Just forget the words and sing along

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Batman: Year One DVD Details

As I've blogged before, I'm enjoying the DC Comics/Warner Brothers direct-to-DVD animated films, but I'm starting to grow frustrated with them.  Apparently, Warner Brothers has decreed that they will only make movies about Batman and Superman, as those are the two characters whose DVDs have sold the most.  That sucks, because this would be a fantastic showcase for some of the better-known B-list, bordering on A-list heroes, like The Flash and Captain Marvel.  But no, we just keep getting more and more Batman and Superman.

Hence their next one, Batman: Year One, coming out on October 18.  It's based on Frank Miller's legendary re-telling of Batman's origin.  Again, this choice deeply frustrates me, mainly because a lot of the good elements of Batman: Year One wound up in Batman Begins, so the whole thing is going to be deja vu all over again.

For the celebrity voices, former star of The O.C. Ben McKenzie does the voice of young Batman/Bruce Wayne; Bryan Cranston, who played the witless dad on Malcolm in the Middle and is currently winning awards for his portrayal of a desperate high school chem teacher/meth manufacturer in Breaking Bad, does the voice of young Commisoner Gordon; Eliza Dushku, still best remembered as Faith on Buffy, will be voicing young Catwoman; Katee Sackhoff of Battlestar: Galactica voices Det. Sarah Essen; and veteran character actor Alex Rocco voices crime lord Carmine "The Roman" Falcone.

They announced the bonus features for this one, and as they always do, it's loaded to bear.  On the DVD, you'll find the bonus features:

  • The featurette Heart of Vengeance: Returning Batman to His Roots, which analyzes the original comic mini-series and Frank Miller's take on Batman.
  • The featurette Conversations with DC Comics, in which many of the current writers and artists on the Batman comics talk about Year One and Frank Miller's influence. 
  • Running commentary with producer Alan Burnett, co-director Sam Liu, voice director Andrea Romano, and Mike Carlin, whose role on the crew I'm not sure of.  
  • Batman: Year One; Issue 1 in digital comic form
  • A preview of the next direct-to-video animated film, Justice League:  Doom, which is apparently based on the Tower of Babel storyline.  
  • Two bonus episodes of Batman: The Animated Series

However, the crown jewel of bonus features is that they've decided to resurrect their DC Showcase series of animated short films, in which a well-known DC Comics B-list hero gets their own solo short film.  The DC Showcase film on this one?  Catwoman.  Eliza Dushku will be voicing Catwoman in this short as well, and it was written by legendary Batman: The Animated Series writer Paul Dini.

So, yeah.  Like a sucker, I'll buy this.  For Catwoman.

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