Watchmen: The Complete Motion Comic (2008)

Genre(s): Animation / Drama / Fantasy
Warner Brothers || NR - 325 minutes - $29.98 || March 3, 2009
Reviewer: Kushmeer Farakhan || Posted On: 2009-03-11


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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: Jake Strider Hughes
Writer(s): Alan Moore (graphic novel)
Cast: Tom Stechschulte


.::DVD INFORMATION::.
Supplemental Material:
  • Featurette


Technical Information:
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Widescreen (1.78)
  • English (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Subtitles: English, French, Spanish

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.::THE FILM::.

In celebration of all things related to Alan Moore and David Gibbons original comic, Watchmen (and of course to help promote Zack Snyder's live action adaptation), Warner Brothers has released this animated motion comics version of the book.

My first question upon getting it was, "What the hell is a motion comic?” Basically, they took the comic itself (Gibbons illustrations intact) and animated it. Now, they didn't animate in the sense of an traditional cartoon ala Little Mermaid or what have you. It's more like an episode of Reading Rainbow. You know the parts where Levar Burton used to tell us about whatever the featured book of the day was and they'd have some narrator read it/perform the book for ya? The same is done here as we get to listen to an voice actor named Tom Stechschulte perform the entire book and all of its characters.

Watchmen is something of a generational murder mystery with superheroes set in 1985. Old school superhero (and giant jerk) The Comedian is murdered and what follows is an whodunit conducted by masked vigilante Rorschach. Along the way we also meet Rorschach's old partner NiteOwl, daughter of an elder hero, The Silk Spectre, The blue skinned superman Dr. Manhattan, and the world's smartest former adventurer, Ozymandias all of whom are in some way tied to the Comedian and his untimely death.

As an book, Watchmen is almost second to none. Every character is extremely fleshed out to an astounding effect and you feel something for all of them. Silk Spectre is probably the least interesting and Ozymandias is the least covered overall but even then, both are still decent characters that have enough back-story given to make you like them/be intrigued by them. Another plus of the book is the fantastic period setting that accurately evokes the cold war 80's era that was present at the time of the book's release. The parallel stories of the Tales of the Black Freighter book and the conversations between the newsstand owner and his various patrons also give the book an humanistic stamp that's not present in most comics.

As an motion comic though? It's just okay. It's still the exact same book with the exact same panel. The difference is that frankly there's not that much to get excited about when you watch comic panels moving slightly. I think if it were an fully animated feature, it'd be an entirely different ballgame but what we get here is just not enough to care. Also, having one lone voice actor creates an dullness to the whole affair. Why does Silk Spectre sound like a guy? It's just sort of off-putting.

As much as I love the book (and the live action movie), the motion comic is just okay. I can really only recommend it for those too lazy to read the book. Still, if you have bad vision, it's a hell of a story.



.::SPECIAL FEATURES::.

The only extra on the disc is a sneak peek at DC universe's animated Wonder Woman DVD. It's not bad and the preview is pretty good but there's 0 here about “Watchmen” itself.



.::AUDIO & VIDEO::.

Although it's nothing more than comic panels, they do look really good on the screen. While it doesn't appear that they've altered Gibbons’ illustrations or even re-colored them, they do have a very cool vibrancy to them when they're on a television screen and the sound effects used throughout are also pretty good.



.::OVERALL::.

“Watchmen: The Complete Motion Comic” isn't bad as it's an semi animated version of one of the best comics ever written, but it's not very exciting to watch an comic slowly move onscreen. If you don't like to read, it's great, otherwise, buy the damn book.