Releases - DVD - Batman Beyond: The Complete
Announce Date: 7/12/06
Street Date: 10/24/06
Closed Captioning: Yes
Packaging Type: Digi-Pack
Subformat: Multi Disc
Media Quantity: 4
Disc Configuration: 1) 9-Dual Layer 2) 9-Dual Layer 3)
9-Dual Layer 4) 9-Dual Layer
Sound Track Language: English
Run Time: 544
Original Aspect Ratio - 1.33, Standard [4:3 Transfer]
English: Stereo 2S
Episodes: Splicers; Earth Mover; Joyride; Lost Soul; Hidden Agenda;
Bloodsport; Once Burned; Hooked Up; Rats!; Mind Games; Revenant; Babel;
Terry's Friend Dates A Robot; Eyewitness; Final Cut; The Last Resort;
Armory; Sneek Peak; The Eggbaby; Zeta; Plague; April Moon; Sentries of
the Last Cosmos; Payback; Where's Terry?; Ace In The Hole
• Inside Batman Beyond: The Panel – Batman Beyond Season 2 Panel
Discussion continues with Producer Bruce Timm, Producer Alan Burnett,
Producer Glen Murakami, Producer Paul Dini and Moderator Jason Hillhouse
• "Splicers" Commentary – Producer Bruce Timm, Director Curt
Producer Glen Murakami, Voice Director Andrea Romano, "Terry McGinnis /
Batman" Voice Will Friedle
• "Eggbaby" Commentary – Producer Bruce Timm, Director James Tucker and
Producer Glen Maurakami, Voice Director Andrea Romano, "Terry McGinnis /
Batman" Voice Will Friedle
* - It is mentioned in the commentary that Geda was unable to make it
and James Tucker was in place of Curt Geda, despite not being associated
Synopsis: WHV will be bringing you the second installment
from the Emmy® Award Winning TV series, Batman Beyond. Batman Beyond:
Season 2 features Terry McGinnis, the impetuous teenager who doubles as
the crime fighting BATMAN. Still a newcomer to the scene, Terry lacks
his mentor’s experience and doubts his fighting abilities. Taking down
criminals like THE JOKERZ, SHRIEK and CURARE, helps build Terry’s
confidence and makes him accept his role as GOTHAM CITY’S newest
guardian. The 26 gripping adventures in this 4-disc collection will have
you falling in love with Gotham’s newest BATMAN.
Review (Bird Boy):
Just months (well, ok, technically half a year—time has just flown
by this year!) after Batman Beyond’s first season hit DVD, season
2 will hit shelves on October 24th. Initial speculation on the set had
everyone thinking that the second season, consisting of 26 episodes,
would be split up into two volumes. Apparently not wanting to wait
around to finish releasing the set and wait for a possible market “cool
down”, Warner Home Video put out the entire set of Batman Beyond’s
second season on one, four disc release. Whether this was their original
plan or not, fans certainly have nothing to complain about on this set
(though they will!): an excellent season with quite a few hit-and-miss
episodes, but the overall quality of the show is still intact, even with
Max wandering around in this season.
Batman Beyond starts off its second season with “Splicers”, a
tale about teenagers splicing their DNA with that of animals. It’s
essentially a “don’t do drugs!” “don’t give into peer pressure” type
tale, but like all of the “after school special lessons” that Batman
Beyond dealt with, it was done with a certain amount of poise so
that it wasn’t crammed down your throat. And, of course, we get to see a
giant, ugly monster pustulate and pop all over the place. On top of
“Splicers” we have a large array of good ("Earth Mover", "Joyride",
"Hidden Agenda", "Once Burned", "The Eggbaby", “Eyewitness”) mixed in
with a bit of bad ("Rats!", "April Moon"..."Rats!"). In fact, as I
watched some of these episodes for the first time in years, I realized
that while Season 2 was considered the “worst” of the three, it
contained some really solid stories and animation. “Eyewitness” remains
a favorite of mine and I’m glad to finally have a copy of that wasn’t
copied off of five other VHS tapes.
Overall you really can’t go wrong with this set—the season is really a
lot of fun to watch for casual and hardcore fans and it makes a great
companion piece to Season 1. Now we just have to wait for Season 3 to
get one of the best (and most disturbing) Batman Beyond episodes
(“Out of the Past”) on DVD.
Unlike the last season of Batman Beyond on DVD, this set features
a neat foil/reflective slip case. There’s no embossing done on this case
like other DCAU seasons, but the foil reflective nature of the cover is very
cool looking. The inside of the case is just like Justice League’s past
two seasons, with double layer digipak trays and the disc information on
the back “cover” of the digipaks. Disc art is a strange array of
choices, with Mr. Freeze adorning disc one, despite his lack of presence
in this season. Still, it’s only a minor part of the set, since you’ll
only see the disc art when taking the discs in and out.
Moving onto the menus we have only static menus this time around, with
theme music over the main menu only. Sub-menus are full of character art
that is both related and unrelated to this season (just as they did with
Season 1 and the discs of this set). It’s distracting at times to see
the King Kobra on a menu full of episodes he wasn’t remotely related to,
but it’s a minor qualm to have with the set.
Video is strong on the set, especially in later episodes as the show
switched to digital coloring. There is the usual interlacing and
aliasing that shows
up and compression pops a bit more on the digitally colored shows, but
it’s nothing that we aren’t used to. Audio is amazing to listen to, even
though it’s merely a Dolby Surround 2.0 track. Having a proper receiver
and speaker set up can do a lot for stereo tracks and this show
sounds simply awesome in the right environment.
