Synopsis: Batman Beyond, the landmark animated television series that illuminated the imagination of a new generation of Batman fans with its creation of an altogether new hero, is celebrating its 20th anniversary - and you get the gift! Warner Bros. Home Entertainment has remastered the heralded series for its first-ever presentation on Blu-ray in the all-encompassing Batman Beyond: The Complete Animated Series Limited Edition, arriving on Digital ($49.99 SRP USA, $59.99 SRP Canada) starting October 15, 2019 and in a stunning box set ($99.99 SRP USA, $119.99 SRP Canada) on October 29, 2019. Distribution in Canada will be day-and-date with the USA, Pre-orders are now available.
The extraordinary Batman Beyond: The Complete Animated Series Limited Edition package features approximately 1,500 minutes of entertainment spread over four Blu-ray discs, plus the two bonus discs of enhanced content. In addition to a newly-remastered Blu-ray presentation of Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker, there are 15 featurettes on the bonus discs, highlighted by two new inside looks at the beloved television series, led by Nostalgic Tomorrow, a gathering of Batman Beyond production talent and cast led by executive producer Bruce Timm and actors Kevin Conroy and Will Friedle, the voices of Batman and Terry McGinnis, respectively. The bonus discs also spotlight four episodes with audio commentary from Timm and select members of the production team.
Collectibles within the stunning packaging include an exclusive chrome Batman Beyond Funko POP, and four beautifully-designed lenticular art cards produced especially for Batman Beyond: The Complete Animated Series Limited Edition. This ultimate collectors Blu-ray box set will be individually numbered for a Limited Edition release of 50,000.
Click the "Press Release" link above for more details!
Note: The review for Batman Beyond: The Complete Series - Deluxe Limited Edition follows the video below.
Batman Beyond: The Complete Series - Deluxe Limited Edition
Review by James Harvey
The future is here, and it has never looked better! Batman Beyond finally arrives on Blu-ray in an impressive, hefty collection, which includes a healthy chunk of bonus material and some cool physical extras. But how does the actual cartoon itself fare? Hands down, it looks great, even with a few unavoidable video hiccups. The traditionally animated episodes, like last year's Batman: The Animated Series Blu-ray collection, are a revelation to behold, and the show's digitally colored episodes pop like never before. Batman Beyond: The Complete Series Limited Edition is yet another immediate must-own from Warner Bros. Home Entertainment, especially for fans of DC Comics' animated output.
Taking place 40 years in the future, Batman Beyond finds an older Bruce Wayne mentoring teenager Terry McGinnis as the latest iteration of Gotham City's fabled protector, defending it from a wealth of threats, both new and old. Produced by Warner Bros. Animation, Batman Beyond premiered on January 10, 1999 to solid ratings and critical success. During its run, it was nominated for nine Emmy Awards, and it would ultimately take home two Emmys - including Outstanding Special Class Animated Program in 2001 - as well as three Annie Awards.
With 52 episodes, a movie and some guest appearances under his belt, along with being integrated into DC Comics continuity, Terry McGinnis cemented himself as not only a legitimate successor to the cowl, but also a brilliant extension of the Batman: The Animated Series franchise, opening up the DCAU (and the Batman mythos) to a world of new possibilities. It also roped in a wealth of fans, both new and old, attracted by the intriguing premise, the legitimately thrilling (and sometimes horrifying) stories, the incredible cast and crew and the instantly relatable and likable characters. To boil it down, Batman Beyond hit all the right notes out of the gate, confident and bold, and it was rightfully rewarded.
More in-depth reviews of this show can be found elsewhere here on the Batman Beyond subsite, but to quickly touch upon the series, yeah, it's as awesome as it ever was. And a big driver behind that is the amazing relationship between Wayne and McGinnis and, much like the audience, how it evolves and grows from the very first episode to the finale. The action remains arguably some of the best in the entirety of the DCAU, the writing still features some of the craziest ideas I can't believe got through the censors, and the characters are just as flat-out cool as you remember. Yeah, not every episode hits it out of the park but, overall, this show remains probably the coolest-looking Batman cartoon ever.
