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The World's Finest Presents

Releases - DVDs - Batman: The Animated Series - The Legend Begins


Release Information:
Studio: Warner Home Video
DVD Release Date: April 23, 2002
Run Time: 110 minutes
Production Company: Warner Home Video
Package Type: Snap Case
Episodes: On Leather Wings; Christmas With the Joker; Nothing to Fear; The Last Laugh; Pretty Poison
Aspect Ratio(s):
Original Aspect Ratio - 1.33 Standard [4:3 Transfer]

Edition Details:
Encoding: Region 1
Animated, Color

Special Features
Life On the Edge Game
Get the Picture: How to Draw Batman
Conversations with Director Bruce Timm
Languages & Subtitles: English, Spanish, French, Portuguese

Official Synopsis: Lex Luthor. Bizarro. Metallo. Karkull. The universe is filled with villains. And only the Man of Steel can keep them from overthrowing Earth in these 18 action-packed episodes from the Emmy-winning series! Filled with dynamic storylines, brilliant animation and complex characters, this collection includes the three-part crossover episode World's Finest, in which The Joker teams with Lex Luthor, forcing Batman and Superman into a reluctant partnership to defeat the crazed clown and maniacal billionaire. Fly high with this exciting two-disc set packed with all the thrilling battles that only Superman could win!

Collecting the first five episodes of Batman: The Animated Series in production order, Batman: The Animated Series - The Legend Begins is a mixed bag in every sense. Not every episode is a winner, the extras seem a bipolar, the transfer is merely average, and the packaging is substandard at best.

Everyone knows the backstory for this animated series so there's no point in retelling it. However, like most animated series, the show stumbled out of the gate and the five episodes here are proof of that. There are a few clunkers with the five episodes featured on this disc - "On Leather Wings," "Christmas With the Joker," "Nothing to Fear," "The Last Laugh," and "Pretty Poison" - but it's not anything new to fans of the animated series.

The extras are divided up between the both the fan-base and child demographics. For kids, the disc offers a five-part "Life on the Edge" game, which shows clips from the episodes as rewards for solving fairly bland puzzles. A "Get the Picture" segment, featured on just about every Animated DC DVD it seems, shows a sketch artist drawing Batman's head in fast motion, rendering the extra quite useless. Bland, static menus are also included.

For the die-hard fans of the cartoon, each of the five episodes on the disc is accompanied by a brief interview segment with producer Bruce Timm. Not pulling any punches, he discusses the successes and failures of each episode, resulting in some rather interesting factoids. The episodes themselves are offered in full frame with standard 2.0 audio mixes. Dust and scratches intentionally remain on every episode, on request from the producer. Annoyingly, there are no chapter breaks within the episodes.

The first in a series of single volume DVD releases, Batman: The Animated Series - The Legend Begins is for the hardcore completes fan or as a sampler for the kiddie demographic. While not every episode is a winner, all five are watchable. The extras are quite slim, but the episode introductions are actually pretty interesting. Despite a few faults, this disc can be recommended.

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