directed by Yasuhiro Aoki, Futoshi Higashide, Toshiyuki Kubooka, Hiroshi Morioka and Shoujirou Nishimi
USA / Japan
2008

 

Acclaimed screenwriters including David Goyer (Batman Begins) Josh Olson (A History of Violence) and Alan Burnett (Batman The Animated Series) join forces with revered animation filmmakers on six spellbinding chapters chronicling Batman s transition from novice crimefighter to Dark Knight. These globe-spanning adventures pit Batman against the fearsome Scarecrow the freakish Killer Croc and the unerring marksman Deadshot. Using an arsenal of high-tech gadgetry from Wayne Industries Batman s ethical boundaries exist only where he chooses to place them leaving some fearful of his power. The sharp storytelling complemented by stylish art from some of the world s most visionary animators masterfully depicts the blurred lines of Batman as man myth and legend.

Posters

Theatrical Release: July 8th, 2008

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DVD Comparison:

Warner - (Single Disc) - Region 1,2,3,4 - NTSC vs. Warner - Blu-ray - Region FREE

(Warner - (Single Disc) - Region 1,2,3,4 - NTSC - LEFT vs. Warner - Blu-ray - Region FREE - RIGHT)

DVD Box Covers

 

Distribution

Warner (Single Disc)

Region 1,2,3,4 - NTSC

Warner - Blu-ray
Region FREE
Runtime 2:19:50 1:15:59
Video

1.78:1 Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 6.63 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

1.78:1 Original Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: around 20-30 mb/s

Video codec: VC-1

1080P Single-layered (25Gig)

Audio English Dolby Digital 5.1, DUB: Thai Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround, Spanish and Portuguese Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo

English: Dolby Digital 5.1, DUBs: Spanish: Dolby Digital 2.0, German: Dolby Digital 2.0

Subtitles English, Spanish, Japanese, Portuguese, Thai, none English SDH, English, Japanese, Spanish, German, none
Features Release Information:
Studio: Warner

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 1.78:1

Edition Details:
• Commentary featuring DC Comics Senior Vice President Gregory Noveck, former Batman editor Dennis O’Neil and the voice of Batman, Kevin Conroy
• Wonder Woman Sneak Peak (10:29)


DVD Release Date: July 8th, 2008
Keep Case

Chapters 40

Release Information:
Studio:
Warner Blu-ray

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 1.78:1

Video codec: VC-1

1080P Single-layered (25Gig)

Edition Details:
• 
Commentary featuring DC Comics Senior Vice President Gregory Noveck, former Batman editor Dennis O’Neil and the voice of Batman, Kevin Conroy
• Featurette: ‘Mirror of the Bat: The Evil Denizens of Gotham City’ (35:47)
• Documentary: ‘Batman and Me, A Devotion of Destiny: The Bob Kane Story’ (38:25).
• Four Batman animated episodes (‘Heart of Ice’, ‘I am the Night’, ‘Legends of the Dark Knight’ and ‘Over the Edge’) - 4:3 standard definition
• Wonder Woman Sneak Peak (10:29)
 

Blu-ray Release Date: July 8th, 2008
Standard Blu-ray case

Chapters 40

 

Comments

NOTE: The Blu-ray captures were ripped directly from the Blu-ray disc. The first three Blu-ray images below are linked to their full size by simply clicking on them.

As we are now linking to full resolution captures for Blu-ray discs (in this case the first 3), we thought it only fair to also show the SD in its native resolution (for this NTSC Single Disc disc - 960X540).

I was curious to see the visual gap and differences between 2-D animation in SD and Blu-ray. Expectantly the variance is small. Colors certainly look better as well as being marginally sharper (perhaps because of truer black levels) in Blu-ray. Whites and black are more pure. But as noise is never really a strong factor in straight digital-to-digital - neither edition hold any of those distracting artifacts and both look pretty smooth. To be fair to the Blu-ray, its superiority will be more noticeable the larger a picture is expanded - given simple mathematics - as, at double the size (resolution), it has such a strong advantage.

