The following Blu-ray set was provided to me by Warner Brothers for Review. Thoughts and opinions are my own.
Man, what a great time to be a Batman fan. I am a Batman fan since childhood. I had Batman bedding, curtains, trashcans, toys, lamps, you name it. I started collecting comic books close to 40 years ago and Batman is one I have never missed an issue of. Hell I even like the old Adam West show. Well I wont lie when I say the films have been a very mixed bag for me, and sadly that mix is mostly bad. But the animated shows and films were always great. I can go back to remembering Batman and Robin on the Superfriends cartoon and later even there own show. Then in 1992 Batman The Animated Series launched and changed the cartoon game forever. Mixing cutting edge animation with more mature themes this was the version of Batman fans always wanted to see. Great voice acting, great score, hell it introduced the world to Harley Quinn. It had a nice 4 year run and even spun off a couple direct to video movies. Last year Warner Brothers treated up fans to an amazing Blu-ray box set which was a must own. Then in 1999 a new cartoon came on the scene called Batman Beyond. Set in the future with a new hero taking on the role of the Batman, fans like myself were very apprehensive to say the least. Because lets be honest when Bruce Wayne is not the Batman what’s the point. Well, I along with everyone else was dead wrong and what we got was one of the best Batman cartoons ever made. Dark, gritty, with a cyberpunk theme running throughout. It ran for 3 seasons and spawned a very violent (So much so it needed to be edited) direct to video film as well. So with Christmas around the corner Warner Brothers is releasing a nice Blue-ray box set for Batman Beyond this year. And let me tell you it’s amazing
Batman Beyond begins in the year 2019 with Batman (Bruce Wayne) now in his 50’s yet still fighting crime in Gotham City. He’s not as strong or as fast as he was so he relies on a new upgraded Batsuit to help him stop the bad guys. When the show opens he is trying to save a kidnaped woman from a gang of criminals and suffers a heart attack during the fight. He grabs a gun (Which is against Batman’s code) and threatens his way out. Feeling ashamed and defeated Bruce decides to retire as Batman, ultimately turning off all the lights in the cave.
We cut ahead to the year 2039 where we meet a young teenager named Terry McGinnis. He’s an athletic high schooler with a level head on his shoulders who one night, along with his girlfriend runs afoul on a local cyberpunk biker gang known as the Jokerz. They are patterned after the old Joker villain and after defending his girlfriend Terry leads the gang on a motorcycle chase through Gotham. He ends up on the outskirts of town on the property of Wayne Manor. Terry begins fighting the Jokerz off, but is outnumbered until Bruce Wayne appears and helps Terry fight them, running them off in the process. The fight unfortunately triggers Bruce’s heart condition and Terry helps him inside where Terry meets Ace, Bruce’s guard dog. Terry looks around the property and finds the secret entrance to the Batcave. Bruce, who has no recovered throws Terry out and tells him to never reveal his secret. Terry goes home to find his dad murdered after he had discovered an illegal weapon manufacture from Wayne-Powers Enterprises. He goes to tell Bruce who refuses to help him, so he steals the batsuit in the hopes of getting vengeance himself.
Terry is able to defeat Derek Powers and expose his criminal activity, and in the process convince Bruce that Gotham needs a Batman to help protect it as crime is overtaking the city in the form of a new generation of super villains. As Terry lost his parents to crime,, Bruce feels a bond between them and allows Terry to take on the mantel of the new Batman with Bruce helping to train him, and being in his ear during battles. To add to the cover he gives Terry a job as his driver so they can work together. Throughout the shows 52 episode run Terry encounters new bad guys to battle as well as new allies in his war on crime. Now, as this was so successful a show it did spin off a straight to video movie called Return of the Joker.
Now as you get Return of the Joker in this set let me give you a quick rundown. Originally an 80min full length animated film it was deemed to violent and cut down to 73 minutes for release. A large part of this was due to the fact it came out shortly after the Columbine High shootings and the studio wanted to remove references to the more graphic violence and killing. The film being with the original Joker coming back to Gotham to take over the Jokerz gang. Bruce wears the Joker is dead but still wants Terry to avoid him if possible. Problem is Joker knows who they are so he breaks into the Batcave and poisons Bruce who survives as he has an antidote for the jokers poison. Turns out 35 years ago Joker kidnaped and tortured Tim Drake (Robin) over the course of three weeks. It left him not only disfigured but mentally broken as well. However before he suffered a complete breakdown he was able to get free and kill the Joker. Commissioner Gordon hid this and buried the Jokers Body, and Bruce told Tim he could no longer be Robin due to his now poor mental state. This leaves Terry on his own to figure out who this new Joker is, and how to stop him before he begins to lay waste to Gotham with the military grade weapons he is stealing. From top to bottom this s a great cartoon, one of the best Batman Animated films I’ve ever seen, and its presented uncut in this set as an added bonus.
This is a must own set. Fully remastered by Warner Brothers, this looks and sounds amazing. Its bright, and loud, and just something special to see. Its highly regarded as one of the best animated shows of all time and it’s a favoarate amongst fans worldwide, and now there is even talk of a live action movie being made. It’s a must own set for fans and collectors alike as not only do you get a limited edition chrome Batman Beyond Funko and four lenticular art cards, but the Blu-rays are loaded with special features as well.
Nostalgic Tomorrow – A Batman Gathering (All-New Featurette) – Many of Batman Beyond’s core production team and actors gather for an enthralling roundtable discussion of the evolution and execution of the animate series. Join producers Bruce Timm and Glenn Murakami, casting/dialogue director Andrea Romano, director James Tucker, writers Bob Goodman & Stan Berkowitz, and stars Kevin Conroy & Will Friedle as they take a wildly entertaining trip down memory lane.
