The Zeta Project: Season 1 (2009)

Format: Animated, Color, DVD-Video, NTSC
Number of discs: 2
Warner Home Video
DVD Release Date:
March 17, 2009
Run Time: 254 minutes



This 2000 animated Batman Beyond spin-off show is more kid friendly than most DC animated projects.

It is 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 expect.

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 boys.)

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!



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