Batman Beyond: The Complete Series (Blu-ray Review)

Last year finally saw the release of Batman: The Animated Series – The Complete Series on Blu-ray. Completely remastered and featuring a few extra features to go along with some collectible Funko Pop! Toys in its deluxe packaging, this was a real treat for fans. It also meant Batman Beyond would inevitably receive similar treatment as well. Well, it’s been a year, and here we are. The acclaimed animated series from BTAS creators Bruce Timm, Paul Dini and Alan Burnett, representing a cyberpunk take on the Dark Knight has now arrived in full-on Blu-ray, complete with deluxe packaging, some next special features, and almost all 52 episodes remastered, along with the uncut version of Batman Beyond: Return of Joker. So, it’s now time to step back into Neo-Gotham.


Fittingly, the pilot episode of the series begins in 2019, where Bruce Wayne (Kevin Conroy) finally realizes it’s time to retire from being Batman. Most of his enemies and allies have either died or retired, and he’s pushed himself far past his prime. Twenty years later, enter Terry McGinnis (Will Friedle), a high school kid and former troublemaker who eventually crosses paths with an older Bruce. After proving himself, Terry is allowed to assume the mantle of Batman, with Bruce’s support. We meet new and old enemies for this younger Batman to deal with, along with allies such as Max (Cree Summer) and Commissioner Barbara Gordon (Angie Harmon).

This Blu-ray set includes all 52 episodes of the series. It also contains Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker – The Movie – The Director’s Cut

Batman: The Animated Series is one of my favorite cartoons of all time, let alone one of my ideal representations of Batman, who has been my favorite superhero (recent years of over-exposure have left me a little cold on the caped crusader, but I digress). To be upfront, I don’t quite have the same esteem for Batman Beyond. Additionally, and full disclosure, if WB wants to send me a review copy the week of release, well, I don’t have time to watch all 52 episodes again, just to see how much my opinion has changed in the last 20 years. I will, eventually, but here we are now. All of this is a way of me saying Batman Beyond is undoubtedly impressive, but it doesn’t thrill me in the same way BTAS does.

That’s not to say this series isn’t worthwhile. Taking a cue from the increasing popularity of anime, cyberpunk, and various sci-fi themes involving technology and its effects on society, Timm, Dini, and Burnett were able to create a unique world playing as one familiar to the Gotham from before, and fresh enough to present something different. For whatever cheesiness that comes from seeing the series grapple with being hip for the kids of 1999-2001, it also found a way to incorporate some darker elements revolving around the emotions and personal anxieties of damaged characters, which is important for said younger audience.

The show also looks great. Compared to other animated iterations of Batman that have left me cold in the animation department, Batman Beyond has the benefit of taking its cues from what worked so well in BTAS and updates that style. You still get the character designs and fine blend of gothic and noir-infused choices to inform the angles and direction, but the retro feel has been amplified to incorporate the futuristic take on Gotham. It results in a show that feels familiar as well as different in all the right ways.

Having sampled a few episodes so far, one can take in all the effort that went into making a series that worked for fans of Batman, while trying to do something hipper and mature to a point. It shows in the writing and music. For every over-the-top guitar riff or teen angst moment, there are considerations made for the characters we follow, allowing for introspection on the part of the elder Bruce Wayne and the young upstart that is Terry. There’s a lot to enjoy about seeing that dynamic play out, along with the ways the series calls back to earlier times of Batman, mixed with what’s new.

While the show took a bit more time to catch on with audiences, it has developed a strong following in the years since its 3-season run from 1999 to 2001. It managed to win a couple of Emmys in the process as well. There’s a lot of fan love out there for Batman Beyond, and it will be an excellent series for those fans and new ones to explore, with this chance to revisit the show in its entirety.

Additional Note: Batman Beyond: The Return of Joker is a terrific Batman movie. It presents a grand standalone story that fits right into this universe but adds a layer of intensity. The feature was initially deemed so violent that it had to be edited heavily. Fortunately, the Director’s Cut was eventually released, which is what is presented here. The film has excellent voice work, including Mark Hamill’s terrific take on the Joker, along with great animation, and a solid script to make for a great example of what this series did best.



