Month: November 2010

Soft Debut For “DC Showcase Animated Original Shorts” Home Video Release

According to various home media retailing outlets and independent research, the recent DC Showcase Animated Original Shorts collection, anchored by the exclusive Superman/Shazam!: The Return Of Black Adam animated short, was unable to crack 100,000 units sold in its first week available on the home video market. The release moved an estimated 70,000 DVD copies in its first week, along with an additional 24,500 units in Blu-ray editions in the same timeframe, resulting in an estimated 94,500 home video units sold during its first week of sales, the weekend ending November 14th, 2010. The DC Showcase Animated Original Shorts collection debuted in the top 20 for DVD sales for its first week, and in the top 10 for Blu-ray. Note the sales numbers above do not take into account rental numbers, OnDemand numbers, or legal download numbers.

Above is the cover art for all standard definition DVD and high-definition Blu-ray home video releases for the DC Showcase Animated Original Shorts collection. Click on the links below to discuss both the recent Superman/Shazam!: The Return Of Black Adam animated short, exclusive to this new collection, along with the home video release and accompanied additional animated shorts.

Superman/Shazam!: The Return of Black Adam Animated Short Talkback (Spoilers)
Superman/Shazam!: The Return of Black Adam Blu-ray/DVD Talkback (Spoilers)
DC Showcase: Green Arrow Animated Short Talkback (Spoilers)
DC Showcase: Jonah Hex Animated Short Talkback (Spoilers)
DC Showcase: The Spectre Animated Short Talkback (Spoilers)

Stay tuned for further updates here soon on The World’s Finest, including further coverage on the Superman/Shazam!: The Return of Black Adam animated short and additional home video updates.

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Cartoon Network Schedules “Batman: The Brave And The Bold” Mini-Marathon

Three recent episodes of the acclaimed animated series Batman: The Brave and The Bold are scheduled to air this Friday, November 26th, 2010 on Cartoon Network as part of their holiday weekend programming. Cartoon Network is scheduled to air special blocks of mini-marathons for most of their programs throughout the day, leading to the debut of the Young Justice animated special “Independence Day.” Episode specific details are available below, provided by Cartoon Network.

Friday, November 26th, 2010 at 9:00am (ET) – “The Siege of Starro! Part One”
Led by Faceless Hunter, the Starro Invasion comes on full swing. Only Batman and a handful of unlikely heroes remain uninfected to thwart the alien parasites and their mind-controlled hosts before all of Earth is sucked dry.

Friday, November 26th, 2010 at 9:30am (ET) – “The Siege of Starro! Part Two”
Star Conqueror may be defeated, but Faceless Hunter is not! The alien warrior manipulates B’Wana Beast, forcing him to combine the tiny starros into one massive beast he plans to use to destroy the planet! But Batman has his own back-up — the Metal Men!

Friday, November 26th, 2010 at 10:00am (ET) – “Requiem for a Scarlet Speedster!”
The Silver Age Flash is dead, and his Rogues Gallery has come to take over Central City. Batman teams up with the Flash’s predecessor and successor to defend the city, but a villainous speedster plans to defeat them all.

The next new episode of Batman: The Brave and The Bold, “Darkseid Descending!,” is scheduled to debut Friday, December 3rd, 2010 on Cartoon Network. Stay tuned for further Batman: The Brave and The Bold update, including exclusive content, here soon at The World’s Finest.

In related news, The World’s Finest has published a review for the upcoming Young Justice “Independence Day” special event. Click on the image below for more.

The one-hour Young Justice “Independence Day” premiere is scheduled to air Friday, November 26th, 2010 at 7:00pm (ET) on Cartoon Network, with the series returning in January 2011 as a regular fixture of the network’s Friday-night line-up. Click here to view the complete library of hi-res images and Quicktime-format video clip from the Young Justice animated event.

Stay tuned for further updates here soon at The World’s Finest.

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“Batman Beyond: The Complete Series” Home Video Collection Now Available

Batman Beyond: The Complete Series, the new DVD home video release from Warner Home Video collecting the entire run of the acclaimed animated series, is now available to own. The nine-disc set also includes new bonus features, an exclusive booklet, and collectible packaging. Click on the images below to view an assortment of images from the new release, now available at all major retail outlets.

Click here for more images!

A review for the Batman Beyond: The Complete Series home video collection release can be found at The World’s Finest Batman Beyond subsite, with additional to exclusive images and content also available to view. Further details on the Batman Beyond animated series are also available at the aforementioned links. Click on the link below to discuss this new release.

