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Best of Warner Bros. – 25 Cartoon Collection DC Comics

Best of Warner Bros. – 25 Cartoon Collection DC Comics
Studio: Warner Home Video
Format: Available on DVD
Home Video Release Date: August 27th, 2013

Synopsis: A collection of classics in a league of their own! It’s a heroic hall of fame as all your favorite DC Comics crime fighters are here in an all-new 3-disc collection that bursts from the Warner Bros. vault! Legendary heroes, infamous villains and daring deeds await as Superman confronts old enemies in “Little Big Head,” Batman battles to take back Gotham City in “Legends of the Dark Knight” and the Justice League suit up for adventure to battle “Chaos at the Earth’s Core.” Victory is sure to be yours with 25 action-packed episodes that helped contribute to 90 Years of Warner Bros. cartoon magic, It’s a timeless celebration with something for every hero of your family!

Episodes:
Superman (A.K.A. The Mad Scientist), The Bride of Darkseid, Part 1, The Bride of Darkseid, Part 2, The Death of Superman, The Seeds of Doom, Mad Love, Legends of the Dark Knight, Heavy Metal, Little Big Head, Out of the Past, For the Man Who Has Everything, The Doomsday Sanction, Chaos at the Earth’s Core, Destroyer, Epilogue, Go!, Terra, The Streaky Story, Man of Tomorrow, The Golden Age of Justice!, Revenge of the Reach!, Clash of the Metal Men!, Independence Day, Misplaced, Reboot

Special Features:
* Trailers

Best of Warner Bros. – 25 Cartoon Collection DC Comics Review
By James Harvey

Combing through the last 90 years, Warner Home Video has pulled together a 25-episode collection of some of the best DC Comics-based cartoons to hit television. Starting from the early Fleischer, and going all the way to the recent fan-beloved Young Justice, the studio has pulled together an interesting collection with Best of Warner Bros - 25 Cartoon Collection DC Comics. Now, suffice it to say, there are some rather interesting choices but, all in all, this is a pretty nicely compiled release. We'll go deeper into the release after the product description.

A collection of classics in a league of their own! It’s a heroic hall of fame as all your favorite DC Comics crime fighters are here in an all-new 3-disc collection that bursts from the Warner Bros. vault! Legendary heroes, infamous villains and daring deeds await as Superman confronts old enemies in “Little Big Head,” Batman battles to take back Gotham City in “Legends of the Dark Knight” and the Justice League suit up for adventure to battle “Chaos at the Earth’s Core.” Victory is sure to be yours with 25 action-packed episodes that helped contribute to 90 Years of Warner Bros. cartoon magic, It’s a timeless celebration with something for every hero of your family!

The only way to really talk about this release is to discuss the episodes chosen to be included. As I said, this is a pretty nice collection overall. The selection of episodes is varied and pretty entertaining, though I can't help but get the feeling that some of the included episodes are chosen for the sole purpose of promotion. Some of these chosen episodes are done to genuinely show off the spectacular programming that has come from DC Comics-based cartoons over the year. But then...there are other selections which are either baffling or oddly promotional in nature.

In terms of baffling, I have no idea why this collection would include the Superman: The Animated Series episode "Little Big Head Man" when it's far from the best episode (or even best Bizarro episode). Or the Justice League Unlimited episode "Chaos at the Earth's Core" (and also only provide the second part of a two-part episode with "Destroyer.") Why not toss in "The Late Mr. Kent," or "Brave New Metropolis," or even the fun "Speed Demons?" And if you want to highlight a third season Justice League Unlimited episode, use the both parts of the two-part series finale, or maybe toss in the fun "The Great Brain Robbery." At least "Epilogue" and "For The Man Who Has Everything" was tossed in - those are great choices - but why the other ones? Batman: The Animated Series also gets treated in a peculiar fashion. "Mad Love" is included, a solid choice, but so is the underwhelming "Legends of the Dark Knight." Why not include some of the earlier episodes that helped the show build its well-deserved reputation? And just two?

The Young Justice episodes "Independence Day" and "Misplaced" are chosen, one the first of the two-part series opener, and the other steeped in the show's mythology. An interesting choice, even confusing when watching the episodes back-to-back and out of context. The selection here seems like a primer for viewers to give the show a shot. However, the Green Lantern: The Animated Series episode "Reboot" is the perfect episode chosen, providing enough backstory to get viewers interested in the first season while setting up the second.

It was great to see Legion of Super-Heroes get a shot in here, same with the kiddie-centric Krypto The Superdog. The earlier series, such as the assorted Superfriends cartoons, seem to be fine choices, though the episodic nature of those shows doesn't really hamper a random sampling such as this. All in all, it's a fine collection of shows included, even if some of the specific episode choices are a bit off, but it does feel like a slightly random collection. There doesn't seem to be any real rhyme or reason to the shows included here, save for a slight theme popping up and there of character's legacies. Granted, my opinion is subjective, and these episodes could actually be all of someone's favorites, but if you're looking to present the best...shouldn't the best be included here? We got some great stuff, but definitely not the best representation of each series.

We've briefly looked at the episodes, so now let's take a closer look at the DVD set itself. First up, yet again, we're stuck with Warner Home Video's awful default menu style for this release. It's looks cheap, awful, and incredibly amateurish. It's terrible and really, really should be scraped for something a bit more professional looking. The episode included here are detailed by name only, and none of the shows themselves are referenced by title. It's just a list of episodes, that's it. It doesn't say "Batman: The Animated Series - Mad Love," it just says "Mad Love," which is awful and pretty confusing for casual or younger viewers.

However, using the Batman: The Brave and The Bold theme song as the menu background music is pretty awesome.

In terms of audio and video quality, the transfers here are identical to the previous releases for these episodes. No remasters or new takes, entirely the same as before, nothing new to see here. It's not a big problem, honestly, though it would've been nice to see Teen Titans get a widescreen transfer on here. And despite what the back of the case says, the audio is in standard 2.0, not Mono, for the majority of the episodes included.

To wrap up the review, this is a difficult release to recommend. If you're a hardcore fan, there's a good chance you already have nearly all of the episodes included here. If you're a casual viewer, it might make for a good starter set, but you won't get to experience the best each of the series here have to offer. For the hardcore fan, I'd recommend this for the right price. The variety is nice, honestly, and the progression from the original Fleischer Superman cartoon up to Green Lantern: The Animated Series is actually interesting to watch. For the casual, it is a nice primer, but with no real connection between episodes, this is more of a random sampling which - granted - could help interest some folks, but the quality of the episodes vary enough that it could also be a detriment. Honestly, do some research on the episodes included and if you're interest is piqued, go for it.


Package Art and Menu Systems


Best of Warner Bros. – 25 Cartoon Collection DC Comics is now available to own on DVD from Warner Home Video.