Batman Unlimited: Animal Instincts appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 1.78:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. The image consistently looked solid.
Sharpness worked well. The movie always came across as tight and well-defined, so don’t expect any signs of softness. Jaggies and moiré effects also remained absent, and the image lacked edge haloes or artifacts. In addition, print flaws were a non-factor and didn’t appear at any point.
In terms of colors, Instincts went with a somewhat dark palette. The tones looked solid, as they showed positive richness and vivacity. Blacks were deep and tight, while shadows showed nice clarity. Across the board, the image worked well.
I thought the DTS-HD MA 5.1 soundtrack of Instincts opened up the comic book material moderately well but it didn’t impress. The forward channels brought out the majority of the material and became the focal point. Music presented strong stereo imaging, while effects cropped up in logical spots and blended well.
The surrounds threw in occasional elements, but they didn’t do a whole lot. Action gave us a smattering of involving components and periodically brought the material to life. However, much of the movie emphasized the forward channels and didn’t create a particularly involving mix.
Audio quality always satisfied. Speech was warm and natural, without edginess or other issues. Music sounded lively and full, while effects displayed good definition. Those elements seemed accurate and dynamic. The soundtrack merited a “B”.
As we move to the set’s extras, we launch with Penguin: High Society Criminal. In this 12-minute, 51-second featurette, we hear from screenwriter Heath Corson, Supernatural executive producer/comic book writer Adam Glass, fan/son Aidan Glass, and DC Comics Animation creative director Mike Carlin. We get history/character profile of the Penguin and a few quick notes about the other members of the “Animalitia” Though brief, this becomes a fairly enjoyable overview.
10 ””DC Nation” Shorts fill a total of 23 minutes, 32 seconds. We get “Justice League of Animals: Snack Run” (2:23), “The Bat Man of Shanghai: Cat Woman” (2:17). “The Bat Man of Shanghai: Bane” (2:17), “The Bat Man of Shanghai: Bat Man” (2:17), “Plastic Man: The Bat and the Eel” (2:23), “Super Pets: Joke’s On You” (2:23), “Super Pets: Have Your Cake and B’Dg Too” (2:23), “Super Pets: The League of Just Us Cows” (2:23), “Super Pets: Krypto Vs. Streaky” (2:23) and “Super Pets: World’s Finest Bark” (2:23).
The “Shanghai” shorts place Batman in 1930s Asia and create a highly stylized feel. All three connect to create one reasonably interesting little tale. The other seven go for a heavily cartoony tone and emphasize broad comedy. They’re goofy but fun.
Two episodes of Batman: The Brave and the Bold follow. We get “Super-Batman of Planet X!” (23:02) and “Gorillas in Our Midst” (22:36). The Brave and the Bold series offers a campy, semi-satirical take on its heroes and proves to be surprisingly winning. It’s a more creative endeavor in the vein of the 1960s Batman TV series and these episodes create good entertainment.
The disc opens with an ad for Lego Ninjago Rebooted: Battle for New Ninjago City. We also find trailers for Teen Titans Go!, Lego DC Superheros – Justice League Vs. Bizarro League and Tom and Jerry: Spyquest.
A second disc provides a DVD Copy of Instincts. It includes five of the “DC Nation Shorts” and the Penguin featurette along with two different episodes of Batman: The Brave and the Bold - we find “Night of the Batmen!” and “Requiem for a Scarlet Speedster”. The fact the Bold shows don’t repeat gives the DVD added value.
With Batman Unlimited: Animal Instincts, we get a lackluster adventure. The movie emphasizes superficial action and fails to deliver an interesting story. The Blu-ray brings us excellent visuals along with generally good audio and some decent bonus materials. Even when I account for the film’s more kid-oriented feel, Instincts disappoints.