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Blu-ray Review Batman Unlimited: Animal Instincts Blu-ray Review (1 Viewer)

Timothy E

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Timothy Ewanyshyn

Batman Unlimited: Animal Instincts Blu-ray Review

Batman Unlimited: Animal Instincts posits a new universe in which the Bruce Wayne version of Batman is still in his prime in a near future Gotham City similar to the one in Batman Beyond. The Flash and Green Arrow also pop up in this Bladerunner-type of future world to help Batman against the Penguin and a Doom Society of animal villains called the Animilitia. This original animated movie benefits from the same talent behind the scenes that has created Batman Beyond and Justice League Unlimited.


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Studio: Warner Brothers

Distributed By: N/A

Video Resolution and Encode: 1080P/AVC

Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1

Audio: English 5.1 DTS-HDMA, Spanish 5.1 DD, French 5.1 DD

Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish, French, Dutch

Rating: Not Rated

Run Time: 1 Hr. 18 Min.

Package Includes: Blu-ray, DVD, UltraViolet

Amaray

Disc Type: BD25 (single layer)

Region: ABC

Release Date: 05/12/2015

MSRP: $24.98

The Production Rating: 3/5

In a futuristic Gotham City that resembles Tokyo, Batman(Roger Craig Smith) must unravel a series of crimes being committed by the Animilitia, consisting of Cheetah, Killer Croc, Silverback, and the Man-Bat. When Bruce Wayne and Oliver Queen(Chris Diamontopoulos) meet multi-millionaire Oswald Cobblepot(Dana Snyder), pieces fall into place regarding the source and cause of these crimes by the Animilitia. Green Arrow and the Flash join Batman, Nightwing(Will Friedle), and Robin Red Breast to combat the Animilitia and prevent the destruction of Gotham City.

Batman Unlimited: Animal Instincts is a direct to Blu-ray/DVD movie designed more for all ages than some of the more adult-oriented superhero animation being produced under the aegis of Warner Premiere. Twenty-two 2 minute shorts are scheduled to follow via digital distribution with another film set in this universe scheduled to premiere later in 2015. These animated films are all tied in to the Batman Unlimited line of action figures forthcoming from Mattel. A coupon for $5.00 off of an action figure is included in this package.

Batman Unlimited: Animal Instincts bears similarities to Batman Beyond, another version of Batman set in the near future. These similarities are not coincidental considering that much of the talent behind the scenes also worked on Batman Beyond. Producer/director Butch Lukic worked as a director and storyboard artist on Batman Beyond, and voice actor Will Friedle(Nightwing) played the Terry McGinniss Batman on Batman Beyond. The screenplay by Heath Corson(Justice League: War) is worthy of the storylines presented on Batman Beyond. The score by Kevin Riepl(Gears of War) deserves mention for its service to the story, and you can expect to hear compositions by Mr. Riepl on other films in the future.

Batman Unlimited: Animal Instincts represents a good effort at a Batman animated feature for all audiences, however, I believe the DC Nation shorts included in the special features may be even more appealing to children, and perhaps to adults as well. The DC Nation shorts include talents from SpongeBob Squarepants, and have some of the same all ages appeal, perhaps even moreso than the main feature.

 

 

 

 

Video Rating: 4/5  3D Rating: NA

Batman Unlimited: Animal Instincts is presented in a 1.78:1 aspect ratio in 1080p with the AVC codec. Picture quality on the Blu-ray is excellent for the most part. Colors are particularly full and rich. The only perceptible flaw is the visible aliasing on the fine line animation style of the figures, which may simply reflect the manner of production of this animation.

Audio Rating: 4.5/5

The English DTS-HD MA 5.1 seems flawless. Directional audio is employed particularly well in this mix. The right blend exists between dialogue, music, and effects such that dialogue is always comprehensible. The score composed by Kevin Riepl(Gears of War, Aliens: Colonial Marines) is certainly given an ideal presentation.

Special Features Rating: 3.5/5

Special features include the following:

Penguin: High Society Criminal(12:51): This featurette traces the comic book history of the Penguin and talent from this film comment on Oswald Cobblepot's role in Batman Unlimited: Animal Instincts.

DC Nation Shorts: These shorts are worthwhile viewing for all ages. Some of these shorts have a SpongeBob Squarepants vibe in the character designs and the voices, which is apropos since Tom Kenny is credited in some. Titles include the following: The Bat Man of Shanghai - Cat Woman(2:17), Justice League of Animals: Snack Run(2:23), The Bat Man of Shanghai - Bane(2:17), The Bat Man of Shanghai - Bat Man(2:17), Plastic Man: The Bat and the Eel(2:23), Super Pets: Jokes On You(2:23), Super Pets: Have Your Cake and B'Dog Too(2:23), Super Pets: The League of Just Us Cows(2:23), Super Pets: Krypto vs. Streaky(2:23), and Super Pets: World's Finest Bark(2:23). The Bat Man of Shanghai shorts are more adult oriented than the rest.

DC Comics Vault: Included are full episodes of Batman: The Brave and the Bold: Super-Batman of Planet X!(23:01) and Gorillas In Our Midst(22:36).

Trailers: Include Teen Titans Go!(0:34), LEGO DC Superheroes: Justice League vs. Bizarro League(1:35), and Tom and Jerry: Spy Quest(1:27).

The Blu-ray/DVD packaging for this review included a posable Fire Bat action figure in the packaging. Also included is a paper insert for digital HD with Ultraviolet which promises that you can "Watch It Anywhere!"

 

 

 

 

Overall Rating: 3/5

Batman Unlimited: Animal Instincts is a moderately entertaining animated film designed for all ages which ties in to the Mattel toy line. The film has a vibe not unlike Batman Beyond, which will be appealing to fans of that series. The video presentation is good, and the DTS-HD MA 5.1 audio has notably fine directional audio. The special features are particularly worthwhile, especially the DC Nation shorts which prove that less is more, since each one is no more than a minute or so in duration but leaves you wanting more. The episodes included of Batman: The Brave and the Bold are also worthwhile, even if aliasing is particularly noticeable in these episodes. Although Batman Unlimited: Animal Instincts is kid friendly, do not be surprised if your kids get more replay value out of the special features, like Super Pets and Batman: The Brave and the Bold, than the main feature.

Reviewed By: Timothy E

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