Over the past 15 years, animation has been moving steadily away from “traditional” hand-drawn looks to more and more computer-generated images. Watching old episodes of Batman:The Animated Series, I am shocked at how “crude” most of the images seem. Then I sit back and realize that it is the rough look that I enjoyed so much when watching the series first-run. With Justice League on Cartoon Network, the images looked sleeker and crisper, but seemed to lack humanity.
Enter Justice League: The New Frontier.
This straight-to-DVD movie is based on Darwyn Cooke’s successful graphic novel of the same title. Cook wanted his story to center around the look and feel of the heroes of DC’s Silver Age. This was a time period that he grew up with and felt that some today’s versions of our favorite heroes had strayed too far from. His story is one of simple means: a threat forces our greatest heroes to band together to defeat it.
The movie is beautiful from an animation standpoint: great visuals, fluid motions, full of humanity. Like all of the DC animation projects over the past 15 years, the voice casting is spot on. David Boreanz has the right amount of cockiness for the role of Hal Jordan, aka The Green Lantern. Make no mistake: this story is more than the origin of the Justice League; it is the origin of Green Lantern and how he became the man he is now.
The DVD version watched is the 2-disc version. Its extras include:
- Audio Commentaries with Darwyn Cook and the production crew
- Documentary on the history of the Justice League — excellent documentary
- Sneak Peek at the next project, Batman: Gotham Knight
- Documentary on the Super-Villain
- Comic Book Commentary from Darwyn Cook
- 3 episodes of Justice League Unlimited aimed at highlighting certain themes in New Frontier
My advice: watch this for great animation and story, particularly if you grew up on heroes and mythology.