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Blu-Ray : Highly Recommended
Ranking:
Sale Price: $38.84 Last Price: $ Buy now! 3rd Party 37.88 In Stock
Release Date: March 1st, 2022 Movie Release Year: 2008

The Batman: The Complete Series

Overview -

The Batman: The Complete Series was a beast of a different sort when it came out. Releasing right before the Nolan Trilogy and after the successful animated series, this particular Batman show went down a different path altogether to tell a story of a new young Batman in Gotham with many thrilling elements on its side. The show went on to win a ton of awards for its voice work and story arcs. And now, the entire five-season series is available in a fantastic 1080p HD image in widescreen, along with a new DTS-HD 2.0 audio mix. There are over 90 minutes of new and vintage bonus material as well. Highly Recommended!

 

The early years of the Caped Crusader get a closer examination as Warner Bros. Home Entertainment (WBHE) brings the fully-remastered The Batman: The Complete Series to Blu-ray for the very first time. Produced by Warner Bros. Animation and DC, the 65-episode box set will be distributed by WBHE on Blu-ray+Digital ($69.99 SRP) in the United States, and a Blu-ray only package ($79.98 SRP) in Canada.

The six-time Emmy Award-winning series premiered on September 11, 2004 on Kids' WB before eventually shifting to Cartoon Network for subsequent seasons. The Batman: The Complete Series follows 20-something-year-old Bruce Wayne's early adventures as he balances his daytime persona as a bachelor billionaire with his nighttime guise as a caped crimefighter. Along the way, Batman is joined by allies Robin and Batgirl as they combat Gotham City's Rogues' Gallery, including updated versions of his familiar foes as well as a bevy of rarely seen villains like Killer Moth and The Everywhere Man. Join one of the most complex and intriguing character in comic book history for action-packed super heroic adventures that test the limits of this legendary character's extraordinary physical prowess and super-sleuthing skills.

Executive Producer Alan Burnett led an extremely talented team that included producers Glen Murakami, Jeff Matsuda and Linda Steiner, and supervising producers Michael Goguen and Duane Capizzi. Brandon Vietti anchored a group of eight series directors, while the episode writers featured an all-star roster of scribes including Bob Goodman, Paul Dini, Stan Berkowitz, Steven Melching, Greg Weisman, Joseph Kuhr, Michael Jelenic, Jane Espenson, Paul Giacoppo and Len Uhley.

Rino Romano (Spider-Man Unlimited, Curious George) heads the cast as the voice of Bruce Wayne/Batman. Romano is joined by Evan Sabara (The Polar Express) as Dick Grayson/Robin, Danielle Judovits (Naruto: Shippûden) as Barbara Gordon/Batgirl, Kevin Michael Richardson (The Simpsons, American Dad!) as the Joker, Ming-Na Wen (Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., The Book of Boba Fett) as Detective Ellen Yin, Tom Kenny (SpongeBob SquarePants) as The Penguin, Clancy Brown (The Shawshank Redemption, Dexter: New Blood) as Mr. Freeze, Alastair Duncan (Batman: The Long Halloween) as Alfred, Gina Gershon (Face/Off, Showgirls) as Catwoman, Jason Marsden (Transformers: Rescue Bots, Young Justice) as Firefly, Steve Harris (The Practice) as Detective Ethan Bennett/Clayface, Mitch Pileggi (The X-Files) as Commissioner James Gordon, and Adam West (Batman) as Mayor Grange.

Stars of cinema and primetime television populate the voice cast, which featured Louis Gossett Jr. (Lucius Fox), Mark Hamill (Tony Zucco), Chris Pratt (Jake), Dana Delany (Lois Lane), Ron Perlman (Killer Croc), George Newbern (Superman), Brooke Shields (Julie), Robert Englund (The Riddler), Brandon Routh (Everywhere Man), Peter MacNicol (Dr. Kirk Langstrom), Frank Gorshin (Hugo Strange), Diedrich Bader (Captain Slash), Patrick Warburton (Cash Tankinson), Jerry O'Connell (Nightwing), Dorian Harewood (Martian Manhunter), Billie Hayes (Georgia), Wallace Langham (Basil Karlo), Gwendoline Yeo (Mercy Graves), Edward James Olmos (Chief Angel Rojas), Christopher Gorham (William Mallery), Xander Berkeley (Paul), James Remar (Black Mask), John Larroquette (Mirror Master), Patton Oswalt (Cosmo Krank), Fred Willard (Instructor), Robert Patrick (Hawkman), Dermot Mulroney (Green Lantern), Keone Young (Hideo Katsu), Ian Abercrombie (Ewan), Dave Foley (Francis Grey), Miguel Ferrer (Sinestro), Henry Gibson (Bagley), Edie McClurg (Mrs. Brown), David Faustino (David), Kevin Grevioux (Solomon Grundy) and Glenn Shadix (Artie Brown).

