For the past day or so, one particular YouTube link has been generating growing heat among fans. No, not the Dark Knight Rises trailer, though that obviously has been. I’m talking about this:
The source of most of the consternation regarding this video is the title: 2012 JUSTICE LEAGUE CARTOON SERIES SNEAK PEAK. Let me reassure you: that’s simply not true.
What you’re seeing is the DC Super Friends cartoon that was produced by Fisher-Price as a companion for its superlative Imaginext line of toys. In fact, if you click here, you can see the Super Friends cartoon in question as one of the rotating selections in the “Episodes” box on the lower right. The cartoon went up on the site in 2010, and has appeared repeatedly as part of a pack-in DVD that comes with certain Imaginext and Heroworld sets. Often, the episode is on disc with other cartoons featuring other Imaginext expressions, like knights or pirates. The use of “DC Super Friends” as the kids’ brand goes back several years, including the comic that launched in 2008 and the initial Mattel line from 2007.
Many of the fans that believed that this was a preview for a new Justice League series were put off by its younger-skewing nature. Well, Imaginext is a line for small children, pres-school to grade school, and the cartoons reflect that. This Super Friends take runs in the vein of the similarly targeted “Super Hero Squad” from Marvel: goofy humor and no serious danger. If you’re four, these cartoons are pretty swell. If you’re fourteen or forty, well, you weren’t the target audience. I reached out to Warner, and while no official statement was made, I do have the understanding that this was a one-off, produced by Fisher-Price, and made strictly for the toy site and pack-in DVDs.
For now, if you want to see the Justice League in animation, tune in to “Young Justice”. But let’s clarify one more time: this YouTube poster, either out of puckishness or ignorance, posted a misleading title. It’s just Imaginext.