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Blu-Ray : Highly Recommended
Ranking:
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Release Date: January 26th, 2021 Movie Release Year: 2021

Batman: Soul of the Dragon

Overview -

Batman: Soul Of The Dragon follows a young Bruce Wayne and five other students in martial arts to try and take out an evil demonic snake god in the 1970s. What else is there to say other than this 40th film from the DCAU is quite groovy. The film comes with a great 1080p HD image, a lovely and energetic DTS-HD 5.1 audio mix, and some quality bonus content. Highly Recommended.

Batman: Soul of the Dragon is also available on 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray 

 

Set in the midst of the swinging 1970s, this Elseworlds adventure finds Bruce Wayne training under a master sensei. It is here that Bruce, along with other elite students, is forged in the fire of the martial arts discipline. The lifelong bonds they form will be put to the test when a deadly menace arises from their past. It will take the combined efforts of Batman, world-renowned martial artists Richard Dragon, Ben Turner and Lady Shiva, and their mentor O-Sensei to battle the monsters of this world and beyond!

OVERALL:
Highly Recommended
Rating Breakdown
STORY
VIDEO
AUDIO
SPECIAL FEATURES
Tech Specs & Release Details
Technical Specs:
Blu-ray + Digital
Video Resolution/Codec:
1080p AVC/MPEG-4
Length:
83
Aspect Ratio(s):
1.78:1
Audio Formats:
English: DTS-HD MA 5.1
Subtitles/Captions:
English SDH, French, Spanish
Special Features:
• From the DC Vault: Batman: The Animated Series, "Night of the Ninja"
Release Date:
January 26th, 2021

Storyline: Our Reviewer's Take

Ranking:

The DC animated universe (DCAU) is now celebrating its 40th feature film with Batman: Soul Of The Dragon, delivering a fun, thrilling, and action-packed original story that takes place in the 1970s. This animated warehouse is churning out some great films set in the DC universe on a consistent basis, some of which are based on comic books from the past, where others are part of an original new story - like Soul Of The Dragon that follows a group of ninja-style fighters and a young Batman around in the groovy 1970s. With Superman: Red Son director Sam Liu on board again, this new feature tells a different kind-of-tale that mixes martial arts and everyone's favorite Gotham detective inside a supernatural, demonic storyline with elements of Bruce Lee films highlighting the movie landscape.

For full thoughts about Batman: Soul of the Dragon read our 4K UHD Blu-ray Review

 

Vital Disc Stats: The Blu-ray

Warner Bros. grapples the Batman: Soul Of The Dragon to a Blu-ray + Digital set. The disc is housed in a hard, blue, plastic case with an identical cardboard slipcover of some wonderful artwork that is reminiscent of the 1970s martial arts film scene. There is an insert for the digital code.

 

Video Review

Ranking:

Batman: Soul Of The Dragon punches its way to a 1080p HD transfer and is quite comparable to the recent DCAU releases in the Blu-ray realm. The 4K version with HDR certainly gives that image an upgrade overall, but this 1080p HD is highly satisfactory in every area. The 1970s era of brightly colored wardrobe looks amazing here along with the neon signage outside in the city streets. Supernatural forces of smoke and magic are well balanced and saturated as well and it all keeps in line with the 70s time period. 

There is a great balance between bright images and animation that compliment the darker tones used in most Batman projects, and it is evident here with a wide array of costumes, explosions, and nighttime scenes. The black levels are deep and the animation is smooth if not simple. There is never a lot of detail with the DCAU, but that is what separates it from the likes of Pixar or DreamWorks. In all, this is a great film to watch visually. 

Audio Review

Ranking:

This release comes with a lossless DTS-HD MA 5.1 audio mix and sounds excellent. This is a loud-sounding soundtrack full of powerful sound effects and an energizing score by Joachim Horsley. The brutal martial arts moves all pack a powerful punch and are amped up a few points for each kick and punch for a more solid effect. 

The supernatural aspects of magic and demonic forces come through nicely and populate the surround speakers quite often with some wonderful directionality. These are the big elements of this audio track from start to finish. Other than that, the dialogue is clean and easy to follow on the front speakers with some great ambient noises in crowded rooms or on the streets of Gotham. This is an excellent audio mix with zero issues.

Special Features

Ranking:

There are about 122 minutes of bonus materials here, some of which are worth the time, and others are from past DCAU releases.

  • Batman: Raw Groove (HD, 31 Mins.) - This is a fantastic bonus feature that has some of the crew of the film, along with some experts in martial arts and history talk about the 1970's time period this film takes place in and how much research and influence it served for the setting of the movie.
  • Producer Jim Krieg's Far Out Highlights (HD, 18 Mins.) - A few producers and other crew talk about the pre-production process and some of the original ideas for the film.
  • Sneak Peek: Justice Society: World War II (HD, 8 Mins.) - A mini EPK of sorts that sets up the upcoming DCAU film release.
  • Previews (HD, 20 Mins.) - A few long previews for Red Son and Gotham By Gaslight are included here, which were previous extras on past DCAU films.
  • From The DC Vault (HD, 45 Mins.) - Two episodes of Batman: The Animated Series are included here, being Day Of The Samurai and Night Of The Ninja.

Final Thoughts

Batman: Soul Of The Dragon is another winning entry into the ever-growing DCAU. Its action-beats are constantly thrilling and the 1970s setting is spectacular for these characters, not to mention the martial arts element that takes hold of this Batman story. The 1080p HD video is very good and the DTS-HD 5.1 audio mix is fantastic. Some of the bonus content is definitely a treat to watch. Highly Recommended.