Can’t wait to see “Watchmen” on the big screen? You can now watch the graphic novel “ all 12 chapters of it “ come to life from the comfort of your couch with “Watchmen: The Complete Motion Comics.”
The two-disc set collects the animated shorts that first appeared online, each of which literally translates Alan Moore’s words and Dave Gibbons’ art panel by panel, page by page, with one actor performing the voices like an audiobook. It looks just the “Watchmen” issues “ colors, letters and all “ and is just shy of being a full-fledged cartoon, resembling a comic if it were in 3-D, with some articulated movement.
But there’s always something going on, which keeps the visuals from being purely static. The ever-changing inkblot face of Rorschach is a hypnotic effect, and Dr. Manhattan occasionally crackles with a blue glow of sparks. The superhero epic moves with action as it delves into doomsday issues in a Nixon-led ’80s, as faithful to the book as one could possibly be, because it essentially is the book.
So why not read the book? It’s a more enriching experience, although there’s nothing wrong with having it this way as well. But given a running time of nearly five and a half hours, I’d recommend breaking up your viewing into two or three sittings.
I would have liked to have seen a segment to show how this animation process was achieved, but the only extras are trailers: for the “Watchmen” movie, the “Watchmen” game and the upcoming “Wonder Woman” animated feature.