Batman Beyond: The Complete Series DVD Talkback (Spoilers)

Batman Beyond: The Complete Series is now available to own on DVD from Warner Home Video. Stay tuned for continued updates here soon at The World’s Finest, including exclusive content and much more.

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Actor Will Friedle Discusses Classic “Batman Beyond” Series In New Interview

The World’s Finest presents an all-new studio-conducted interview, provided by Warner Home Video, for the Batman Beyond: The Complete Series DVD collection release, available to own on Tuesday, November 23rd, 2010 for a limited time. Continue reading below for an interview featuring Will Friedle, the voice of Batman in the acclaimed Batman Beyond animated series.

Will Friedle chats about his time in the Batcave;
Batman Beyond: The Complete Series on DVD Tuesday, November 23

Will Friedle took a futuristic Dark Knight in altogether new directions as the voice of Terry McGinnis in Warner Bros. Animations breakthrough 1999 series Batman Beyond.

The popular voiceover actor took time last week to speak about his days as the new Caped Crusader in preparation for the Tuesday, November 23 release of Batman Beyond: The Complete Series, a nine-disc limited edition DVD set that presents nearly 20 hours of animated action spread over 52 episodes, as well as including all-new bonus featurettes and a 24-page, 8x 12 collectible booklet.

Batman Beyond: The Complete Series centers on Terry McGinnis, an ordinary teenager … until his father is mysteriously murdered. Suspecting foul play at his father’s company, Wayne/Powers Corporation, Terry meets Bruce Wayne and learns of a secret identity hidden for decades. Now too old to don the cape and cowl as Batman, Wayne refuses to help so Terry does what any brash young kid would do: steal the Bat-suit and take matters into his own hands! Vowing to avenge his father’s death, Terry dons the high-tech suit tricked out with jetpacks, a supersensitive microphone and even camouflage capabilities in search of his father’s assassin.

The all-star production team was headed by executive producer Jean MacCurdy and producers Bruce Timm, Alan Burnett, Glen Murakami and Paul Dini. Writers on the series included Burnett and Dini, as well as Stan Berkowitz, Bob Goodman, Rich Fogel, Hilary Bader and John McCann.

Friedle made his mark in live-action television and film from the time he turned 10, starring in hit series like Boy Meets World and Dont Just Sit There. He gradually shifted his attention to voiceover work, taking the lead in Batman Beyond and co-starring in Disneys Kim Possible to name but a few. Today, he primarily stays behind the microphone, voicing such notable roles as Doyle on The Secret Saturdays and Blue Beetle on Batman: The Brave and the Bold.

Heres a brief Q&A with Mr. Friedle

QUESTION: When you think back on all those Batman Beyond sessions, what are your favorite memories of recording the series?

WILL FRIEDLE: This sounds like a cheesy answer, but working with Andrea (Romano) is just the greatest experience. Every week you go in and its amazing and fun. You just never knew who the guest cast would be. My favorite was recording Return of the Joker. Sitting between Kevin Conroy and Mark Hamill for five days was pretty incredible. I learned more about being a voiceover actor in those five days than I did in the five months before that. Just watching the two of them work how Mark got so into the character, completely losing himself in that role. And then theres Kevin with that deep, booming voice, always sitting with his back straight and working perfectly with the microphone. It was an education.

QUESTION: Do you have a favorite Batman Beyond episode?

WILL FRIEDLE: There was an episode called Out of the Past where its Bruce Waynes birthday and as a birthday present Terry takes Bruce to see a new play, Batman: The Musical. So theres Bruce sitting in the audience, watching these people in costume jumping on stage, singing about the Dark Knight, and Terrys right behind him humming the songs. And Bruce just hates it. Seeing Bruce Wayne watching Batman: The Musical was pretty funny.

QUESTION: Were you a fan of Batman: The Animated Series before you were cast for Batman Beyond?

WILL FRIEDLE: I have been an animation fan my whole life. Love cartoons, always have. But I thought Batman: The Animated Series changed the whole ballgame. Every generation thinks they grew up with the best cartoons I had Thundercats and Transformers, shows like that. Very bright, and the acting was very big. But then Batman came out and there was nothing cartoony about it. The acting was very real and the overall feel of the show was dark. It was like nothing youd seen before, and I was a huge fan of the show. This was pre-Tivo, so this was one of those shows where you had to see it every day. You didnt want to miss an episode. So when I got a call to be the voice of a new Batman, and the series was being made with the entire team that did Batman: The Animated Series, well, that was huge.