There are a few differences in audio options and subtitles but the Blu-ray offers much more in the supplements department - mirroring the two-disc CE SD available HERE. Both the single-disc and Blu-ray have the decent commentary and upcoming Wonder Woman promo (Keri Russell) but the Blu-ray offers another hour's worth of featurette / documentary with ‘Mirror of the Bat: The Evil Denizens of Gotham City’ running about 35 minutes and ‘Batman and Me, A Devotion of Destiny: The Bob Kane Story’ - which I highly recommend seeing. Plus, my son loved an additional four 4:3 ratio Batman animated episodes (‘Heart of Ice’, ‘I am the Night’, ‘Legends of the Dark Knight’ and ‘Over the Edge’), although these (as are all Blu-ray extras in this release) standard definition.

NOTE: Although listed on the box, the Blu-ray, suspiciously, has no Japanese DUB available.

 

I believe this is the third animated feature released from Warner under their 'Premiere' logo ('WP') with DC animated features going straight-to-DVD. Essentially these are six Animatrix-style short stories somewhere in the period between Batman Begins and the upcoming The Dark Knight film feature. We are introduced to some new villains and there is a lot of the desired background evolution of the character and an overview of the city of Gotham. It's rated PG-13 but there is some healthy violence (decapitations etc.) and parents who are aware of the child's sensitivities to such - should beware.

Okay, bottom line is the visual differences are limited, but do exist and the audio and sub options are virtually the same. Extras lean to the Blu-ray which duplicate the Collector's Edition but the 1080P disc is only a dollar more. Fans should definitely get the single-layered Blu-ray - but parents simply placating their kids should get the significantly cheaper single disc unless they are interested in the further supplements. I don't see any point in getting the CE unless you don't have a Blu-ray player yet.

This was an interesting experiment in quality control of, this addictive, 2-D animation on two digital formats and we can definitely say we learned something. Well, I was interested anyway.   

 - Gary Tooze

 

Extras

 

(Warner - (Single Disc) - Region 1,2,3,4- NTSC - LEFT vs. Warner - Blu-ray - Region FREE - RIGHT)


 

 


 

Screen Captures

 

CLICK THE FIRST THREE BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGE IN FULL RESOLUTION

 

Warner - (Single Disc) - Region 1,2,3,4- NTSC - TOP vs. Warner - Blu-ray  - Region FREE - BOTTOM) 

 


(Warner - (Single Disc) - Region 1,2,3,4- NTSC - TOP vs. Warner - Blu-ray - Region FREE - BOTTOM)

 

 


(Warner - (Single Disc) - Region 1,2,3,4- NTSC - TOP vs. Warner - Blu-ray - Region FREE - BOTTOM)

 

 


(Warner - (Single Disc) - Region 1,2,3,4- NTSC - TOP vs. Warner - Blu-ray - Region FREE - BOTTOM)

 


(Warner - (Single Disc) - Region 1,2,3,4- NTSC - TOP vs. Warner - Blu-ray - Region FREE - BOTTOM)

 


(Warner - (Single Disc) - Region 1,2,3,4- NTSC - TOP vs. Warner - Blu-ray - Region FREE - BOTTOM)

 


(Warner - (Single Disc) - Region 1,2,3,4- NTSC - TOP vs. Warner - Blu-ray - Region FREE - BOTTOM)

 


(Warner - (Single Disc) - Region 1,2,3,4- NTSC - TOP vs. Warner - Blu-ray - Region FREE - BOTTOM)

 


(Warner - (Single Disc) - Region 1,2,3,4- NTSC - TOP vs. Warner - Blu-ray - Region FREE - BOTTOM)

 


(Warner - (Single Disc) - Region 1,2,3,4- NTSC - TOP vs. Warner - Blu-ray - Region FREE - BOTTOM)

 


(Warner - (Single Disc) - Region 1,2,3,4- NTSC - TOP vs. Warner - Blu-ray - Region FREE - BOTTOM)

 


(Warner - (Single Disc) - Region 1,2,3,4- NTSC - TOP vs. Warner - Blu-ray - Region FREE - BOTTOM)

 


(Warner - (Single Disc) - Region 1,2,3,4- NTSC - TOP vs. Warner - Blu-ray - Region FREE - BOTTOM)

 


(Warner - (Single Disc) - Region 1,2,3,4- NTSC - TOP vs. Warner - Blu-ray - Region FREE - BOTTOM)

 


 

Report Card:

 

Image:

Blu-ray

Sound:

Blu-ray

Extras: Blu-ray
Menu: -

 

DVD Box Covers

 

Distribution

Warner (Single Disc)

Region 1,2,3,4 - NTSC

Warner - Blu-ray
Region FREE




 

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