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Releases - DVDs - Superman: The Animated Series, Volume 3

Packaging


Note: Cels were provided in specially marked packages of this set available exclusively at Circuit City. Scan provided by Christopher Hamer
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Release Information:
Announce Date: 3/1/06
Street Date: 6/20/06
Closed Captioning: Yes
MSRP: $26.99
Packaging Type: Digi-Pack
Subformat: Multi Disc
Media Quantity: 2
Sound Track Language: English
Aspect Ratio(s):
Orginal Aspect Ratio - 1.33 Standard [4:3 Transfer]

Edition Details:
• Encoding: Region 1
• Animated, Color

Episodes
Disc 1 - Warrior Queen, Apokolips...Now! Part 1, Apokolips...Now! Part 2, Little Girl Lost Part 1, Little Girl Lost Part 2, Where There's Smoke
Disc 2, Side A - Knight Time, New Kids in Town, Obsession, Little Big Head Man, Absolute Power, In Brightest Day
Disc 2, Side B - Superman's Pal, A Fish Story, Unity, The Demon Reborn, Legacy Part 1, Legacy Part 2

Special Features
• Audio Commentary: Audio Commentaries on select episodes with the creators and the directors ("Apokolips...Now!" Part 2, "New Kids In Town," "Legacy" Part 2).
• Easter Egg: Bonus Commentary
• Featurette: Superman: Behind The Cape -- David Kaufman, voice of Jimmy Olsen, takes you journey on how a show comes together.

Official Synopsis: Alien warships instantly appear and attack Metropolis. Superman flies into action to save his beloved city, but his powers are not enough. This enemy is greater than any other Superman will ever know: the malicious Darkseid, a vicious dictator intent on controlling the universe and the one villain Superman is willing to kill ...or die trying. Darkseid vows to Superman, "If you will not be my knight, then you will be my pawn." No idle threat, he manipulates the Man of Steel to take over Earth in a plot that ultimately changes Superman's life forever! With this 2-disc, 18-episode collection, experience the colossal showdown of two titans from the very first punch!

Review
The third and final volume of the acclaimed Superman: The Animated Series hits shelves on June 20th and arrives with no shortage of excellent episodes and great special features. Included in this volume are fan favorites “Apokolips…Now!”, “Knight Time”, “Legacy” and “Superman’s Pal.” Just kidding on that last one.

While the set opens with a mediocre episode (“Warrior Queen”) and certainly contains some of the worst animated Superman outings (aforementioned “Superman’s Pal” and some would consider “Unity” poor as well), this is by far my favorite volume of the trio. “Apokolips…Now!” and “Legacy” are gems to be sure, but my favorite is still “Knight Time.” Seeing this episode as a kid was just a real treat; Robin was always my favorite and seeing him interact with the Man of Steel and then seeing Superman act like Batman on top of that…I mean sure it’s a simple story, but it is just a ton of fun to watch.

The packaging of this volume varies slightly from the previous sets. Instead of a whole fold out digi-pak setup, we get a similar set up as Justice League has been given. Two trays are still present (one for each disc), but the casing is slightly smaller (only by a few centimeters) than the previous sets. A beautiful shot of Superman soaring over Metropolis is the backdrop behind the two discs and it looks really, really nice.

Disc art is up to par with previous releases and of course resides only one the first disc (the second, once again, is double sided).

Popping a disc in, we hit a mild disappointment already: no animated menus. The great Superman theme still plays over the main menu, but it is no longer animated. Despite its lack of animation, it’s done in the same visual style as previous volumes so it all matches up.

The episodes themselves are pristine in both audio and video quality. Any qualms that I once had with the transfers of these shows has long since been tossed out the window. The video transfer is nearly flawless and the audio is crisp and clear as well. The only disappointment with the episodes I have is the lack of chapters; a curious omission, considering the second volume of Superman contained them.

Moving to the special features, we get an excellent comic shop roundtable hosted by David Kaufman (voice of Jimmy Olsen) on the first disc. “Superman: Behind the Cape” delves into the shows third season and even tackles some very fanboy sounding questions (“Favorite episodes?”), but for the most part the featurette is solid. The naming of poor episodes in this DVD set also surprised me, as I’ve noticed the crew generally shies away from calling anything “bad”—but “Superman’s Pal” certainly got smacked in this round (and rightfully so, if you ask me).

The remaining special features are four commentaries. I know what you’re thinking and yes, the menus only show three. The fourth commentary is an easter egg on the first disc and was certainly a great surprise to me when I found it. Originally solicited as a deleted scene, this commentary really came out of nowhere. I’ll leave the identity of the episode a mystery and let everyone hear it for themselves (though you may want to save it until you’ve listened to the other three, as it was recorded last).

All of the commentaries are great fun to listen to. Even more jocular quips and notes are dropped on the commentaries than before and while there is still some of the “Who storyboarded this?” in tact, it doesn’t crop up nearly as much as previous. Maybe because the episodes that had the commentary were so jam packed with stuff to talk about; I have to admit though, I’m surprised the upcoming “Legion of Superheroes” show was mentioned on the “New Kids in Town” commentary, especially with Tucker sitting there commenting on the show (and the Legion of Superheroes appearance in the Justice League Unlimited episode “Far From Home”). In any case, all the commentaries are very much worth listening to, so be sure to give them a spin when you get the set.

Despite the lack of Jason Hillhouse on the set (hey, I’ve grown accustomed to the guy showing up!), it was still all extremely entertaining. Between the great episodes and the poor ones, this set packs it all in a nice slipcase.

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