On a personal note, revisiting this entire series ended up being way more hard-hitting than expected, to the point of getting occasionally (and unexpectedly) emotional. It was a gentle, sudden reminder of how much of an impact these shows can have on us. In the two-part series premiere episode I couldn't help but get almost choked up at some of those big moments where everything just clicks so flawlessly. The animation, the writing, the acting, the directing, the score, each amazing on their own, yeah, but together? Incredible. I predict big things for the show's cast and crew, let me tell you.
So, the Batman Beyond animated series is fantastic, but what about the Batman Beyond: The Complete Series Limited Edition Blu-ray collection from Warner Bros. Home Entertainment? Rest assured, the release is yet another incredible home video title from Warner Bros., offering up a fantastic (albeit unavoidably hampered) HD presentation of the classic animated series and a wealth of bonus content to go with.
Looking at the physical packaging quickly, the collection comes with all six discs and inserts housed in a fold-out digi-pack, itself packed in a sturdy cardboard slipcase, along with a slick looking Batman Beyond Funko POP and four cool lenticular art cards. The discs and the physical extras are packed in the set's bigger-than-expected cardboard box. It's a great looking box set that looks quite nice along side last year's Batman: The Complete Animated Series - Limited Edition Blu-ray collection.
Diving into the discs, and much like last year's Batman: The Animated Series Blu-ray release, the HD remasters on this set are at times jaw-dropping. The traditionally-colored episodes (the first 26) look crisp and clean for the most part, though there's still dirt and scratches due to the quality of the source material. However, the digitally-colored episodes (the second 26) look crystal clear and beam with color. However, it's worth noting that, due to time-worn irreparable damage, 11 of the 52 episodes had to be "smart rezzed" from standard definition Digibeta video (the list of the up-scaled episodes can be found after the review). For what they had to work with, the episodes still look quite good, though there are unavoidable issues with the upscaling. Edge enhancement is rampant, colors look a little muted and motion and images can be jagged at times. It's apparent but eventually you stop noticing. Don't let that take away from that fact that these episodes have never looked better. They look great - Batman: The Animated Series HD-remaster level great. The level of detail, the sharpness of the image, the colors, it's legitimately stunning.
It's worth noting that at least one visual effect has been removed/altered from it's original presentation, that being the filter effects used during Bruce Wayne/Batman's heart attack in the cold open to "Rebirth, Part One." No reason was given, though it was likely either not present in the source materials used for the remaster or it was simply removed. Honestly, some viewers might not even realize the effect missing, but the more eagle-eyed viewers will notice.
Like the video, the clarity of the audio transfer is so impressive that it's almost like you're truly hearing the episodes for the first time. The audio really opens up, bringing out subtle sound effects and audio previously missed on broadcast airings and DVDs. The original stereo audio is offered in 2.0 DTS-HD Master Audio lossless and the tracks sound exceptional. Dialogue is crystal clear, be it in quiet character moments or during the numerous action beats. The score sounds as incredible as you'd expect. It's hard, loud and brings the bass. Without question, even if you've watched these episodes countless times, you will hear (and see) new things you didn't before.
Looking at the new on-disc bonus content, the highlight is unquestionably "Nostalgic Tomorrow - A Batman Gathering," a fascinating roundtable retrospective featuring Bruce Timm, Kevin Conroy, Will Friedle, James Tucker, Glen Murakami, Andrea Romano, Bob Goodman and Stan Berkowitz. Running a little over 53 minutes, the discussion is simply fascinating. It's almost like getting to be a part of the best dinner table discussion of all time. Topics run the gamut, from the origins of the show (and details on other "Teen Batman" cartoons that nearly made it, how the opening credits had to be edited), up to the very end of the series and beyond (yes, Justice League Unlimited "Epilogue" is discussed, as is the Batman Beyond 75th anniversary short). Small anecdotes and funny stories are shared back and forth (James Tucker has a corker about "The Eggbaby"), and the discussions just flow so naturally and candid, like old friends reminiscing over years passed. It's pitch-perfect and should absolutely be the first thing you watch when you pick up the collection. Trust me. Watch it first.
