IRON MAN: ARMORED ADVENTURES

Iron Man: Armored Adventures - Volume One DVD Release
Release Date: October 20th, 2009
Studio: Genius Products

Synopsis: Marvel Animation, Method Films and Genius Products bring the hit television show Iron Man: Armored Adventures to DVD and Blu-ray Disc for the very first time. Launched earlier this year and currently airing on Nicktoons, the 3D CGI animated hit television series Iron Man: Armored Adventures holds the record for the highest-rated original series premiere on Nicktoons Network and its’ popularity continues to grow. Tony Stark is not the typical teenager… he’s a billionaire, brilliant inventor… and Iron Man! Iron Man: Armored Adventures follows Tony Stark, 16-year-old genius and heir to the billion-dollar corporation Stark International, as he battles the enemies of world peace with his revolutionary power armor technology. Check out his cool adventures in Iron Man: Armored Adventures - Volume One!

Bonus Features:
-Iron Man: Armored Adventures suit profiles
-Rooney music video
-All-New The Super Hero Squad Show Music Video
-Trailers



Review by Zach Demeter:

Quick, what do you do after you have a surprise success with a major comic book movie of a character that nobody had really heard of previously? Why, you fire up production on the sequel and start up an animated series, that’s what! While no one saw the success of Iron Man being as strong as it was once it finally bowed out of theaters, studios were quick to react. The Iron Man Armored Adventures series debuted in November of 2008 on the Nick network and fans of the armored hero found the series to be an odd mixture of the Iron Man mythos while at the same time also appealing much more to the younger crowd.

Man, this series sounds so tubular! Aside from the fact that it makes no real sense. I mean it kind of works in an Ultimate Spider-Man or Batman Beyond sort of way, but the extreme de-aging of the individuals in the show just really doesn’t make for believability in any form. I honestly was cringing quite frequently while watching this show, simply because it did so many things in a cartoon that I find irksome today. The writing, the extreme pandering to the younger audience and…honestly, I wasn’t a big fan of Marvel cartoons prior to this, but it really didn’t help any.

Yes, yes, I know, cartoons are for children. I shouldn’t enjoy this because I’m not the target audience. Well what about Batman: The Brave and the Bold, which manages to attract an older audience as well as a younger one? You can have a series that appeals to a wider audience, networks often don’t want it, however, because it might come off as too risky. But that doesn’t make much sense on Nick…I mean they have Spongebob for cryin’ out loud. That’s the most age-defying cartoon ever created.

I had hoped that I’d at least get into the visuals of the show but it reminded me too much of the MTV Spider-Man show from a few years back. The cel-shaded CGI look works in some instances (mainly with the Iron Man suit and the other mechanical workings of the series), but when it comes to the human counterparts…again, I cringe. The mouth movements are like flash-animation level and the animation itself is hardly what you’d call fluid. It was like this from the first episode to the last one included here and as much as I wanted to enjoy it even one iota as much as I enjoyed the Iron Man film itself…I just couldn’t.

And you know why, more than anything, I couldn’t get into it? The theme to the show. The first animated Iron Man series from the 90s had such a good intro that the live action film adapted it in some form. But the theme for this show? No. It’s as if they took Black Sabbath’s intro with Ozzy singing “Iron Maaaaaaaan” and slowed it down, removed the guitars, and hired the Jonas Brothers to sing it in some kind of pop fashion. Nails on a chalkboard, I tell you.

Granted, I’m a bit biased saying all of this. As mentioned previously I don’t enjoy Marvel animated products (the 90s efforts notwithstanding) and pretty much everything they’ve produced as of late (Spectacular Spider-Man notwithstanding…or so I hear, I haven’t watched it) has just been one big disappointment to me. I want to enjoy these products as much as I enjoy the live action efforts…but they somehow always manage to turn me off. We can add Armored Adventures to the steaming pile now as well.

The DVD:

Genius tosses out the first six episodes onto DVD with little else accompanying them. The set itself arrives in a standard Amaray case with a reflective foil slipcover over the outside. Inside is just the basic disc art with a rather boring menu system (complete with that damn annoying theme playing over a few of them). Video is a 4x3 transfer (for some reason…I know it’s animated in 16x9) and it looks as good as a digital show can possibly look on DVD. It’s paired with a DD5.1 track (5.1 but no widescreen? What the…) that manages to pack a punch in action scenes, but does little else with the LFE and surrounds aside from that. Also as an aside the packaging shows Iron Man battling Hulk on the back of the package…but that episode isn’t included here.

Extras include "Four Suit Profiles," a "Rooney Music Video," and "All-New Super Hero Squad Show Music Video." And no, the extras aren’t worth watching either. Sorry.

Overall a release that you can very easily Skip. Unless you have a four or five year old, in which case you might get some replay out of this disc.

Note: A widescreen Blu-ray edition of "Iron Man: Armored Adventures - Volume One" was also released as a Best Buy exclusive.

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