Forget the ‘vs’ in the title. Batman vs TMNT is a marvelously fun tale that showcases the best of both sets of characters.
I beamed throughout as not just the heroes, but also the villains, were all shown in their best light, with a voice cast that perfectly suited the stories’ tone.
Having seen a good number of DC animates movies now I’m confident in saying they are mainly pretty average. Under the Red Hood and Assault on Arkham stand clear at the top, whilst The Killing Joke was dire and Year One was dull. Based on this it’s clear to me that the quality of the source can’t be counted on as an indicator of quality. Looking deeper I noticed that Under the Red Hood used a lack of continuity to it’s advantage, as it shaved off the more convoluted aspects and focused clearly on the characters.
Batman vs Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles also takes advantage of the format change as it takes the opportunity to focus squarely on fully enjoying two great sets of characters. Plenty has been carried over from the comic, which was great at getting the voices correct. Now we have the strong dialogue, with an amazing cast that help the genuine character interactions.
Of particular note in the cast is Troy Baker, who takes on both Batman and Joker – the first time this has been done I believe. Unless you were privy to that information you wouldn’t know they were voiced by the same person.
The story skips through several acts briskly without feeling rushed. Even better, it contains some amazing set pieces. The main example of this is the fighting between Batman and Shredder, who feel particularly well matched. It’s fantastic to see these characters duke it out, and you can see them struggle to figure each other out. Neither is used to someone taking such an attack and still standing.
On a personal note, the high point of the film is seeing Batman spar with Leonardo. Two of my favourite fictional characters discussing technique and learning. Be still my fanboy heart.
I could go on and on about the details. For instance, how the Turtle’s belt buckles resemble their initials. Or how the credits work through famous comic covers with some clever twists. There’s also Mikey’s sheer delight at everything Bat-related. I’m right there with him.
Batman vs TMNT is absolutely respectful of the characters and utterly joyous. If you’re in any way a fan of these guys and gals you need to try it.