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Batman vs. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2019)
VOD Reviews

Batman vs. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2019)

A fantastic DC Animated epic that perfectly blends the two seemingly opposite franchises in strange, satisfying ways.

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A group of mysterious ninjas calling themselves the Foot Clan have been stealing high-tech gear from various companies in Gotham City. They’re also being trailed by four mutant man-size turtles: Leonardo (Eric Bauza), Raphael (Darren Criss), Michelangelo (Kyle Mooney), and Donatello (Baron Vaughn). One night, these bodacious bros are spotted during a robbery by the Foot at a lab being toured by Barbara Gordon aka Batgirl (Rachel Bloom). She informs Batman (Troy Baker), who takes it upon himself to get to the next target before the next robbery since the next target is Wayne Enterprises.

The Ninja Turtles arrive to find The Penguin (Tom Kenny) and his crew about to rob Wayne Enterprises. Fighting ensues. Meanwhile, inside Wayne Enterprises, Batman foils the Foot Clan and makes quick work of them. He comes face to face with Shredder (Andrew Kishino). Fighting ensues. Batman and Shredder are evenly matched, but Shredder utilizes an ancient technique that badly injures both combatants and then he flees. Not long after, the turtles and Batman meet… and again, fighting ensues! Batman manhandles the Ninja Turtles, forcing them to retreat.

After Donatello deduces the location of the Batcave, the turtles re-encounter Batman as well as Batgirl and Robin (Ben Giroux) and realize they must work together to stop Shredder and whatever his plans in Gotham may be. Meanwhile, Shredder’s plans are forced to change once it’s revealed he’s working for Ra’s al Ghul (Cas Anvar), whose plans also include Batman’s famous rogue gallery in Arkham Asylum in their quest to destroy Gotham City once and for all.

Batman vs. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles is just a lot of fun! It’s also incredibly fast-paced as the entire set-up happens in the first 2 minutes, leaving that much more time for action! The lightning fast pacing of this hour and 27 min animated film is all thanks to writer Marly Halpern-Graser (Right Now Kapow, Batman Unlimited, Teen Tians Go!) and director Jake Castorena (The Death of Superman, Scooby-Doo & Batman, Justice League Action). The story seamlessly weaves between points of view (Batfamily, Turtles, the bad guys). There’s loads of action, plenty of story building, and laughs galore.

The voice-acting is as confusing as it is excellent. Why is it confusing? Batman sounds like he’s being voiced by Kevin Conroy and Joker sounds like Mark Hammill. I was shocked to learn that both characters are actually voiced by franchise veteran Troy Baker doing impressions of the other actors! All other characters are also played to perfection.

The animation feels like a great hybrid of the various DC animated series and the TMNT animated series on Nickelodeon. You can tell where each component comes from, but they’re blended in such a way it creates a look that’s uniquely its own thing.

Batman vs. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles is a must-see animation, especially for fans of either franchise. It was great to see how some of the characters were re-imagined, and the story is perfectly tailored to accommodate the nuances of both Batman and TMNT universes, even going so far to blend the lines further when we ultimately learn the extent of Ras al Ghul’s plans. After a few near-misses recently, it’s great to see a truly fantastic DC Animated Movie again, even one set in a wacky crossover world of vigilante bats and ninja turtles. It’s been a while, and hopefully this is the first in a return to their former greatness.

About the Author: Travis Seppala