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Releases - DVDs - Batman: The Animated Series - Tales of the Dark Knight



Release Information:
Studio: Warner Home Video
DVD Release Date: April 22, 2003
Run Time: 89 minutes
Episodes: The Underdwellers; P.O.V.; The Forgotten; Be a Clown
Aspect Ratio(s):
Orginal Aspect Ratio - 1.33 Standard [4:3 Transfer]

English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo), French (Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo), Spanish (Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo), Portuguese (Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo)

Edition Details:
Encoding: Region 1
Animated, Color

Special Features
The Line Up
Episode Introductions with Producer/Director Bruce Timm
Voices of Gotham City
Languages & Subtitles: English, Spanish, French, Portuguese

I'm going to say this right now just so I can get it off of my chest: Four episodes? C'mon WB, we know you can fit a heck of a lot more onto DVDs. You can't tell me they're "preserving" the quality of the episodes, 'cause they aren't that great to begin with. On top of that we have the pathetic amount of special features, so you can't tell me there's no "room" left on the disc itself -- they could've, at the very least, put both parts of "Two-Face," since they even have shots from it on the menus and even Bruce Timm mentions the episode in the introduction on "The Underdwellers."

With that out of the way, the next comes the transfer quality. There's still some dust, scratches and whatnot on the episodes themselves, but they are of better quality than what Fox broadcasted back in the day (i.e. 1993). The quality is, of course, not so horrible that you can't watch it, but I just don't think WB is putting much effort into these releases. They seem to be slacking off in the special features area, while their more "popular" series such as Dawson's Creek are already seeing DVD releases -- in seasons sets I might add. The whole situation with BTAS is such a joke, and I really wish Fox was in charge of doing this as, although we only have two Simpson's season sets from them, they at least have been making an effort to release them, something WB could learn from.

The special features are, much like the episodes on this disc (aside from "P.O.V."), are boring. While the episode introductions by Bruce Timm are probably what make this DVD worth it's price tag, and the "Voices of Gotham City" feature is awesome, the rest...well, wait, there isn't a "rest," is there? Just a really weird game (The Line Up), and a language selection which is mandatory on almost every DVD, make the features very poor indeed. Where's the original BTAS intro Bruce Timm has talked about in the past? Surely WB isn't saving that for the last DVD release in 2015 when a new Batman series will probably have popped up, creating this whole vicious cycle over again.

Menus are easy to navigate, nothing really confusing you to the point where you can't figure out how to get back to the menu, nor is there anything really to confuse you because, like I said before, the lack of extras make it so unbelievably easy to get around, it's not even funny. I'd honestly like to work to view the extras, but sadly, this isn't the case in this DVD. Not to mention on the Special Features menu Two-Face's mug adorns it, even though he's completely absent -- even in Harvey Dent form -- on this disc. If that isn't a sign of last minute changes, I don't know what is.

In the end, I'm really just happy to get more episodes, but I'm really tired of getting them at such a slow rate. If you're a Bat-Fan, then you'll want to pick this disc up just to have it, otherwise if you're just a casual viewer, don't waste your time -- one good episode, commentaries, and a featurette aren't worth the cash.

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