Warner Bros and D.C. have had a long-standing tradition of premiering animated movies at WonderCon. This year, they’ve unveiled Batman vs. Robin, the follow up to last year’s Son of Batman, focusing on the father-son relationship between Bruce Wayne and Damian Wayne (the current Robin). This movie is also the animated debut of the Court of Owls and their assassins, the Talons.
At the heart of this movie is a conflict between father and son. For those of you unfamiliar with Damian Wayne, his mother is Talia al Ghul, which would make Batman villain Ra’s al Ghul his grandfather. One of Damian’s internal conflicts deals with the philosophical differences between Ra’s al Ghul’s training and what Batman is trying to instill in Damian. Damian was beginning to take to Batman’s philosophical sense of justice until he witnessed a Talon kill the Doll Maker, setting up the major conflict of the movie.
Aside from a little father-son strife, one of the best parts of film is the Court of Owls. While the movie borrows heavily from Scott Snyder’s Court of Owls storyline, it’s not a direct adaptation: instead, it creatively uses story elements to fashion an original story. In particular, Batman vs. Robin is pretty heavy on action. I won’t spoil too much, but Alfred wielding a shotgun is easily one of the best parts.
Despite the fact that this is an animated film, it’s not something I would show the kids. If this were a live action film, it would easily get an R rating, especially early on in the movie when we see what the Doll Maker is doing to these children. In particular, with all these fight scenes, I was wondering how Batman could survive getting stabbed so often.
Lastly, the voice talent is top notch. Jason O’Mara (Life on Mars, Vegas) has clearly proven that he’s more than capable of voicing Batman. Sean Maher (Firefly, Serenity) delivers some of the lighter moments as Nightwing/Dick Grayson. David McCallum (NCIS, The Man From U.N.C.L.E.) is one of the more memorable actors to voice Alfred in recent years.
Batman vs. Robin is coming to Blu-ray and DVD April 14th.