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|Dante’s Inferno: An Animated Epic|
|Written by||Brandon Auman|
|Music by||Christopher Tin|
|Release date(s)||February 9, 2010|
The movie is separated into several parts. For each chapter there is a title to the journey. Each chapter is animated with noticeably different styles. These vary in degree of difference and depict Dante with differing features, such as hair length, bodily proportions, and armor.
The Arrival (Directed by Victor Cook, pre-production by Film Roman and animated by Big Star) - The film starts with Dante's return from a the Third Crusade which has had him away from his home for several years. Speaking in inner monologue, he claims that the forests that he had been traveling in were gloomy and he would nearly prefer death over having to travel them. He admits he can detect someone following him, but each time he tries to approach, his pursuer vanishes without a trace. Upon arriving at home, 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 is relieved that Dante had kept his promise to her that he would return. As she dies, she turns into a spirit and begins to ascend into Heaven. However Lucifer, as a shadow comes and takes her away through the gates into Hell. In hot pursuit, Dante comes to the gates and is briefly stalled before Virgil offers to guide him into hell. After Dante invokes his faith he is able to tear open the gates and enter hell.
Entry into Hell (Directed by Victor Cook, pre-production by Film Roman and animated by Digital Emation) - Upon Entry, Dante and Virgil board Charon, a demonic ferry that takes souls across into the First Circle of Hell. Charon does not take kindly to a mortal traveler on him, and sicks demons to attack Dante. Dante fights them off but loses his sword in the process and therefore takes up one of the demons' scythe to defend himself from then on and kills Charon, crashing him into the coasts off the first circle.
Limbo (Directed by Shukou Murase, produced by Manglobe) - Virgil and Dante enter the first circle, Limbo which is home to mostly virtuous pagans and unbaptized babies. It is here that Dante learns that Beatrice was pregnant with his child while he was away, but was miscarried in the womb. Without time for sorrow, he is attacked by demonic children who quickly overwhelm him. As he and Virgil escape into a large building, they come across a hall of philosophers and thinkers such as Aristotle, Plato and Socrates. Upon leaving they come across one the spirit of 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 specific circle of hell. When he denies Dante access, they battle. Dante is able to kill Minos by dropping him onto his own spinning wheel of judgment. As Minos recedes, Dante and Virgil make their way down to the second circle. 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.
Lust (Directed by Shukou Murase, produced by Manglobe) - Falling onto the storm-ravaged shores of the second circle, Dante notices bodies flying through the wind, intertwined. Virgil explains that 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 demonic harlots who transform into hideous demons. As they try to kill him, he finally realizes he did break his promise to Beatrice, during the Crusade a woman offers sex to save her husband from being beaten to death. Having been under the illusion he was 'absolved' of all sin, he accepted. Upon hearing this, Beatrice begins to lose her faith yet refuses to see it as the truth as Lucifer offers her his hand in marriage.
Gluttony (Directed by Jong-Sik Nam, produced by Dong Woo Animation) - Coming to a grotto of men and women who had lived their lives without knowing fulfillment so they suffer lacking it in death. Many starving individuals are caught and devoured by Cerberus and Virgil tells Dante that the only way to the next circle is from within him. Dante allows himself to be eaten and he ends up inside of the hound of hell. Encountering Ciacco, a man he knew in life and feeling pity for his suffering, Dante uses his faith to release the man from the torture he had to endure. This provokes Lucifer's anger as he reveals his plan to marry Beatrice and that Dante's father is also in Hell. 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.
Greed (Directed by Jong-Sik Nam, produced by Dong Woo Animation) - Dante and Virgil's next circle is the ring of Hell to 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 heavy gold coins. Within the 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 upperhand, kicking his father into a vat of boiling gold.
Anger and The City of Dis (Directed by Lee Seung-Gyu, produced by JM Animation) - The fifth circle of Hell is Anger as Virgil and Dante surmise when they can sense the very rage in the air. They proceed to the River Styx in which violence is still running rampant amongst 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 below. Dante has Phlegyas charge the city when he sees Lucifer within, announcing his intent to marry Beatrice to the damned souls within. When he strikes Phlegyas down, Dante chases after the devil. It is revealed that further, more mundane orders from the king during the Crusades began to test Dante's patience, making him prone to anger and doubts on the value of the lives to their prisoners.
