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Announce Date: 05/08/09
Street Date: 08/25/09
Closed Captioning: Yes
MSRP: $14.98
Packaging Type: Eco Amaray Case
Subformat: Single Disc
Media Quantity: 1
Disc Configuration: 1) 9-Dual Layer
Sound Track Language: English
Run Time: 110
Aspect Ratio: Widescreen (16x9)
Sound Quality: English, Spanish, Portuguese (Dolby Stereo 2.0)
Subtitles: English, French, Spanish and Portuguese
Episodes:
Rise of the Blue Beetle!
Terror on Dinosaur Island!
Evil Under the Sea!
Invasion of the Secret Santas!

Synopsis: Batman isn't going at it alone this time! From Warner Bros. Animation comes the latest interpretation of the classic Batman franchise. Our caped crusader is teamed up with heroes from across the DC Universe, delivering nonstop action and adventure with a touch of comic relief. Blue Beetle, Green Arrow, Aquaman and countless others will get a chance to uphold justice alongside Batman. Though still based in Gotham, Batman will frequently find himself outside city limits, facing situations that are both unfamiliar and exhilarating. With formidable foes around every corner, Batman will still rely on his stealth, resourcefulness and limitless supply of cool gadgets to bring justice home.

Review
The first DVD release for “Batman: Brave and the Bold,” these first four episodes will take you to a plethora of different places ranging from space to islands, to under the waves, to the ancient city of Atlantis. This is not only an appropriate release in the sense that the episodes are in the order in which they aired, but also this serves as a perfect sampling for the format of the show. They’re not the best episodes, of course, but if you can enjoy these then you will absolutely enjoy the rest of the series.

Despite the series having prominent roots in a Golden and Silver Age set up, “Rise of the Blue Beetle” starts off with the modern holder of the Blue Beetle mantle; Jaime Reyes. A young hero eager to show he’s ready for anything, Jaime is teamed up with Batman to take down the interstellar villain Kanjar Ro. Overall, it’s a very simple episode, but I’m glad they went with this one as the first episode. The young hero aspect is most likely immediately appealing to the younger views of the show, although it is a shame that out of 26 episodes for the season, Jaime has only shown up in a few of them.

Bringing focus back to Earthly realms, “Terror on Dinosaur Island” faces off Batman with Gorilla Grodd - one of the few villains to have the perfect combination of brains and brawn. Batman’s not alone in this feat as Plastic-Man is along for the ride, but Plastic-Man’s continued temptations to resort to his past, the life of a thief, adds another obstacle to overcome for this clashing duo. Out of the season, it’s one of the weaker episodes, but the comedy with Plastic-Man tends to be worth the watch.

Diving further with the Earth-based encounters, Batman joins Aquaman in Atlantis to battle the sea dwelling villain Black Manta in “Evil Under the Sea.” This version of Aquaman was one of the best surprises of the series, as he stays far away from any campy impression you may have of the sea-dwelling hero. Surprisingly, it’s more focused on Aquaman than it is Batman, and for that it greatly depicts the range that this series is attempting to accomplish.

No Batman adventure is complete without a stop in the common world, and this DVD doesn’t forget that. Last but not least, “Invasion of the Secret Santas” takes us to a common suburbia with the heart-warming search for Christmas spirit with Red Tornado, and the heart-wrenching past of the Dark Knight himself. In their own ways they regain their Christmas spirit as they face off against the master of corrupt toys, the fiendish Fun Haus. This can be easily said to be the best episode of the DVD, and it was in fact the episode that got me hooked on the series. It manages to introduce Red Tornado in a proper way, while still allowing a shocking amount of room to show Batman’s tortured origins, and neither story downplay the other.


The DVD
A surprisingly sparse release, Batman: The Brave and The Bold - Volume One arrives in a standard single-disc Eco Amaray case. A promotional insert is included, boasting Warner Home Video's Blu-ray releases, but that's it. Disc art is pretty basic (and pictured above) and menus are simple and easy to navigate. Outside of trailers, there are zero extras on this set. I imagine any extras are being saved for the inevitable first season collection. While the disc may lack bonus features, but the A/V quality here is pretty solid. Audio is a standard English Stereo mix and the video presentation is an anamorphic widescreen encode, resulting in a surprisingly stunning image. If you've been watching this on Teletoon or Cartoon Network, you should notice an immediate step up in the visual clarity.

Overall, it's a sparse release but one worth at least a rental. Collectors will definitely want to add this to their collections, as well as fans of the show, but the limited selection of episodes does hamper this release. Still, if you're a fan of the series and want some Batman: The Brave and The Bold on DVD now, then this is a Recommended release. However, if you're hoping for more in the future then I would maybe hold out for a season set release. This show really deserves a more in-depth and expansive release, and I'm Warner Home Video will provide just that soon enough, but until then, I'd suggest picking up Batman: The Brave and The Bold - Volume One to support the show and get a chance to enjoy four great episodes in solid DVD quality.

Main review by Andrew; DVD Review by James Harvey.

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