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The World's Finest Presents

Releases - DVD - Justice League: Season One


Announce Date: 12/7/05
Street Date: 3/21/06
Closed Captioning: Yes
MSRP: $44.98
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: 575 minutes
English, Francais, Espanol

Aspect Ratio:
Original Aspect Ratio - 1.33, Standard [4:3 Transfer]

Sound Quality:

Disc 1 - Secret Origins Part 1, Secret Origins Part 2, Secret Origins Part 3, In Blackest Night Part 1, In Blackest Night Part 2, The Enemy Below Part 1, The Enemy Below Part 2
Disc 2 - Injustice for All Part 1, Injustice for All Part 2, Paradise Lost Part 1, Paradise Lost Part 2, War World Part 1, War World Part 2
Disc 3 - The Brave and the Bold Part 1, The Brave and the Bold Part 2, Fury Part 1, Fury Part 2, Legends Part 1, Legends Part 2
Disc 4 - A Knight with Shadows Part 1, A Knight with Shadows Part 2, Metamorphosis Part 1, Metamorphosis Part 2, The Savage Time Part 1, The Savage Time Part 2, The Savage Time Part 3

Special Features
• Audio Commentary: The Enemy Below, Pt.2 Audio Commentary: Audio Commentary with Bruce Timm- Producer, James Tucker- Producer, Glenn Murakami- Producer, Rich Fogel- Producer & Dan Riba- Director
Audio Commentary: Legends, Pt.2 Audio Commentary: Audio Commentary with Bruce Timm- Producer, James Tucker- Producer, Glenn Murakami- Producer, Rich Fogel- Producer & Dan Riba- Director
Audio Commentary: The Savage Time, Pt.2 Audio Commentary- Audio Commentary with Bruce Timm- Producer, James Tucker- Producer, Glenn Murakami- Producer, Rich Fogel- Producer & Dan Riba- Director

• Interviews:
- Inside Justice League: A private panel discussion takes place between Bruce Timm and his team of creators about Justice League with some special surprises.
- The Look of The League: Bruce Timm explains character design of Justice League.

• Storyboards: Storyboards: The Blueprint For Justice: The creative team of Justice League discuss storyboarding process.

• Other: Justice League: The First Mission: Watch this exciting "Never Seen Before" promo which helped Justice League leap into action.

Official Synopsis: Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, The Flash, Green Lantern, Martian Manhunter and Hawkgirl: they have all used their unique powers to fight evil across the galaxy. These 7 super heroes unite to become the Justice League. These 26 adventures feature battles with favorite villains like Lex Luthor, Vandal Savage and sorceress Morgan Le Fey. Acts of justice include saving Aquaman from a coup and clearing Green Lantern's name in a charge of genocide. From the smash hit TV series, these triumphant tales of teamwork will enthrall and inspire!

Review: The complete first season of Justice League arrives on DVD in a four disc set, but whether this is a good or bad thing is really up to your opinion of the shows first season. While I was extraordinarily excited to see the premiere of Justice League (to this day I remember watching the premiere with ex-World’s Finest admin “The Flash” and our comments on how strange this all looked, being the first all digital DC toon), the first season proved to be a tumultuous ride. Quite a few episodes held plenty of enjoyment (“Brave and the Bold”, “Injustice For All”, “Legends”, “A Knight of Shadows”, “Savage Time”), but there were others that are considered some of the worst, by fans standards, that are hard to overlook (“War World”, “Metamorphosis”…”War World”).

Still, even with the hard-to-stomach episodes, this season does provide its fair share of action. If you keep in mind that this was the Timm-verse teams first foray into such a large roster of superheroes, they can’t be expected to get it right the first go around. Indeed, the second season of Justice League was much improved over the first, with a few design tweaks (goodbye old Superman!) and with more fleshed out characters. Even if you don’t ignore the few lackluster story arcs in this first season, there is still plenty of fun to be had.

