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The World's Finest Presents

Releases - DVDs - Superman: The Animated Series, Volume 2

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Release Information:
Studio: Warner Home Video
Announce Date: 8/24/05
Street Date: 12/6/05
Closed Captioning: Yes
MSRP: $26.99
Subformat: Multi Disc
Media Quantity: 2
Run Time: 390
Episodes:
Disc 1 - Identity Crisis; Target; Action Figures; Mxyzpixilated; Double Dose; Solar Power
Disc 2, Side A- Monkey Fun; Brave New Metropolis; Ghost in the Machine; World's Finest Part 1; World's Finest Part 2; World's Finest Part 3
Disc 2, Side B- Father's Day, The Hand of Fate, Bizarro's World, Prototype, The Late Mr. Kent, Heavy Metal
Aspect Ratio(s):
Orginal Aspect Ratio - 1.33 Standard [4:3 Transfer]

Edition Details:
• Encoding: Region 1
• Animated, Color


Special Features
• Commentary on "Brave New Metropolis" and "World's Finest Part 1" with Bruce Timm, Paul Dini, Glen Murakami, James Tucker, Dan Riba and Moderator Jason Hillhouse, "Mxyzpixilated" with Bruce Timm, Paul Dini, Dan Riba and Moderator Jason Hillhouse.

• THE DARK SIDE: BEHIND THE VILLAINS OF SUPERMAN: The Origin and Evolution of Superman's Adversaries

Official Synopsis: Lex Luthor. Bizarro. Metallo. Karkull. The universe is filled with villains. And only the Man of Steel can keep them from overthrowing Earth in these 18 action-packed episodes from the Emmy-winning series! Filled with dynamic storylines, brilliant animation and complex characters, this collection includes the three-part crossover episode World's Finest, in which The Joker teams with Lex Luthor, forcing Batman and Superman into a reluctant partnership to defeat the crazed clown and maniacal billionaire. Fly high with this exciting two-disc set packed with all the thrilling battles that only Superman could win!

Review
If the eighteen episodes from the first volume intrigued, surprised and entertained you, then you’ll no doubt be in line for the second volume of Superman: The Animated Series. At the end of Volume 1's second disc, we got a few episode from the series' second season, which was renamed The New Superman Adventures to coincide with The New Batman/Superman Adventures cartoon that Kids WB! aired. In it, new episodes of Batman and Superman aired, along with a few crossover episodes to boot.

Superman has always been treated as the underdog of the DCAU and there really is no reason for this series to be seen as such. With stories just as strong as those on BTAS/TNBA, STAS/TNSA features a robust cast of characters and plenty of entertainment. This set includes the first Batman/Superman three-part crossover “The World’s Finest” (If you didn’t know where this site name came from…well, now you know. We aren’t quite that egotistical!) as well as a handful of what may be the best episodes of the series: "Mxyzpixilated," "Brave New Metropolis," "Ghost in the Machine," and and fan-favorite, "The Late Mr. Kent."

This set comprises eighteen more episodes, split among one single sided disc and one double sided disc, in a great transfer. As with the last box set, it does have its fair share of interlacing (as with almost all animated show DVD releases I’ve seen) and compression artifacts (due to the show's clean cels), it’s nothing that will distract too badly or anger you into returning it to the store. It’s an older show and it shows its age at times, but it’s to be expected.

Audio is identical to the last release: Dolby 2.0 and nothing more. It’s what you’d expect from an older animated show and there’s nothing to be disappointed about here. I’m sure a deluxe 5.1 remix would be wonderful to have, but it’s really not worth it for most of these episodes. The only other audio on this set is the commentaries and that on the special features, which we’ll now progress into.

The first commentary we get is a video commentary that takes place in Dini’s apartment. Present are Hillhouse, Timm, Riba and Dini and they talk through the episode "Mxyzpixilated." An entertaining commentary throughout, the ending is also quite humorous with the way the sign off is given; sure it’s cheesy, but c’mon…it was good fun!

Second we hit commentaries for "Brave New Metropolis" and "World’s Finest Part 1". The "Brave New Metropolis" commentary can be kind of dull at times, it’s almost funnier than "Mxyzpixilated" was. The comments on Lois’s surprised gasp every time a character came on screen were quite humorous; combine it with the lack of anything to say halfway through the episode, it was quite a fun listen.

"World’s Finest Part 1" is informative and pretty much a definitive commentary. Lots of facts that went on behind the scenes and talk of colors and animation made for an informative session. If you’re a fan of the episode, it’s definitely well-worth listening to for all of the behind-the-scenes comments.

Flash past the commentaries and we get a Villains featurette. This is nicely detailed and runs a fair amount of time, so nothing to be disappointed at here. It delves into the show's established villains as well as its own (Livewire, Luminous) creations and is another good featurette to add to the pile. A few trailers are thrown on Side B of disc two and that’s it for the special features.

Menu’s are animated once again and I must give a negative strike for one point: Lois’s “scream” as she falls in the opening menu scenes is one of the most stock sounding screams I’ve ever heard. Aside from, the menus have a beautiful look to them, as well as sound with the STAS theme playing over the main menus.

Moving past the disc contents, we’ll fly over to what they’re presented in: the packaging. Again, we’re met with a two-disc digi-pak set with one single and one double-sided disc. The discs are snug in their holders, so no worries about the “flipper” disc falling during shipment. Packaging is nice, vibrant colors with a proper color tone that goes next to the first volume. No disappointment in that front.

Lastly we get a bonus animation cel with this release. Featuring Lois and Superman with the Daily Planet as the backdrop, this is a very nice, high-quality cel that is a great freebie. It doesn't add to the cost of the set and it's a cool bonus. It’s a shame that not all sets come with them (look for a sticker on the outside of the packaging indicating a cel).

Overall, this is another great set in the Superman: The Animated Series installments. With the third volume undoubtedly coming around the release of Superman Returns in theaters, we should have the complete collection of Superman: The Animated Series before long. I personally can’t wait to have this entire series alongside the completed Batman: The Animated Series volumes.

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