heroine in “Wonder Woman”, he starts off by longing to experience what it’s like outside of his home realm.  The realization comes when Sif tells him that the Einherjar purposely lose to him since they don’t want their prince to look weak in front of their people and she instantly bests him in combat.  Brash and angry, he thinks that going on a fabled artifact quest would be the perfect way for him to get some necessary experience and hone his warrior skills.  During his personal hero’s journey, he gets humbled when he discovers Elderstahl’s vicious power by accidentally killing a pair of Jötunheim’s sentries.  It’s only fitting that afterwards, he never uses it again for the rest of the film.  Eventually, he makes up for his mistake by returning the infamous sword and even offers to be enslaved.  Saving his father from a friend-turned-enemy is something that he ended up having to do, but his still doesn’t resort to killing him.  In the end, it’s this kind of experience that ultimately forges him into the Thunder God that he’ll end up becoming eventually.  Matthew Wolf does a nice job in the role here, especially since he expertly transitioned from voicing the adult version of Thor in “Hulk Vs.” to a young man on the rise.  He brings a naive nobility and growing command to his performance and handles the part with ease.

Loki-How Dare You Harm My Father!.jpg

Next up, let’s talk about Loki.  Although he ultimately grows up to become a huge figure from Thor’s rogues gallery, he’s mainly presented here as his brother’s voice-of-reason.  Mainly, he helps Thor in various kinds of situations.  From the avoidance of physical harm to providing a childhood tale that becomes important in the artifact quest, these noble acts seem to point at him growing up to become either Thor’s sidekick or a hero in his own right.  Of course, we know that it can’t come to that.  Fortunately, there are plenty of signs of Loki’s descent into villainy beginning here.  As mentioned in the “Making Of” featurette, there were a few signs of him originally from Jötunheim since he walks through the realm’s blizzard conditions without too many layers of clothes and a simple blow onto his water-formed cobra caused it to freeze.  As far as his character starting to plant the seeds of his duplicity, one could argue that it began when Thor accidentally killed the two giant sentries.  Loki does explain that it was only in self-defense since they would have most likely been killed if they were caught, but it also shows some early fundamental differences between the two and what will form between them over the years.  Of course, the final straw comes when Loki sends Algrim to a fiery grave.  Years before he grows up and learns about his true heritage, he genuinely cares about his father.  When Loki proceeds to incinerate the once-faithful servant, I can’t but feel that it’s calling back to the aforementioned incident since this moment (as well as their final talk afterwards) helps define Loki and Thor’s morals that they’ll live by as they eventually clash against each other numerous times.  For his performance, Rick Gomez mainly gives a calm, kind and confident performance.  Fortunately, he’s more than capable of portraying an energetic anger when the situation calls for it.

Odin-I'll Be Right With You, Son!.jpg

Now, let’s get to the boys’ father himself, Odin.  As mentioned during a talk with Algrim, he represents the struggle that all parents face when raising their children.  In trying to prevent anything awful from happening to his sons, he never lets them leave Asgard.  As a growing young man, Thor uses the artifact quest as a means to rebel against his father and prove his worth as a warrior.  Odin doesn’t get too much to do since he has to rule his kingdom, but he does get a chance to show off his combat skills when Algrim acquires the Sword of Surtur and betrays him in an act of vengeance.  In the end, he respects Thor when he finds out about his display of nobility towards his father and the heroic sacrifice that he was willing to make in order to save Asgard from further conflict with the Frost Giants.  Odin learns about the good-hearted man that his son is becoming and they learn to respect each other a bit more.  As described by Jor-El from “Superman: The Movie”: “The son becomes the father, and the father…the son”.  Chris Britton does a fairly solid performance, displaying the commanding tones that comes with portraying the Alfather.

Algrim-You Will Pay For Not Helping My People!.jpg

On the flip side, we reach our main villain of the piece, Algrim.  What I’m really impressed with is how his duplicity gets developed the more we learn about his tragic backstory.  Initially, we learn that his fellow elves were wiped out by the Frost Giants.  The more details that we get, the more that his deep-seated anger towards them and Odin comes out in full force.  Before he acquires the Sword of Surtur and begins his revenge quest, he loyally serves Odin and company to the best of his capacity.  It’s also neat that his ability to stealthily move in the shadows was foreshadowed when Thor entered the armory looking for a way to prove himself.  It’s only fitting that he practically comes into the light by becoming his own person and besting Algrim in combat.  Once he murders the entire Einherjar though, our house elf has officially past the point of redemption before Loki eventually uses the sword to seal his fate.  In the end, Algrim was a victim of the universe’s unjust nature.  He was broken by an intense and traumatic form of suffering where all hope died alongside his humanity.  If there was any complaint that I had about him though, it’s when King Thyrm gives a throwaway to Thor about warning Odin to not trust Algrim.  Is this speaking from the events that were given about him or is Thrym talking about another past incident that Odin refuses to hear about due to the past conflict?  Either way, Ron Halder has a neat performance.  His vocal patterns range wonderfully from calm and obedient to furious and spiteful.

Sif-Ready For Final Battle!.jpg

However, let’s not forget about our awesome heroine: Lady Sif.  She’s a warrior-to-be who already has some developing skills under her belt.  She also kicks off Thor’s character arc when she proves to him that he’s been sheltered for his entire life.  After spending some time honing her battle skills with the Valkyries, she gets dismissed from the group when Thor, Loki & the Warriors Three need her help in returning to Asgard.  Afterwards, her remaining contributions involve holding the front line against the Frost Giants and learning that she helping to rebuild the Einherjar before sharing a kiss with Thor.  To me, Sif represents the kind of warrior that our main hero will ultimately become: well-trained, confident and possessing enough of a command to lead into battle.  Tara Strong gives a solid performance with what she has to work with, delivering her signature skilled range and even pulling off a British accent to boot.  Not too shabby!

Warriors Three-We're Capable Of Fighting!.jpg

As for the Warriors Three, they’re very capable as our comic relief.  Their personalities work off of each other and deliver a wholesome feeling of them being friends for a long time.  While each of them mostly only have small moments to shine, they compliment Thor and Loki throughout their quest.  Not much else to say about this group, except that Alistair Abell, Brent Chapman and Paul Dobson are effective in their supporting roles.

Thor & Co.-Here They Come!.jpg

The animation is mainly solid by this series’ standards.  I couldn’t detect any snafus with lip syncing, a mistimed action or anything of that nature.  Also, it ran at a smooth pace and flowed really nicely with a vibrant and massive array of colors.  The actions scenes are engaging and thrilling to watch, helping to move the story along.  Speaking of which, the narrative was well-told.  While it starts out as an artifact quest, the actions following the acquisition helps describe the kind of moral standards its wielder has.  It’s engaging to the viewer and bound to deliver some entertaining moments.

thor-time-to-stand-fight

Overall, this is a nice note for the series to go out on.  The animation flows at a good clip, the action is thrilling and the story is interesting to follow.  Thor’s rise to manhood, Loki’s early signs of evil and Algrim’s developing duplicity makes for a captivating good time and adds some flavor to the character’s mythos.  If your looking for a Thor story that never takes place on Earth and is fun to view, give this film a watch.  You won’t be disappointed.

Next Time: The series may be over, but that doesn’t mean that there’s one last thing to discuss.  For the first time ever, I present a Top 5 list as I count down my personal favorite entries from the Marvel Animated Features.  See you then.

Thor (created by Stan Lee, Larry Lieber & Jack Kirby) is owned by Marvel Comics.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s