"Batman: Soul of the Dragon" Animated Release Talkback (Spoilers)

"Batman: Soul of the Dragon" - Rate and Discuss this DC Universe Movie!


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drawangry

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While we were breaking the story, Jeremy, James and I realized we needed to end the movie with our four heroes battling Evil for all eternity.
To be fair, I believe the heroes together was my suggestion :p Originally it was Batman closing the door on the others and fighting the "Snake Demons" alone in the other dimension.

And I was against the gesture for the record haha!
 

Yojimbo

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To be fair, I believe the heroes together was my suggestion :p Originally it was Batman closing the door on the others and fighting the "Snake Demons" alone in the other dimension.

And I was against the gesture for the record haha!
Thanks, Mr. Liu. What was your thinking to be against the gesture? Too cliche/cheesy to you?

(btw, if anyone was wondering drawangry is Sam Liu).
 

drawangry

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Thanks, Mr. Liu. What was your thinking to be against the gesture? Too cliche/cheesy to you?

(btw, if anyone was wondering drawangry is Sam Liu).
Yeah just not my thing personally. These taste things are funny tho, David Maximo storyboarded the Saturday Night Fever Richard Dragon walk which I believe you hated, but I liked. I think Bruce was on the fence but I dug it and figured we could cut it if the animation turned out bad.
 

Yojimbo

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Yeah just not my thing personally. These taste things are funny tho, David Maximo storyboarded the Saturday Night Fever Richard Dragon walk which I believe you hated, but I liked. I think Bruce was on the fence but I dug it and figured we could cut it if the animation turned out bad.
Yes, to each their own. I didn't care for that strut scene. The bouncer was doing his job and Richard was trying to cut in line. Technically, the bouncer wasn't wrong but he was racist and an ass. I guess when I first viewed the movie, coming off the big James Bond hat tip of a cold open, I was simply expecting Richard to continue being a super spy and sneak in rather than just going in through the front door. Therefore projecting disappointment into an easy target, Saturday Night Fever strut. But all in all, the scene led to one of many hat tips to Enter the Dragon so it balances out.

EDIT: Btw, thanks for mentioning what scenes the storyboard artists did here and on Twitter. Always like knowing who did what.
 
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Classic Speedy

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Surprisingly, my local Target didn't have the movie this morning (this has to be a first- they're usually good about putting the new DCAU movies out on release day), so I just ordered it on Amazon instead. Can't wait to watch it when it arrives!
 

Spider-Man

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Thanks for posting here, Bruce Timm and Sam Liu! It's not every day I can watch a new DC movie in the AM and then check out what the people who actually worked on it are saying like right after. It's a really great movie too! I wish I had something better to say then that! The story was fun and all of the characters were great and I didn't even notice how this movie just flew by. I do wish the animation was better. I thought a lot of the fight scenes suffered from stiff and jerky animation and that stinks because a lot of these fights were actually really fun to watch and the directing was great! When is AT&T gonna give WB some of that money already?I'm looking forward to watching it again!
 

Otaku-sempai

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Surprisingly, my local Target didn't have the movie this morning (this has to be a first- they're usually good about putting the new DCAU movies out on release day), so I just ordered it on Amazon instead. Can't wait to watch it when it arrives!
Our local Target did have it, though no copies had been placed on the shelves yet when I came in. I was sorry to see that there doesn't seem to be a steelbook variant for this one--it's the end of a long-standing tradition.

I've got to agree with Spidey. The animation was pretty solid, but I also wish the fight scenes could have been more fluid. The movie was still a blast.
 

Yojimbo

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Just so we're on the same page, like parts when they block and counter super fast i.e. when Ben breaks up the deal in the warehouse?

I would guess it's either dependent on the animators/which team they assign or budget/time. I'm guessing anime spends more time animating whereas these DTVs have a tighter 1 year schedule more or less. Whereas if you look at the fight scenes in Cowboy Bebop or Samurai Champloo, those are way more fluid but how much more time did they have? Was it a single animator like Yutaka Nakamura who made it awesome, or was it director Yutaka Nakamura? Or is there a past DC animated title you can point to where hand to hand fighting was better done/more fluid?
 

Revelator

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In the CBR interview Sam Liu notes, "In the end, I wanted to do a kind of highlight of [the heroes] doing their moves, and there were some other shots where we sent little things and [the overseas animators] either didn't get them or just threw them away. [Laughs] They just didn't come in with the footage so we just had to edit what we received."

