Deep in the Atlantic Ocean, a submarine suddenly catches a contact on the radar. That one contact multiplies into dozens and dozens that seem to be human-like in size. The sub is attacked and damaged so badly that there are no survivors. When Colonel Steve Trevor contacts Cyborg at S.T.A.R. Labs’ Justice League headquarters, he goes to the wreckage to investigate what happened and is attacked by the same unknown enemy. When Cyborg returns, he sends out a message to the Justice League for help because this is too big of a job for only one hero.
JUSTICE LEAGUE: THRONE OF ATLANTIS has been animated in the similar style of SON OF BATMAN and JUSTICE LEAGUE: WAR. You can feel the anime roots, especially during the action sequences. The images have fast motion and, for the most part, get perspective right. The only time that the perspectives made what’s on screen look terrible is during the Atlantian invasion. One of the marching soldier’s legs looked very skewed and made them look very unproportionate . Like I said, it’s a tiny part of a scene and won’t take away from the viewing experience.
I feel like everyone is animating digitally now and even though this has surely been colored digitally, it has that hand-drawn feel. Looking at the storyboards from the bonus features, the final art is almost exact. I appreciate the naturally drawn films, but I’ll admit it; sometimes the only way to get it right is with CGI. I liked what the animators did with the underwater sequences by blurring the images a bit on the borders.
Being the comic book nerd that I am, my only tiny gripe is that DC came up with these animated film specific costumes. Some of the plot is taken from the New 52 comics, but didn’t bring over the cool, new styles. There may be a little too much detail in the comic book version, but its just my preference.
Matt Lanter as Aquaman / Arthur Curry
Sumalee Montano as Mera
Sam Witwer as Ocean Master
Sirena Irwin as Queen Atlanna
Jerry O’Connell as Superman / Clark Kent
Jason O’Mara as Batman / Bruce Wayne
Rosario Dawson as Wonder Woman / Diana Prince
Christopher Gorham as Flash / Barry Allen
Nathan Fillion as Green Lantern / Hal Jordan
Shemar Moore as Cyborg / Victor Stone
Sean Astin as Shazam / Billy Batson
Harry Lennix as Black Manta
George Newbern as Steve Trevor
Steven Blum as Cyborg’s Armor and Lex Luthor
Melique Berger as Sarah Charles
Juliet Landau as Lois Lane
Warner Bros. has stuck with their winning formula for making the animated films looks excellent. The video transfer is a crisp 1080p AVC with their trademark style of clean lines and matchless contrast. The images are sharp and highly detailed whether the focus is in the foreground or the background. The coloring is brilliant and bold. The Green Lantern uses the colors the best with the green streaming through his costume as well as the power from his ring. There isn’t any blocking or crushing issues that I could spot, so overall, I’m impressed.
The audio is a 5.1 DTS-HD MA mix that’s pretty complex. It consistently uses the surround sound for the sweeping motion that you expect from a movie like this. The first moment that you get a feel for it is during the investigation by Cyborg in the submarine. The Atlanteans advance in precision to attack the hero moving from the rear speakers and around to the front. The bass pounds with every hit or punch thrown to give you the idea of how much power these heroes and villains have. Also, the crisp treble makes the gunshots clear or even Superman’s eye beams sound real. The score and soundtrack also bring everything together to make the feature have even more depth. There was a lot of talent and love put in to the sound mix to keep things lively.
The supplements on the release are very good. They cover everything from development to the score and some extra scenes from the feature.
-Scoring Atlantis: The Sound of The Deep Featurette: It’s a featurette with composer Frederick Wiedmann explaining how to create the perfect score for this hero’s journey to his destiny.
-Robin and Nightwing Bonus Sequence: This is a bonus sequence with Robin, Nightwing, Scarecrow, and Talon. It’s technically a deleted scene, but it very much works in its own.
-Throne of Atlantis 2014 NYCC Panel: The final DC Panel for the movie at NYCC with character designer Phil Bouassa, Screen writer Heath Corson, Dialogue Director Andrea Romano, Producer James Tucker, and Matt Lanter who voices Aquaman in the movie. They discuss why he wasn’t in JUSTICE LEAGUE: WAR and the project they’re putting together. The new 52 will not be the sole stories made into the animated features.
-Villains of the Deep Featurette: This featurette shows the villains that Aquaman has to fight on a regular basis: Black Manta and Oceanmaster.
-A Sneak Peek at BATMAN & ROBIN: This is a behind-the-scenes look at the upcoming movie. It shows storyboard and has some interviews.
-From the DC Vault: 4 Bonus Cartoons: These are four episodes from a few past series —
JUSTICE LEAGUE LIMITED – “Far From Home”
BATMAN: BRAVE AND THE BOLD – “Evil Under the Sea”
BATMAN: BRAVE AND THE BOLD – “Aquaman’s Outrageous Adventure”
AQUAMAN – “Menace of the Black Manta”
Two-disc set w/1 BD & 1 DVD
UV digital copy
1080p AVC MPEG-4
Aspect ratio: 1.78:1
English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1
When it comes down to it, I really enjoyed this movie as well as the release. The audio and video were done so well that it makes the movie feel a bit more real. The bonus features included are informative and make sure to include the things that the fans want to know about. This was definitely a successful venture by DC and Warner Bros. and it’s something that they should be proud of. This movie will stir up some new Aquaman fans and, at the same time, please the existing ones out there. Definitely go pick this one up!