Rupert Pupkin Speaks: Warner Archive Grab Bag: YOUNG JUSTICE Season One on Blu-ray ""

Monday, September 15, 2014

Warner Archive Grab Bag: YOUNG JUSTICE Season One on Blu-ray

I have to credit Warner Archive for shoring up my interest in Super Hero cartoons that I never necessarily thought I'd have an interest in. Previous to this, I've discussed how I was quite taken by both their BATMAN: THE BRAVE AND THE BOLD Season 1 Blu-ray (Season 2 just came out as well btw) and their GREEN LANTERN Animated Series Blu-ray sets. Had they not cropped up in WAC's stable of stellar Blu-ray releases, I'd never have given them a second look. But after hearing them raved about on by the fellas on the Warner Archive Podcast, I was completely turned around and came to see these series as the fascinating and creative stories that they were.
One thing I love about the show is the interesting structural choices with regards to story structure. There a a lot of episodes which thrust the characters into a situation where they (and we as the viewers) have no idea what's going on and they slowly figure things out. It's this kind of "trust" in storytelling that is very uncommon for animated shows of this type. It is trusting in that it places trust in its audience to stick with the stories in good faith that all will be revealed. This is especially rewarding in a show aimed at younger folks and with a cast of "kids" as it were. These youngsters are going through all the things you might expect them to from young love and angst to general insecurities. The catch of course it that they are all young superheroes who are coming to terms with their abilities. Let's do a little roll call. You've got Kid Flash (runs really fast), Robin (like Batman of course), Aqualad (like Aquaman, but with a rig that allows him to use streams of water as weapons), Miss Martian (can fly and has mental telepathy powers), Superboy (like Superman but more grumpy) and Artemis (an archer a la Green Arrow). They are quite a dynamic team and throughout the first season they are constantly put into situations that would seem beyond their league, but they somehow find a way to save the day. I don't mean that to sound all tidy and bland because it isn't. There is a lot of emotion in the show which is a perfect fit considering the ages of the team's members. The arcs of the characters take some unexpected turns and there is a good deal of peril that makes for fun, suspenseful viewing wherein the stakes are properly set up and feel real in the midst of lighter moments (lots of solid villains). It's a great show overall, with sharp writing and voice acting. It features the likes of Danica McKellar ("Winnie Cooper" herself from THE WONDER YEARS), and a group of others I didn't know previously but who I came to enjoy very much. The supporting cast and guests includes such titans as Edward Asner, Rob Lowe, Bruce Greenwood, Clancy Brown, James Remar, Danny Trejo, Adrian Pasdar, and Alan Tudyk among others. It's a great show for kids I think in that it pushes some boundaries a little, but never goes to far into extremely scary or sad territory (in my opinion). My 5 year old girl was hooked immediately (I think she enjoyed the girl characters quite a bit), but your mileage may vary with your kids. I eagerly anticipate season 2 on Blu-ray as these episodes look quite excellent in this format.

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