A mysterious being known as the Time Trapper arises, and a sinister plan led by Lex Luthor sends the Legion of Doom back in time to eliminate Superman before he becomes a hero and inspires others to do the same. For members of the Justice League, along with teen super heroes Karate Kid and Dawnstar, the stakes have never been higher, the rescue mission never deadlier. So join the fight for the future as the Justice League confronts its ultimate challenge... the threat of having never existed!
Directed by: Giancarlo Volpe
. Starring: Diedrich Bader
, Laura Bailey
, Dante Basco
, Corey Burton
, Grey Griffin
, Jack De Sena
, Michael Donovan
, Tom Gibis
, Peter Jessop
, Erica Luttrell
, Liam O'Brien
, Kevin Michael Richardson
, Jason Spisak
. Music by: Frederik Wiedmann
JLA ADVENTURES: TRAPPED IN TIME, came out of nowhere. There was minimal publicity to accompany this limited release, and perhaps it was for the better. JLA Adventures can only be described as "Justice League lite", a step down from Warner's DC animated offerings from the last decade. For years, Warner has given us the likes of Justice League Unlimited, Young Justice and its critically acclaimed Direct to video Animated movies which all viewers agree is a huge step above Marvel's animation efforts. Those shows combined well developed characters with top notch realistic voice acting, complex plots, a darker tone and outstanding animation. Those were shows that could appeal to the more mature comic book fan and stand toe to toe with the tone of summer blockbusters.
This general feel goes out the window within moments when you hear Superman doing a "G.I Joe" style roll call of the characters and ending off with "Justice League! Into Action!". One silly cheesy line after another plagues this excuse for a movie. Comedy is fine, but not when the tone is as inconsistent as here. On one hand, you have lines that are right at home in comedic shows like Batman Brave and the Bold, while the plot and acting seems to take itself seriously.
In this story, villain Lex Luthor is freed from his frozen prison in the far future and enslaves another villain called Time Trapper to send him back to the past. His plan: to reform the legion of doom and prevent Superman from growing up into the superhero he is by stealing him away when he first crash lands in Kansas as a baby. Now those are high stakes! We are talking about the very existence of the Justice League here! Into this adventures comes Dawnstar and Karate Kid (LOL), two wannabe superheroes who followed Luthor from the future and come face to face with the legendary heroes that they practically worshipped back home.
Giving life to our heroes (and villains) is a fine bunch of voice actors. Sadly, it is the writing that neuters any memorable or complex characterisation. Even Teen Titans: trouble in Tokyo felt more mature than this movie. Hampered by an indecisive script, our characters sound like one dimensional caricatures of their comic book selves. There is hardly any development as the plot progresses. It's like the early episodes of Superfriends, except that it keeps trying to be like Justice League: Doom. You got some good looking action and a couple of epic fights. But you also got badly timed comic relief like this stupid sequence of the heroes and villains playing "catch the baby" like something out of a Bugs Bunny cartoon. Then again, at barely 52 minutes long, one could not expect much.
JLA Adventures plays more like a hastily produced TV series pilot than a standalone movie. It even looks hastily produced. Animation studio DR Movie turns in some disappointing work making JLA Adventures look no better than their previous work on Justice League Unlimited more than 10 years ago. Animation is as inconsistent as the tone, with a few good sequences and the rest merely mediocre. As for the artwork, you either love Superman looking like a caricature or you do not. Designs take some getting used to but having characters go off model once too often spoils the experience.
For an audience of under 12 years old, JLA Adventures is a sufficient kid pleaser, offering a straight up battle between good end evil, zero plot complexity, simple characters and child friendly action. It may appeal to grown up fans who yearn for the old days where comics were for kids; a more innocent alternative to DC's PG-13 animated offerings. But for the more discerning viewer, even if you have not been a follower of past DC animated productions, the sub par quality of the overall production compared to other recent cartoons is a definite turn- off.
Review by xamtaro from the Internet Movie Database.