jlaatit

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21 COMMON QUESTIONS ANSWERED ABOUT JLA ADVENTURES: TRAPPED IN TIME

1. This movie is a BRAND NEW 52 minute adventure and a Target exclusive.

2.  It has the Hall of Justice and the Legion of Doom in it!

3. Dawnstar and Karate Kid join the JLA from the future!

4. It’s currently available on DVD, no word on BluRay yet

5. I’m pretty sure it’s not available internationally (yet, unfortunately) but that could change in time. 

6. I’m not sure if it’s available in Canada ( Canadians, let me know if you get confirmation either way.)

7. Character designs were done by Lynell Forestall, known for creating the Black Lightning shorts for DC Nation! (Also with tons of help from fellow SVA grad Kano “Danny” Kimanyen and Steve Jones). 

8. This movie was written by Mike Ryan, the guy behind GLTAS’ “Lost Planet (the Mogo episode)” and “Loss (the episode that causes millions of Fanterns to shriek in horror)”

9. “JLAA: Trapped in Time” is scored by Freddie Wiedmann, the genius behind the music of Green Lantern the Animated Series!

10. This film was animated by the DR Movie, one of the main Korean studios that worked on Avatar: The Last Airbender

11. “JLA: Trapped in Time” is safe for ALL AGES so it’s not as dark as say, “Justice League Flashpoint” or the upcoming “Justice League: War”.  Think of it as closer to Avatar’s “Warriors of Kyoshi” or Green Lantern’s “Babel” in tone.

12. Speaking of Avatar, Dante Basco, the voice of Zuko plays Karate Kid!

13. Grey DeLisle (the voice of Avatar’s Azula and Aya from GLTAS) plays Wonder Woman!

14. Jason Spisak, the voice of GLTAS’ Razer and Young Justice’s Wally West plays Flash!

15. Laura Bailey, the voice of Black Widow in Marvel’s Avengers Assemble plays Dawnstar!

16. Diedrich Bader returns to his role as Batman (From Brave and the Bold!)

17. Jack DeSena (the voice of Sokka in Avatar ) plays Robin!

18. Liam O'Brien, (the voice of Naruto’s Gaara) plays Aquaman!

19.  It’s my return to traditional animation after 6 years in CG, and also my return to directing after 3 years of only producing.

20. Sadly Green Lantern is not in this one, but in my head canon he was too busy fighting the Aya-Monitor and the Manhunters to participate in this battle. :)

21. It comes out Tuesday January 21!!

UPDATE:  I answered the Wally West/ Barry Allen question via the Twitter screen grab above. :)

JLAATIT: Time Travel Theories as Explained by a Dumb Artist

I’ve read a number of JLA Adventure reviews that have been predominantly positive, and I’m super thankful for that!  

But one common criticism questions our rules of time travel.  So here’s my shot at trying to explain Time Trapper’s abilities, at least as we saw it during the writing process.  I’m not saying this is going to completely cinch up the apparent plot holes, but it may make you see them not nearly as huge.

WARNING:  JLA ADVENTURES: TRAPPED IN TIME SPOILERS BELOW. 

Time Trapper doesn’t have the ability to simply wave his hands and change the time continuum.  It’s not quite that easy.  He does have the power to open portals to the future or the past.  If someone were to use those portals to travel to the past and alter reality, it would then grant Time Trapper the OPTION to wave his hands and “banish” certain people or things from existence.

For example, when Bizarro hurled Superbaby off the planet, it didn’t instantly cause Superman to vanish.  As Time Trapper’s explains it: “ I now have the power to banish thee away, Superman.”   With the wave of his hand, he did just that.

A lot of people didn’t buy that simply taking out Superman would instantly take out the rest of the Justice League.  To be honest, our original idea was that the Legion of Doom would target Superman, Batman, AND Wonder Woman’s origins, much closer to the original Superfriends episode this movie was inspired by.  Flash got the unfortunate assignment to “right” Batman’s botched origin - which would have involved allowing Bruce Wayne’s parents to get murdered so Batman would still come to be.  It’s one of those tough character dilemmas I love to include in my work - but was ultimately discouraged from doing so for a kid’s movie.  

