Weiss Loves A Brooding Batman?!

Justice League X RWBY: Super Heroes & Huntsmen: Part One is quite a mouthful. Previously unaware RWBY is a small part of Warner Bros. Discovery, it now makes sense why their youthful fantasy heroines would meet another corporate asset in a half-baked crossover with the Justice League.

The heroes of the Justice League mysteriously find themselves in RWBY’s plane of existence, having lost their memories and turned back into teenagers. DC’s animated films have taken strange detours before like the anime-inspired Batman Ninja. I got the distinct impression this particular project is made squarely for RWBY’s fandom as the DC superheroes are given short shrift.

… iconic DC linchpins like Batman and Superman are nigh unrecognizable in personality

Helmed by RWBY stalwart Kerry Shawcross, iconic DC linchpins like Batman and Superman are nigh unrecognizable in personality. There’s an attempt to match up each Justice League member with their logical RWBY counterpart. The superhero flick also goes after a far younger audience than the current animated slate of DC movies, safely staying within the bounds of a PG rating.

If you’re a RWBY fan, you’ll likely get more from Justice League X RWBY: Super Heroes & Huntsmen. Coming from a DC perspective, there isn’t much to get excited about except a bizarre sub-plot featuring Batman growing actual wings.

Familiar with both properties, I haven’t kept up with the latest developments in RWBY for several years. I reviewed the western anime’s awkward beginnings a decade ago and generally enjoyed its hectic blend of teenage melodrama spliced with super-powered school kids. The movie attempts to fill in viewers unfamiliar with RWBY’s cast and lore, packed with an abundance of stiff dialogue for that very purpose.

Trapped in the world of Remnant, Justice League members are separated with few memories of how they got there or why they’ve been made teenagers. Surprises include a powerless Superman and Batman growing wings like an actual bat. The heroines of RWBY are split apart themselves, meeting their counterpart in the Justice League in mostly one-on-one settings. The simplistic adventure tale sees the cross-universe characters joining up and figuring out who’s behind this madness.

The thin premise is largely an excuse for colorful battles and all-out action, your basic superhero mash-up of two different properties clashing and then uniting for the common good. There are a few cute nods in the narrative. Weiss apparently has a thing for Batman and thinks he should remain on Remnant. Young Green Lantern Jessica Cruz probably gets more screen time than you’d think. She’s probably the most natural fit of the DC characters in a RWBY template.

What the film gets wrong is a good understanding of Batman and Superman. They are written out of character to fit the demands of an 80-minute movie which has to juggle both the RWBY and Justice League casts, an almost impossible task. Most should know by now I’m fairly receptive to this kind of material but Justice League X RWBY: Super Heroes & Huntsmen feels like a bad corporate merger. Definitely skippable for adult fans unless you have to see kiddie versions of Wonder Woman and other DC characters meeting RWBY heroines like Blake and Ruby.

There’s a natural opening tucked into the finish for part two of this crossover. Let’s hope RWBY crossing over into the DC universe fares better.

Justice League X RWBY Super Heroes and Huntsmen Part One 4K UHD screen shot

Video

Designed primarily to showcase RWBY characters, Justice League x RWBY employs Rooster Teeth’s usual CGI animation. It’s a much different aesthetic than DC’s normal 2-D animation, designed entirely on computers. The pristine digital animation offers vivid primary colors and sharp line work, though its rag-doll physics take some adjustment after watching the smooth motion of hand-drawn art.

The main feature runs 80 minutes on a dual-layer UHD. The HEVC encode mostly cleans up the chroma noise and banding more noticeable at 1080p resolution. But a hint of banding still exists, possibly baked into the source material’s digital files.

Justice League x RWBY looks nice enough in 4K but this isn’t animation sophisticated enough to justify the premium over regular Blu-ray. There’s no Dolby Vision and it’s questionable if the native resolution of the CGI animation gains anything extra in 4K.

Audio

The animated film’s 5.1 DTS-HD MA soundtrack is disappointing, serviceable at best. Balance levels between dialogue and David Levy’s score are out of wack, an annoying circumstance. The discrete mix is haphazardly placed, a poor combination of odd panning and weird channel choices. Most everything is located up front, almost a stereo mix with the odd effect here and there.

Animated DC films usually have better surround mixes than this decidedly uneven effort.

Optional English SDH, French and Spanish subtitles play in a white font. A Spanish dub is included.

Extras

WB Discovery unleashes Justice League x RWBY Part One in a 4K UltraHD combo pack, which includes a Blu-ray and Movies Anywhere digital copy. A slipcover is available. The digital code redeems in UHD video quality and must be redeemed by 6/30/2025.

We are given a handful of featurettes mostly focusing on the RWBY side of things and one of the best episodes from Justice League Unlimited.

Justice Comes To Remnant (07:35 in HD) – Crew like director Kerry Shawcross and writer Meghan Fitzmartin explore the world of Remnant, the Huntsmen that fight for it and how Earth’s mightiest heroes deal with the challenge. Several RWBY voice actresses also pop up.

You Look…Different (09:01 in HD) – The different design aesthetic of RWBY is explored and how DC’s familiar characters are re-imagined in this new world.

Justice League Unlimited “Kid Stuff” episode (23:09 in HD) – One of the series’ most famous and most memorable episodes, kid versions of the Justice League characters battle to save the world from an evil scheme.

Justice League Action “Plastic Man Saves The World” episode (11:14 in HD) – I dearly hope seeing this available in HD lights a fire under Warner Archive to release the entire show on Blu-ray. One of the few animated DC shows which hasn’t been released on BD.

Full disclosure: This UHD was provided by the label for review. This has not materially affected DoBlu’s editorial process. For information on how we approach all review material, please visit our about us page.

Justice League x RWBY Part One
  • Video
  • Audio
  • Extras
2

Movie

A corporate crossover of disparate properties results in a half-baked animated adventure that neither fandom will completely enjoy.

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The following six screen shots serve as samples for our subscription-exclusive set of 53 full resolution uncompressed 4K screen shots grabbed directly from the UHD:

 


One thought on "Justice League x RWBY: Super Heroes and Huntsmen Part One 4K UHD Review"

  1. Rooster Teeth has been shut down and all employees have been fired. I’m not sure what will happen to Rooster Teeth’s intellectual properties like RWBY and Red Vs Blue. It wouldn’t surprise me if someone picks up Rooster Teeth’s carcass for RWBY’s rights.

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