on March 6, 2014
I don't post many reviews, but I am SO excited about this I had to speak up.
I originally started watching GL:TAS because the maker of the original "Batman: The Animated Series", Bruce Timm, was an executive producer. What I saw BLEW ME AWAY!! In this current age of ultra-frenetic, barely digestible, uber-specialized animated shows, this one harkens back almost immediately to the well-arced classics. There are two main plots to this collection, and I don't want to give anything away, but both are exciting, hilarious, and often heart-wrenching. I was hooked after the first episode. It weaves in classic characters as well as introduces fully formed new characters. It also has a visual style that is simple, clean, and almost iconic - very much like Batman or even the Superman animated series.
It also is one of those shows that didn't get the respect or fair chance it deserved (I'm looking at you, Cartoon Network/DC Nation!) While I'm glad it even GOT a DVD release, this Blu-Ray is going to preserve a truly beautiful, intelligent show in its proper, hi-def glory. Good work, Warner Home Archive!
on March 24, 2014
I've been reading Green Lantern since the early 1980s and let me tell you, these 26 episodes are everything that I could have ever dreamed of in a Green Lantern cartoon. It's a massive epic story involving Hal Jordan, The Red Lanterns, Larfleeze, The Star Saphires, Guy Gardner, The Anti-Monitor, Kilowog, Tomar-Re, and even Ch'p! (Although I notice they don't call Ch'p by name. Is there a rights issue?) And somehow they subsume the plots of Crisis on Infinite Earths and Zero Hour while they're at it!
I had no idea this was such an amazing show when it was on the air, and it is a tragedy that it's been cancelled. But we have this perfect run of 26 episodes. There's not a weak one. It's the greatest GL epic ever in any format!
I notice a strong Star Wars influence, especially the stronger elements from the prequel trilogy. It's what we've been saying all along the GLC concept was begging for.
They even make a John Stewart/ Jon Stewart joke! "The fake news guy?"
This completely makes up for that sub-par Green Lantern movie.
on March 5, 2014
Warner rocks! What a deal, the entire series, almost 10 hours. I bet they will have some great extra features. I can't even imagine how amazing this will look on Blu-ray! The stories and character development was great. It is really difficult to pull off the Seven Dwarf scenario in animation and they did it here. No one thought you would care so much about animated characters until Disney proved it with Snow White in 39.
Updated detailed review 3/22/2014:
Great taste, less filling ... in the extras.
This is my personal favorite series produced by Bruce Timm after watching Batman: TAS, Batman Beyond, Justice League and Young Justice. The characters are complex, the stories are varied and the dialog is witty with some good laughs. Warner kept up their standards by choosing great actors to really make each character unique. It may be hard to believe but this series bests Justice League for the depth and strength of the female characters. Green Lantern should have been a prime time series but was chosen by Cartoon Network to air in the morning. It is "not rated" but I would give it at least a PG since it has such intense action and adult themes.
Here is what you get. 1080P Stunning picture quality with a 3D feel to it and without the annoying aliasing that other animated features have. I thought it looked great on Cartoon Network in HD but that doesn't even compare to this. The colors are sharp and bright. The blacks are solid, deep and well defined.
DTS-Master Stereo at 48 kHz. I guess the series wasn't produced in 5.1 so switch your receiver to Neo Cinema or Dolby Pro Logic II and enjoy. The audio is dynamic and when the surround encoder is activated you get dialog only from the center channel with surprisingly good balance and effects in the L, R, Sub and surround speakers. It sounded better than a lot of discreet mixes I've heard.
No commentary and documentaries but ... no previews either! Each disc goes directly to a menu screen. The series is presented on 2 Blu-ray discs at almost 5 hours each. You can choose to play all or individual episodes with or without subtitles. Each episode starts with the series opening sequence, a brief "previously on" segment, chapters at commercial breaks and ends with credits. If you select the pop up menu it will highlight the name of the episode you are watching.
I look at it this way: Warner Bros gave us a 9 1/2 hour Green Lantern story, presented in amazing CG animation, with adult themes and unique characters that you really get to care about; all for less than $25. Highly recommended ... so enjoy!
on March 21, 2014
To say I was ecstatic to learn that this stellar series was receiving a Blu-ray release is a gross understatement.
One of the best superhero shows since the Justice League series, Green Lantern: The Animated Series [GLTAS] is an epic adventure. With seamless writing, profound characters, excellent voice acting, beautiful animation, and a memorable soundtrack, GLTAS is on the level of Avatar: The Last Airbender.
The Blu-ray does absolute justice to the quality of the show. High definition visuals and sounds combine to create the best audience experience. Everything is clear and pristine (unlike the DVD releases). This release is English-only with English subtitles, and there is an option for episode selection. Other than that, the Blu-ray is pretty sparse in terms of special features. Personally, I would love to see any and all behind-the-scenes extras added, but I am happy enough to have a HD release of this amazing show!
on April 10, 2014
When this series was announced, I was skeptical at first. The character of Green Lantern has had a bumpy road in adaptations, and the quality has had its ups and downs. That, coupled with the fact that the series used CGI animation instead of 2D made me doubt its quality. Then again, Bruce Timm was producing, so I decided to give it a chance when I could. It took a while, for different reasons, but I got to see a couple of episodes, and I was instantly hooked. I purchased the Blu Ray and watched the entire thing in a few days (I had to stop myself to watch it all in one go), and I'm ashamed I ever doubted it.