[Note: Only 41 of the 52 original episodes have been fully-remastered from their original 35mm film source due to either age or loss of the original negatives. The 11 non-remastered episodes are: “Eyewitness,” “Final Cut,” “The Last Resort,” “Armory,” “Sneak Peek,” “The Eggbaby,” “Zeta,” “Plague,” “April Moon,” “Sentries of the Lost Cosmos” and “Speak No Evil.” Additionally, the remastering process results in a slight aspect ratio change, meaning about a 3% loss of screen image.]

Encoding: AVC MPEG-4

Resolution: 1080p

Aspect Ratio:

  • Batman Beyond – 1.33:1
  • Bonus Disc – 1.85:1 & 1.33:1
  • Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker – 1.33:1

Clarity/Detail: Batman Beyond looks better than ever. The image is striking, crisp, and clean. No heavy sign of grain either. The hand-drawn animation lends itself well to the restoration process in the past, and that continues here thanks to the sharp design choices. Return of the Joker features an identical transfer found on its previous release.

Depth: Despite being a 2D animated series, the evocative direction allows for a lot of interesting choices when it comes to staging the characters and whatever else in the foreground and background. Thanks to a proper transfer, movements are smooth, with no distortion to be concerned with.

Black Levels: Black levels are deep and inky, with no signs of crushing. Much like its predecessor, there’s no need to be concerned with the way darkness factors into this series.

Color Reproduction: Colors are wonderful here. The use of primary colors, much like with BTAS, plays well against the dark backgrounds.

Flesh Tones: N/A

Noise/Artifacts: Nothing to report.



Audio Format(s):

  • Batman Beyond – English 2.0 DTS-HD MA, French 2.0 Dolby Digital
  • Bonus Disc – English 5.1 Dolby Digital and English 2.0 Dolby Digital
  • Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker – English 5.1 Dolby Digital, French and Spanish Dolby Digital 2.0


  • Batman Beyond – English SDH, French
  • Bonus Disc – English SDH, French, Spanish
  • Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker – English SDH, French, Spanish

Dynamics: The series arrives with lossless audio on its 2.0 tracks. They are well-layered, allowing for a nice level of depth to take in all the dialogue, sound effects, and music bringing this whole series together. You may get a big emphasis on the rock-heavy soundtrack, but it’s all in service of what the series was going for. Return of the Joker features the same audio mix released previously.

Low-Frequency Extension: N/A

Surround Sound Presentation: N/A

Dialogue Reproduction: Vocals sound clean and clear.



Batman Beyond: The Complete Series is a 6-disc set that arrives with all of the same bonus material previously available on the original DVD releases, along with a bonus disc featuring several new features, along with some archival content. There’s a lot to dig into for those who haven’t seen these features before, but the retrospective is undoubtedly worthwhile as well.

Additionally, the Deluxe Limited Edition features an exclusive chrome Batman Beyond Funko Pop!, along with four lenticular collector cards featuring original animation artwork.

Features Include:

Season 1 – Disc One

  • Audio Commentary
    • Rebirth Part 1 with Producers Bruce Timm, Alan Burnett, Paul Dini, Glen Murakami, and Director Curt Geda
  • Shriek with Producers Bruce Timm, Alan Burnett, Paul Dini, Glen Murakami, and Director Curt Geda and writer Stan Berkowitz
  • Music of the Knight (SD, 15:00) – Bruce Timm introduces a feature allowing access to key scenes from the series, with a focus on the score.
  • Inside Batman Beyond – Meet Series Creators (SD, 9:42) – Timm, Murakami, Burnett, and Dini discuss the creative process for the first season.
  • Trailers

Season 2 – Disc Two

  • Audio Commentary
    • Splicers with Producers Bruce Timm, and Glen Murakami, storyboard artist James Tucker, voice director Andrea Romano and voice actor Will Friedle

Season 2 – Disc Three

  • Audio Commentary
    • The Eggbaby with Producer Bruce Timm, director James Tucker, Producer Glen Murakami, voice director Andrea Romano, and voice actor Will Friedle
  • Inside Batman Beyond: The Panel (SD, 11:51) – Timm, Burnett, Murakami, and Dini discuss the challenges of season two.