So, we came up with the “Pivotal Event Theory" to "simplify” things (pay attention, because this come back into play later in the movie). The act of Clark Kent/ Kal-el becoming Superman is such an important moment in time, it spawned a bunch of other pivotal events in time, including inspiring other would-be heroes to embrace their destiny and join the fight against evil. Think of Superman’s origin as a “tree trunk” of events in time, and the branches that shoot from it include the creation of Wonder Woman, Batman, etc.  All one has to do is “chop down the tree” of a pivotal event, and it potentially takes down all the branches with it (I say potentially because, remember, it only allows Time Trapper the ability to change things, but doesn’t happen automatically).

I always imagined when Time Trapper banished the rest of the Justice League, they did not literally cease existing.  They just lived in alternate realities where they never came to be heroes.  Superman grew up in a solar system near a red sun, never recognizing his super powers.  Princess Diana never made it off Themyscira (or maybe did, but decided to go home after she got sick of Steve Trevor).  Bruce Wayne might still be mourning the loss of his parents, but never actively did anything about it, etc.  In hindsight, some pick up shots of these things happening could have been useful.

So why does eradicating the Justice League not also eliminate the Legion of Doom?

The answer points to another restriction in Time Trapper’s powers.  Akin to a genie in a lamp, Time Trappers’s like a slave to whoever carries the Eternity Glass.  He could have easily concluded that without the Justice League, there would never be a Legion of Doom, including Lex Luthor.  But those weren’t his orders from Lex.  He could only banish the people Lex instructed him to.  This is why you still see Bizarro, Solomon Grundy and company running around despite there never being a Justice League.

Lex and Time Trapper went horribly wrong, by the way, by not banishing the would-be Legionnaires when they had a chance to.  As Dawnstar explains:  “You saw what the Time Trapper did to the Justice League.  They could do the very same to us.”  - suggesting if the JLA never existed, then neither would superheroes in general, including themselves.

Lex severely underestimated the kid’s ability to put things back the way they were, so he lets them get away.   This is (admittedly) a clumsy call, especially when we’re talking about a criminal mastermind like Lex Luthor.  I guess you can chalk that mistake up to cockiness.  

Next, let’s address how the kids reversed all the wrong that was done by altering a few things in time:

In the same way Superman’s origin is a “Pivotal Event”, so is Lex getting frozen in the iceberg. If Lex was never thawed out in the 31st century, then he’d never release Time Trapper, never come back and alter Superman’s origin, never banish the JLA ,etc.  Our heroes Karate Kid and Dawnstar piece this theory together, and put it to the test by freeing Lex. Fortunately for them, it works - sort of.

Because of the paradox of there being TWO Lex Luthors in existence at once, it gave Time Trapper the option (and ability) to get rid of one “Lex” of his choice.  I know this contradicts Time Trapper’s rules as previously explained, but we decided as story tellers this would be the “clause” that would work in Time Trapper’s favor and motivate our plot twist.  Does he banish the woozy Lex lost in the arctic?  Or does he choose the one that has him in chains and is currently bossing him around?  Time Trapper goes with the one that will break his chains of servitude forever.

Lastly, one might ask how the Justice League automatically appeared just by freeing Lex from the iceberg?  Based off of what’s explained above, wouldn’t that have required Time Trapper to wave his hands and bring them BACK into existence?

The honest answer is, yes, that would have been preferable.  The kids should have not only had to free Lex, but somehow “tricked” Time Trapper into allowing the Justice League to reenter our current time frame.  But alas, the movie was only 52 minutes long and we were running out of screen time.  The best way I can explain it is that releasing “Frozen Lex” is the equivalent of taking that chopped down Pivotal Event tree and replanting it up right in the soil, good as new.  With it, all the other branches of events blossom and proceed as normal.

So in summary, changing events in the past doesn’t automatically banish characters, but it does grant Time Trapper the ability to do so.  Putting things back the way they were in the first place seems to TRUMP Time Trapper’s subsequent meddling.

I fully recognize this post doesn’t make everything squeaky clean according to Steven Hawking and Neil DeGrasse Tyson, but it does help iron out some of the larger wrinkles in logic.  And posting this will probably invite more debate that will only prove me further wrong.  I do regret not doing a better job explaining this within the film, so one doesn’t have to resort to reading my Tumblr page for an explanation.

At the end of the day, no one’s really an expert in time travel, because it is (currently) not possible to do - unless you count moving forward in time, second by second, as we’re all doing right now.

Ultimately our hope was that viewers would kinda roll with it and have a good time, in the same way they can accept an alien race that looks just like us can send one of their own to our planet who’d attain god like powers because of his proximity to our sun.  

Thanks for watching (and reading), and for your time.

:)

Giancarlo