Case Number 13189: Small Claims Court

STORM HAWKS: TALES FROM THE ATMOS

Sony // 2007 // 107 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Judge David Johnson // March 12th, 2008

The Charge

The sky is never the limit.

The Case

Culled from the Cartoon Network series, Tales from the Atmos features four episodes (five including the bonus episode) of action-packed action following the Storm Hawks as they fly through the air and battle evil and get into adventures -- not necessarily in that order.

The Storm Hawks, led by hotshot flyboy Aerrow, fly through the skies in their ship the Condor, trying to rid the planet Atmos of the evil of the Cyclonians, a band of evil marauders. Most of their encounters take place in the air at insane speeds with laser beams traded consistently and bad guys just managing to parachute out of their exploding aircraft.

How about a closer look at the episodes featured on the disc:

* "Best Friends Forever"
Piper, the team's mechanical specialist, nearly buys the farm when she's caught in a maelstrom. A young girl saves her, and the two become fast friends. But there's something about the new girl that doesn't sit right and Piper fears that her new pal might be a Cyclonian agent. Meanwhile, the Storm Hawks as a team will have to figure out how to battle cloaked enemy aircraft.

* "The Black Gorge"
The Condor crash lands in the infamous Black Gorge, an uncharted cave that is notorious for its strange inhabitants and unknown dangers. The team must find a special crystal to bring power back to their ship, but to do that, they'll have to go through an assemblage of terrifying creatures and a completely neurotic Stork, the Condor pilot.

* "Absolute Power"
Finn, the brash marksman, craves responsibility and when Aerrow takes off on a mission he and Piper, the usually second-in-command, clash over who's actually in charge of the Condor. Finn, of course, eventually starts acting like a jackass and ostracizing his friends.

* "Velocity"
Aerrow finds himself participating in a high-speed land race across a barren wasteland and thanks to the shifty dealings of Finn, he's driving the fastest machine. And yes, it's just like the podrace from The Phantom Menace.

* Bonus Episode -- "Fire and Ice"
The Storm Hawks gang kicks it on an ice planet and takes in the joys of the local fair. Unfortunately, they'll have to contend with Repton and his team of evil Lizards.

Cool show. The storylines are decent, and not dissimilar from any number of other hyperkinetic animated half-hours (squad of diverse, wise-cracking young people saving some kind of planet and perpetrating mild violence on their enemies while simultaneously learning valuable life lessons). The characters are colorful and engaging, but what really plowed me over was the animation. This is just a fantastic looking show, one of the slickest I've seen in some time. The animation is sharp, detailed and hugely colorful, and the action scenes, of which there are many, are rendered with explosive success. Seriously, the show kind of rocks. And it's pretty funny; props to the Canadian accents in "Fire and Ice."

Bottom line: If I were young enough to regularly watch cartoons, I'd be all over the Storm Hawks.

The excellent animation is presented in a razor-sharp 1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen presentation, supplemented by a 2.0 stereo audio mix. Trailers and a minute-long montage of the Cyclonians are it for extras. In addition, there was a mini comic book included.

Review content copyright © 2008 David Johnson; Site layout and review format copyright © 1998 - 2014 HipClick Designs LLC

Scales of Justice
Judgment: 85

Perp Profile
Studio: Sony
Video Formats:
* 1.78:1 Anamorphic

Audio Formats:
* Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo (English)

Subtitles:
* None

Running Time: 107 Minutes
Release Year: 2007
MPAA Rating: Not Rated

Distinguishing Marks
* Cyclonians Montage
* Comic Book

Accomplices
* IMDb
http://us.imdb.com/title/tt1043820/combined

* Official Site
http://www.stormhawks.com/

* DVD Verdict Review - Hawks Rise Again
http://www.dvdverdict.com/reviews/stormhawksrise.php