Season 3 – Disc Four

  • Inside Batman Beyond Season 3: Panel (SD, 9:36) – Timm, Burnett, Murakami, and Dini begin their look at season three of the series.
  • Inside Batman Beyond Season 3: Close-Up On… – The following featurettes serve as mini-commentaries for the selected episodes, with Timm, Dini, Friedle, and others gathering to go over the various episodes.
    • Inside Batman Beyond Season 3: Out of the Past (SD, 4:32)
    • Inside Batman Beyond Season 3: The Call (SD, 6:19)
    • Inside Batman Beyond Season 3: The Call Part II (SD, 4:12)
    • Inside Batman Beyond Season 3: Curse of the Kobra Part 1 (SD, 4:48)

Bonus Disc – Disc Five

  • Nostalgic Tomorrow – A Batman Gathering (HD, 53:19) – A new roundtable retrospective featuring Bruce Timm, Kevin Conroy, Will Friedle, James Tucker, Glen Murakami, Andrea Romano, Bob Goodman, and Stan Berkowitz. Plenty of insight from all angles here.
  • Knight Immortal (HD, 34:50) – A new look back at the 80 years of Batman, featuring narration by many important figures in the realm of Batman.
  • Tomorrow Knight: Batman Reborn (SD, 10:30) – A look at the relationship between Bruce Wayne and Terry McGinnis.
  • Gotham: City of the Future (SD, 5:34) – A look at the new design for Gotham City and what that creation entailed.
  • The High-Tech Hero (SD, 5:44) – A look at the evolution of Batman’s technology.
  • Secret Origin: The Story of DC Comics (HD, 1:30:26) – A feature-length documentary chronicling the origins of DC and the rise of superhero mythology as a significant fixture in American pop culture.

Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker – Disc Six

  • A Word from the Creators – This is an excellent audio commentary track featuring producer Bruce Timm, screenwriter Paul Dini, art director Glen Murakami, and director Curt Geda.
  • Beyond Batman Beyond (SD, 12:00) – A standard EPK for the film.
  • Video Character Bios (HD, 5:00) – Various bios for the featured characters in the film.
  • Confidential Batman Footage – For Your Eyes Only (SD, 5:00) – A deleted scene.
  • “Crash” Music Video (SD, 4:00) – A flashback to the days of Static-X.
  • Animatics (SD, 3:00) – A series of storyboards
  • Young Justice Trailer (HD, 1:00)

Digital HD Copy Of The Series



Having been watching this series as I put together this review, there is a lot to admire about the effort put into making Batman Beyond feel like a proper continuation of what began in BTAS. The series has that great look and feel that made the original animated series such a great success, but melds other sensibilities with it to push the series to a new level. Regardless of whether or not this series is as strong as BTAS, it’s highly entertaining in its own right. From a presentation standpoint, while not all the episodes have been remastered, the series still looks and sounds great overall, where only the real diehards will have a concern with the lack of polish on the entire series. And the bevy of supplements, old and new, certainly makes this set a worthwhile edition. The spiffy physical extras are a nice touch, as well. If you’re a Batman fan, there’s no reason not to go above and Beyond for this.

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Writer/Reviewer, Film Lover, Podcaster, Gamer, Comic Reader, Disc Golfer & a Lefty. There are too many films, TV, books, etc. for me to list as favorites, but I can assure that the amount film knowledge within my noggin is ridiculous, though I am always open to learning more. You can follow me on Twitter @AaronsPS4, see what else I am up to at TheCodeIsZeek.com & check out my podcast, Out Now with Aaron and Abe, on iTunes.

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