Blu-ray and DVD Reviews

Batman: The Animated Series - Volume Two

Reviewed by: Scott Chitwood
Movie Rating:
10 out of 10
Extras Rating:
8 out of 10
Movie Details:
View here

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Rating: Not Rated

Starring:
Kevin Conroy as Bruce Wayne/Batman (voice)
Loren Lester as Richard 'Dick' Grayson/Robin (voice)
Efrem Zimbalist Jr. as Alfred Pennyworth (voice)
Bob Hastings as Commissioner James 'Jim' Gordon (voice)
Robert Costanzo as Detective Harvey Bullock (voice)
Michael Ansara as Dr. Victor Fries/Mr. Freeze (voice)
Adrienne Barbeau as Selina Kyle/Catwoman (voice)
Lloyd Bochner as Mayor Hamilton Hill (voice)
John Glover as Edward Nygma/The Riddler (voice)
Mark Hamill as Jack Napier/The Joker (voice)
Aron Kincaid as Waylon Jones/Killer Croc (voice)
Roddy McDowall as Dr. Jervis Tetch/The Mad Hatter (voice)
Richard Moll as District Attorney Harvey Dent/Two-Face, Batcave Computer, Additional Voices (voice)
Ron Perlman as Matthew Hagen/Clayface (voice)
Diane Pershing as Dr. Pamela Lillian Isley/Poison Ivy (voice)
Brock Peters as Wayne Enterprises CFO Lucius Fox (voice)
Henry Polic II as Professor Jonathan Crane/The Scarecrow (voice)
Arleen Sorkin as Dr. Harleen Quinzel/Harley Quinn (voice)
Paul Williams as Oswald Chesterfield Cobblepot/The Penguin (voice)
Adam West as The Gray Ghost (voice)

Special Features:
28 episodes

Commentary

Robin Rising featurette

Gotham's Guardians featurette

Voices of the Night featurette

Other Info:
Fullscreen
Dolby Digital Surround Sound
English, French, and Spanish Languages
Running Time: 624 Minutes

Synopsis:
The following is from the DVD cover:

"Fight crime day and night alongside the Dark Knight with this deluxe 4-disc set packed with 28 heroic adventures from the acclaimed series! Filled with gripping plots, multidimensional characters and superb voice talent, this Emmy-winning series has defined Batman for legions of fans. Enjoy amazing encounters with Catwoman, duels with the Penguin, contests with the Riddler and of course, battles of wit with the Joker - plus Exclusive Extras from the minds that conceived this cutting-edge version of the classic hero! Grab your cape and swing into action with this quintessential Batman compilation!"

The following episodes are on this set:

Disc 1:
Eternal Youth
Perchance To Dream
The Cape And Cowl Conspiracy
Robin's Reckoning Part One
Robin's Reckoning Part Two
The Laughing Fish
Night Of The Ninja

Disc 2:
Cat Scratch Fever
The Strange Secret Of Bruce Wayne
Heart Of Steel Part One
Heart Of Steel Part Two
If You're So Smart, Why Aren't You Rich?
Joker's Wild
Tyger, Tyger

Disc 3:
Moon Of The Wolf
Day Of The Samurai
Terror In The Sky
Almost Got 'im
Birds Of A Feather
What Is Reality?
I Am The Night

Disc 4:
Off Balance
The Man Who Killed Batman
Mudslide
Paging The Crime Doctor
Zatanna
The Mechanic
Harley & Ivy

Batman – The Animated Series – Volume 2 is not rated.

The Movie:
A lot of what I said in my review of Volume One of this DVD series applies again on Volume 2. (You can read that review here.) Batman – The Animated Series is a dream come true for comic fans, animation fans, and action fans. It was an exciting and groundbreaking cartoon that redefined how comic based animation was made.

This second volume contains more of the same with a few noteworthy additional items. First of all, Robin takes a more prominent role in the series. Included is the two part story "Robin's Reckoning" which tells his origin and won an Emmy. Also included is "Harley and Ivy", a fun take on "Thelma and Louise" featuring two of your favorite bad bat-girls. The storytelling also got more interesting in "Almost Got 'Im" in which all the Bat Villains reminisce about almost killing Batman. Our hero doesn't even show up until the final twist at the end. This volume also includes the first appearances of Zatanna, The Riddler, and Talia. But most importantly it features the first appearance of Ra's Al Ghul, a character that will be prominently featured in the upcoming Batman Begins film. But don't worry, your other favorites are here including Joker, Man Bat, Two-Face, Catwoman, Penguin, and more.

The second volume also boasts a fantastic voice cast like the first. Supergirl herself Helen Slater voices Talia. John Glover from Smallville voices The Riddler. David Warner from Tron voices Ra's Al Ghul. The list goes on.

If you're a Batman fan of any kind, this is a required addition to your collection. And if you like cartoons, then you'll want to pick up this landmark series that changed the face of modern animation. But even if you're looking for an action packed adventure, there's no need to go to the theater. You can find what you're looking for in Batman – The Animated Series.

The Extras:
There are a few bonus features included in this 4 disc set:

Commentary – Four of the episodes have commentary. The include "Robin's Reckoning", Heart of Steel", "Almost Got 'Im", "Harley and Ivy". The commentators include Bruce Timm (Producer), Eric Radomski (Producer), Kevin Altieri (Director), Paul Dini (Producer), and Boyd Kirkland (Producer). They all deliver an interesting and informative commentary that sheds a lot of light on what they were trying to do with the show and the thought processes behind their decisions.

"Robin Rising" – This featurette highlights Robin and his evolution over the course of the series. They discuss how they designed his costumes, how he's an amalgamation of several of the comic book Robins, his transformation into Nightwing, and more. It's really a great piece.

"Gotham's Guardians" – This featurette highlights the supporting characters in the show like Commissioner Gordon, Alfred Pennyworth, Selina Kyle (aka Catwoman), Harvey Bullock, and Rene Montoya. They discuss their voices, what roles they play in the story, and other details. Efrem Zimbalist Jr. and Adrienne Barbeau are interviewed as well.

"Voices of the Knight" – This was one of my favorite bonus features because it showed more of the faces behind the voices in the series. They interview Kevin Conroy and many of the others including Mark Hamill. (Being a Star Wars geek, I particularly enjoyed hearing Hamill talk about his role as the Joker.)

The Bottom Line:
Batman – The Animated Series – Volume Two is a required addition to the DVD collections of comic fans, animation fans, and action/adventure fans.

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