Ultimate Avengers: The Movie DVD Home Video Release
Studio: Lionsgate Home Entertainment, Marvel Animation
Release Date: February 21st, 2006

DVD Special Features:
• "Avengers Assemble" Featurette
• The Ultimate Voice Talent Search
• What Avenger Are You? DVD-ROM game
• First Look at Ultimate Avengers II
• Avengers Trivia Track
• Animated interactive menus
• Trailer gallery

Ultimate Avengers: The Movie DVD Review
By Jim Harvey

Lionsgate gives their first Marvel feature a nice collection of extras, on par with Warner Home Video’s “The Batman Versus Dracula” video release. We get a main featurette detailing the history of the characters, with Stan Lee surprisingly absent, as well as a look at the upcoming sequel the voice search held for the first feature. Also included is a trivia track and a DVD-Rom game.

The audio and visual for the release is top notch. The audio comes out loud and clear, and the battle scenes sound just stupendous. The “World War II” sequence sounds just amazing, and the climactic battle is a real assault on the senses. It’s a great audio mix, and the visuals are just as impressive. Definitely a gorgeous transfer, there appears to be any hardly noticeable interlacing. If there are any visual problems, really have to pay attention to see it.

The main featurette clocks in at less than twenty minutes, and goves over the history of their characters before the launch of “The Ultimates” in 2002. Interview with Kurt Busiek, George Perez, Joe Quesada, and Tom Booveret, among others, keep the featurette going at a quick pace. Mixed with interviews clips are assorted images from the Avengers comics over the years. Surprisingly, they do discuss “Avengers Disassembled” and “The New Avengers,” two big controversies for Marvel last year, in a very frank manner. It’s a nice, short featurette looking at arguably Marvel’s biggest team of heroes.

And sorry guys, Hawkeye gets a crack at his expense. The guy just can’t seem to catch a break.

Spotlighting the voice talent search for this movie a year or so back, the DVD presents us with a featurette, coming in at around five minutes, of some of their best, and worst, auditions for the movie. It’s a mix of interesting, funny, and just plain disturbing; fans should get a kick out of seeing some possibly familiar faces.

The other featurettes are fun, but pretty forgettable. The trivia track is helpful for new fans of these characters, but long-time readers might find some of the information repetitive. The DVD-ROM game is something to a quick time-waster, but nothing to take
note of, unless you’re desperate to know “Which Avenger Are You?”. There are also trailers for “Elektra,” a “Battledice” game, and both trailers for “Ultimate Avengers.”

Fans will also get a peek at some early production art for “The Ultimate Avengers 2,” hitting this summer. The brief peek also contains interviews with the creative team discussing why they took the route they did with the sequel. And there are spoilers. The villain and “never before Ultimatize-d” character are revealed. However, based on the early information and art, this looks very promising.

Overall, it’s a mixed bag of extras. There’s some truly good material in here, but there should be more. The featurettes and the look at the upcoming sequel are worth checking out, but the DVD-ROM is a waste of space. But given how fun the main feature is, these extras come as merely an after thought when viewing the DVD.