Following on the smash success of “Watchmen” Warner Brothers Premiere has released “Tales of the Black Freighter” on DVD and Blu-Ray. The features laden set is truly impressive an tells the story within a story of The Black Freighter in an animated format. Fans of the graphic novel Watchmen will remember that the newsstand owner had a patron who would read a pirate adventure and that the savage tale also served as a counter point to the events happening in the Watchmen universe.
The animated feature is voiced by Gerard Butler and tells the story of a captain who is the lone survivor of an assault by a mysterious freighter. Convinced that the freighter is headed to his home, the captain faces a series of ghastly challenges to stay alive and return home. As the obstacles mount, the captain slowly starts to lose his grip on reality which leads to a startling finale.
The top flight animation serves the episode well as does Butler’s solid voice work. The episode is briskly paced and runs in at roughly 3o minutes.
Another feature of the set is the Under the Hood segment which tells the story of the original Night Owl Hollis Mason and provides a background on the world of the Watchmen. Done in the format of a television interview show, the great segment features characters from the film as they tell the story of the original Night Owl and the formation of The Minutemen and Watchmen as well as the villains they faced and the pending Keane Act.
This was a fantastic and unexpected feature of the disc and when combined with the look at the upcoming Green lantern DVD made this collection an absolute gem.