A new promo for the upcoming Justice League Blu-ray release is invoking one of the most enduring versions of DC's premiere superhero team: the classic, cheesy '70s cartoon Super Friends.
Super Friends, which ran for a gobsmacking 13 years through the '70s and '80s, was produced by Hanna-Barbera, the low budget animation studio perhaps best known for its Scooby-Doo cartoons. The series featured rudimentary animation and less than award winning voice acting, but was deeply ingrained in the minds of millions of children before DC animation got a staggering upgrade with 1992's Batman: The Animated Series. Aquaman, in particular, has really only begun to shake his image as the goofy blonde guy who talks to fish and rides gigantic seahorses.
There's still a certain level of charm to those silly old cartoons though, a fact someone in Warner Bros.' promotional department clearly realizes. The latest promotional video for Justice League's home video release invokes the old Super Friends voiceover and graphics, with an added touch of VHS aging for good measure. Check it out below.
This is a fun enough promo, but it's not going to do anything to calm those still enraged over Justice League's tonal schizophrenia. The film's production woes are essentially folklore at this point; after the dark, divisive Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice was savaged by critics and underperformed at the box office, Warner Bros. wanted a lighter, funnier followup with Justice League. Apparently unpleased with what Snyder was delivering with Justice League's principal photography, Warner Bros. commissioned sprawling reshoots spearheaded by Avengers director Joss Whedon, which altered both the film's plot and tone. In the wake of Justice League's box office failure, the internet has been awash in fans clamoring to see Snyder's version of the film - whether or not it actually exists in anything approaching a finished product - which presumably would have relied less on Whedon's trademark snarky humor and would have featured 100% fewer shots of Henry Cavill's deeply unsettling CGI lip.
It's still not entirely clear what sort of tone and direction Warner Bros. wants their DC Films to take going forward. Wonder Woman, the studio's biggest DCEU hit to date, managed to have moments of humor while still maintaining its refreshingly earnest soul. Shazam! may have hired a horror director in David F. Sandberg, but all indications are it will be the lightest DCEU film yet. We still know surprisingly little about Aquaman, even though it's the next DC film on the release schedule, and it's still unclear who will even be playing Batman when next we see him.
No matter where the DCEU goes next, Justice League figures to remain the biggest lightning rod for the shared superhero universe, no matter how many fun ways Warner Bros. tries to market it.
Justice League will be released on Blu-ray on March 13th, 2018.
Source: Warner Bros.
- Aquaman (2018) release date: Dec 21, 2018
- Wonder Woman 2 (2019) release date: Nov 01, 2019
- Shazam! (2019) release date: Apr 05, 2019