This 2000 animated Batman Beyond
spin-off show is more kid friendly than most DC animated projects.
more likely to appeal to younger kids than it would to the adults who would
sometimes sit down to watch it with their younglings. That doesn't mean that
the show has been dumbed down however. Well, not much anyway, just that the
overall tone is much brighter and funnier than let's say any of the recent
Batman animated offerings. The animation is
also less oppressive - or expressive - for that matter. While the
animation is serviceable, it isn't particularly great.
The plot involves a high-tech robot named Zeta that was designed to be a
U.S. government-sponsored assassin. The machine turns against its
programming and refuses to kill anymore people. Unfortunately the
agency that designed the robot sees him (it?) as mere government property
that must be "fixed" (reprogrammed so that it would kill
people again). Needless to say the robot goes on the lam and is helped along
the way by a sassy young female sidekick. Think The Fugitive meets
The Iron Giant and you'll know what to
THE DISCS: Twelve 20-minute episodes from the show's first season are
spread over two discs. Two episodes from the Batman of the future
show in which the robot were featured are thrown in as extras. So is a short
making offeaturette in which the show's creators admit how they toned the
material down in accordance with TV studio diktats. There are a load of
trailers including one for the new Batman - Brave & the Bold show
which follows the format of the old comic book in which Batman teams up with
a new superhero partner each episode.
WORTH IT? Kids falling in the 6- to 11-year-old demographic group
will appreciate The Zeta Project most.
RECOMMENDATION: If you need a virtual babysitter for any kids of the
above ages then The Zeta Project is worth a purchase. It is also a
show you can occasionally watch with them without feeling your brain atrophy
in the process as is the case with those endless Barbie animated
movies for instance. (Incidentally the presence of a strong female presence makes Zeta
Project the sort of show that will appeal to young girls as well as
NOTE: Zeta isn't based on any existing comic book property. The
character was designed specifically for television, which probably explains
why this show took so long to finally make it to DVD. If it had been a
Superman cartoon it would have been out on DVD ages ago!