Batman: The Brave and the Bold: Season One, Part One (2008)

Genre(s): Action / Adventure / Animation
Warner Brothers || NR - 286 minutes - $19.98 || August 17, 2010
Reviewer: Brian Oliver || Posted On: 2010-08-24


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.:: F I L M ::.
The Film

S P E C I A L
.: F E A T U R E S :.

Special Features

.:: V I D E O ::.
Video

.:: A U D I O ::.
Audio

.:: O V E R A L L ::.
Overall
.::MOVIE INFORMATION::.
Director: NA
Writer(s): NA
Cast: Diedrich Bader


.::DVD INFORMATION::.
Supplemental Material:
    None


Technical Information:
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Widescreen (1.78)
  • English (Dolby Surround), Spanish (Dolby Surround)
  • Subtitles: English, French

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.::THE FILM::.

IMAGE

I was a little hesitant when I first got “Batman: The Brave and the Bold” as I had seen various screen shots online since it aired and knew this latest of the “Batman” animated shows was not going to be like the others. In fact, when I watched the first episode, ‘Rise of the Blue Beetle’, I was unsure how I was going to get through all 13 episodes in the first part of season one.

First things first, this is not “Batman: The Animated Series”, a show that is still perhaps one of the best representations of the Dark Knight ever made and in some sectors, even better than the live action films, Nolan’s contributions included. It was dark and damn entertaining as it showed off both sides of Batman and Bruce Wayne. “Brave and the Bold” is a different beast all together. It takes its cue from the 1950s and 1960s comic book both in terms of animation style and tonality with the stories.

Each episode begins with a prologue of sorts showcasing Batman teaming up with another superhero (like Blue Beetle or The Atom) in a short segment that is basically self contained and often times unconnected with the main story, though there are nuggets of wisdom that do tie in. This incarnation of Batman uses his semi-brooding voice over explaining various ideas about his latest crime-fighting partner and such. What makes “Brave and the Bold” stand out – and why some young Batman purists used to “The Animated Series” or the dark Nolan version of the character might hate – is he teams up with extraordinary sidekicks and while he often reiterates that he likes working alone, he seems to willingly volunteers to help others resolve issues.

I’ll just get it out of the way and say that although I was at first hesitant with this version of Bats, after the initial shock I had a hell of a good time with the show. Yes, it is at times quite corny with the dialogue and the stories aren’t exactly intricate until we come upon the 2-part midseason finale in which even purists might enjoy as we get to see more of Batman’s world and an old nemesis finally make an appearance. Speaking of which, that is I guess my only complaint about the first 11 episodes is that outside of a couple flashback scenes, we do not get to see Batman’s alter-ego Bruce Wayne at all and classic supporting characters including Alfred are merely mentioned and never seen. In fact, until the finale, we don’t even get to see the Batcave.

In terms of the voice talents, once again voice casting director Andrea Romano (who has worked on a ton of DC-related projects including most if not all the DCU Animated Movies) puts together a nice cast. Although Kevin Conroy will always be THE voice for Batman and Mark Hamill for The Joker, Diedrich Bader and Jeff Bennett respectively both do the characters justice and fit much more with the style and lighter tone than at least Conroy could have.

Overall, give “Batman: The Brave and the Bold” a chance even if you are a diehard of the “The Animated Series”. While most of the time it is a tad silly – I still don’t quite understand how Batman shows up in the 1800s to rescue Jonah Hex... – but pretty dang entertaining.

I’ve included the episodes included with an asterisk (*) denoting the one’s that I found to be my personal favorites:

01. Rise of the Blue Beetle
02. Terror on Dinosaur Island
03. Evil Under the Sea*
04. Invasion of the Secret Santas
05. Day of the Dark Knight
06. Enter the Outsiders
07. Dawn of the Dead Man
08. Fall of the Blue Beetle
09. Journey to the Center of the Bat*
10. The Eyes of Despero*
11. Return of the Fearsome Fangs
12. Deep Cover for Batman (Part 1)*
13. Game Over for Owlman (Part 2)*



.::SPECIAL FEATURES::.

No features have been included.



.::AUDIO & VIDEO::.

IMAGE

The show is presented with a 1.78 aspect ratio no doubt matching how it airs on the Cartoon Network. The picture isn’t anything amazing but since it is a modern animated show, it does look pretty good overall with some bright colors and decent black levels.

The Dolby Digital Surround track does its job but that’s the extent for it. There’s a fair amount of action throughout so you’re certainly not going to get any depth whatsoever, yet given the medium, I can’t complain too much.



.::OVERALL::.

I actually enjoyed “Batman: The Brave and the Bold” far more than I thought I would. It is, however, unfortunate that Warner is playing the game of splitting seasons up rather than just releasing the entire season at once (worse yet, I discovered they had released this part in 3 volumes at $9/vol!). That said, if you can nab this at a good price (< $10 I’d say), then it is certainly worth it.