Batman vs. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2019) marks the first time these characters have appeared together in a film, despite having had several cross overs in the comics. This film was based on a comic book mini series Batman/Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles by James Tynion IV and Freddie Williams II, and the first one in which Nickelodeon and Warner Bros have collaborated on. These characters go very well together and appearing together in their own animated film seemed quite inevitable. The overall product here is a fantastic one, an entertaining ride with a great mesh of styles.
Batman, Batgirl and Robin are investigating break-ins in Gotham City, it brings them face to face with Leonardo, Dontello, Michaelangelo and Raphael the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles who have been led to Gotham City by the Foot Clan. During their joint investigations they find out that Shredder has teamed up with one of Batman’s foes and they have a sinister plan that includes the mutagen. Their adventures take them to Arkham Asylum where part of the plan has already begun, can these heroes work together to save the day?
The storyline here is quite fun, Shredder being in Gotham City, working with a well-known foe and seeing him interact with Batman’s villains is great. In turn the Turtles are extremely well done, they manage to use their smarts to find the Batcave and their interactions with Batman, Batgirl, Robin and Alfred are so entertaining. There are various fight scenes that are animated with great technique and once again very fun, Batman vs. Shredder and Turtles vs various villains. The characters each share some strong chemistry, there are some memorable moments including those with pizza.
The mesh of different aspect goes together well, as does the animation style, the Turtles design for this cross over suits them well and they look great. The voice cast do great work as well, with highlights including Troy Baker as both Batman and The Joker, Kyle Mooney as Michaelangelo, Brian George as Alfred and Andrew Kishino as Shredder. Whether you are a fan of Batman, the Turtles or both this is sure to please. It offers something for non-fans as well, making it easily accessible.
Batman: Hush (2019) is loosely based on the comic book story of the same name by Jeph Loeb and Jim Lee, taking the story down the animation route. The initial story was a best seller and is considered one of the better Batman stories. This version adapts that basic story but makes changes to fit the animation film format, the changes made will only be known if you have read the source material and that could impact how one views the film.
The story here sees Batman/Bruce Wayne reconnect with Catwoman/Selina Kyle, an old foe and flame at a party. Whilst at the party Bruce gets word that a child has been kidnapped by Bane. Whilst rescuing the child, Batman runs into Lady Shiva who needs help to find out who has used the Lazarus Pit. Meanwhile Catwoman is out to steal the ransom money, where a shadowy figure simply known as Hush makes a shot for Batman causing him to fall and get injured badly. As it turns out Catwoman is being used by Poison Ivy, whom in turn is being used by Hush. The mystery grows deeper as it becomes apparently the person in shadows knows far too much about Batman/Bruce Wayne and the villains of Gotham. What is their plan and who is behind it all?
What works here is the excellent animation, the action sequences and the intrigue for the main mystery at hand. The relationship between Batman/Bruce Wayne with Catwoman/Selina Kyle is handled rather well and adds another layer to the film. Where the film faulters, the pacing feels a little too fast at times and some aspects really should have been explored a lot more. The third act is quite rushed, and this is where more attention and fleshing out the story would have helped immensely. It is a little disappointing because the story here is interesting, the mystery is one to keep an audience guessing and having perhaps a little longer running time would have elevated this film.
The voice cast are fantastic and once again Jason O’Mara proves he knows his stuff as Batman/Bruce Wayne having voiced the character for some time. He brings a lot to the character with his voice work and does the brooding aspect quite well. Jennifer Morrison made for a convincing and fun Catwoman/Selina Kyle, her voice work brings a lot to the character, she understands her and knew just how-to bring Selina to life. Other stand outs are Vanessa Williams as Amanda Waller, Peyton List as Poison Ivy/Batgirl and Jerry O’Connell as Superman/Clark Kent all of whom did a great job with their roles. Batman: Hush is a highly watchable film, despite its flaws, a lot of work went into the film and it does show. It is a film that can be understood by anyone who isn’t big into comics, DC have a good track record with making their animated films easily accessible. It shall be interesting to see what other comic stories they adapt in the future.
Reviews written by Marcella Papandrea