Wrapping up the new bonus content is "Knight Immortal," a 35-minute retrospective looking back at the different interpretations of Batman across the media landscape from the last 80 years. It's an entertaining recap of Batman's Hollywood career, featuring a bevy of clips and interviews with some of Batman's biggest creative minds and stars from throughout the year. It's a fun, interesting watch, without question.
A copy of the Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker Blu-ray that Warner Bros. Home Entertainment released back in 2011 is also included with Batman Beyond: The Complete Series Limited Edition. A review of that release can be found here. It's worth noting the U.K edition of the Batman Beyond: The Complete Series Limited Edition Blu-ray collection bizarrely includes the edited DVD copy of Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker.
In terms of other on-disc bonus content, the rest of it is ported over from the previous Batman Beyond DVD volume releases and the Batman Beyond: The Complete Series DVD box set. All the commentaries, featurettes, etc., is included on here, with the exception of the trailers included on the original releases. If you've picked up the previous DVD titles, you'll be familiar with the ported over bonus content. It's a good move by Warner Bros. Home Entertainment to include nearly all of the previous bonus features, and it's been enjoyable to actually revisit it here in the Blu-ray collection. For a closer look at the ported over content, check out our reviews for the Batman Beyond: The Complete First Season, Batman Beyond: The Complete Second Season, Batman Beyond: The Complete Third Season and Batman Beyond: The Complete Series DVD releases. Also, a disc-by-disc breakdown of the bonus content can be found below this review.
Batman Beyond: The Complete Series Limited Edition also includes a download code to redeem a digital copy of all 52 episodes of the series and Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker in HD.
As with most collections like Batman Beyond: The Complete Series Limited Edition, there are a few notable absences but nothing that really impact's the overall quality of the release. While it would've been cool to include Terry McGinnis' appearances in Justice League Unlimited, Static Shock and The Zeta Project here (it is a little odd they're not being included since some of them are mentioned elsewhere in the bonus material), it's by no means a deal-breaker. Those episodes are readily available on physical and digital media. Also, the recent DC Nation Batman Beyond animated short, done by the late Darwyn Cooke for Batman's recent 75th anniversary, is not included either, and it's arguably a bigger oversight/upset compared to the above mentioned episodes. Again, not a deal-breaker in the slightest, just surprising and debatably a nitpick at best.
Without a doubt, Batman Beyond: The Complete Series Limited Edition is an absolute Must Own. If you want to watch the best possible presentation of Batman Beyond, this hefty Blu-ray collection is your ticket. The HD remaster is genuinely impressive, bringing out plenty of detail in the traditionally-colored episodes and making the digitally-colored episodes pop like never before. Even the "smart rezzed" episodes look solid, considering the circumstances. Plus, the included bonus content is absolutely staggering, and the exclusive extended featurettes are both fantastic - especially the nearly hour-long creatives roundtable discussion. There are hours of extra features to crawl through between both the exclusive and ported over material. The physical extras also make for some cool, nifty collectibles. All things considered, the future has never looked better than right here. It's so schway.
Please note Warner Bros. Home Entertainment provided a copy of this title to review, though that had no impact on the product's final assessment. An additional copy of the collection was also purchased by the review's author. Batman Beyond: The Complete Series is now available to own on Blu-ray from Warner Bros. Home Entertainment.
All episodes and new bonus content included in this release were reviewed for this article.
Batman Beyond: The Complete Series - Deluxe Limited Edition
Disc by Disc episode and bonus content breakdown:
- Rebirth, Pt. 1
- Rebirth, Pt. 2
- Black Out
- Dead Man's Hand
- The Winning Edge
- Disappearing Inque
- 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
- Earth Mover
- Lost Soul
- Hidden Agenda
- Once Burned
- Hooked Up
- Mind Games
- 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
- Final Cut*
- The Last Resort*
- Sneak Peek*
- The Eggbaby*
- April Moon*
- Sentries of the Last Cosmos*
- Where's Terry?
- 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.
- King's Ransom
- Big Time
- 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.
*=Due to source material, episode resolution was enhanced (up-rez) instead of remastering.