The DC Animated Features Continue to Amaze!
I became a fan of the DC Animated Universe long ago when I began watching Batman: The Animated Series on TV. Since then they have continued the universe with several TV shows (Superman: The Animated Series, Batman Beyond, Justice League, etc.) and a string of straight to DVD feature films and one theatrical release. The one theatrical release and the very first of their films, and still my favorite, was Mask of the Phantasm, Batman: The Animated Movie. In my humble opinion not only is this one of the best animated films I have ever seen, but by far the best theatrically released Batman film of any kind. I know, big words, but see it for yourself and see if you don’t come away with the same opinion.
Since Mask of the Phantasm all the subsequent films, including 3 direct sequels to Phantasm, have been released straight to DVD and Blu-ray and have all had varying degrees of success. The three sequels to Phantasm, Batman & Mr. Freeze: Sub-Zero, Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker and Batman: Mystery of the Batwoman are all excellent films and an outstanding start to this series of features. With the exception of those first three Phantasm sequels most of the films are stand-alones with no direct story or character correlation to one another, but all have similar animation styles and most voice talents carry over from film to film.
There have so far been two Green Lantern films, one Wonder Woman film, four Superman films, ten Batman films, two Superman/Batman films and five Justice League films. I wont go through each film individually but stand-outs in quality for me are the two Superman/Batman films Public Enemies and Apocalypse, the Wonder Woman film is better then a stand alone Wonder Woman film deserves to be, The Justice League: Doom film is particularly good and Batman: Under the Red Hood is for my money the best of the lot since Mask of the Phantasm.
The newest film in the series came out last Tuesday. It’s based on the first six issues of the Justice League reboot called Origins from 2011, when DC decided to restart the entire DC Comics Universe and called it the New 52, based on the re-launch of 52 separate titles.
JUSTICE LEAGUE: WAR includes Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, Green Lantern, Shazaam, Cyborg and Flash all in the infancy of their superhero careers and having yet to meet one another. Superman is feared because he is so powerful. Wonder Woman hasn’t quite acclimated to life amongst normal people and can come off a little harsh. The Flash and Green Lantern are very new in their costumes and still finding there footings. Shazaam is just a kid, Cyborg becomes Cyborg in the course of this film and as far as Batman is concerned none of them even think he really exists, so when they finally start to all meet up this leads to some very amusing moments, especially between Green Lantern and Batman who instantly don’t care for one another.
They are all brought together when Darkseid, an extremely powerful alien with plans of conquering the universe, comes to earth with his army of minions and starts wrecking the place. The movie isn’t so much about the bad guy and what he’s trying to do, the plot is very simplistic, it’s more about these seven characters having to come together for the first time, put aside their differences and work together to defeat a common foe. All this makes for a very satisfying and fun filled adventure with many amusing moments and plenty of exciting action.
The creative people behind the DC Animated Universe have continued to create wonderful films that are not only beautiful but that are filled with complex characters and wonderful stories. I can’t wait for the next one!
Who's your favorite Superhero?
Image Credit, Image courtesy of Warner Bros. Animation
About The Author
Maximilian Tieman is a lifelong Torrington resident and has been a film buff since his mother brought him to the movies as a child. He is a graphic designer and print specialist and manages the Franklin Print Shoppe in downtown Torrington.
Special thanks to Torrington's Digiplex Destinations.