DVD Review: ‘Batman: The Brave and the Bold: Season One, Part One’

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CHICAGO –It’s often surprising what the powers that be decide will be pushed as the next superhero property but one of the biggest of the moment is clearly “Batman: The Brave and the Bold,” the Cartoon Network series that will be the focus of an upcoming video game, toys now available at McDonalds, and last week’s DVD release of thirteen exciting episodes from the hit show.

HollywoodChicago.com DVD Rating: 3.0/5.0
DVD Rating: 3.0/5.0

Kids have it great nowadays. Sure, we had some good cartoons when we were young but the variety and overall quality doesn’t compare to what it’s been over the last decade or so. In the world of superheroes, great programs and movies have arisen from several of the most beloved DC characters including “Justice League,” “Teen Titans,” and a number of great DC Universe films.

Batman: The Brave and the Bold: Season One, Part One  was released on DVD on August 17th, 2010
Batman: The Brave and the Bold: Season One, Part One was released on DVD on August 17th, 2010
Photo credit: Warner Bros.

“Batman: The Brave and the Bold” works from a classic superhero cartoon archetype — the team-up. Batman is always present but the gimmick of the series is that it features a revolving door of guest stars, allowing other heroes to stop by and kick some supervillain ass with the dark knight. The show debuted in November of 2008 and features Diedrich Bader (“The Drew Carey Show,” “Office Space”) in the title role. This set includes the first thirteen episodes that aired from 2008-09 on two discs.

Batman: The Brave and the Bold: Season One, Part One  was released on DVD on August 17th, 2010
Batman: The Brave and the Bold: Season One, Part One was released on DVD on August 17th, 2010
Photo credit: Universal

The series sometimes brings household names like Aquaman and Green Arrow to the playing field but it’s most notable charm for those of us well-versed in the DC world is the inclusion of below-the-line heroes and villains like Black Manta, Red Tornado, Fun Haus, Clock King, The Atom, Owlman, and even Jonah Hex. These are not your typical characters and it’s fun to see the writers reach deep into the comic book catalog to populate their series.

The show is a bit too silly and cartoonish for my tastes, so you should be warned that this is more for the little ones than what we’ve seen of Batman in other forms in recent years. The lack of any overall story — every episode is a standalone adventure — also makes the show a bit hit-and-miss. Having said that, there are a few interesting episodes, some clever visuals, and the aforementioned inclusions of several heroes and villains that most of us never thought would see the light of print or television ever again.

It was recently announced that the upcoming season of “Batman: The Brave and the Bold” will be the last and that the character will soon return in a darker series. Until then, ride the wave of “Brave and the Bold” popularity. Get the toys the next time you want fast food and play the video game (which we will have a review of soon). Most importantly, pick up the show itself and think about the multiple versions of Batman that have been a part of the TV cartoon marketplace for decades. This may not be the best one but it’s also far from the worst.

Sadly, Warner Bros. includes no special features on the two-disc release. Every title, even those aimed at kids, deserves a little bit of bonus material. As for the technical specs, “Batman: The Brave and the Bold” looks and sounds exactly as one would expect without being too impressive. Kind of like the show itself, it’s decent if not spectacular.

“Batman: The Brave and the Bold: Season One, Part One” stars Diedrich Bader, Corey Burton, John DiMaggio, Will Friedle, Tom Kenny, and James Arnold Taylor. It was released on DVD on August 17th, 2010 and is not rated. It runs 286 minutes.

HollywoodChicago.com content director Brian Tallerico

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