JLA Adventures: Trapped in Time Review

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Studio: DC Comics, DC Entertainment, Warner Bros. Animation
Running Time: 52 mins

Verdict: 2.5 / 5

Lex Luthor has managed to get himself frozen (Captain America style) only to be woken up a century later! Finding himself in a world that he does not know, a world without his Legion of Doom, Lex takes it upon himself to travel back into time, re-uniting with his allies in an attempt to make sure the Justice League of America never forms.

By now you are probably thinking, “Wow this is amazing, considering all DC’s current animation releases”. Unfortunately, this film is aimed at the younger target market. So all the blood and gore you might have hoped for has been disqualified from this release. It is definitely a family friendly adventure. The main protagonists are youthful superheroes from the Legion of Super-Heroes; Karate Kid and Dawnstar take the center stage as they follow Lex back into the past in order to protect the superheroes that will mould their future.

The story is really poor and certain things are not sequential at all. Even if it is aimed at a younger market, surely the standard should not be dropped? Firstly, it is considered to be a Justice League film but they are not really the main focus of the film. It is more of a Legion of Doom film. But who is going to buy a DVD with a ridiculous looking Solomon Grundy and Bizarro on it right?

Yes, the art in this one is not exactly great. In fact, it is far from being great. Heroes and villains alike are represented poorly with proportions that seem to shift each time the characters are in a new frame. Solomon Grundy looked like a zombie that that had a facelift which left him without eyelids. Karate Kid looks like he belongs in the set of Nickelodeon’s Avatar and Aquaman looked like an afterthought. You end up have a good chuckle as well once you see the hairdos on Robin and Cyborg. Even my toddler asked me what is wrong with Robin’s hair. The art is really poor. There is no way around it. We are in 2014 yet animation from DC’s 90’s television series is far superior to this!

The voice acting is okay for the most part. Once again it does Karate Kid no favours, as he is voiced by Dante Basco the voice actor for Prince Zuko of Nickelodeon’s Avatar. Then Diedrich Bader puts on the cowl once again, giving the viewer the Brave and the Bold Batman voice. Peter Jessop does a great job voicing Superman, whilst the man known for being the voice of the Hulk, Fred Tatasciore, ends up voicing Lex Luthor. He manages to prove that he is the veteran in the voicing cast. He pulls off the character of Lex Luthor quite well.

JLA Adventures: Trapped in Time has its moments. There are some great action sequences and some good laughs, but these moments are few and far between. This comes as a result of the story being so weak and predictable. The only time that the story was not predictable was when it was not sequential! These blunders cannot be excused unfortunately, even if your target market is the 5 to 10 year age group. Will it entertain the youthful watcher? Yes. Will it be a movie that your kid will ever want to watch again? I highly doubt it. DC and Warner may have hurt themselves a little on this one. It is still a passable effort, the only problem is that it is not memorable.

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