The popular animated series “Batman Beyond” is celebrating its 20th anniversary and the series is getting remastered for a special Blu-ray and Digital release. Called “Batman Beyond: The Complete Animated Series Limited Edition,” the collection releases on Digital on October 15th and in a box set on October 29th.
It’s a pretty big collection, spread out across four Blu-ray discs, plus the two bonus discs of enhanced content. In addition to a newly-remastered Blu-ray presentation of “Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker,” there are 15 featurettes on the bonus discs. The bonus discs also spotlight four episodes with audio commentary from Timm and select members of the production team. Collectibles within the packaging include an exclusive chrome Batman Beyond Funko POP, and four lenticular art cards produced especially for the limited edition.
The original series debuted on January 10, 1999 and ran for three seasons. The series had 52 total episodes and a full-length animated film called “Batman Beyond: The Return of the Joker.” Nominated for nine Emmy Awards, “Batman Beyond” would ultimately take home two Emmys – including Outstanding Special Class Animated Program in 2001 – as well as three Annie Awards.
Of the 52 original Batman Beyond episodes, 41 have been fully-remastered from either their original 35mm film source or from the original camera negative digital (OCND). Lines and resolution have been enhanced for the project, and dust and dirt have been removed, but cell dirt remains to not disturb the original picture. Included in the remastering was the removal of grain, resulting in enhanced colors. The remastering process does cause a slight aspect ratio change (approximately 3% loss of screen image) according to the studio.
Due to time-worn irreparable damage, the remaining 11 episodes were “Smart Rezzed” from standard definition Digibeta video. The process provides for significant enhanced resolution and improvement of the original source material in converting from standard to high definition, though it does sacrifice horizontal lines for clearer image and color representation. While still a marked improvement over the original video, viewers will notice a slight difference between the Remastered and the Up-Rezzed final footage. The 11 affected episodes are: “Eyewitness,” “Final Cut,” “The Last Resort,” “Armory,” “Sneak Peek,” “The Eggbaby,” “Zeta,” “Plague,” “April Moon,” “Sentries of the Lost Cosmos” and “Speak No Evil.”
The Batman Beyond cast was spearheaded by Kevin Conroy, the fan favorite voice of The Dark Knight as established in “Batman: The Animated Series. Will Friedle (Boy Meets World, Kim Possible) created the character of Terry McGinnis, Batman’s protégé. Veteran voiceover actresses Cree Sumner (Codename: Kids Next Door, Drawn Together) and Lauren Tom (Friends, The Joy Luck Club, Futurama) were series regulars as Max and Dana Tan, respectively.
The guest cast included Paul Winfield, Stockard Channing, William H. Macy, Teri Garr and Michael McKean; Emmy Award winners John Ritter, Wayne Brady, Seth Green, Tim Curry, David Warner and Patton Oswalt; Golden Globe winners Stacy Keach, Amanda Donohoe and Jill Eikenberry; four Grammy Award winners led by Ice-T; and five members of the Hollywood Walk of Fame – Macy and Ritter along with George Takei, Michael Ansara and Mark Hamill.
The cast also included Adrienne Barbeau, Kate Jackson, Angie Harmon, Linda Hamilton, Clancy Brown, Gary Cole, Ed Begley Jr., Wendie Malick, Cary Elwes, Olivia Hussey, Kurtwood Smith, Robert Patrick, Ian Ziering, CCH Pounder, Frank Welker, Johnny Galecki, Pauley Perrette, Michael Rosenbaum and Diedrich Bader.
“Batman Beyond elevated the animated adventures of The Dark Knight to even greater heights, providing an edgier, faster-moving, more contemporary take on crime-fighting in Gotham with an inspiring new character in Terry McGinnis,” said Mary Ellen Thomas, Warner Bros. Home Entertainment Vice President, Family & Animation Marketing. “Warner Bros. Home Entertainment has long known the fans’ desire to see this series come to Blu-ray, and we’re excited to finally have the technology to elevate the quality of the original assets to an exquisite high-definition presentation packaged with compelling collectibles in a limited edition set, especially as fans celebrate Batman’s 80th anniversary this year.”
Subscribe to Daily Updates and never miss a headline.