There has been a significant movement to revive the image of the superhero Aquaman as a serious character. For more than 30 years the Marine Marvel in Orange was considered to be the laughing stock of the Justice League, mostly thanks to the Super Friends cartoon series of the late 70′s. His recent renaissance started in comic form by brilliant writer, Geoff Johns and now seems to have come full circle to where Arthur Curry (Aquaman’s alter ego) has gotten his own film. Justice League: Atlantis is loosely based on Johns’ comic book epic of the same name and is a direct movie sequel to last year’s film Justice League War. The questions we try to answer with each of the DC Comics Animated Features are whether or not the film is good, how much they changed from the source material, and whether those changes were for the better.
This movie is decidedly brilliant. It is a huge leg up from its predecessor, War, mostly due to better animation, better pacing, better screenwriting, and even the replacing and adding of voices. They replaced Green Lantern’s voice with the amazing Nathan Fillion and Wonder Woman’s with Rosario Dawson, and added Juliet Landau (Drusilla from Buffy, The Vampire Slayer) as Lois Lane, Harry Lenix as Black Manta, and Sam Witwer as Ocean Master.
The pacing of the film is superb. The action is pretty fantastic as well, with each character really showcasing their powers. I will admit I geeked out A LOT while watching it. One complaint that our fearless site owner Ref Matt had was that he felt the ending action scene was fairly anti-climactic. I don’t share this sentiment, but I can see where he’s coming from.
The emotional core of the film is strong. Aquaman’s search for his identity after the loss of his father was pretty moving. Although, it was a little jarring to see him not have the regal demeanor that I’m so used to seeing in the Justice League and Superman Animated Series cartoons.
Usually the music scores for these DC Animated Feature Films are fairly forgettable and not as emotionally evoking as regular DC Live-Action movies. However, the music for this film was pretty spectacular. I will definitely be looking for the soundtrack to hit Spotify.
Justice League: Throne of Atlantis is my favorite DC Animated Film since Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox. It works on almost every level and I would recommend it to almost anyone. However, be aware that it is PG-13 and has not an insignificant amount of blood during battle scenes.
Justice League: Throne of Atlantis
Changes from the source material
The original story ‘Throne of Atlantis’ isn’t much of an origin story like the film is, though the comics do have a number of flashbacks. By the time this story rolls around in the comics, Arthur has already been King of Atlantis and has left to live on the coast and be a hero to the surface world. Also, he is already married to Mera, not just meeting her for the first time as the movie portrays.
Many of Geoff Johns’ stories don’t always translate well to the screen: Superman Unbound (based on the wonderfully moving story, Superman Brainiac) and Justice League War didn’t connect with me in the same way as the comics did. But, Flashpoint, and now Atlantis, have really outdone their source material. Almost every change that they made for the screen adaptation of Atlantis was for the better. It really ended up as a better product than the comics storyline. Kudos to screenwriter Heath Corson for really doing a great job adapting the story