The Blu Ray contains the entire first and (sadly) only season of the show, for 26 episodes total. The series is divided into two discs, which separates both major story arcs within the season, 13 episodes each. The series doesn't follow the continuity of any of the previous iterations of Green Lantern, neither in the Superman/Justice League cartoons, nor the two animated movies, nor the unfairly maligned (but far inferior to this series) live-action film.
There's no origin story in this series, so I'll offer a brief synopsis. The Green Lantern corps are an intergalactic peace-keeping force, comprised of members of different species throughout the universe, led by a race of ancient aliens called the Guardians of the Universe. Their only weapon is a power ring capable of creating constructs of hard light, allowing each Green Lantern member to materialize out of pure energy any object they can imagine, making imagination almost the only limit to their power. The ring's energy comes from a lantern (hence the name), and they must be recharged periodically. The energy that stems from the lantern comes from willpower, which is harnessed and stored inside the Central Power Battery in the planet Oa, home of the Guardians.
Hal Jordan is an aircraft test pilot on planet Earth, who is unexpectedly summoned to the crash site of an alien spaceship. Jordan was summoned by the alien pilot's power ring. The pilot, a Green Lantern named Abin Sur, was mortally wounded and, as procedure requires, he sent his ring to find a suitable successor, someone with powerful will, and the ability to overcome fear. Jordan is then given the ring, and he becomes the Green Lantern of sector 2814, a portion of space which includes the Solar System.
As the series starts, Jordan has been already a member of the Green Lanterns for a while, and he's summoned to planet Oa in order to respond for some "less than orthodox" behavior (quite normal from him), and sees himself inmersed into a plot to assasinate the Green Lanterns. When the Guardians forbid him to investigate, he steals a powerful spaceship which allows him to travel much faster than by himself and he's joined in the trip by his mentor, friend and fan-favorite Kilowog, and the spaceship superintelligent AI, whom Hal dubs "Aya", and seems more than just a machine.
In his travel, he discovers the Green Lanterns are the target of a powerful hidden organization called the Red Lanters. They also have power rings, but these are powered by rage. The Red Lanterns are led by the evil Atrocitus, who wants revenge against the Guardians because he claims they destroyed his homeworld (I know, I know... Sinestro, Atrocitus... the Guardians should really name-check whose jimmies they rustle). One of the Red Lanterns, though, one named Razer, is not really an evil man, but Atrocitus' speechs fuel his rage due to a great loss in the past, so he fights our heroes. Later, when the Red Lanterns show their true colors, Razer reluctantly joins the Green Lanters in their quest.
The first story arc of the series deals with stopping the Red Lanterns, the second one with stopping the Anti Monitor, a threat to all existence who controls an army of relentless robots called the Manhunters, robots created by the Guardians but decomissioned when a failure in their programming led them to kill all living beings instead of protecting them. The show does a good job of ending the first arc in a way that's both open and closed enough that each story arc could be considered its own season, but both are still heavily connected.
On to the show's qualities. The visuals are simply spectacular, specially with the quality of the Blu Ray release. The animations are extremely well done, the visual style and art direction are fantastic, the action scenes are impressive and there are moments that are so visually striking that you'll swear you're watching a movie with an enormous budget. The storylines and characters are extremely well crafted, as the series does a fantastic job of drawing from the extensive and rich universe of the comics while adding their own original ideas, characters and twists. The series does not shy from emotion, which is important in a universe in which emotions grant so amazing powers.
The voice acting is also top notch. You'll be drawn into these characters, and the great voice acting helps a lot to believe in this universe, as the voices give life to the characters who are constantly growing throughout the series. The series gets better with each episode. The more you familiarize with the universe and its characters, the more daring the series becomes, taking risks that pay off while respecting the source material, for which the writers clearly have a great amount of love.
In short, there's nothing not to like about the series. The Blu Ray release has a couple of small details, though. The first one is that there are zero extras. You'll get only the episodes, and that's it, not even a trailer. The other one is that the language options are limited to English. English audio and English subtitles, which, by the way, are not perfect, as sometimes they will have some very noticeable mistakes.
The language thing is very unfortunate, because this series would benefit extremely from more exposure. Heck, I'd buy ten copies if it had spanish subtitles, because then my non-english speaking friends might be able to watch it. And this is really a shame, because it's a fantastic series, and it's practically a crime that it only got one season. The finale has good closure, it's left open but it doesn't end in a cliffhanger, yet it could have been so much more. There are many more stories to tell in this universe, and it's a terribly missed opportunity that the series was canceled.
What else can I say? Buy this series. Buy several copies and distribute them among your peers. Teach them English if you have to. More people need to see this and, hopefully, one day it might continue. That will be the brightest day.