Justice League x RWBY: Super Heroes & Huntsmen, Part One
Studios: DC, Warner Bros. Animation, Warner Bros. Home Entertainment
Release Date: 4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray, Digital – April 25, 2023
Press Release: Click here!
Press Article: Click here!
Description: The heroes of DC’s Justice League and Rooster Teeth Animation’s RWBY join forces to battle an evil entity attacking Remnant in Justice League x RWBY: Super Heroes & Huntsmen, Part One. The feature-length DC Animated Movie finds Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Flash, Cyborg, Green Lantern and Vixen in new iterations – transformed into teenagers while in transport to RWBY’s world, and presented in Rooster Teeth’s anime-influenced animation – and partnering with the heroes of Remnant (Ruby, Weiss, Blake and Yang) to battle a mysterious, superpowered creature before it destroys everything they know.
The voice cast features a trio of first-time actors in DC’s Trinity roles – Natalie Alyn Lind as Wonder Woman/Diana Prince, Chandler Riggs as Superman/Clark Kent and Nat Wolff as Batman/Bruce Wayne – alongside RWBY’s long-running cast: Lindsay Jones as Ruby, Kara Eberle as Weiss, Arryn Zech as Blake, and Barbara Dunkelman as Yang. Also featured in the cast is Ozioma Akagha as Vixen, Jen Brown as Pyrrha, Tiana Camacho as Glynda, Aaron Dismuke as Oscar, Jason Douglas as Jacques, David Errigo Jr. as The Flash/Barry Allen and Rolf, Samantha Ireland as Nora, Miles Luna as Jaune, Shannon McCormick as Professor Ozpin, Neath Oum as Lie Ren, Tara Platt as Kali, Jeannie Tirado as Green Lantern, and Tru Valentino as Cyborg.
Justice League x RWBY: Super Heroes & Huntsmen, Part One is produced and directed by by Kerry Shawcross and written by screenwriter Meghan Fitzmartin. Producers are Ethan Spaulding, Jim Krieg and Kimberly S. Moreau. Laura Yates is Supervising Producer. Executive Producer is Michael Uslan. Sam Register is Executive Producer.
Home Entertainment Special Features:
-“Justice Comes to Remnant” – When the Justice League find themselves on Remnant, they’ll have to deal with more than just their powers being altered. In this featurette, the filmmakers behind the film explore the world of Remnant, the Huntsmen that fight for it and how Earth’s mightiest heroes are forced to adapt.
-“You Look … Different” – Remnant, the world of RWBY, isn’t like Earth. The people are different. The powers are different. And the Justice League? Their entire appearance is different too. In this featurette, the creators of the film reveal the story behind the new look they’ve given to some old friends.
-From the DC Vault – Justice League Unlimited – “Kid Stuff”
-From the DC Vault – Justice League Action – “Plastic Man Saves the World”
By James Harvey
Bright, fun and packed with action, Justice League x RWBY: Super Heroes & Huntsmen, Part One is a surprising entry in the DC Animated Movie line, but it might not play the same for everyone. Viewers unfamiliar with the world and characters of RWBY might feel a step or two behind, but there’s still plenty of strong moments for fans of the Justice League. Even with its issues, the end result holds as an engaging and legitimately enjoyable adventure that curious onlookers should consider giving a spin.
Justice League x RWBY: Super Heroes & Huntsmen, Part One finds the Justice League facing off against a new horror: adolescence! Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Flash, Cyborg, Green Lantern and Vixen are surprised to find that not only have they materialized on a strange world called Remnant, but they’ve also been transformed into teenagers. Meanwhile, the heroes of Remnant – Ruby, Weiss, Blake and Yang – find their world has been mysteriously altered and need help to find out why. With that, Justice League and Team RWBY combine forces to return Remnant to normal and get the answers they need.
Spoilers here will be kept light, but note that a few specific scenes may be covered in this review.
As with the Justice League, viewers are thrown into the world of RWBY right away with no real context or idea on what’s going on. Justice League x RWBY: Super Heroes & Huntsmen, Part One starts off with Superman waking up in the world of Remnant … and right in the middle of a battle between a group of unfamiliar heroes and weird, monstrous creatures! Following a few punches, Superman discovers these heroes are members of RWBY, a team of monster hunters, and they’re just as confused by his presence as he is of them. Soon, other League members start to appear and, bit by bit, the mystery that brought these two worlds starts to unfold.
While not a complete success, Justice League x RWBY: Super Heroes & Huntsmen, Part One does a fairly good job of bringing both properties together, though viewers unfamiliar with RWBY will likely struggle a bit to get a full grasp of the plot. RWBY fans will have a bit of an easier time getting the full picture, especially since the movie leans hard into that world, but things aren’t entirely business-as-usual in the world of Remnant either. Familiar faces are behaving badly, foes are showing off new abilities, and communications are down.
When both League and RWBY members realize something is askew, they pair up to uncover who or what has brought these two teams together, and things roll from there. It’s admittedly a simple and straight-forward plot that writer Meghan Fitzmartin and director/producer Kerry Shawcross are clearly having a lot of fun with, though every question posited doesn’t really get a satisfying answer. While the final product has a few shortcomings, Justice League x RWBY: Super Heroes & Huntsmen, Part One is still a pretty good time.
The light plot allows for a good chunk of character work in Justice League x RWBY: Super Heroes & Huntsmen, Part One, with a couple cast members getting a surprising amount of screen time. Jessica Cruz’s struggles during the movie are arguably the most fleshed out amongst the Leaguers, and understandably so as this situation causes her anxiety to dramatically flare up. Batman also gets some interesting story beats, even if they feel a little out of character for the Dark Knight. His gaining abilities while on Remnant causes him to question his effectiveness as a regular human on Earth, and if he can do more to help as a powered being on Remnant, which leads to him having to make a big decision about his future as a super hero.
