All hyped up for some more superhero action with the impending
release of the latest Batman movie, The Dark Knight? Then how about
checking out this triple bill?
The days of Super Friends and Bat-Mite
are long gone and kids have it so much better nowadays when it comes to the
Saturday morning cartoon stakes. Superhero cartoons – and in particular DC
Animation offerings – are so much better today. The animation is usually of
high quality, the pacing fast, the writing clever and – most important – the
cartoons are true to their comics counterparts. It as if these shows’
creators just knew that little kids’ dads were going to watch it with them!
off with some episodes from SUPERMAN - THE ANIMATED SERIES, VOLUME ONE (DC COMICS CLASSIC COLLECTION) (* * *
out of four). This show ran from 1996 to 2000 and was made by the creators
of the revolutionary Batman – The Animated Series.
The first three episodes retells the whole Superman origin story from
scratch in a way that is both fresh and new, but still true to the source
Superman is set in a modern setting, and while his superpowers have
been scaled down from the impossibly powerful Superman of the 1970s comics,
it never messes with the character by giving him a mullet or new electrical
superpowers or anything like that; stuff which desperate comic publishers
did at one point. The series is fast-paced and well-written. If you like
Superman, then check it out. You won’t be disappointed.
JUSTICE LEAGUE - STARCROSSED: THE MOVIE (* * *) may
be billed as a “feature-length movie from the animated series” but it is
actually three episodes telling a single storyline put together. If you’re a
completist you’d rather be checking out one of the complete box sets.
However this movie is still loads of fun.
Thanagarians – the race of winged aliens to which JLA member Hawkgirl
belongs – wants to destroy Earth to make way for a hyperspace byway. No
seriously. This animated television series, which ran from 2001 to 2004 on
Cartoon Network, went to the trouble of actually investing some time in its
characters and their interpersonal relations, making it more emotionally
involving than your average superhero slugfest.
might be a good idea to send the young ‘uns to bed before slotting BATMAN VS. DRACULA (* * ½) into the DVD player.
This 2005 animated movie based on the recent The Batman series (not
to be confused with the 1990s show) is much darker in tone than the original
show and is probably too scary and intense for small children. Take our
word: Batman vs. Dracula may not be scary to adults, but it will give
your six-year-old nightmares.
The Penguin inadvertently brings Dracula (the one and only – accept no
substitutes) to life from his undead slumber in Gotham cemetery of all
places. As Dracula slowly builds up an army of the undead, Batman is blamed
by dim-witted Gothamites for a spate of mysterious disappearances in the
city. The tone is broody, but some elements don’t always mesh. Bruce Wayne
looks too much like a loveable doofus to be convincing for instance. But
it’s still pretty decent and worth checking out.
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