Monday, April 02, 2007

DVD REVIEW: BATMAN: TAS, VOLUME ONE


Cover art
Batman: the Animated Series
Volume One


No. of Discs: 4
No. of Episodes: 28
Studio: Warner Home Video
DVD Release Date: July 6, 2004
Run Time: 625 minutes
Full Frame - 1.33:1

Story: Batman continues his everyday quest to rid Gotham City of criminals and other underwold scum. Sometimes he is joined by Robin, Boy Wonder.

History: The series was created by Bruce Timm, Paul Dini and Eric Radomski who created the show after seeing the success of the two Tim Burton Batman movies. It has since become a cult classic and is the most accurate interpretation of Batman in animation. The series aired from 1992 to 1995 with 85 episodes.


Mr. Freeze
Favourite Episode: Heart of Ice This is the first episode with Mr. Freeze who is, by far, my favourite character in this series. Dini wrote a brand new origin story for Freeze that gives him a very tragic past and a very complex character. Animation in this episode is great and Dini always writes a good story.

Video & Animation: This show's animation was hit or miss. Most of it was great but every once in a while there would be episodes with off-model characters and choppy animation. There is even a scene where the Batmobile actually curves to go around a corner! I found most of the Joker episodes to be quite poor (especially Christmas With the Joker).

The video quality on this dvd may seem grainy with a lot of dust and scratched but that is actually a product of the show. All of the backgrounds were painted on black canves which created a lot of dust that got trapped between cells. It's not a fault of poor film stock or a bad transfer and is very much part of the show.

Audio & Soundtrack: Warner Bros television shows always have a great soundtrack. This is due to the actual 30 piece orchestra that they use to individualy score every episode. Top notch! And the audio on this set sound great in 2.0 Dolby Stereo.


Batman
Extras: There are two interesting episode commentaries on Heart of Ice and On Leather Wings by Bruce Timm, Eric Rodomski and Paul Dini. There is also a lame Flash animated tour of the Batcave and a stupid retrospective featurette. The highlight for me in this set if the pilot promo, The Dark Knight's First Night which has never before been released.

Packaging: Warner Home Video has put together a really nice digipack that features original artwork as well as screencaps from the show. Many, myself included wondered why the red and yellow colours were used as they do not reflect the show at all. But they match the style of the other DC Comics Animation releases and because it looks like it belongs in a set I'm okay with it.

Summary: Fans of the series will not be disappointed with this set. Everything is intact and it looks great. My only complaint is that the packaging doesn't relect the show. But that is quite minor. A-

Triva: In many episodes you can see a character read a Tiny Toon Adventures magazine! Keep your eyes open!

Episode Guide:
batmananimated.doc 50K

3 comments:

coolshades said...

I'm curious: what are your thoughts on Mr. Freeze the animated character vs. Mr. Freeze on the big screen? Do you like the movie version just as much as you liked the cartoon version, or do you think the movie one sucked?

toast said...

No contest. The animated verison of Mr. Freeze is the version of Mr. Freeze ever.

The movie version borrowed the origin story from the cartoon but a combo of cheesy dialogue and the Governator ruined everything.

Even the comicbook realized how great the cartoon version is by bringing Mr. Freeze back from the dead and rewriting his origin to include the tragedy!

Coolshades, if you haven't seen Heart of Ice, I urge to to watch it.

Part One
Part Two
Part Three

coolshades said...

Hey thanks for posting this...I just finished watching it. Who knew chicken soup could be used as a weapon? lol

It's hard not to feel sorry for poor Mr. Freeze...he really got screwed by that jerk.