Plot: What’s it about?
The Joker has just run into a discovery that could mean riches & power, but as always, he worries that Batman might ruin his plans. After all, he has tried scheme after scheme, some almost perfect in design, only to have Batman foil his aspirations. So when he learns his new green dragon has some elements of Kryptonite and as such, Joker has left Gotham City behind him, headed for greener pastures. His new home is to be Metropolis, where Superman might be powerful as its guardian, but with his dragon, Joker has the odds on his side. Meanwhile, Batman is able to put two & two together and realize what has happened, so he takes off to see what plans Joker has in mind for Metropolis. Soon after he arrives, Joker makes an offer to Lex Luthor involving the death of Superman, as well as a billion dollar gain in Joker’s bank account. A deal is struck once Joker reveals his secret weapon and at the same time, Bruce Wayne bumps into Lois Lane and Clark Kent, as he searches for Superman. Will Joker be able to deliver on his claims and leave Superman a memory, or will this prove to be another dismal failure?
This “movie” is actually three episodes of the Superman animated series, which combine to create a complete story arc, feature length and all. I had midlevel expectations going into this review, but now that I’ve sat down and watched this disc, I’m pleased to report that The Batman/Superman Movie surpassed most of my expectations. The story is a cool one, with Batman, Superman, The Joker, and Lex Luthor all together in one adventure, but the creators don’t rest on that premise, not even close. The basic idea is a very good one, but the real fun is watching the interactions between the pairs, as Superman and Batman & The Joker and Lex Luthor banter about, with well written results. The angle between Batman and Lois Lane is terrific, but it could have been botched, had the writers not been this skillful, great work indeed. The animation is solid, but this is still a television series and as such, we can’t expect feature film level production. Even so, this is one very well written & executed storyline and if you have any interest at all, I more than recommend this release, it is solid in all respects.
Video: How does it look?
The Batman/Superman Movie is presented in a full frame transfer. The image here is quite good and leaves little to be negative about. The colors seem rich and bright throughout, with no smears or bleeds to be seen. No issues with the black levels either, as detail is good and no contrast problems arise in the least. This looks sharper & cleaner than on television, which is about all we can want in this case.
Audio: How does it sound?
The audio here is much like you’d from a modern television cartoon release, solid and acceptable, but basically unmemorable. As with most stereo level tracks, this one is able to give us some nice pans and decent presence, but it simply cannot provide enough power in some scenes, though it never becomes a real problem. The material is well represented and that is what counts, so I doubt anyone will be let down with this mix. The action comes through in clean & enjoyable form, while dialogue is also good, no real complaints in the end. This disc also includes language tracks in Spanish, French, and Portuguese, as well as English and Spanish subtitles, in case you’ll need any of those options.
Supplements: What are the extras?
This disc includes a brief interview with producer Bruce Timm, two games featuring The Joker, storyboards & sketches, a look at how to draw Batman & Superman, some talent files, and a promotional trailer for this release.