In 2006, following the success of the live action Hellboy film by Guillermo del Toro, it seems as though the cast weren’t quite finished playing their roles in this universe of dark, lovecraftian and folklore horror, and decided to reprise them, or at least their voices, for Hellboy Animated: Sword of Storms, which also turned out to be successful, and so there were two other Hellboy Animations produced. One was a feature length called Blood & Iron and the other was a short animation called Iron Shoes, based on the comics of the same name. These animations would soon prove helpful in the promotion of the upcoming Hellboy sequel ‘Hellboy 2: The Golden Army’ with many of the main cast returning such as Ron Perlman as Hellboy, Selma Blair as Liz Sherman, and Doug Jones as Abe Sapien.
Iron Shoes was included as a special feature on the home release DVD of Hellboy Animated: Blood & Iron.
The film opens up with Hellboy visiting a ruined tower, whilst an voiceover speaks over the top, which is presumably the man who sent Hellboy on this mission in the first place. Ron Perlman reprises his voice for the protagonist, as Hellboy discovers an odd creature lurking in the shadows of the ruins. This creature is apparently based upon the English folklore of ‘Red Caps’.
Red Caps are small, murderous goblin creatures who hide away in ruins of castles and is called Red Cap for it’s famed act of dipping it’s cap in the blood of it’s victims, staining it red. Mike Mignola gave a short introduction at the beginning of this short film (as I’m watching this on the Blood and Iron DVD Special Features) and tells us that he replaced the ‘red cap’ with ‘iron shoes’ because he simply preferred the title ‘The Iron Shoes’.
He also admits, that he believes The Iron Shoes is complimented more as an animation than the story was as a comic book.
The art of the animation is great as it adapts some of the famous art style of Mike Mignola’s original comic books, using deep shadowing when he enters the ruined tower, leaving only Hellboys eyes a bright yellow upon his face.
Not much else can be said about this as it really is only a short animation, with a run time of around 3 minutes. This is a fun little action short that gives you some idea of what the feature length animations are like. Rating this along with the other would be unfair, so I’ll sign off by simply stating that this animation is really cool, and adds that little bit extra to the Hellboy universe.