In addition, the series featured a who's who of popular actors destined for the voice actor hall of fame, including Phil LaMarr, Hynden Walch, Kevin Conroy, Jeff Bennett, Daran Norris, Lex Lang, Dan Castellaneta, Grey Griffin, Charlie Schlatter, Will Friedle, Townsend Coleman, Kath Soucie, Peter Jessop, Rob Paulsen, Maurice LaMarche, Jim Meskimen, Jim Cummings, Jennifer Hale, John DiMaggio, Cathy Cavadini, Bumper Robinson, Dee Bradley Baker, Carlos Alazraqui and Patrick Seitz.


  • NEW The Dark Dynasty Continues (Featurette) – Explore the relationship between The Batman and his allies as he evolves from mysterious vigilante to the World's Greatest Detective.
  • Joining Forces: The Batman's Legendary Team-Ups (Featurette) – How the series' producers adapted the DC "Team-Up-Tales" approach from the comic books to the screen.
  • The Batman Junior Detective Challenge (Quiz) – Alfred tests your detective skills with The Batman: The Complete Series challenge.
  • The Batman Junior Detective Exam: Level 2 (Quiz) – Pass The Batman test of knowledge with the level 2 exam.
  • Building Batman (Featurette) – Detective Ellen Yin investigates The Batman's true identity.
  • Gotham PD Case Files (Featurette) – Highly confidential profiles of The Batman's most dastardly foes.
  • New Look, New Direction, New Knight (Featurette) – Go behind the scenes to explore the development of The Batman television series.
  • The Batman: Season 3 Unmasked (Featurette) – Supervising Producer Duane Capizzi talks about the animated series.
  • The Batman: Season 4 Unmasked (Featurette) – A behind the scenes look into the making of Season 4.

OVERALL:
Highly Recommended
Rating Breakdown
STORY
VIDEO
AUDIO
SPECIAL FEATURES
Tech Specs & Release Details
Technical Specs:
6 x Blu-ray Discs
Video Resolution/Codec:
1080p AVC/MPEG-4
Length:
1365
Aspect Ratio(s):
1.78:1
Audio Formats:
English: DTS-HD MA 2.0
Subtitles/Captions:
English SDH
Release Date:
March 1st, 2022

Storyline: Our Reviewer's Take

Ranking:

There have been a ton of iterations of Batman over the past several decades. Whether it be in comic book form, cheesy television episodes, or big-budget feature films, the caped crusader always brings the masses together to watch Gotham be saved time and time again. In the middle of all these cinematic and comic appearances, the animated realm become a fan-favorite for Batman. Most will remember Batman: The Animated Series in the '90s as the essential animated Batman portfolio. But in the early to mid-2000s, there was a new kind of caped crusader patrolling the streets of Gotham in The Batman: The Complete Series which not only won a ton of awards over its five-season run but created a different approach than anything that came before it.

The Batman: The Complete Series aired during the Christopher Nolan Trilogy years of Batman and added a different take than what fans and people were used to from the Animated series and whatever Christian Bale was doing at the time. This series of The Batman covered the early years of the cape and cowl starting into Bruce Wayne's third year as a vigilante. And even though some episodes of this show are more stand-alone than others, a serialized concept took over where continuity became a key factor in storylines. The Batman series no doubt divided fans of the character down the middle with its original take on the storyline and alternate style of animation. Whatever differences the show made, it sure struck a chord with its fans and professionals alike, since the series is still talked about today and won numerous awards for its achievements in animation, voice work, and more.

Each season consists of thirteen episodes and features a young Bruce Wayne still getting into the groove of his alternate identity as Batman. Familiar faces make appearances with Joker, Bane, Mr. Freeze, The Penguin, The Riddler, and Catwoman who all show up early on. After the main villains wreak havoc, the lesser-known faces peek through the shadows with Killer Croc,  Man-Bat, Spellbinder, and more. With a different take on these characters, this version of Batman is more agile, acrobatic, and fierce, making each fight sequence more impressive than just the standard punches and kicks that everyone is used to. His fights range from in the streets, alleyways, and even high in the sky as this Batman flips and flies around to take out the bad guys.

As the series goes on, a story arc that works well is the transformation of Batman's vigilantism into his team up with the Gotham City Police Department and all the help he provides. This is where his relationship with Commissioner Gordon comes into play as the two begin to do that iconic detective work together. In its fifth season, Batman begins to form the Justice League, teaming up with the likes of Superman, Flash, and other recognizable superheroes. Batgirl and Robin are prominent figures too in late seasons, so almost every fan-favorite character shows up at some point or another. The voice-cast has a ton of fun bringing new elements to each character, especially with The Riddler who is much more sadistic this time around. Guest star voices include Ron Perlman, Clancy Brown, Gina Gershon, James Marsden, Robert Englund, Patton Oswalt, and more, all of who deliver great performances.

