When Captain America returns to the world after having been frozen for 60 years in ice, he realises that it's in a sorry state and needs superheroes. With the likes of Thor and Iron Man he begins to assemble a fighting force.
Marvel’s first-ever full-length animated film has already done enough to warrant a sequel — that arrives on DVD next year — but when judged against the company’s live-action canon doesn’t fare well. It takes one of the company’s most inventive works of recent years — Mark Millar and Bryan Hitch’s The Ultimates, a neat update of the forming of The Avengers — and removes all the subtlety in favour of non-atmospheric animation, weak voice acting and a dumbed-down plot.
Still, the interplay between the characters often feels spot-on, while animation allows superhero mayhem that live-action simply can’t afford: if you don’t get some pleasure from seeing Hulk lamp Thor with a broken bridge, then you’re either dead… or a DC fan.
Neither subtle nor sophisticated this doesn't live up to the live-actioners but handles much of the characterisation well.