Blu-ray Review “Iron Man & Hulk: Heroes United”

ironman-hulkStarring: Adrian Pasdar, Fred ­Tatasciore, Dee Bradley Baker
Directors: Eric Radomski, Leo Riley
Rated: PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)
Studio: Buena Vista Home Entertainment
Release Date: December 3, 2013
Run Time: 72 minutes

Film: 4 out of 5 stars
Extras: 3 out of 5 stars

After “The Avengers”, Marvel superheros have never been in higher demand! And who doesn’t love a great team up. Iron Man is obviously everyone’s favorite character and Hulk was the fan-favorite from “The Avengers”. This brand new animated film makes cinematic history and teams these two unexpected heroes together. The film is pretty jam-packed with action and great humor, which is a must for these two characters. Adrian Pasdar (“Heroes”) returns to voice Iron Man/Tony Stark and as does Fred Tatasciore (“Hulk and the Agents of S.M.A.S.H.”) for the Hulk and wrapping it up Dee Bradley Baker (“Star Wars: The clone Wars”) introduces and gives a voice to our new villain Zzzax. Now that Disney owns the Marvel brand, I hope that we are going to be seeing many more of these in the coming months! Recommend for any Marvel fan…young or old.

Official Premise: In this action-packed teamup, the Invincible Iron Man and the Incredible Hulk come together to save the Earth from its greatest threat yet. When two HYDRA scientists try to supercharge a Stark Arc Reactor with Hulk’s Gamma Energy, they unleash a being of pure electricity called the Zzzax, and he’s hungry for destruction. Together, Iron Man and Hulk are the only force that stands in the way of the Zzzax’s planetary blackout. But first the superhero duo will have to get through snarling Wendigos, deadly robots and the scaly powerhouse, Abomination. Can two of Marvel’s mightiest heroes find a way to work together without smashing each other before time runs out?

What I like about this film the most is that it is being made by people who know superheros. Eric Radomski (TV’s “Marvel’s Ultimate Spider-Man,” “Batman: The Animated Series”) was the Supervising Creative Director. The Executive Producers on the project are Alan Fine (“Marvel’s The Avengers”, “Thor”, “Iron Man 2”), Dan Buckley (TV’s “Marvel’s Ultimate Spider-Man,” “Marvel’s Avengers Assemble,” “Marvel Hulk and the Agents of S.M.A.S.H.”), Joe Quesada (TV’s “Marvel’s Avengers Assemble,” “Marvel’s Ultimate Spider-Man”) and Jeph Loeb (TV’s “Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.”). The film was also written by Henry Gilroy (“Batman: The Animated Series,” “Batman Beyond”) and Brandon Auman (TV’s “Iron Man: Armored Adventures,” “The Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes”). So plenty of experience here!

“Iron Man & Hulk: Heroes United” comes packaged as a combo pack with a Blu-ray + DVD + Ultraviolet Digital Copy. Disney/Marvel has been using Digital Copy Plus now, which is a real treat! The 1080p transfer works wonderfully with the animation, which is quite sharp and very colorful. You can see the difference between the usual TV style animation and the quality feature film animation. There is a lot of detail but into making this look great. The DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 also delivers a huge HULK SMASH to your surround sound systems. It works very well with the non-stop action and sound effects as well.

In terms of special features, they are not outstanding but still cool and worth checking out. Firstly we get “Marvel Mash-ups”, which are three super cool shorts from old Marvel cartoons with new voice actors overdub scenes. Note, though if you pause the film you get “Marvel Inter-missions”, which includes even more hidden ones. The only other bonus feature is a chat between Marvel’s Chief Creative Officer Joe Quesada and Ryan Penagos (Agent M on Twitter) about Iron Man and Hulk’s history together and other things Marvel. Definitely worth checking out also. No question, this will make a great gift this holiday season!

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