JUSTICE LEAGUE ANIMATED PART 8: Behind the Scenes on Episodes 6-11

JUSTICE LEAGUE ANIMATED PART 8: Behind the Scenes on Episodes 6-11

In the eighth installment of this ongoing behind the scenes look at the making of Justice League: The Animated Series, the focus is on episodes 6-11, consisting of the two-part "The Enemy Below," two-part "Paradise Lost" and the two-part "War World."

jla - enemy below

Episodes 6-7

“The Enemy Below”
Part 1 Original Airdate: December 3, 2001
Part 2 Original Airdate: December 10, 2001
Written by Kevin Hopps
Directed by Dan Riba
Guest Starring: Kristin Bauer (Mera), Scott Rummel (Aquaman), Richard Green (Orm), Xander Berkeley (General Brak), Michael Rosenbaum (Deadshot), Jason Marsden (Snapper Carr)
PLOT SUMMARY: While Aquaman addresses the World Assembly about his determination to protect the oceans from human contamination following the sinking of a nuclear submarine, his half-brother, Orm, attempts to take over his underwater kingdom. The Justice League tries to save the Atlanteans while at the same time stopping Orm’s plan of melting the polar ice caps.
PRODUCTION NOTES: “My complaints are mostly in the look of it,” says Bruce Timm. “We had switched over to a digital palette, because we’d switched over to doing digital ink and paint and camera work and that’s something that plagued us all the way through season one. Basically we took our old cartoon color acrylic paint palette and transferred it to a digital format and something got lost in the process. The colors got too bright; they print actually a little bit milkier and brighter than they did when it was actual ink and paint. We had so many other things to be aware of, that it wasn’t something we really focused on until quite late in the first season, when it was too late to do anything about it. So that show is too bright to me. I think it needs to be much darker and richer visually.
“The story,” he continues, “I thought was pretty good. The dialogue – and this plagued us in that first year – sounds like place holder dialogue to me; an over-reliance on superhero cliché speak. That kind of really jumps out at me when I watch that show. But, the story itself is strong, I like the new badass, barbarian version of Aquaman. When we broke the story, we knew the scene where he cut off his hand was going to be one of those classic moments that everybody was going to be buzzing about. Technically, I wish I could go back and do my special edition of it and pump it up just a little bit in terms of the animation. But it’s still really strong. Fortunately, that was the show where the composers really started finding their groove as to what the music of Justice League should sound like.”

jla - paradise lost

Episodes 8-9

“Paradise Lost”
Part 1 Original Airdate: January 21, 2002
Part 2 Original Airdate: January 28, 2002
Written by Joseph Kuhr
Directed by Dan Riba
Guest Starring: Susan Sullivan (Hippolyta), Robert Englund (Felix Faust), John Rhys-Davies (Lord Hades), Jason Marsden (Snapper Carr), Andrea Romano (Amazon Officer)
PLOT SUMMARY: Wonder Woman turns to the League to help rescue her people on Paradise Island, who have been turned into statues by sorcerer Felix Faust. As they attempt to do so, they learn that Faust’s ultimate plan is to free Hades from the underworld.
PRODUCTION NOTES: Bruce Timm explains that the staff was trying to stay true to DC mythology whenever possible, which meant that they would often go through the rogues’ gallery to see which villains they could use. “Felix Faust,” he says, “when you look at him in the comics, he’s okay but just one of a number of sorcerers they had. Something about the way he was costumed had a vaguely Egyptian feel to it. In the weird stream of consciousness that is my head, I kind of connected Robert E. Howard with Weird Tales to Boris Karloff’s The Mummy, somehow. Kind of six degrees of madness. So that was the kind of take I was at least thinking of on him. The little montage flashback sequence to Hippolyta and Hades was quite nice. But the thing that I remember most about ‘Paradise Lost’ is that we were trying to step up the spectacle level, in the third act especially. When I saw the storyboard, what the artist had done, I kind of gasped and thought, ‘There’s no way they’re going to be able to pull this off on a TV budget,’ but the story really needed that kind of huge scale. So we took a deep breath, shipped it off to Korea and crossed our fingers. We were so relieved when it came back that not only was it not crappy, it was actually very, very good. This huge army of zombies, the portal into Hell and all the effects, massive columns breaking loose and getting sucked into the portal – we were pretty blown away ourselves.”

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