QUESTION: You spent a lot of time with Kevin Conroy over the course of the series. What was that experience like for you?

WILL FRIEDLE: First of all, Kevin is a classically trained actor. Hes very professional. Ive had the good fortune of working with several characters like that, but Id never done an animated series before, and I was kind of slumped in my chair saying my lines. And Kevin started giving me tips. Simple things, but things that really make a difference. For example, he had me sit up straight, and showed me how that helps open your diaphragm naturally. Little things you look for in an actor of his caliber like the right ways to play to the page, the right ways to not pop your Ps. He was nice enough to take me under his wing and teach me, and Ill never forget him for that.

QUESTION: What set Batman Beyond apart?

WILL FRIEDLE: To me, it always goes back to the writing. Batman Beyond was so strong that you couldnt wait to get the script for the next week. The character development was outstanding from the new villains theyd invent to the way they brought back the old villains. And the way they treated Terry and Bruce, and their relationship. The casting was phenomenal, but even the greatest actors cant make bad writing good so it all comes down to what was on the page, and thats where Batman Beyond became a great show.

QUESTION: How important are super heroes to you?

WILL FRIEDLE: I love super heroes, and Batman was always my favorite. I was never a huge Superman fan. I like the idea that Batman was just a man. He doesnt have super powers. As youre reading comics or watching animated series, I think you normally gravitate toward one or the other. But for me, it came down to this: Superman had to come from another planet to save us. Batman said Look what we can do for ourselves with our heart and mind and soul, we can save each other.

QUESTION: Why are super heroes important to society?

WILL FRIEDLE: I love to read. Im a voracious reader. I think the super hero genre is really our modern day Greek mythology, These are our gods; this is Homer writing the Iliad. Weve got super heroes; they had gods. From a literary standpoint, this is the next generation of mythology. From a fan standpoint, with authors like Robert Jordan and Brandon Sanderson and even the Harry Potter series, a great fantasy book just takes you away. You can disappear into an entire world where you can forget what is going on in your world. For kids, I think it teaches a sense of right and wrong. For the most part, these stories are tales of good vs. evil. Thats important for kids to see what is good and bad, and how it can be fought without violence. And just for the fun of it all, who doesnt want to get lost in a great book or series?

QUESTION: So now youre back in the super hero realm and Batmans universe on Batman: The Brave and The Bold. How do you like your role as Blue Beetle?

WILL FRIEDLE: Blue Beetle is a ton of fun to play. I wasnt totally familiar with the character, but I studied up for the role quickly. Its been tricky because we wanted to make sure that we played to Jaime Reyes heritage as he is the first real Latino super hero but we didnt want to do a cartoony Latino voice. But at the same time, you also have to make him Hispanic. So there was more riding on this role. Terry could be created in any way, shape or form. Jaime had already been established. Its not a heavy character, but theres more of a history. So to step into a world thats already established was more difficult than creating a character from the beginning.

QUESTION: Youve been solely focused on voiceover roles for several years. Are you no longer interested in on-camera acting?

WILL FRIEDLE: I retired from on-camera work at 30. Plain and simple. I started acting on camera when I was 10, so it had been 20 years. I really enjoyed it, but the on-camera side of the industry isnt as fun anymore its definitely not the same as when I started. Im now more established in the voiceover world, and I get to do it in a far more fun, more fulfilling way. I think I went out on a high note. I was still doing films and television series and I thought Id rather walk away when it was my choice. I know youre never supposed to say never, but I can pretty much say never to on-camera again.

QUESTION: Whats the best thing about playing a super hero?

WILL FRIEDLE: At the time we were doing Batman Beyond, I thought the coolest thing was telling my nephews I was Batman and not being lying to them. One time, my oldest nephew Huck came out from Brooklyn. He pulled me aside and said Look uncle Will, I want you to know Im six now. I think Im old enough to see the Batcave. He actually thought I was Batman, which is very cool. It cant get much better for an uncle.

A review for the upcoming Batman Beyond: The Complete Series home video collection release can be found at The World’s Finest Batman Beyond subsite, with additional to exclusive images and content also available to view. Further details on the Batman Beyond animated series are also available at the aforementioned links.

Stay tuned for continued updates here soon at The World’s Finest.

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Beechen Talks “Batman Beyond” Mini-Series Conclusion, Upcoming Ongoing

The World’s Finest caught up with writer Adam Beechen to talk about the conclusion of the current Batman Beyond six-issue mini-series from DC Comics in addition to the forthcoming Batman Beyond ongoing series, set for a January 2011 launch. Beechen was able to spend a few moments answering questions about the characters who inhabit the world of Batman Beyond, his favorite episodes, and how the cartoon’s continuity will find its way into the forthcoming comic adventures.

