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Batman Year One Animated Movie to Have Catwoman Short
February 22, 2011

The Daily Blam! is reporting that, after the next original DC animated movie Green Lantern: Emerald Knights, Warner Home Video will release Batman: Year One, based on the classic Frank Miller graphic novel. No release date was given; since Emerald Knights comes out in June, it would be closer to the end of 2011 or spring 2012, I’m guessing.

As expected, the accompanying DC Showcase short films are done; they have no plans to do more since the collection Superman/Shazam!: The Return of Black Adam didn’t do well. But first, there’s one exception: a Catwoman short to go with the Batman: Year One movie.

I’m not sure why the studio was expecting to be able to sell the shorts on their own; I thought it made much more sense to use them as bonus features to drive sales of the Blu-rays and Special Edition DVDs and as a way to judge interest in other DCU characters. They were my favorite extra, anyway.

15 Responses  
Keith Bowden writes:  

I dunno… I think the Superman/Shazam! disc bombed because a) the main feature was just an extra-length short b) the main feature really sucked (VERY disappointing) and c) there aren’t enough shorts made yet to justify trying to sell them as a separate disc. (I enjoyed the Green Arrow and Spectre shorts, but Jonah Hex was just a bad story and very questionable even as a PG kids feature.) But Batman Year One sounds great – and a Catwoman short is the perfect accompaniment!

 
Greg Manuel writes:  

They are really going about this the wrong way, when it comes to adapting multi-part comic book series…

 
Johanna writes:  

How else would you do it, though? I don’t think there’s a good model for what needs to be a cartoon miniseries.

 
Greg Manuel writes:  

I think the model would have to be a flexible one, but I think it can be done, It might depend on how long the series is, and perhaps even, how much content and detail lies in each individual issue.

On average, I think a single comic book story (20 – 22pgs, what-have-you) can be told in 12 minutes of animated film. In this case, given how much is going on, I’d devote about an hour’s time for Batman #404-405, and call that Part One, because you’ve got a great built-in cliffhanger with Batman trapped in the tenement. Then you wait a while, and release an adaptation of Batman #406-407 with another hour’s run time and call that Part Two.

Then wait a while longer, and release both in a special collector’s package. And then if you REALLY wanna throw out some options, a special collector’s package with the graphic novel and a maquette or something. ;)

 
Keith Bowden writes:  

So I guess you guys absolutely hate the adaptations of 12-part mini-series? :) I’m thinking Batman: Year One will be really good because they have more room than usual…

 
Greg Manuel writes:  

Oh not at all Keith…I enjoy them for what they are. I just have a special affinity for when a comic book is adapted almost verbatim to an animated format, brought about in particular by Dragon Ball and the 2nd season of Marvel Action Universe: The Fantastic Four. I realize it’s not always feasible, but I love it when it happens, and can’t help but see where it could be possible.

 
Johanna writes:  

I wish they turned DC Showcase into an ongoing series, where each episode was quality in an old-fashioned anthology structure. One episode might be a stand-alone, then a series of four, all based on what the story required. But no one would do something so uncertain these days.

 
Jim Kosmicki writes:  

the Showcase shorts were often my favorite part of the disc, not just my favorite extra.

I’m not surprised that the collections didn’t sell that well since Shazam! is not a selling point, and hasn’t been since its very brief run on Saturday morning in the 70’s. DC keeps looking back to the 1940s popularity, forgetting that a lot of characters were popular in the past and just don’t have what it takes for today’s audience. I love the Marvel Family and have bought all the various versions over the years, but I recognize that I’m in the minority.

 
Grant writes:  

I don’t really mind the attempt to adapt a 12 part story, since the average comic only takes about 10 minutes to read anyways. It’s more a question about “which” story. I can think of enough things in Year One that will get cut just off the top of my head that will make it watered down enough for me not to enjoy, let alone the things I could find going through it issue by issue that I’ve forgotten. But, if they did keep the story intact, I think it would be a far easier story to tell than All Star Superman given that it‘s plot is a simple one.

However, since a lot of Year One was used in Batman Begins, the story itself seems redundant now. I’m not even a died in the wool Bat fan, and I can think of about a dozen Bat stories that would be more kid appropriate, more colorful and more toon format friendly. I mean, what next? A toon of Batman: The Cult?

I really enjoyed the Superman/Shazam toon as well as the other shorts on the disc (although I agree that the Jonah Hex segment was pretty adult, as was Spectre for that matter). But I agree with Mr. Bowden’s “point A”. I was puzzled when the Superman/Shazam segment ended after 20 minutes. I watched it streamed on Netflix and I was unaware it was one of several shorts.

Johanna, I like that idea. I’m assuming you’re talking a TV series? If so, then I might be more optimistic than you are in your last sentence. I think the Brave and the Bold cartoon is a good example of someone at WB taking chances.

 
Thom writes:  

Yeah…it seemed to me the flaw of the shorts collection is that it only had one fresh short. I have two of the other shorts alreaddy… so there wasn’t much there to make it an “exciting purchase.”

 
Don MacPherson writes:  

I think another reason that the Showcase shorts are being dropped is that they pose a challenge in terms of broadcast resale. The full-length movies can easily be sold to air on cartoon and kids’ specialty channels — I’ve seen a few run on Teletoon here in Canada — but how do you package a 10-minute short for a system that’s generally built on half-hour blocks?

 
Green Lantern: Emerald Knights Box Art, Special Features Announced » DVDs Worth Watching writes:  

[…] A sneak peek at the next DC Universe animated movie, Batman: Year One […]

 
Tlaloc writes:  

The reason the Shazam! video failed wasn’t because it was Shazam! that was headlining, but because of the shorts. Their simply wasn’t enough shorts to warrant releasing a whole DVD.

 
Green Lantern: Emerald Knights » DVDs Worth Watching writes:  

[…] 10-minute sneak peek of the next DC animated film, Batman: Year One, which is mostly voices over comic panels and layout sketches, assembled into a kind of motion […]

 
Batman: Year One » DVDs Worth Watching writes:  

[…] The return of the DC Showcase line of original shorts with “Catwoman” (15 minutes). The animation quality on this […]

 

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