You’ll be hard pressed to find a bigger fan of the animated DC Universe than me. So it goes without saying that I enjoyed last year’s Son of Batman that introduced Bruce Wayne’s long lost son, Damian into the mix of things. Following up that film is this year’s Batman vs Robin, which gives a whole new definition to parental growing pains as the father and son take on a new enemy as well as each other.
The setting takes place not long after the events in Son of Batman, as Damian is coming to grips with being Robin and Bruce’s son. He’s used to dealing with bad guys “differently” from the way Batman does (let’s just say they don’t get a second chance), and Bruce on the other hand has no idea on how to be a father to him. So what happens when a secret society that has controlled Gotham City for decades called the Court of Owls comes out of hiding, and comes after Batman and Robin while all of this father and son friction comes to a head? You guessed it! The two are going to have to work together to stop them and their lead assassin named Talon, if they don’t kill each other first.
While it may not be as awesome as the animated Justice League films, Batman vs Robin still has plenty of action and intrigue to keep viewers on the edge of their bat-seats. Jason O’Mara and Stuart Allan do well as Batman and Robin, while Jeremy Sisto voices Talon fairly well. What really blew my mind was learning that “Weird Al” Yankovic voices one of the crazed villains in the film (see if you can spot him, though I doubt you will). Watching any of the DCU animated films in high definition is always a plus, as the Blu-ray makes sure the visuals and audio come through crystal clear.
Also thanks to Blu-ray, there’s space for some nice HD extras, starting with the feature length audio commentary by director Jay Oliva and some of the crew. Here they give insights into the making of the movie and how things came together. “Gotham City’s Secret: The Mythic Court of Owls” runs around 30 minutes and goes into the comic book history and origins of the Court of Owls and how it’s been a fan favorite adversary of Batman’s. “Talons of the Owl” is a nice 15 minute extra that shows how Talon came to be and what went into making him be a perfect match for Batman to go up against.
If that wasn’t enough for you, there’s a near ten minute preview of the next DCU animated movie, Justice League: Gods and Monsters. Coming out later this year, the plot looks to follow an alternate DC Universe where our heroes may not be so heroic. Also our friends at Warner Bros. were kind enough to send us the limited edition version of this Blu-ray release, which includes a neat Batman figurine that’s sure to be a huge plus for fans and collectors alike.
Batman vs Robin is another great entry in the ever growing line of the DC Universe animated films. It has plenty of action and mystery to keep hardcore Batman fans as well as newcomers glued to the screen. Throw in some neat extras and a sweet Batman figure in the limited edition release (It’s MY Batman figure! No touchy!) and you have a Blu-ray that’s more than worthy to swoop into your collection.