The Animation Magazine article has the following passage:
"Time is a huge factor, with movies like this being turned around in about six months...The most difficult aspect of directing on so tight a schedule is that there’s rarely time to change animation that comes back from an overseas studio partner if it’s not what you expected, Liu says. 'I feel like nowadays we’re getting it in a lot less time than we were maybe 10, 15 years ago,' he says. 'So we have a tendency to board things a little more cautiously nowadays.'"
 

Dallas Kinard

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I honestly thought this was good, not great. To me, it's a fun romp through the 1970s DC universe.

- Animation was serviceable, but compared to the upcoming JSA movie, it just looks cheap. I miss the days of the early DTV's where detailed character models and silk-smooth animation was the norm. Even "The Batman" had incredible animation quality, and that was on a TV budget!

- The story was cool. Kinda reminded me of Jackie Chan Adventures.

- The "white rice" and "tired of men telling me what to do" lines were simply problematic IMO and so was Bronze Tiger's dismissal of Bruce's parents death. Made him a very unlikeable character. Good guys have empathy folks. But that's all I'll say about that to avoid a rabbit-hole of angry back and forths. Remember guys, this is my opinion. It's ok to disagree.

- The fight scenes were pretty good, but not as good as previous films that weren't even martial arts focused. The Dark Knight Returns still has my favorite fight scene in any of these DTV's (mud pit).

- Honestly my favorite part was the score! I love the 1970's era music, so I was totally down with the soundtrack. Needs a release ASAP!

- The lack of Batman was something I'm glad I knew before going in because that would have been pretty upsetting hadn't I already known.

- The character design for Batman was serviceable, but not unique enough for the 70s era. I really would have preferred a Neal Adams style with the blue, but I get why Timm didn't per his explanation. Still think that TMNT design is fire though!

Overall, this was a 7/10 flick for me. More of a "Tuesday afternoon" adventure that just fills the time between the epics. I'm very much looking forward to the JSA one. Never stop making elseworld movies though, I love the variety!
 

Otaku-sempai

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Just so we're on the same page, like parts when they block and counter super fast i.e. when Ben breaks up the deal in the warehouse?
Yes, those are good examples, though some of those sequences use silhouettes, so that's not quite the same. But I don't recall any fight sequences that were as smooth as I've seen in much anime--even anime produced on a television budget--unless you go back a few decades.
I would guess it's either dependent on the animators/which team they assign or budget/time. I'm guessing anime spends more time animating whereas these DTVs have a tighter 1 year schedule more or less. Whereas if you look at the fight scenes in Cowboy Bebop or Samurai Champloo, those are way more fluid but how much more time did they have? Was it a single animator like Yutaka Nakamura who made it awesome, or was it director Yutaka Nakamura? Or is there a past DC animated title you can point to where hand to hand fighting was better done/more fluid?
The irony here is that much anime is produced at a lower frame rate than even Western animation for television.
 

Road to Gotham

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This was a solid movie, lots to like. B+.
I have no need to see a sequel but would love a prequel
exploring the relationship with Silver with my favorite 70's villain the Spook.
Surprisely Spook has never appear in animation.
 

Classic Speedy

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Wow, that was ballsy to end it like that. Not so much because we're unsure if Batman will ever get out of that dimension alive- he definitely will, since this is a past story- but because of logistics: Isn't that giant door back to the real world locked shut? How do they get out? Can someone explain that to me?

Anyway, that headscratcher aside, this was fun. I don't know if it would make my top DCAU movies list but it was a good change of pace from the usual villains and setting, and the ensemble nature gave it a unique feel too. I particularly dug Lady Shiva- the fight scene where she barely lifts a finger and pummels her adversary was grin-inducing.

Also enjoyed the music, which was a good throwback to the era mixed with modern elements, and without going too far into parody.
 