Regardless what you think of the season, you have to hand it to Warner Home Video for releasing the entire first season on four discs. This is only the second DCAU animated show to get such treatment (BTAS being the only other four-disc releases) and they really seem to have gone all out on this one.

The packaging for this release is somewhat of a shocker. Instead of the full four-digi tray layout that B:TAS received, we get the dual layer trays this time around. I personally love this style of packaging; it’s clean and a lot smaller, so it takes up less shelf space. It features less in-box art as well, which also saves on production and release time. Some will be disappointed, but I personally love it. It looks great.

Menus on this release are wonderful. The main menu is animated with music and all sub-menus feature different League poses and model sheets. It’s got a cool look to it and is definitely a pleasing sight to see when you first pop the disc in.

Video and audio are a mixed bag on this release. Because of its pristine digital animation and color, compression likes to dance around during the more intense action sequences and interlacing is always a pain in cartoons. Even worse is the fact that the transfers from the single disc releases were reused here. The horrible “Paradise Lost” and “War World” transfers with their incredible amount of interlacing are present and make for an uneven package. Flipping over to disc three and checking out “Fury” and seeing it in beautiful glory without the excess of interlacing is a sight for sore eyes, but I’m still disappointed in the lazy copying and paste job from earlier releases. Aliasing is a major issue on some of these episodes, as is the intensity of Superman's red cape (watching "The Savage Time, Part 2" showed a lot of ugly aliasing and some blocky red on Superman), but it's usually quick and not too distracting.

The video is presented in the 4:3 framing that it was animated in. While fans wanted the 16:9 “preferred framing” versions (preferred due to the story boarders and directors animating in fullscreen but making it so it framed up better in widescreen should it be bordered), WHV went ahead with the fullscreen transfers for this release. Luckily, Justice League season two and all of Justice League Unlimited, both animated in widescreen, will be released in widescreen when they hit DVD in season sets. I personally wanted the full screen transfer, if only to have all the animation, even if it’s just sky and boots that are missing.

Audio is in a strong 2.0 stereo mix. Not a bad audio transfer by any means, though there isn’t really anything too special in here. The theme certainly sounds good blaring over the speakers though.

The three audio commentaries featured on this set are all very informative, though one has to wonder why they didn’t choose to talk over the premiere episode of the series. The “Legends” commentary is a particular treat because I absolutely love that story. Fans will complain that they don’t talk over both parts of the episode, but as they’ve proven on STAS episodes, they can pretty much condense all their thoughts of an episode arc into one commentary. In addition, they often talk over their favored episodes in the multi-part arcs (hence why “Savage Time” part two has the commentary).

Also of note is in “The Enemy Below” commentary, they tackle the issue of Justice League in widescreen. The mandate for season two being released in widescreen on DVD is even stronger after listening to this commentary.

“Inside Justice League” is a great featurette that features the producers of Justice League. Jason Hillhouse is back moderating and does a great job asking questions and setting everyone up for some informative talk from the creative team. A lot of the information most fans will know already from browsing the internet, but it’s nice to have it one, tight package.

Justice League: The First Mission” features an intro by Jason Hillhouse, James Tucker and Bruce Timm explaining how this early footage was created. While many thought that it was just the repeated easter egg of the original JL pitch and others hoping it was new—well, you’re both right. This pitch, while featuring all the footage from the previous easter egg version, features new footage that throws in a female Cyborg character, Impulse and even Robin into the mix of the Justice League. It’s certainly a lot of fun to watch, though you have to be glad that this isn’t what eventually came out (as even Tucker and Timm will attest).

Looking at the rest of the special features, you can probably already deduce that they’re repeated special features from the single disc releases. While the Bruce Timm episode intros are not to be found on this release, “The Look of the League” and “Storyboards” are repeated special features from the single disc outings. This is nice for those who didn’t purchase the single disc releases, but disappointing for those who already saw them the first go-a-round.

Overall a solid release of Justice League’s first season. It’s always a shame we can’t get more commentaries on the set, but what’s here is satisfying to me. It’s just nice to be getting all of the DCAU on DVD after all these years of waiting.

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