JLA Adventures: Trapped in Time was a Target-only exclusive beginning in January. Now, the original-to-DVD animated movie will have an official wide release today, May 20. There’s no difference between the two versions, except it now may be easier to find.
JLA Adventures: Trapped in Time is a short cartoon movie, running just over 52 minutes. The Justice League — Superman (Peter Jessop), Wonder Woman (Grey DeLisle Griffin), Flash (Jason Spisak), Aquaman (Liam O’Brien), Batman (Diedrich Bader), Robin (Jack DeSena), Cyborg (Avery Kidd Waddell) — face off against the Legion of Doom — Lex Luthor (Fred Tatasciore), Solomon Grundy (Kevin Michael Richardson), Black Manta (also Kevin Michael Richardson), Cheetah (Erica Luttrell), Bizarro (Michael David Donovan), Toyman (Tom Gibis), Captain Cold (Corey Burton), and Gorilla Grodd (Travis Willingham). The bad guys have a plan to use satellites to freeze part of the Earth, so the movie opens with plenty of action.
The animation level is about that of a Saturday-morning cartoon (if they still had those), although it’s exciting to see the classic heroes heroing in a style acceptable to everyone. There’s no worry about events being too grim or violent here, in contrast to the current comics and the PG-13 DCU animated movie line. This can be viewed by the whole family. To make up for sometimes choppy animation, there’s a lot of dramatic lighting and colors.
Dawnstar (Laura Bailey) and Karate Kid (Dante Basco), in the far future, are inspired by the League’s past actions and impatient to start their own hero careers. She has tracking powers and wings, while he bashes things and has the ability to find any flaw. They’re eager to become full-fledged members of the Legion of Super-Heroes, which leads to them freeing a villain and setting the main plot in motion.
The Time Trapper allows the Legion of Doom to prevent Superman from being raised by the Kents by traveling back to when his spaceship crashed on Earth. This leads into a lengthy heroes vs. villains battle sequence where the baby at one point is treated like a football. I found it amusing.
Unfortunately, this storyline means that there’s a significant section of the film where there’s no Justice League, which gets a bit slow. But there’s a lot of Super Friends flavor, including a cameo by Wendy, Marvin, and Wonder Dog. Some fans might quibble with some of the characterizations — Robin is awfully, stubbornly eager, while Dawnstar has too much of the Magic Native for my taste — while others might find that they don’t get to see enough of their favorites, with so much happening in a relatively short time. Still, it was fun to see an old-fashioned adventure.
The only extras are two cartoon episodes: The All-New Super Friends Hour “The Mysterious Time Creatures” and Super Friends “Elevator to Nowhere”. (The studio provided a review copy.)
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