Director: Butch Lukic
Cast: Roger Craig Smith, Will Friedle, Chris Diamantopoulos (VOICES)
Release Date: Own it today on Blu-Ray Combo Pack, DVD & Digital HD
A Review By: Kevin Lovell
Film Rating: 7/10
Disc Rating: 8.5/10
Another storm is brewing in Gotham and it’s not only raining cats and dogs but evil Cyber Animals! When the city is plagued by a slew of bizarre crimes committed by an animal-inspired villain squad known as the Animilitia – comprised of Silverback, Cheetah, Killer Croc and Man-Bat – Batman must swing into action to investigate. These animalistic villains bring new and exciting challenges for the hero of Gotham, and Batman must find a way to bring these criminal creatures to a halt! But could the Animilitia be working for powerful businessman Oswald Cobblepot a.k.a. The Penguin? How does The Penguin’s new invention of robotic Cyber Animals fit into the mix? In the end, it’ll the combined forces of Batman, Flash, Green Arrow, Nightwing and Red Robin to combat these Animal Instincts.
‘Batman Unlimited: Animal Instincts’ is a fun and action packed animated movie that most Batman fans and younger audiences (new Bat-fans) alike should have a pretty enjoyable time with. It should certainly come as no surprise (especially considering the films connection with a toy line) that this original animated movie is much more kid friendly than the regular DC Animated Films, yet while things are less violent and a bit more goofy, it manages to find a pretty solid balance in which it should equally please the hardcore fans while also being tame enough that most parents should find no qualms with their children viewing.
Overall, ‘Batman Unlimited: Animal Instincts’ is an enjoyable time from start to end that doesn’t skimp on the action yet also keeps it family friendly. Considering what I can imagine many folks will likely expect from an original animated film done in conjunction with a toy line, I think the majority should be as pleasantly surprised as I was with just how much fun this movie really is; I would highly recommend the Batman and DC fans out there at least give it a shot.
The Blu-Ray release of ‘Batman Unlimited: Animal Instincts’ features a full 1080p High Definition presentation utilizing the film’s original 1.78:1 Aspect Ratio. The video presentation looks pretty fantastic for the most part. There are some mild instances of banding and other minimal issues, but far less so than commonly seen on the DC Animated Film releases. The video is sharp, detailed and smooth for the most part, with everything down to the specific lines in the animation looking great. Overall, this is a top notch high definition video presentation that may suffer a few minor issues, but delivers exceptionally as a whole.
The Blu-Ray release features a lossless 5.1 channel DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack. This lossless multichannel soundtrack wonderfully compliments this original animated movie and provides an active and clean audio presentation throughout. All five available channels are regularly utilized to throw everything in sight around the viewer, while never causing any dialogue occurring simultaneously to be negatively affected or drowned out by the other auditory elements. Overall, this is an impressive and incredibly fun 5.1 channel DTS-HD MA soundtrack that should not disappoint in the slightest.
The Blu-Ray release of ‘Batman Unlimited: Animal Instincts’ includes a few fun extras in addition to the included Blu-Ray exclusive Fire Bat figure. The release includes a Featurette titled ‘Penguin: High Society Criminal’ which runs approximately 13 minutes in length and features interviews with members of the creative team discussing the iconic Bat-Villain. Also included on the Blu-Ray release are numerous DC Nation shorts including entries from ‘Justice League of Animals’, ‘The Bat Man of Shanghai’ and more. Lastly, we are treated to two additional cartoons From the DC Comics Vault, both episodes of ‘Batman: The Brave and the Bold.’