-batmat-

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Wow, that was ballsy to end it like that. Not so much because we're unsure if Batman will ever get out of that dimension alive- he definitely will, since this is a past story- but because of logistics: Isn't that giant door back to the real world locked shut? How do they get out? Can someone explain that to me?
Why does it matter? I'm sure they found a way! The ending is accepting they belong together and the fight will go on
 

Yojimbo

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Wow, that was ballsy to end it like that. Not so much because we're unsure if Batman will ever get out of that dimension alive- he definitely will, since this is a past story- but because of logistics: Isn't that giant door back to the real world locked shut? How do they get out? Can someone explain that to me?
It was a nod to the ending of Chinese Connection and the intent was the four decided to fight Naga and his army of evil for all of eternity. So this movie pretty much a one-in-done unless there's a prequel or Timm already has a solution in mind. And it has been said a sequel of some sort has been brainstormed thanks to a chat with Jeremy Adams and James Tucker.

I am curious if that door can be opened from within that dimension by the Soul Breaker if one of the 4 sacrifices themself or if they take Naga's soul and use the sword on the Gate.
 

b.t.

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It was a nod to the ending of Chinese Connection and the intent was the four decided to fight Naga and his army of evil for all of eternity. So this movie pretty much a one-in-done unless there's a prequel or Timm already has a solution in mind. And it has been said a sequel of some sort has been brainstormed thanks to a chat with Jeremy Adams and James Tucker.

I am curious if that door can be opened from within that dimension by the Soul Breaker if one of the 4 sacrifices themself or if they take Naga's soul and use the sword on the Gate.
To tell the truth, we had two big inspirations for the ending. One was the series finale episode of ANGEL, “Not Fade Away”, wherein our heroes are facing seemingly unbeatable odds, and it cuts to black before the final epic battle begins. During one of our story-breaking sessions, I was delighted to learn that Jeremy was one of those weirdos (like me) who actually really liked the ambiguous nature of that one. Knowing that lots of Angel fans DIDN’T care for it, that some felt it was anti-climactic or that it was inconclusive or whatever, we knew it would be a gamble to do something kinda similar here — but it just felt right to us. So there you go.

And the other big inspiration : Sam had fond memories of the 1995 MORTAL KOMBAT movie, which ended with a similar kinda trick (I’ve never seen the movie but have since checked out that climactic sequence on YouTube). He enthusiastically described one of the good guys saying something cocky and defiant to the Big Bad right before a smash cut to black, the score kicking in with a raucous guitar lick — and that sounded pretty great to me.

Some folks have cited the ending of BUTCH CASSIDY AND THE SUNDANCE KID as another possible inspiration — and it very well may have been, on a subliminal level at least. But in BUTCH AND SUNDANCE it’s obvious that it’s not gonna end well for the two outlaws (they’re clearly going to be shot to pieces mere moments after that final freeze frame) whereas we wanted to suggest that it’s entirely possible that our team of badasses could actually prevail against the forces of evil.
 

Yojimbo

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To tell the truth, we had two big inspirations for the ending. One was the series finale episode of ANGEL, “Not Fade Away”, wherein our heroes are facing seemingly unbeatable odds, and it cuts to black before the final epic battle begins. During one of our story-breaking sessions, I was delighted to learn that Jeremy was one of those weirdos (like me) who actually really liked the ambiguous nature of that one. Knowing that lots of Angel fans DIDN’T care for it, that some felt it was anti-climactic or that it was inconclusive or whatever, we knew it would be a gamble to do something kinda similar here — but it just felt right to us. So there you go.
I guess I'm a weirdo.
And the other big inspiration : Sam had fond memories of the 1995 MORTAL KOMBAT movie, which ended with a similar kinda trick (I’ve never seen the movie but have since checked out that climactic sequence on YouTube). He enthusiastically described one of the good guys saying something cocky and defiant to the Big Bad right before a smash cut to black, the score kicking in with a raucous guitar lick — and that sounded pretty great to me.
Oh yeah, Christopher Lambert's Raiden I think said the last line. Huh. Well all right, Sam Liu.
 

Classic Speedy

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Oh yeah, good call on Mortal Kombat. I can see elements of that in the ending.

"Bow to me. You weak pathetic fools, I've come for your souls!"
"I don't think so."

I haven't seen The Chinese Connection or Angel so I can't comment on those.
 

drawangry

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Oh yeah, good call on Mortal Kombat. I can see elements of that in the ending.

"Bow to me. You weak pathetic fools, I've come for your souls!"
"I don't think so."

I haven't seen The Chinese Connection or Angel so I can't comment on those.
That techno theme song was it back in the 90s! I was thinking "We have to capture that feeling like I had at the end of Mortal Kombat. Where once the music kicked in, I got super amped to see more!" That was the intent anyways.
 

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