Heresy (Directed by Lee Seung-Gyu, produced by JM Animation) - The sixth circle of hell is for the heretics, people who have gone aginst the teacing of their churches As they travel through halls of men and women who forever burn in fire and are forever tortured by various implements. Dante comes across one who will not step aside and as he threatens that Lucifer will wed Beatrice, Dante kills him and he and Virgil move on.
Violence (Directed by Sang-Jin Kim, produced by JM Animation) - 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. Souls boiling in a vast river of blood from their own victims; violence they had inflicted upon others, Dante and Virgil enter the seventh circle; Violence. Having been helped across the river by the centaur Nessus. 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 her husband, Dante's father she eventually hanged herself. Dante had been told, however she had died due to 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 graves as undead warriros. The graveyard is where souls are condemned for committing acts of violence in the name of God. Feeling angry and vengeful of Dante, Francesco attacks him, matching Dante's scythe with his superior sword skills. Dante finally defeats Francesco by slicing his face in half. It is in this that Dante reflects upon slaughtering several heretics including men, women and children without mercy, due to a loss in rations and having to feed many prisoners, despite the Christian lives that they themselves had spared. He again claims that it was the war and not his fault, but at this point he seems to only be fooling himself.
Fraud (Directed by Sang-Jin Kim, produced by JM Animation) - Virgil parts ways with Dante upon entering the realm of Fraud, the eighth circle. Telling him that he only needs to cross the bridge in order to stop the marriage of Beatrice and Lucifer who are on the opposite end of the bridge set to be married. As Dante starts crossing, he begins to reflect upon his own fraudulent behavior causing his physical strength and morale to fade. Finally he realizes that his father, family servants and Beatrice were slain by the husband of the woman he had sex with and thus blames their deaths on himself. This slows him down at a crucial point, and Beatrice finally gives in to her sorrow of Dante's betrayal, wedding Lucifer and fully becoming a demon, losing her wings and rights to Heaven. The demonized Beatrice proceeds to attack Dante, overpowering him and forces him to look on his greatest sin, letting him peer into the ninth circle of Treachery. He reflects that he allowed her brother to take the blame for his slaughtering of prisoners, and as a repercussion of his earlier sin of Lust. 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 her to once again accept the love of God and she forgives him, causing her to return to her former angelic appearance. Virgil congratulates Dante for saving Beatrice as an angel descends from Heaven to take Beatrice. Beatrice promises that they will be together soon, but in order to leave Hell and enter Purgatory he will need to face Lucifer alone.
Treachery (Directed by Yasuomi Umetsu, produced by Production I.G.) - Descending into the cold underground of traitors, after wandering in the dark he comes across a lone female spirit who directs him to the very center of the caverns, but she brings to question whether or not to be trusted as her traitorous nature might hint that she is lying, or not telling the whole truth. After wandering aimlessly, Dante comes across a cavern filled large, frozen chains and he mows through them, only to encounter a three-faced demon in the center who appears to be Lucifer's corporeal form, having been freed by the breaking of his chains he attacks Dante. Dante slays the beast and is within inches of entering Purgatory where his salvation awaits. However, Lucifer, now freed from his frozen form and reveals his true form, breaks free and easily overpowers Dante. Threatening to enter Purgatory and move on to Paradise to bring Hell to Heaven itself. Dante realizes that he cannot stop Lucifer on his own, and using every bit of faith in himself he begs to sacrifice his own soul to prevent Lucifer from moving into Purgatory, repenting his sins and begs for forgiveness and the power to trap Lucifer with him forever. Upon hearing cries for repentance in a sacred and dark place, Lucifer runs back, trying to stop Dante from making this pact, however he is stopped by a powerful force of light that freezes him solid. Free to move on, Dante dives into the well that would send him to Purgatory, to be with Beatrice. "Neither completely living, nor completely dead" as he puts it. That night the sins that he ripped off his chest had transformed into a serpent who is believed to be Lucifer waiting to get his revenge.
The film was animated by Film Roman who also animated Dead Space: Downfall, which was also based on an EA game. The film's story was written by Jonathan Knight, EA and Visceral Games's executive producer, and the film was produced by Joe Goyette. The Japanese animation studio Production IG helped animate Hell. A total of six animation studios were involved with the film. The film is directed by Mike Disa, and written by Brandon Auman. It was released on February 9, 2010. During the film's credits, it says that Mark Hamill played Dante's father.
The film was generally well received. Rotten Tomatoes gave it 73%.