Starring: Jerry O’Connell, Sean Astin, Rosario Dawson, Nathan Fillion, Christopher Gorham, Matt Lanter, Sumalee Montano, Shemar Moore, Jason O’Mara, Sam Witwer
Written By: Heath Corson
Directed By: Ethan Spaulding
Studio: Warner Bros. Animation
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With Atlantis prepared to go to war with the surface world, only one man can stop it. Arthur Curry, a man with strange powers who has no idea of his royal lineage…gets thrown into events that will change both his and the people of Atlantis’ destiny forever.
“Justice League: Throne of Atlantis” is based off of the New 52 graphic novel of the same name by Geoff Jones and was originally released in 2015 on Blu-ray, DVD and digitally and this commemorative release sees the film receive the 4K treatment with Blu-ray and a digital code as well as a slew of added special features.
“Throne of Atlantis” is the direct sequel to “Justice League: War” which contained the origin and formation of the DC Animated Universe’s version of the Justice League. With the possibility of the existence of the lost kingdom of Atlantis, an attack on an American submarine which was close to Atlantean borders and could have possibly breached Atlantis’s magical protective barrier brings Cyborg and the Justice League into the investigation. The problem is that the heroes that promised to band together to face larger threats either can’t be contacted or don’t quite seem to take the Justice League seriously yet. When Cyborg goes to investigate, he is attacked and nearly killed thus prompting the Justice League to take this threat more seriously.
What is discovered is that Atlantis does indeed exist and they are preparing to go to war with the surface world. It is also revealed that the young man who recently lost his father and who seems to be able to speak to marine life and is somewhat resistant to most damage stemming from the dozens of fights that he’s gotten himself into. This young man goes by the name of Arthur Curry AKA Aquaman and he doesn’t know just who he actually is just yet. When he’s attacked in his home by Atlanean forces and the warrior woman from Atlantis Mera arrives to help him out, he learns of his true family origin and that he is the rightful heir to the throne of Atlantis….but there’s just one problem with that, his half-brother Orm is behind the plot to attack the surface and take the throne for himself.
Arthur and the Justice League’s paths cross and an alliance is formed in order to prevent World War 3. With their help Arthur stops the catastrophe from occurring and thus gains the throne of Atlantis as well as (reluctantly) the name of Aquaman. He is offered membership within the League and offers to help restore the damage done between the two civilizations.
With the release of the live-action “Aquaman” movie only weeks away, I can understand why DC would want to put this release out there as a Commemorative Edition only three years after its release. Not only does it give a comic-accurate version of the current comic book character but it’s a really well-written and directed animated feature. Aquaman was the butt of jokes in the comic book and animation realm for decades thanks to the 1950s/60s version of the character in the comics and the “Super-Friends” cartoon. In the 90s he received a drastic update which saw him grow out his hair, grow a beard, lose a hand and gain a hand harpoon (yes the 90s were a dark and weird time for comics), but thanks to the revamped version of the DC universe in the New 52, Arthur Curry finally got the perfect mix of classic look and badass modern vibe. He was now much closer to a character like Superman as he was someone like Lobo. “Throne of Atlantis” does an excellent job of showing this version of Aquaman all the while giving him a proper origin and introduction into the DC Animated Universe. He goes from downtrodden bar-hopping fisherman to noble king of the sea with respectful progression of character.
One of my favorite scenes in the movie was when everyone finally came together and to Arthur’s rescue and Arthur saw just exactly what the Justice League is about and how powerful they are combined as well as that they fight on the side of good. Every member of the team got a cool intro piece that showcased their powers as they destroyed the evil Trenchers who were out to bring in Arthur.
As with all of the DC Animated releases in 4K, the animation looks amazing. “Justice League: Throne of Atlantis-Commemorative Edition” has one of the brighter color palettes of the bunch and the bright colors of Aquaman, Mera and the rest of the Atlaneans pop off the screen like a Joel Shumacher Batman flick. The Commemorative Edition also includes special features such as film featurettes, the movie’s comic-con panel from 2014, the movie soundtrack, a feature on scoring the film plus many more including bonus cartoons and upcoming sneak peeks.
“Justice League: Throne of Atlantis-Commemorative Edition” is a great addition to your 4K collection and has enough extra content as well as a digital movie code that merits a repurchase if you own the older release. This is also a great introduction to Aquaman if unfamiliar with the character prior to the live-action movie release and for fans of Aquaman…I’m looking at you Chad…a great addition to your Aquaman collection.
“Justice League: Throne of Atlantis” Aquaman: The New King Featurette
Audio Commentary with Mike Carlin and Heath Corson
Villains of the Deep Featurette
Scoring Atlantis: The Sound of the Deep Featurette
Robin and Nightwing Bonus Sequence
“Throne of Atlantis” 2014 NY Comic-Con Panel
“Throne of Atlantis” soundtrack
A Sneak Peek at DC Universe’s Next Animated Movie: “Reign of the Supermen”
A Preview of DC Universe’s Animated Movie: “The Death of Superman”
From the DC Comics Vault-4 Bonus Cartoons
DTS-HD Master Audio English 5.1 Dolby Digital
English SDH, French and Spanish Subtitles
4K Ultra HD: 2160p Ultra High Definition 16×9 1.78:1
Blu-ray: 1080p High Definition 16×9 1.78:1
Bottom Line: “Throne of Atlantis” doubles as a Justice League first mission as well as the origin of Aquaman. Aquaman finally gets some respect as he kicks ass and becomes the king of the sea.
Running Time: 72 Mins