Justice League: Throne of Atlantis is not DCUA’s best output to date but it’s a perfectly entertaining film with a few flaws, primarily the limited running time. But the voice casting is mostly good, even Jason O’Mara, and on the whole I enjoyed it and some of the darker humor and taking the PG-13 rating to the limits in terms of animated affair.
Justice League: Throne of Atlantis
Genre(s): Animation, Action, Adventure
Warner Bros. Animation | PG13 – 72 min. – $24.98 | January 27, 2015
THE MOVIE – 3.25/5
In one of the rare direct sequels in the DCU Animated line, following the events of Justice League: War, Justice League: Throne of Atlantis introduces viewers to the newest future member of the “League.”
Our story begins when a U.S. submarine is attacked by squid-like creatures, sinking to the sea floor below with none of the crew surviving. The government calls on the Justice League, who is hardly a team with only Cyborg (SHEMAR MOORE) manning the station at their headquarters inside S.T.A.R. labs. So, he calls on the other members after discovering the ship and he himself is attacked. The rest of the League arrive with Superman (JERRY O’CONNELL), Wonder Woman (ROSARIO DAWSON), The Flash (CHRISTOPHER GORHAM), Green Lantern (NATHAN FILLION) and Shazam (SEAN ASTIN) while Batman (JASON O’MARA) in tow though clearly annoyed being taken away from fighting crime in Gotham. With the team assembled, they attempt to uncover the reason for the attacks and what the perpetrators want with nuclear warheads.
Meanwhile, we meet Arthur Curry (MATT LANTER) who has recently lost his father and is in a downward spiral, though others have taken interest in him including a doctor whose life’s work was to discover the lost city of Atlantis. Just as he is about to interview Curry, he himself is attacked and ultimately killed with Curry the next victim, all at the hands of Orm (SAM WITWER) as Arthur is in line for the throne of Atlantis as Queen Atlanna (SIRENA IRWIN) doesn’t believe Orm to be evil… which he is of course. But Orm, with guidance from Black Manta (HARRY LENNIX), attempt to take control but the Justice League is on the trail, along with Aquaman, to foil his plans as Orm sets out to declare war on humankind.
Justice League: Throne of Atlantis actually isn’t a bad addition to the DCU Animated line but it suffers the same fate as a few others, limited by a short running time. Clocking in at under 70-minutes (sans credits), the story and characters could’ve been better fleshed out with an extra 10-15 minutes but apparently the animation department are kept under some kind of strict limit as most of these animated movies have been far under 80-minutes. As such, the story does suffer with a plot that breezes by and a finale, while well done for the most part, isn’t entirely satisfying, though there are a few darkly funny scenes, one involving Black Manta.
On the plus side, the voice acting isn’t bad. Matt Lanter seems to have a decent voice as Aquaman while Rosario Dawson does well as Wonder Woman and we also feature the return of Jason O’Mara as Batman (still not a fan) and Nathan Fillion marking his fourth outing as Green Lantern (though oddly enough, did not do the voice for JL: War).
All in all, it’s a fine entry in the DCUA but not close to being the strongest. I am, however, interested to see where they take this series and hopefully continue with a sequel-like model connecting each of these storylines for what is hopefully an acceptable conclusion with the next one, Justice League: Gods and Monsters set for release later this year (2015) and a Batman vs. Robin film, with O’Mara returning to voice the Caped Crusader, coming out before then.
SPECIAL FEATURES – 3.0/5
This release comes with a glossy and embossed slip cover. Inside is a redemption code for the Digital Copy and a standard DVD Copy.
A Sneak Peek at Batman vs. Robin (10:09; HD) introduces viewers to the story and voice cast members (Jason O’Mara as Batman, Stuart Allan as Damian, David McCallum as Alfred, Jeremy Sisto as Talon and Weird Al Yankovich as The Dollmaker).
Villains of the Deep (11:33; HD) looks at the antagonists featured in the film (Orm and Black Manta).
Scoring Atlantis: The Sound of the Deep (30:05; HD) is an extensive featurette on the score/soundtrack and how the composer (Frederik Wiedmann) came up with some of the themes.
Robin and Nightwing Bonus Sequence (3:50; HD) – This was a sequence that was deleted involving Robin and Nightwing and a conclusion to the Scarecrow side storyline and teases Batman vs. Robin.
Throne of Atlantis: 2014 NY Comic-Con Panel (26:44; HD) is where the Matt Lanter (voice of Aquaman) and certain crew members sit on stage and answer questions about their latest movie.
Throne of Atlantis Soundtrack allows viewers to watch the movie with an isolated score only, makes one appreciate the score which I pretty good.
From the DC Comics Vault are episodes from “Batman: The Brave and the Bold,” “Aquaman” (animated series from the 1960s) and “Justice League Unlimited.” The “Aquaman” one should’ve been left off if DC wants to distance itself from the cheesy version of the character…
VIDEO – 3.5/5
Warner Brothers releases Justice League: Throne of Atlantis onto Blu-ray presented with a 1.78 widescreen aspect ratio and a 1080p high-definition transfer. As with the other DCUA movies, this is not exactly the best looking picture, certain shots are incredibly soft (as intended by the animators). Still, colors tend to be bright and I didn’t notice that much aliasing, though banding is a problem from time to time.
AUDIO – 3.25/5
Meanwhile, the DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track is kind of weak. Although the dialogue levels are quite good, when we get into the action-heavy scenes, it’s all very flat with no depth or impact; this is not uncommon with these DTV animated movies, however, and a common theme I’ve found in the other DCUA films. Even so, it’s an adequate track just nothing overly impressive.
OVERALL – 3.0/5
Overall, Justice League: Throne of Atlantis is not DCUA’s best output to date but it’s a perfectly entertaining film with a few flaws, primarily the limited running time. But the voice casting is mostly good, even Jason O’Mara, and on the whole I enjoyed it and some of the darker humor and taking the PG-13 rating to the limits in terms of animated affair. The Blu-ray released by Warner Home Video has decent audio/video transfers and a fine selection of bonus material.
Brian Oliver, The Movieman
Check out some more screen caps by going to page 2. Please note, these do contain spoilers.