“Inside Batman Beyond: The Panel” picks up, quite literally, where
season 1 left off. It appears to have been filmed on the same day as
season 1’s, but that’s just an observation and not a complaint. The
featurette goes through the good and bad of season 2 and even focuses on
the debate the team had on “Earthmover”; this debate is also the most
lively I’ve seen Alan Burnett talk on these featurettes in a long time.
Lot of fun to watch, even if it doesn’t run too long.
The first of two commentaries on the set is “Splicers.” Great comments
from the crew on this one, including the first voice actor of the DCAU
to appear on the commentaries—Will Friedle! Friedle’s appearance was a
major surprise to me when I first got these discs, as I hadn’t heard
anything about his recording on this set. Definitely a cool surprise and
he adds quite a few bits of information about the show, along with
Andrea Romano who also joins the crew on both commentaries.
“The Eggbaby” commentary was just as entertaining as “Splicers” and
contained a great deal of fun talk about how the episode is debated as
being hated/loved by fans and how it was their first of Batman Beyond
to win an Emmy. More insight from Will Friedle and Andrea Romano is
spilled throughout the commentary; however, there are a few noticeably
dull parts. Usually I never notice the dry spells as the episode audio
cuts back in to fill the silence, but for some reason this commentary
didn’t have any of that—instead we just get dead silence.
That does it for the special features on this set. Short and sweet this
time around and the lack of bonus audio-only tracks is a bummer, but the
set is still well worth owning. Pick it up, share it with your friends
and family and be prepared to enjoy some future Batman butt kicking.
Review (Jim Harvey): Surpassing its’ original intention as a
futuristic spin-off, Batman Beyond flew onto TV screens and
became an instant hit. After a nearly flawless first season, The
Tomorrow Knights hits a bit of a bumpy road in the second season.
Thankfully, Warner Home Video has collected the entire second season
into one complete collection, warts and all!
One can question the merit of this season. There are some true knockouts
like “Eyewitness,” “The Eggbaby,” “Lost Soul,” “Earth Mover,” and I
could go on. However, this season also brought us some of the first real
stinkers of the series and the introduction of arguably the most
controversial character in Batman Beyond’s short 52 episode life.
Yes, I am talking about Max Gibson. There are other threads dedicated to
this character, and whether or not she actually helped the Batman
Beyond mythos, so I will not waste anymore time on her here.
As many noted, the second season is not as strong as the first. As the
creative team moved away from the more corporate evil stories and into
the high school, they ran into the proverbial wall that comes with the
situation. As Bruce Timm says in one of the extra features on the set,
you can’t really have every bad guy come from Terry’s school. If every
teacher is a villain in disguise, every school chum involved in some
nefarious plot, it becomes too hard to swallow too quickly (of course,
if this happens, Jason Hillhouse has some great advice: time to transfer
to a new school). So yes, we did see that start to happen in this
season, but I don’t think it hindered the show.
The creative team realized what was happening, albeit a teeny bit too
late, and moved away from it, resulting in such great episodes as “April
Moon” and “Where’s Terry.” We finally did get to see more of Terry’s
school life, and a lot of the clichés that came with it were thankfully
avoided. Yes, there are some missteps along the way, but what series
isn’t plagued with the odd mistake or misstep?
Also of note, halfway through the season, the show changed from being
traditionally hand-colored to computer coloring, resulting in some
rather bright episodes. The first episode to be computer colored,
“Eyewitness,” oddly enough did not suffer this fate. There is a batch of
episodes afterwards that come across as nearly blinding (episodes like
“Zeta,” “The Last Resort,” and “The Eggbaby” come to mind, though I
think it was intentional on “The Eggbaby”).
There are some misses, but I think the hits overpower them. Yes, the
quality ranges from horrid (the woefully misguided “Rats”) to alright
(such as “Zeta”) to genius (“Earth Mover” and “Lost Soul” are pure
brilliance). It’s a season that shows the evolution of the show and
gives a hint in what to expect for the final collection of episodes, due
on DVD in March 2007 (almost a year after the initial season was
released). It’s a great collection, giving us both the good and bad, and
is definitely worth picking up.
As for the extras? We get a nice featurette, a continuation of the
behind-the-scenes discussion presented on the first set. Again, there’s
not a lot here that fans will likely not know, but to see the creators
actually engage in discussion over certain episodes and dispute their
merits is fascinating and engaging to watch. It’s not some run of the
mill ‘pat yourself on the back’ featurette, but we see some actual
engagement. The two commentaries are also nice treats, especially with
the Will Friedle and Andrea Romano stepping in alongside the usual
suspects. While the commentary on “The Eggbaby” can get a little dry,
overall I find these commentaries to be engaging.
The audio and visual presentation is nice, though not perfect. There is
no audio whatsoever when the conversation pauses on “The Eggbaby”
commentary, and the episode is actually cut short during the end
credits. It’s odd, but something I don’t find bothersome. The packaging
is great, with a great looking foil cover adding some dimension to the
cover art. As usual, the disc art is befuddling and amusing.
Is it a perfect package? No, not at all. I don’t think we’ll ever get a
perfect DVD set, or one that lives up to the ridiculously high standards
of a DCAU fan. I, however, find it to be a great set and a nice
compliment to the DCAU DVDs already released. It’s highly recommended
and worth picking up to not only completely your Batman Beyond
and DCAU DVD collection, but it’s just worth picking up period. It’s a
quality program that any animation fan can dig into.
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