Sunday, April 1, 2012

Marvel Media Mania: Doctor Druid

Doctor Druid was a direct-to-video animated film from 1987. I was torn as to where to review this since Dr. Druid is a mystically based character (which would place him in the Midnight Sons category) but he was also a card carrying Avenger. Avengers won out.
Initially, the Doctor Druid animated film was suppose to be for Doctor STRANGE but at the last minute Marvel refused to allow the studio to use Doctor Strange. The studio essentially replaced the word STRANGE with DRUID everywhere in the script and didn't make any other changes. So at first it's a little off-putting to see Dr. Druid, the Sorcerer Supreme living in the Sanctum Sanctorum with a house-servant, Wong, and his girlfriend Clea. But actually this film is a moving character drama that focuses on Doctor Druid's broken childhood.

There are several scenes that really touched my heart. The first was when Doctor Druid discovers Wong has been doing drugs. His forlorn cry, "Wong's a junkie!" really broke my heart. Excellent voice acting! The second was when, on their honeymoon, Clea reveals to Doctor Druid that she had been born as a man, she magically transformed herself into a woman, but she's now going back to being a man. I thought that was risky territory to get into for a 1987 kid's cartoon but the way Doctor Druid reacts really sets him apart as a role model.

The forty five minute alternate reality flashback dream sequence relies heavily on subtext and symbolism. I don't know why, but I really connect with that part of the movie. It makes me feel like going out and buying lots and lots of Doctor Druid related merchandise.

The only part I didn't like at first was the ending when Doctor Druid leads the audience in sing-along Satantic incantations. I say "at first" because after I got over my hold-ups and went along with it, it just started seeming right somehow. You wouldn't happen to know where I could purchase live chickens, do you?

In conclusion, this animated film broke new ground for cinema, human rights, and world religion at the same time. It's an epic that will never die.

1LR Review - 20 out of 20! It's a Critical Hit!

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