The World’s Finest: Before we jump into the new ongoing series, the final issue of the current Batman Beyond series streets this week. What can we expect from it?

Adam Beechen: You think Im going to give the whole thing away?! You gotta work harder than that to get info like that from me. Suffice to say, its the end of Batmans conflict with this killer the medias been calling Hush, and theres lots of bang-up action, high stakes, cool gadgets and drama.

WF: How and where does the new Batman Beyond ongoing pick up from the mini-series?

AB: The ongoing picks up just a few weeks after the mini-series. To say anything else really would be giving away stuff.

WF: Can we expect to see more homages and references to the original animated series as you move Terry McGinnis into the mainstream DC Universe?

AB: Absolutely. Our series is very much set in the world of the animated series, so those references will always be there. Because were not fully tying Batman Beyond to established DCU continuity, at least not yet, the homages ad references will show up more on that end.

WF: As a semi-follow-up to the previous question, you mentioned in previous interviews that you have been reviewing the Batman Beyond animated series in preparation for your role as writer for the series. Did you come out of that with any favorite episodes? Any moments jump out at you?

AB: Not so much moments as an overwhelming sense of the amount of creativity that was poured into that show. The best fiction transports you into the world of its creation, and Batman Beyond certainly does that. In watching the entire series, I got a definite idea of the size and scope of the sandbox weve been handed to play in, and its extremely exciting as a writer.

WF: How do you see Batman Beyonds role in the DC Universe? Is this where Batman is heading in comics, or is this a possibility on how things could go? Given the different interpretations of the future of the DC Universe, do you consider yours the definitive future for the current-day Batman comics, or a possible one? Does that make it any less valid?

AB: I think the world of Batman Beyond remains a possible, rather than definitive, future, but events in the current DCU seem to draw the Batman Beyond future closer as a likelihood. But even if that connection doesnt happen, as long as the stories are entertaining, theyre valid, in my opinion.

WF: Have you been paying attention to fan feedback on the mini-series, both positive and negative? Will you be taking any suggestions or feedback to heart as you move ahead with the new series?

AB: My understanding is that the feedback has generally positive, and I think the fact that the book has become a monthly bears that out. Fans Ive met personally have certainly been positive. Ive been told there has been some wondering among fans as to whether or not Terrys supporting cast will play much of a role in the ongoing, and the answer to that is yes, and right away. Because we wanted to focus the mini-series in such a way that it introduced Terry and Bruce and their dynamic to a new audience, while bringing the fans of the animated series an introduction to a new villain, we didnt have a lot of space to focus on Terrys mom, brother, girlfriend Dana or best friend Max. Now that were up and running, readers can expect them to become a large part of the series. That said, we always keep in mind the concerns of fans Theyre who the book is for, after all.

WF: What are your plans, long-term and short-term, for the new Batman Beyond ongoing?

AB: Just to keep telling fun and interesting stories that shed light on corners of this world that we havent seen yet, or further explore the ones we have. The structure is going to be very friendly for new readers to jump in at almost any point Were going to do three-issue story arcs, punctuated by stand-alone stories after every arc. Were going to see all-new characters, reimagined or updated versions of characters from the current DCU, and old favorites from the animated series, and try to weave them all into a larger tapestry than even the animated series had, because we have the history of the DCU at our disposal, to some extent.

WF: Finally, can you tell us why we should rush out to pick up Batman Beyond #6 (of 6) this week and then come back for Batman Beyond (ongoing) #1 in January? Convince us!

AB: Because youve been waiting on the edge of your seat to see how Batmans battle with this new killer everyone calls Hush is going to play out, and because youve enjoyed this ride so much, you know what Im talking about when I say weve got stories planned beyond this that will blow your mind. The first year of the book is pretty well plotted out and in good shape, the entire creative team is coming back, and were excited to build on what we feel is a great start!

The World’s Finest would like to thank Adam Beechen for his participation!

Batman Beyond #6 (of 6), written by Beechen with art by Ryan Benjamin, hits shelves on Wednesday, November 24th, 2010. The new ongoing Batman Beyond comic title, spinning out of the current mini-series, begins January 2011 from DC Comics.

Additionally, also available this week is the new DVD collection Batman Beyond: The Complete Series from Warner Home Video. More details on this new home video release can be found here at The World’s Finest Batman Beyond subsite. Stay tuned for other updates here soon at The World’s Finest.

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