Justice League: Throne of Atlantis appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 1.78:1 on this 4K UHD Disc. As expected, the image appeared positive.
Across the board, sharpness looked strong. Only a few minor soft spots materialized, so the majority of the flick felt accurate and precise.
Issues with jagged edges or moiré effects failed to materialize, and the image lacked edge haloes. In addition, no signs of source defects appeared.
Throne boasted solid colors. The film used a palette that favored greens and blues to suit the underwater settings, and these exhibited fine vivacity and life. The 4K UHD’s HDR brought out more range and impact from the colors.
Blacks were dark and deep, while shadows showed good clarity. I found little about which to complain in this positive transfer.
I thought the DTS-HD MA 5.1 soundtrack of Throne opened up the comic book material well. This wasn’t a particularly ambitious piece, but it added pizzazz to the program.
The forward channels brought out the majority of the material. Music presented strong stereo imaging, while effects cropped up in logical spots and blended well.
The surrounds also contributed good information. For the most part, these reinforced the forward channels, but they also contributed a fair amount of unique material.
These instances mainly occurred during storms or bigger action scenes. The back speakers brought out a nice sense of space and environment.
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. All of this led to a positive presentation that deserved a “B+”.
How did the 4K UHD compare to the Blu-ray version? Audio remained identical, as both discs provided the same DTS-HD MA 5.1 material.
Visuals showed an uptick, but not a huge one, largely due to the semi-crude nature of the source. These straight-to-video affairs don’t boast great animation quality, so some inherent flatness results.
As such, the 4K didn’t demonstrate obvious growth in terms of sharpness, and blacks didn’t look noticeably darker either. The 4K UHD’s HDR gave the colors and whites a boost, though. These weren’t enough for me to raise the “B+” I gave the Blu-ray to “A”-level, but the 4K did offer a mildly superior image.
No extras appear on the 4K UHD itself, but the included Blu-ray copy brings a nice selection of materials, and we open with an audio commentary from writer Heath Corson and creative director Mike Carlin. Both sit together for this running, screen-specific look at story/characters, the adaptation of the source comics, cast and performances.
Don’t expect a lot of substance here, as the commentary tends toward lackluster remarks. We get a few rudimentary notes, but Carlin and Corson tend to stick with fairly banal statements about what they like. This becomes a disappointing chat.
Petty complaints category: Carlin consistently calls our lead character “Ack-waman”, not “Awk-waman”. This gets annoying quickly.
Some featurettes follow, and we get The New King. It goes for 14 minutes, 50 seconds and offers info from Corson, “DC All Access” host Hector Navarro, and actors Sam Witwer and Matt Lanter.
“King” looks at the character’s roots, development and traits. We get some decent basics but “King” lacks a ton of substance.
With the 11-minute, 33-second Villains of the Deep, we hear from Carlin, UCLA Professor of Psychology Dr. Benjamin Karney and producer James Tucker. As implied by the title, we learn of Aquaman’s enemies here, and “Deep” offers a short but enjoyable overview.
Sound of the Deep fills 30 minutes, five seconds with notes from Tucker, composer Frederik Wiedmann, musician Chris Tedesco, orchestrator/conductor Hyesu Yang, recording engineer John Rodd, and conductor Russell Steinberg. “Sound” examines the music of Throne and it becomes a largely positive take on the topic.
A Bonus Sequence arrives next, and “Robin and Nightwing” takes up three minutes, 50 seconds. Introduced by Tucker, we see a scene that was omitted from the original script but later animated to add to the disc. The “Sequence” itself lasts a mere 45 seconds but it’s fun to see.
After this we find a 2014 NY Comic-Con Panel. It lasts 26 minutes, 44 seconds and includes Corson, Tucker, Lanter, character designer Phil Bourassa, and dialogue director Andrea Romano.
The participants discuss character design, animation, cast and performances, story, and related areas. Most of these panels tend to become promotional fluff, but this one proves to be fairly informative.
Within “From the DC Comics Vault”, we get four bonus cartoons. Here we locate two episodes of Batman: The Brave and the Bold via “Aquaman’s Outrageous Adventure!” (22:55) and “Evil Under the Sea!” (22:53) as well as Aquaman’s “Menace of the Black Manta and the Rampaging Reptile-Men” (14:41) plus Justice League Unlimited’s “Far From Home” (22:59).
Three of the four offer modern-day work, but Aquaman goes back to 1970s Saturday morning animation. That makes it unintentionally amusing and a fun “time capsule” effort, especially for those of us who grew up with that fare.
The others work better as “real”, non-ironic/nostalgic entertainment. In particular, I always enjoy the comedic tone of Bold, so those episodes work best.
Under Throne of Atlantis Soundtrack, we get an alternate audio track. It gives us the movie in Dolby 2.0 without dialogue. That’s not of interest to me, but maybe others will enjoy it.
We get two “Sneak Peeks”, the first of which examines The Death of Superman. In this seven-minute, six-second promo, we hear from executive producer James Tucker, co-director Jake Castorena and voice director Wes Gleason.
They cover story/characters as well as cast and performances. It’s not an unpleasant advertisement, but it’s an ad nonetheless.
A Sneak Peek at Reign of the Supermen runs nine minutes, 33 seconds and features info from Carlin, Gleason, director Sam Liu, screenwriters Tim Sheridan and Jim Krieg, Warner Home Video EVP Jeff Brown, and actors Cress Williams, Cameron Monaghan, Rebecca Romijn, Rainn Wilson and Jerry O’Connell.
It provides basics about Reign - the sequel to Death - and exists as mainly as an advertisement. It does its job.
The disc opens with ads for Aquaman (2018) and Constantine: City of Demons. We also find trailers for Death of Superman and Teen Titans Go! To the Movies.
With Justice League: Throne of Atlantis, Aquaman gets an animated revival that allows him to prosper. The movie mixes different heroes well and becomes a lively, exciting adventure. The 4K UHD provides very good picture and audio as well as a nice selection of supplements. Throne offers one of the better DC animated tales, but I can’t claim the 4K UHD does much to better the Blu-ray.
To rate this film visit the prior review of JUSTICE LEAGUE: THRONE OF ATLANTIS