The Batman: Complete Series is a fantastic addition to the DC universe and did things a little different than previous entries inside Gotham. The originality and character performances here garnered the creative team numerous awards for their work and it's well-deserved. As time goes on, more and more fans of The Batman, in general, will no doubt come to love and appreciate this five-season showcase of their favorite characters. And of course, this series says that it's completely great to go in a different direction with an old franchise and tell a thrilling and fun story that doesn't follow the normal path.

 

Vital Disc Stats: The Blu-ray
The Batman: The Complete Series swings its way to Blu-ray + Digital Code from Warner Bros. There are six discs that span five seasons here. All discs are housed inside a hard, blue plastic case with a cardboard sleeve. The artwork is fantastic with a great illustration of Batman running with bats flying behind him. There is an insert for an episode list and an insert for the digital code.

Video Review

Ranking:

The Batman: Complete Series comes with a 1080p HD transfer that looks leaps and bounds better than its DVD counterpart. The series was originally produced in 1.78:1 but was changed to 1.33:1 for its original broadcast. But now it's back in widescreen and despite some small issues, the image looks great. Like most DC animation, the image is mostly flat without a lot of depth like a Pixar film. And this particular show was made in the early 2000s, so there's not a lot of detail in the image like there is now with the DC Animated films. The animation is smooth and the color palette is more vibrant this time around.

Primary colors of costumes and faces pop out nicely and the distinction of black levels, shadows, and greys are more distinguishable. There is some small crush in darker scenes and there is some mild banding in each episode, but overall, the image is a big upgrade from its previous release. There are elements of some good detail in buildings and vehicles in the background, along with firey explosions in its discreet animation style, but other than that, it's a rather flat style of illustrations.

Audio Review

Ranking:

This release comes with a new fantastic DTS-HD 2.0 MA track and it sounds wonderful. The big sound effects of gunshots, gadgets popping off, vehicles driving by, and other superhero sound effects busting in, all sound wonderful and loud. There is some great directionality with the sound effects and ambient noises of citizens of Gotham chattering in the background as well. Bigger action sequences utilize a lower end of sound as well. The score always adds to the suspense and thrills of each episode and the dialogue is clean, clear, and easy to follow along with. This is a great audio soundtrack for this show.

Special Features

Ranking:

There is about 91 minutes worth of bonus features here with some great behind-the-scenes looks at how the show was made and some voice-work. There is one brand new extra here that is a great retrospective that brings back cast and crew. The rest are vintage bonus features from previous releases.

  • The Dark Dynasty Continues (HD, 16 Mins.) - Some of the cast and crew have come back to discuss the making of this series in a brand new extra here. The cast and crew talk about the Nolan trilogy, the limitations of the production of this animated show, how they all wanted to go in a different direction than previous productions, and more.
  • Season 3 Unmasked (HD, 8 Mins.) - The cast and crew of Season 3 offer their perspectives and stories from its production, focusing on new characters and the voice work.
  • Joining Forces: The Batman's Legendary Team-Ups (HD, 26 Mins.) - The crew discusses the justice League joining the ranks of this series.
  • Season 4 Unmasked (HD, 10 Mins.) - The cast and crew of Season 4 talk about the characters, storylines, and production of the fourth season and how the animation and story had changed since the show first started.
  • The Batman Junior Detective Challenge (HD, 6 Mins.) - A fun little trivia game for those Batman enthusiasts.
  • The Batman Junior Detective Exam Level 2 (HD, 5 Mins.) - Another trivia game for all things Batman.
  • Building The Batman (HD, 7 Mins.) - A fun and humourous piece that has the crew talking about the Batman toy line from Mattel.
  • Gotham PD Case Files (HD, 7 Mins.) - A collection of short segments of Batman's villain arsenal.
  • New Look, New Direction, New Knight (HD, 6 Mins.) - Some of the crew discuss the animation style and new look of Batman and his band of heroes and villains.

Final Thoughts

The Batman: Complete Series is still divided amongst fans of Batman. It's hard to compare this to the hit show Batman: The Animated Series because they are two completely different takes on the character. But with this particular series, a young Batman finds his way with some great liberties taken with his character and the villains that work very well. The new 1080p HD video and its great DTS-HD 2.0 audio track are both excellent. And with over an hour and a half of bonus material both new and old, this set comes Highly Recommended to both new and dedicated fans of the caped crusader.