Lionsgate has repackaged these re-releases in anticipation for the upcoming Avengers live action summer blockbuster, so if you already owned these you’re getting the exact same content except in a more convenient single Blu-ray case. As for the movies, I enjoyed Ultimate Avengers more than Next Avengers but even so, it’s a good lineup of animation movies.
Genre(s): Animation, Action, Adventure
Lionsgate | PG13/PG – 222 min. – $19.99 | April 24, 2012
Directed by: Various
Cast: Justin Gross, Grey DeLisle, Michael Massee, Marc Worden, Olivia D’Abo
Features: Featurettes, Gag Reel
Number of Discs: 2
Audio (Ultimate Avengers 1 & 2): English (PCM 7.1), English (Dolby Digital EX 5.1), Spanish (Dolby Digital EX 5.1)
Audio (Next Avengers): English (DTS-HD MA 7.1), Spanish (Dolby Digital 5.1)
Video: 1080p/Widescreen 1.78
Subtitles: English SDH, French, Spanish
Disc Size: 38.6GB/21.9 GB
Codec: MPEG-4 AVC
THE MOVIE – 3.75/5
Ultimate Avengers (2006) — 4.0/5
A world in crisis. Age-old enemies on the verge of attack. A mighty team is recruited, and Earth’s ultimate hero is sought to lead them – Captain America (JUSTIN GROSS). Unfortunately, he’s been frozen in ice for over sixty years. Inspired by Marvel’s best-selling books, “The Ultimates,” this is the extraordinary story of six very independent heroes – along with Captain America, include: Iron Man (MARC WORDEN), The Wasp (GREY DELISLE), Black Widow (OLIVIA D’ABO), Giant Man (NOLAN NORTH), Thor (DAVID BOAT) and the uncontainable, Incredible Hulk – who, like it or not, must fight as one to save the world.
Ultimate Avengers 2 (2006) — 3.75/5
Mysterious Wakanda lies in the darkest heart of Africa, unknown to most of the world. An isolated land hidden behind closed borders, fiercely protected by its young king – the Black Panther. But when brutal alien invaders attack, that leaves the Black Panther with no option but to go against the sacred decrees of his people and ask for help from outsiders. And so he turns to…THE AVENGERS – Captain America, Iron Man, Thor, Giant Man, Wasp, Black Widow and the Incredible Hulk. These mightiest heroes have battled aliens before, and barely survived. They thought it was over. They were wrong.
Both of these Ultimate Avengers movies, from an outsiders’ perspective, are high-octane and highly entertaining animated movies. They do a good job at introducing all of these character while not making it too slow or stale. The voice acting isn’t the best but they’re OK while the animation itself is pretty standard for this format.
Next Avengers: Heroes of Tomorrow (2008) — 2.5/5
Whenever the forces of evil threaten mankind, Earth’s mightiest heroes, the Avengers, were there to stop them – until they made the ultimate sacrifice in their final fight with the indestructible robot, Ultron. But all was not lost, for Tony Stark (Iron Man) kept the children of the Avengers safe and raised them to become the teenage heroes of tomorrow. Now James (son of Captain America and Black Widow), Torunn (daughter of Thor), Azari (son of the Black Panther), and Pym (son of Wasp and Giant Man) must finish the fight their parents started. Soon the arrow-slinging son of Hawkeye will join their ranks, but it will take more than five teens to destroy the machine that defeated their parents. If these young heroes have any hope of winning, they must find the missing Hulk and come together as…the Next Avengers!
Although Ultimate Avengers was highly entertaining, this new entry just didn’t hit all the right notes. The animation is a bit too childish for my tastes and the story never really had much momentum. Personally, I wish Marvel Animation went forward with a third Ultimate Avengers movie rather than this, but as it stands, it’s tolerable but nothing more.
SPECIAL FEATURES – 2.5/5
Ultimate Avengers 1 & 2 are contained on a single disc while Next Avengers gets its own disc. Each was previously released in 2007 and 2008 respectively.
Ultimate Avengers/Ultimate Avengers 2 — 3.25/5
The Ultimates Featurette (23:47; HD) covers the comic series that is the basis for the two animated movies. For somebody who has never been into Marvel Comics titles, it’s a cool history lesson on the characters and comic book itself.
The Ultimate Voice Talent Search (5:22; HD) takes a look at how the voice casting came about, including zany audition tapes. It’s nothing earth-shattering or that interesting.
The Ultimate Gag Reel (3:46; HD) – Really, really, really dumb, though a couple of them did manage to get a chuckle out of me.
First Look at Doctor Strange (7:02; HD) is a preview of Marvel Animation’s direct-to-video movie.
Avenger Trivia Track – With this feature turned on, you can access trivia about the characters and world of “The Avengers”.
The Invincible Iron Man Trailer (1:24; HD)
Avengers Assemble! (23:16; HD) – This is another well made history lesson on “The Avengers” comic book and characters.
Next Avengers: Heroes of Tomorrow — 2.0/5
Legacy: The Making of Next Avengers: Heroes of Tomorrow (10:49; HD) tackles how the story came about for this entry in the Marvel Animation line.
Kid Power: Next-Gen Marvel (9:41; HD) provides background on the comic book series for which this movie, and its characters, is based upon. They compare this group with the younger versions of other Marvel heroes.
We also get First Look: Hulk vs. Wolverine (3:52; HD) and First Look: Hulk vs. Thor (3:15; HD).
VIDEO – 4.0/5
All three movies basically have the same video qualities to them. Each have been given a 1080p high-def transfer and are presented in their original 1.78 widescreen aspect ratio. As with most animated movies, the picture is quite clean with sharp edges and the occasional bouts of banding during transitional scenes. With the bright colors, each movie certainly pops off the screen very nicely.
AUDIO – 4.0/5
Ultimate Avengers 1 & 2 have a nice PCM 7.1 lossless track which shows off clean dialogue levels and some bass during the action sequences. Similarly, the Next Avengers, given a 7.1 DTS-HD Master Audio track, sounds good throughout and features clear audio be it the dialogue or action scenes.
OVERALL – 3.5/5
Overall, Lionsgate has repackaged these re-releases in anticipation for the upcoming Avengers live action summer blockbuster, so if you already owned these you’re getting the exact same content except in a more convenient single Blu-ray case. As for the movies, I enjoyed Ultimate Avengers more than Next Avengers but even so, it’s a good lineup of animation movies. The features aren’t anything spectacular but offer up some good information and insights into the comic books while the audio and picture are both well done across all three films.
Brian Oliver, The Movieman
Check out some more screen caps by going to page 2. Please note, these do contain spoilers.