Batman: the Animated Series started a series
of DC based cartoons there are some of the best American based animation
in recent years. Batman was followed by Superman, Batman
Beyond and then The Justice League. All of these
have had episodes released on DVD, but with exception of Batman,
none of these have been released in season sets yet. Until such a
time, which hopefully will be soon, Warner Brothers has decided to tide
fans over with the release of the Justice League 'movie,' Starcrossed.
Consisting of the last three episodes from the
second season of The Justice League, this movie concerns the Thangarians,
the race that Hawkgirl belongs to, coming to Earth for the first time.
A space fleet of Thangarian ships arrives on Earth with a dire warning:
A violent race of creatures is coming to Earth with plans to conquer it.
The Thangarians have had a spy on Earth for some time, and she has informed
them that Earth's defenses are not nearly strong enough to withstand the
assault. This spy who has been living among us is none other than
Hawkgirl. Feeling betrayed that she never revealed her true mission
on Earth, the other JLA members are not sure where her localities lie.
But when Batman finds out that the Thangarians are not here just to protect
Earth from invasion, everyone is astounded that Hawkgirl turns against
Though the JLA series got off to a bit of a rocky
start, it has managed to turn into a delightful series, and these are some
of the best episodes. The various members have developed personalities
over the course of the show, and this set of episodes explored the relationships
of some of the members. The movie does more than that though, there
is a lot of continuity that effects the show from this point on.
There are solid changes in the show because of this story arc, which a
big shakeup in the team.
Continuity aside, the plot moved quickly and
held together very well. All to often in shows like this the plot
is just a method from getting to the action scenes, but I was very impressed
with the story line. The action was fairly constant throughout the
show, but there was enough plot to keep the show interesting. The
show has an epic scale to it, with the fate of the Earth, and the future
of the Justice League hanging in the balance.
The Dolby surround soundtrack was excellent. There was good use
of the soundstage, with a lot of directionality during the fights scenes.
The movie sounded very full and dynamic in most scenes, though some
of the explosions sounded a little weak. While I would have liked
a dedicated subwoofer channel to add a little punch to the mix, the movie
sounded adequate without it. For a made for TV program, this show
sounded better than I thought it would. There are optional subtitles
in English, French, and Spanish.
This DVD presents the show in both anamorphic widescreen and a fullscreen
version, as it was originally shown on TV. I viewed the widescreen
version for the purposes of this review, and spot checked the fullscreen
version. Both had the same picture quality, which was very good.
The colors were bright and vivid, with excellent detail and good definition.
The computer generated animation sections meshed with the more traditional
animation very well. The scene where the Thangar commander exits
his ship has computer generated light illuminating him from behind.
It worked particularly well and looked very realistic. The blacks
were not quite solid black, but a very dark gray, but digital defects were
almost nonexistent. A very good looking show.
This disc has some good extra features, starting off with an 8 minute
interview with the writers, actors, and other creative staff in Hawkman:
From Comics to Cartoon. They spend most of the time talking about
the Thangarian leader and how he is different from the comic book version
of Hawkman but similar in a lot of ways. An interesting interveiw.
There are also five minutes worth of deleted scenes without the incidental
music. (Some of the scenes are just the story boards with the voices
overlaid.) These were minor alterations, but they were interesting
Tour of the Watchtower is a 4½-minute featurette looking
at the JLA's headquarters. Nothing very exciting, but a good background
for people unfamiliar with the show.
Also included are text biographies of the super-heroes in the JLA, and
a series of trailers to other WB cartoons.
The show was a great adventure. There was a lot of action and
flashy fights but more than that the show had an interesting and captivating
plot. The events in this movie have a lot of impact on the future
of the Justice League. A fun and exciting movie for kids of all ages.