I Watched: Animated Batman (part 1)

I’ve never bothered with animated DC films before, I’m not sure what to expect but I’m writing my thoughts all the same. I may not have started with the most newbie friendly animated films but I have enough understanding of DC to keep up with the plot.

Batman: Bad Blood – A movie about the strength of the sidekicks. Batman goes missing so Nightwing and Damien Wayne Robin team up to save him. Nightwing dresses as Batman and the resentment of the father figure comes into the dialogue. Batwoman is an important player with a bit of backstory and Batwing is introduced as a sort of Iron Man, Batman hybrid. The plot is all about Talia Al Ghul trying to control the world with the mind altering power of the Mad Hatter. Alfred shows himself to be a fighter in his own right. It’s an interesting little story and I found it engaging to watch, it shows how much Batman could do if he had help.

Batman: Gotham Knight – This one starts off with an animation style where everyone looks like a blob with limbs, some blobby teens are discussing what Batman is, all with inaccurate but interesting ideas. We then get a sort of title chapter card which sends us into better quality animation. The film is split into these chapter type things which leaves us with a story about Batman coping with pain over time. He faces Scarecrow, Killer Croc and Deadshot but doesn’t spend long facing any of them. Batman’s pain is over explored in movies and the overarching story didn’t do justice to the villains who were just minor obstacles in this film. It’s alright as a short movie but story is what I want from animation and this didn’t deliver.

Batman: Mystery Of The Batwoman – A new vigilante is in town, a woman who bases her appearance on Batman and isn’t bothered about killing. It’s a decent movie with the Penguin and some gangsters as the villains, they bring in Bane as extra muscle; while Batman tries to work out the identity of Batwoman (which is clever enough to keep you guessing), Batwoman is attacking the Penguin’s business. It has a really nice animation/graphic style, looking like a proper Saturday morning cartoon (a bit like Scooby Doo) and has a good serious plot. Robin and Alfred make brief appearances plus we have a scene with the smartest henchman ever. They did well to have Batman focus on Batwoman, but Penguin and his schemes didn’t feel important enough. A good film with some humour and plenty of character and action.

Batman vs Robin – Justice, not vengeance. This film is all about the Damien Wayne Robin struggling to shake off the teachings of Ra’s Al Ghul, to learn that killing isn’t the answer. There’s a murderer vigilante called Talon who’s capable of taking on the bat clan of Batman, Robin and Nightwing plus Alfred (who gets a shotgun). Talon has a zombie ninja army to back him up. Talon is working for an organisation of the rich and powerful of Gotham who want to rule and they use Robin’s murderous instinct along with his internal conflict about Batman‘s teachings to take advantage as much as they can. It’s a deep story that explores the vigilante hero vs killer mentality, it’s s well done on screen. The film should really be called Batman: The Court Of Owls because he doesn’t really fight Robin as much as the title suggests. I enjoyed watching it and I liked seeing what Batman does when desperately defending his home.

Extra

  • These films aren’t really connected, they share characters and have different stories, but personalities and motivations differ too much to be one consistent story. They should all be viewed as stand-alone.
  • The art style on most of these films is pretty good, even when it changes it still fits quite well.

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