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"Teen Titans" Fear Itself: Nothing to Fear but Lackluster Extras

Warner Bros. Home Video has a dubious record when it comes to animated series DVD releases. Some receive fully featured box sets, others are relegated to piecemeal, often less than satisfying individual discs. Teen Titans: Fear Itself is one of the latter, but this time a great episode counts makes it worth picking up.

This show focuses on five teenage best friends who fight crime and live in a gigantic T-shaped tower. Its mixture of serious super-heroics and daft yet hilarious comedic episodes made it a hit. It also made the show unpredictable, as an episode can bring either gut-busting comedy or ass-kicking action. The show is not without its faults, however. At times, characters devolve into annoying clichés.

Though the writing isn’t for everyone, I find it hard to believe that anyone could complain about the show’s visuals. With stunning animation, outstanding storyboarding and fantastic pacing, Teen Titans is often the textbook example of how a great fight sequence is coordinated. Mere words can’t describe just how good these brawls are!

The show took a while to find its footing but quickly became a much superior show over the course of a few episodes. This release features the first six episodes of the show’s second season, widely regarded as the best. Collected here are “How Long is Forever?,” “Every Dog Has His Day,” “Terra,” “Only Human,” “Fear Itself” and “Date with Destiny.” In all honesty, there’s not a single stinker in the bunch. “Every Dog Has His Day” is mediocre at best and “Only Human” drives the point home that Cyborg is a real boy over and over again, but the disc redeems itself with the outstanding “How Long Is Forever?” and the hilarious “Date with Destiny.”

And this release is certainly the best way to fly. Since box sets are too expensive for most of the show’s market, each season is spread out over two discs, one with six episodes and the other with seven. Why superior shows like Justice League and The Batman only receive a pathetic three episodes a disc, doubling the number of releases needed to cover the season, is absolutely beyond me.

Unfortunately, the special features are abysmal. An annoying voiceover accompanies a shockingly short look at Titans Towers, the Titans’ home. I found these “tours” simply tedious and was surprised to see that this was the only feature of any real merit. The remaining feature is a game that even the youngest child wouldn’t find too enjoyable. Games on DVDs are nothing short of a waste of time, in my opinion. You complete them once, and then ignore them forever. Leave these for the Web sites.

The transfer features small amounts of interlacing, but nothing too distracting. The show’s bright color palette looks great on this disc, which leaves me with very few complaints. The audio also has no real problems. It’s certainly better than watching the show on VHS or TV. Even the animated menus are pretty cool, which pleased me greatly, as I absolutely loathe menus that take forever to load.

If you’re a fan of The Titans, I’d recommend this. It’s got a fine selection of episodes, arguably the best we’re ever going to see from the show. For those of you still undecided on Teen Titans, these episodes are the best place to make up your mind. If the rest of the show is released like this, box sets aren’t really needed.

Images appear courtesy of The World’s Finest.

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