DC Comics and WB Animation continue their collective animated universe with Throne Of Atlantis, after the most shocking exclusion of Aquaman in the previous film Justice League : War, fortunately this whole film is dedicated to the Atlantean-king providing a back story and introduction to both Atlantis and Arthur Curry aka Aquaman. While it does do this, its small running time and rushed sequences left me feeling a little disappointed but still happy that the spotlight is taken off Batman and Superman for once.
The film directed by Ethan Spaulding, combines the new 52 Geoff Johns Aquaman and Justice League comic book, as we discover the origin of Arthur Curry (Aquaman) voiced by 90210 actor Matt Lanter who lives on land after just losing his father, must discover his mother and true origin as an Atllantean, head back to the sea thanks to a little help from Mera (Sumalee Montano) but on the way to reunite with his mother, OceanMaster and Manta kill the queen and over-take Atlantis and wage war on the surface world.
Enter the Justice League – all of the team is back Superman, Wonder Woman, Green Lantern, The Flash, Batman, Cyborg and Shazam. As the last film a large part of the focus is on Cyborg and Shazam which was a great decision, having them as the focus really drove the characters and the feeling of the group not really gelling that well. Although we have seen this storyline from both Marvel and DC about groups of heroes not getting a long and to be honest guys it is getting a little tired.
Anyway the animation and 3D animation effects are absolutely stunning, the majority of this film is underwater so some great shading effects are used and in particular a flashback scene with Cyborg is one of the most impressive sequences of animation I have seen in a DC animated film for some time.
The most frstrating thing was definitely how rushed it felt, I would have liked more time spent explaining Arthur’s history and transition to the throne, it felt a little rushed and undercooked which while I already know the story of Aquaman, for others may be a little too rushed and you still may not understand or follow why you should like Aquaman. Also the scene where the Atlanteans invade the surface and this massive tidal wave looks like a massive amount of destruction is about to happen, but no, it just serves as an entrance for the Atlantean army. It was a little disappointing. Some great scenes with Aquaman and Mera as well as the infamous Superman and Wonder Woman date is amusing to watch as a confused Lois Lane crashes the date.
Annoyances aside, this was finally time for Aquaman to become part of the DC Animated universe and while this does deliver an introduction to the world, the story was rushed and felt a little too brief, hopefully we can see some more screen time for the underwater king in future Justice League films. DC Continue their run with high quality animated films.
Review by Alaisdair Dewar
Justice League : Throne Of Atlantis is available now on I Tunes, Google Play, Vudu and in-stores.