There’s some good meat for Justice League fans to chew on here, for sure, and the same can be said for RWBY fans. The world of Remnant is clearly askew for the team as well, which they themselves become more and more aware of as personal issues for nearly each member bubble up to the surface. There’s a host of flashbacks to previous episodes and events from the RWBY universe that fans will undoubtedly love, but those unfamiliar might find these moments more tedious (and occasionally irritating) than informative. Justice League x RWBY: Super Heroes & Huntsmen, Part One isn’t impenetrable to non-RWBY viewers, but having knowledge definitely makes things a little easier to follow.
Also making things easy to follow is Justice League x RWBY: Super Heroes & Huntsmen, Part One‘s solid animation. It’s by no means the best animated feature ever to come from the DC Animated Movie line, but it’s consistent from start to finish. Save for a few clear style choices, everything here looks and runs smooth, even moreso than last year’s Batman and Superman: Battle of the Super Sons. While there’s occasional drops in background detail, there’s no real quality issues to be found here. Environments look bright, colorful and easy on the eyes, and characters feel present and part of that world.
Cast performances here also work across the board, though a couple of the performances take a little bit to get used to as a result of the movie’s plot. Chandler Riggs is especially good as Clark Kent/Superman, adding both youth and weight to this take on the Man of Steel. Jeannie Tirado also puts in some solid work as Jessica Cruz/Green Lantern, bringing to life her extremely relatable struggles, even if the dramatics are somewhat amped-up and occasionally grating. Even the lighter spin on Batman, performed by Nat Wolff, falls into place once the viewer understands that even The Caped Crusader is impacted by the machinations of the film’s foe. All things considered, the cast delivers essentially what’s expected for a project like this and it works exactly as it should.
Actually, everything here seems to fall in place as expected, even the not-so-good-aspects. It’s got a fun, simple story that works well enough, even if Justice League x RWBY: Super Heroes & Huntsmen, Part One gives more screen-time and story elements to the denizens of Remnant over those from the Hall of Justice. Even so, the movie should work well enough for fans of the world’s greatest super-heroes, though any frustration or confusion is understandable. Still, the mystery behind how these two teams came together is a genuinely good hook, as is the telegraphed-but-still-satisfying answer (or part of the answer, at least), and the film’s cliffhanger should bring viewers back for Part Two.
All things considered, and despite the fact that the film is geared more toward RWBY‘s audience, DC Comics animation fans shouldn’t discount it entirely. It’s a fun story that throws the League into a pretty novel, new element and should keep most viewers engaged with the mystery behind who brought the League and RWBY together. And for those who want to pick up a copy of the film, Warner Bros. Discovery Home Entertainment has put together a pretty good home media release.
Looking at the video and audio quality of the 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray edition and, surprisingly, it’s a bit of a mixed bag. In terms of video, Justice League x RWBY: Super Heroes & Huntsmen, Part One gets a solid 2160p transfer that looks smooth, crisp and clear. The colors nearly jump off the screen, black are deep, and there’s nary an issue to be found when it comes to presentation. Also, comparatively, the quality on 4K is significantly and noticeably better than the included regular 1080p transfer, which is fine but suffers from noticeable compression and banding issues.
Surprisingly, the audio transfer is little lacking compared to Warner Bros. Discovery Home Entertainment’s usual efforts with their DC Animated Movie titles. The DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio mix here seems light, sounding somewhat hollow and mostly center-channel focused. The big action beats sound fine, but they’re not as immersive or as hefty as they should be. All channels do get used, but only sporadically so. Dialogue appears mostly unaffected and sounds fine, but overall this audio transfer is clearly not the studio’s best effort.
When it comes to the special features, the studio has tossed on a small batch of extras consisting of the seemingly now-standard EPK material and bonus episodes. First up is “Justice Comes to Remnant,” a short behind-the-scenes featurette looking at how this title came together and the creative choices employed. Running over seven minutes, the extra includes members of the cast and crew, such as director Kerry Shawcross, screenwriter Meghan Fitzmartin, producer Ethan Spaulding, along with RWBY‘s cast, discussing the film and how it came together.
Next up, and running just over nine minutes is “You Look … Different,” which takes a quick look at the movie’s story and design work, with the participants from “Justice Comes to Remnant” also providing their thoughts here. Both featurettes offer some neat insights, but don’t dive too deep into Justice League x RWBY: Super Heroes & Huntsmen, Part One‘s production. Perhaps we’ll get more thorough content with a potential Deluxe Edition release?
Two bonus episodes are also included here, Justice League Unlimited‘s “Kids Stuff” and Justice League Action‘s “Plastic Man Saves The World,” both fun, worth watching, and sharing a similar theme (or plot device) or two with Justice League x RWBY: Super Heroes & Huntsmen, Part One. The set wraps up with both regular 1080p Blu-ray and digital editions of the movie.
Justice League x RWBY: Super Heroes & Huntsmen, Part One ultimately won’t work for everyone, as viewers foreign to RWBY may find it a little difficult to crack, but those who give it shot might be surprised with what they find. While the story itself is pretty light and simple, the movie still offers a few surprises, a neat premise, and some solid action beats. And, for folks planning on adding the DC Animated Movie title to their collection, the 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray release easily offers up the best viewing experience. Recommended, but with reservations.
Please note a 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray copy of Justice League x RWBY: Super Heroes & Huntsmen, Part One was provided by Warner Bros. Home Entertainment for the purpose of this review.
“Justice League x RWBY: Super Heroes & Huntsmen, Part One – Original Motion Picture Soundtrack”
Available from Gardener Recordings