Directed by: Ethan Spaulding
Starring: Christopher Gorham, Matt Lanter, Sumalee Montano, Jerry O’Connell, Jason O’Mara, Sam Witwer, Rosario Dawson, Nathan Fillion
A little over three years ago, DC’s New 52 premiered. Whatever we may think of the often mediocre storylines and ugly costume redesigns that came from the New 52, it’s hard to deny the fact that DC has gotten more than its fair share of marketing out of the stories, as well as the chance to create a clean slate for their characters.
Aquaman: Throne of Atlantis, the latest WB Animated release, is the product of the spirit of the New 52, Combining the origin of Aquaman with the origin of the Justice League in one action-packed and dramatic storyline, this cartoon allows DC to build their characters in ways that seem satisfying for longtime DC readers and seem logical for civilians who might pick up this disk at their local Target.
Yeah, OK, Geoff Johns (on whose Justice League plot this story is based) is no Shakespeare, but the vicious, self-obsessed Orm has his Shakespearean elements, particularly a dramatic scene of matricide that is predictable but still manages to be shocking in its impact (yeah I could have added a SPOILER there but you probably guessed that plot twist just reading this summary).
The animation is fine in that typical sort of new DC animation style. The scenes in Atlantis are a bit underwhelming – a city so hyped should have had a grander feel than it does, and many of the new costumes are ugly (Wonder Woman’s new costume is horribly generic) but that’s not the filmmakers’ fault. Mera looked especially good; with an aquiline nose and regal bearing, she looks like a future queen.
Throne of Atlantis isn’t a must-own, but it is very enjoyable.
- A one-minute short subject featuring Nightwing and Robin, kind of useless
- Film of a NYCC panel featuring the cast of the film, also kind of useless
- A short feature about Aquaman’s key villains, interesting and entertaining
- Two Batman: the Brave and the Bold cartoons featuring the swaggering bearded Aquaman (hilarious) and an episode of Justice League Unlimited featuring the Legion of Super-Heroes
- A feature on the film’s soundtrack, left me all dry