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Animated “JLA Adventures: Trapped in Time” Gets “Stealth Release”

by  in Movie News, TV News Comment

Pretty much every major pop culture release these days is preceded by weeks and months of advance publicity — but not unlike Beyonce’s recent self-titled album, DC Comics-based animated feature “JLA Adventures: Trapped in Time” arrived this week without much warning, as a “stealth release.”

“Trapped in Time” is a direct-to-video Target exclusive, directed by “Green Lantern: The Animated Series” showrunner Giancarlo Volpe. The film features marquee Justice Leaguers including Superman, Batman (voiced by Diedrich Bader, reprising his role from “Batman: The Brave and the Bold”), Wonder Woman, The Flash, Cyborg and Aquaman; along with Robin, Legions of Super-Heroes members Dawnstar and Karate Kid, plus a cameo from Wendy and Marvin of “Super Friends” fame.

The plot pits the Justice League against a Legion of Doom consisting of Lex Luthor, Cheetah, Solomon Grundy, Bizarro, Gorilla Grodd, Black Manta, Toyman and Captain Cold; in a time-travel plot spurred by Legion villain the Time Trapper.

According to Volpe in an interview with Voices From Krypton, “Trapped in Time” was designed as a tie-in to Target’s Justice League toy line, and thus is meant to appeal to — and be appropriate for — younger viewers.

“The main thing about it was tone,” Volpe said.” If you look at something like ‘Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox’ or the upcoming ‘War,’ or, frankly, a lot of the stuff we do at WB, they’re grittier films. There are curse words and violence, so [Warner Bros. Animation executive vice president] Sam [Register] said, ‘We need something that’s a little more kid friendly.’ My initial reaction was reluctance, because I was worried he was asking me to do a pre-school version of the Justice League. We talked about it and he said, ‘That thing you do on Green Lantern, we just want that but with the Justice League.’ When I finally understood it in those terms — ‘I can do my storytelling sensibilities with Superman and Batman and all of them’ — I was, like, ‘OK, let’s do it.'”

“JLA Adventures: Trapped in Time” is on sale now at Target.