Knight Immortal (All-New Featurette) – A visual and visceral celebration of the Dark Knight’s 80 years of crime fighting, narrated by storytellers of the past, present, and future.
“Tomorrow Knight: The Batman Reborn” (Featurette) – Storytellers explore the rise of Terry McGinnis as Batman and Bruce Wayne’s relationship with the young hero as he mentors a new Dark Knight for modern times.
Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker (Feature-Length Film) – The beloved hit animated film from 2000 is included in the box set – fully remastered for your enjoyment.
Audio Commentaries – Enlightening audio commentaries by filmmakers and voice actors for four key episodes: “Rebirth, Part 1”; “Shriek”; “Splicers”; and “The Eggbaby.”
Featurettes – A dozen inside looks at the genesis, production and effects of Batman Beyond.
Rebirth, Pt. 1
Rebirth, Pt. 2
Dead Man's Hand
The Winning Edge
A Touch of Curare
Commentary on the episode “Rebirth, Part 1” by producers Bruce Timm, Alan Burnett, Paul Dini & Glenn Murakami and director Curt Geda.
Audio Commentary on episode “Shriek” by producers Bruce Timm, Alan Burnett, Paul Dini & Glen Murakami, director Curt Geda and writer Stan Berkowitz
“Music of the Knight” – producer Bruce Timm introduces a feature allowing access to key scenes from Batman Beyond, accompanied by the compelling score created for the series.
“Inside Batman Beyond – Meet the Creators” – producers Alan Burnett, Bruce Timm, Glen Murakami and Paul Dini discuss the creative process behind Batman Beyond and its inaugural season. Jason Hillhouse moderates.
Batman 80th Anniversary Collection trailer
Terry's Friend Dates a Robot
Commentary on the episode “Splicers” by producers Bruce Timm and Glen Murakami, storyboard artist James Tucker, casting/dialogue director Andrea Romano and Will Friedle, the voice of Terry McGinnis/Batman
The Last Resort*
Sentries of the Last Cosmos*
Ace in the Hole
Commentary on the episode “The Eggbaby” by producers Bruce Timm & Glen Murakami, director James Tucker, Producer Glen Murakami, casting/dialogue director Andrea Romano and Will Friedle, the voice of Terry McGinnis/Batman
“Inside Batman Beyond: The Panel” – An in-depth discussion with producers Bruce Timm, Alan Burnett, Glen Murakami and Paul Dini as season two of Batman Beyond is explored with moderator Jason Hillhouse.
Out of the Past
Speak No Evil*
The Call, Pt. 1
The Call, Pt. 2
Curse of the Kobra, Pt. 1
Curse of the Kobra, Pt. 2
“Inside Batman Beyond: Season 3” – A fascinating discussion on season three of Batman Beyond with producers Bruce Timm, Alan Burnett, Glen Murakami and Paul Dini.
“Inside Batman Beyond Season 3: Close-Up On...” – producers Bruce Timm and Paul Dini, directors Butch Lukic and James Tucker, and voice actor Will Friedle discuss their favorite moments among final-season episodes.
“Inside Batman Beyond Season 3: Out of the Past” – producers Bruce Timm & Paul Dini, director James Tucker and voice actor Will Friedle sit down together to talk about “The Legend of Batman” musical (which appears in this episode) and other memorable moments.
“Inside Batman Beyond Season 3: The Call, Part 1” – producers Bruce Timm & Paul Dini, director Butch Lukic and voice actor Will Friedle gather to discuss the additional heroes and the exciting action showcased in this episode.
“Inside Batman Beyond Season 3: The Call, Part 2” – producers Bruce Timm & Paul Dini, director Butch Lukic and voice actor Will Friedle talk about the appearance of Starro and Superman in this episode.
“Inside Batman Beyond Season 3: Curse of the Kobra, Part 1” – producers Bruce Timm & Paul Dini, director James Tucker and voice actor Will Friedle reminisce about the personal relationships that highlight the story of this episode.
“Nostalgic Tomorrow - A Batman Gathering” (All-New Featurette) – Nostalgia strikes like it’s 1999. Seated at the table are the Batman Beyond Team: producers Bruce Timm & Glen Murakami, actors Kevin Conroy & Will Friedle, director James Tucker, casting/dialogue director Andrea Romano, and writers Bob Goodman & Stan Berkowitz. Care to join us for a chat?
“Knight Immortal” (All-New Featurette) – A visual and visceral celebration of the Dark Knight’s 80 years of crime fighting, narrated by storytellers of the past, present, and future.
“Tomorrow Knight: The Batman Reborn” (All-New Featurette) – Storytellers explore the rise of Terry McGinnis as Batman and Bruce Wayne’s relationship with the young hero as he mentors a new Dark Knight for modern times.
“Gotham: City of The Future” – A Close-Up Look at Gotham City Circa 2039, the modernization and the inspirations for its high-tech design and massive scale.
“The High-Tech Hero” – Batman Beyond storytellers discuss the evolution of the new Bat Suit and its futuristic design and capabilities.
“Secret Origin: The Story of DC Comics” (Documentary) – The Story of DC Comics and the rise of the Super Hero mythology as a zeitgeist in American pop culture.
"Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker" – Remastered for Blu-ray, the heralded animated feature film spawned by the Batman Beyond series is included on a separate bonus disc in the box set.
This is a must own for fans and collectors. I cant stress enough how fantastic this set is. I stayed up watching the first 2 discs last night and I cant wait to finish binging the rest today. If you have never seen it, you need to, and this is the set to buy. But hurry its limited to 50,000 units and it will go fast. Head on over and pre-order it today.
Overall 5 out of 5 Stars!