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Category:    Home > Reviews > Superhero > Animation > Action > Adventure > Comedy > Demons > Shorts > Educational > Feminism > Nature > Civi > Justice League Vs. Teen Titans (2016/DC Comics/Warner Blu-ray w/DVD)/Me... Jane (2016 compilation/Scholastic/Cinedigm DVD)/Wabbit: Hare-Raising Tales (2015 animated TV Series/Warner DVD set)

Justice League Vs. Teen Titans (2016/DC Comics/Warner Blu-ray w/DVD)/Me... Jane (2016 compilation/Scholastic/Cinedigm DVD)/Wabbit: Hare-Raising Tales (2015 animated TV Series/Warner DVD set)

Picture: B & C+/C+/C+ Sound: B+ & C+/C+/C+ Extras: B*/C/D Main Programs: C+

And now for the latest child-aimed releases...

In saying that, I hoped that Justice League Vs. Teen Titans (2016) would live up to its name and come up with a story that had the teams pitted up against each other in a clever way. Of course, it would not be the original Titans from the 1960s, but the new version from the animated TV series and I could live with that, though a match-up of the 1960s version would have been more interesting. What we get in this straight-to-video feature instead is a new origins story for the Titans (we never hear about any earlier version) as a parental Batman sends a latter-day Robin to meet the current team to become part of it. We won't even get into how ludicrous Robin's use of nuclear weapons casually is a stunt this release never recovers from.

Then we still do not get that promised match-up, but a story not for children about demons, the supernatural, death worship, hell and murder! This is rated PG-13, but really leans towards being an 'R' as far as I was concerned and also serves to promote the Titans (and toy lines) more than anything else, so I felt a bit had after the long 78 minutes were over. After all, since the characters are out there making all kinds of money and being as popular as they are, did we really need another origins story, especially one this dark and goofy?

Extras include Digital HD Ultraviolet Copy for PC, PC portable and other cyber iTunes capable devices, two episodes of other DC animated TV series related to the Titans, 3 featurettes in ''Growing Up Titan'' which covers the history of the franchise very well, character-based ''Heroes and Villains - Raven'' and ''Heroes and Villains - Trigon'', the DVD version and * our special edition comes with an exclusive Robin figure.

Me... Jane (2016) is the latest Scholastic shorts compilation, now being issued by Cinedigm, with four shorts at 48 minutes altogether related to able-bodied women going out in the world and being successful; an idea as vital and progressive as ever. The title short is about Jane Goodall, the now famous doctor, environmentalist, pro-animal and pro-nature preservationist who also understands the history and fragility of it all. We also get Joan Allen narrating I Could Do That!: Esther Morris Gets Women To Vote, Who Says Women Can't Be Doctors? and Zooey Deschanel; narrating Players In Pigtails. A nice set, albeit shorter than I would have liked, is still something special and worth considering.

Extras include a Goodall interview with Patrick McDonnell and enlarged captions.

Finally we have Wabbit: Hare-Raising Tales (2015) from a new animated TV Series with oversimplified artwork that pits Bugs Bunny against Yosemite Sam, et al, in segments that last roughly 10 minutes at a time. With 26 episodes in all, I found it repetitive, thought the animation was some of the poorest for a major Warner release ever and was not even impressed with the limited, even joyless, slap-dash voice work. Who greenlit this one? The wit and fun is just not here and that makes one wonder who this show is meant for. Its too dull for kids and too limited for adults. They don't even do anything clever with the title, so that sadly gives us a curio at best that goes nowhere and is choppy as choppy can be.

There are surprisingly no extras.

The 1080p 1.78 X 1 digital High Definition image transfer on the Justice Blu-ray looks pretty good throughout with no major flaws, but I did not find any of it stunning or demo-quality either, yet that is an improvement over several of the animated DC Comics Blu-rays that had banding issues or were just lackluster. The anamorphically enhanced DVD version is weaker, but passable.

The 1.33 X 1 image on the four Scholastic shorts look good, but we do get a little bit of video noise, cross color, staircasing and detail flaws here and there. The anamorphically enhanced 1.78 X 1 image on Wabbit may also be cleaner, yet it is so flat and dull that the 2 DVDs are no better than the other DVDs covered here.

The DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 5.1 lossless mix on Justice is the big surprise here, very well mixed and presented, recorded with superior fidelity and offering playback that embarrasses more than a few live action features. The lossy Dolby Digital 5.1 DVD version is no match, but again passable.

The lossy Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo on the Scholastic shorts play well with only slight limits from the age of the audio recordings. Otherwise, just fine. That leaves the lossy Dolby Digital 5.1 on the Wabbit episodes underwhelming and a disappointment.

- Nicholas Sheffo


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