Batman Beyond, the landmark animated television series that illuminated the imagination of a new generation of Batman fans with its creation of an altogether new hero, is celebrating its 20th anniversary – and you get the gift! Warner Bros. Home Entertainment has remastered the heralded series for its first-ever presentation on Blu-ray in the all-encompassing Batman Beyond: The Complete Animated Series Limited Edition
The extraordinary set features approximately 1,500 minutes of entertainment spread over 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, highlighted by two new inside looks at the beloved television series, led by Nostalgic Tomorrow, a gathering of Batman Beyond production talent and cast led by executive producer Bruce Timm and actors Kevin Conroy and Will Friedle, the voices of Batman and Terry McGinnis, respectively. The bonus discs also spotlight four episodes with audio commentary from Timm and select members of the production team.
Collectibles within the stunning packaging include an exclusive chrome Batman Beyond Funko POP, and four beautifully-designed lenticular art cards produced especially for Batman Beyond: The Complete Animated Series Limited Edition. This ultimate collectors Blu-ray box set will be individually numbered for a Limited Edition release of 50,000.
Produced by Warner Bros. Animation, Batman Beyond premiered on January 10, 1999 to instant ratings and critical success. The series would run for three seasons, covering 52 total episodes and a full-length animated film, 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 the uncommon format “OCND,” the original camera negative digital (a digital scan of original negative). Lines and resolution have been enhanced, and dust and dirt have been removed – however, 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).
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 the landmark Batman: The Animated Series. Will Friedle created the character of Terry McGinnis, Batman’s protégé. Veteran voiceover actresses Cree Sumner and Lauren Tom were series regulars as Max and Dana Tan, respectively.
Batman Beyond: The Complete Animated Series Limited Edition Enhanced Content
Nostalgic Tomorrow – A Batman Gathering (All-New Featurette) – Many of Batman Beyond’s core production team and actors gather for an enthralling roundtable discussion of the evolution and execution of the animated series. Join producers Bruce Timm and Glenn Murakami, casting/dialogue director Andrea Romano, director James Tucker, writers Bob Goodman & Stan Berkowitz, and stars Kevin Conroy & Will Friedle as they take a wildly entertaining trip down memory lane.
Knight Immortal (All-New Featurette) – A visual and visceral celebration of the Dark Knight’s 80 years of crime fighting, narrated by storytellers of the past, present, and future.
Tomorrow Knight: The Batman Reborn (Featurette) – Storytellers explore the rise of Terry McGinnis as Batman and Bruce Wayne’s relationship with the young hero as he mentors a new Dark Knight for modern times.
Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker (Feature-Length Film) – The beloved hit animated film from 2000 is included in the box set – fully remastered for your enjoyment.
Audio Commentaries – Enlightening audio commentaries by filmmakers and voice actors for four key episodes: “Rebirth, Part 1”; “Shriek”; “Splicers”; and “The Eggbaby.”
Featurettes – A dozen inside looks at the genesis, production and effects of Batman Beyond.