DVD review of ‘Batman vs. Dracula‘, an animated movie that’s definitely not for children. It’s an entertaining horror film, but not meant for young kids.
The Batman vs Dracula: The Animated Movie (2005) – DVD review
The basic premise of Batman vs. Dracula is pretty much given away by the title – Bruce Wayne, who uses darkness and mystery to protect Gotham City, tries to defend it against a newly-revived Count Dracula. The film is surprising on several levels. In many ways, this is a horror film in the style of Christopher Lee’s Dracula movies made for Hammer Films in England. It is not something that you want to let young children watch, as they will be guaranteed nightmares.
Several of the scenes are ghoulish, such as when the Penguin, searching for hidden treasure in a cemetery, accidentally cuts his hand and a single drop of blood falls on the skeleton of Dracula in his coffin, causing his withered heart to start beating and the flesh to gradually reform on his bones. Throughout, the cinematography is excellent, and scarily appropriate. This is a horror film featuring the Batman, not a cartoon featuring Dracula.
There are some very interesting subplots binding the story together – Bruce Wayne’s relationship with reporter Vicki Vale, the comparison, and contrast, between Batman and Dracula, the underlying history of Bruce Wayne’s murdered parents, who in one sense take center stage in this film, and make the Batman more human in his portrayal. It’s also interesting to see his self-doubt, as he finds himself hopelessly outclassed after a physical confrontation with Dracula.
There are some drawbacks to the film. It’s set in the cartoon The Batman – The Complete First Season (DC Comics Kids Collection), which I personally am not a huge fan of; especially in its’ portrayal of the Joker and the Penguin, two of the main characters in this movie. The Joker’s appearance is bizarre, to say the least, although his character portrayal is dead-on right. The Penguin, however, is portrayed as a comical buffoon, which is too bad — he’s all too dangerous as he’s portrayed in the comics, a vicious, intelligent, cruel man. Early in the film, when he escapes from the Arkham Asylum for the Criminally Insane, we see a slight glimmer of his potential — for the only time.
Product description of Batman vs. Dracula
Gotham City sleeps under the cover of darkness while two legendary bats take flight. One is turning the city into an army of vampires, while the other does everything he can to stop the mayhem. But Dracula isn’t simply one of The Batman’s usual foes: He has supernatural powers of strength, speed and mind control. Even with his arsenal of high-tech gadgets, the Dark Knight is still a mortal. This is the one face-off that could clip The Batman’s wings permanently!
Editorial review of Batman vs. Dracula courtesy of Amazon.com
The creators of the popular The Batman animated series pit the Caped Crusader against the Prince of Darkness in this energetic full-length animated feature. This isn’t the first time Batman (Rino Romano) has squared off against Dracula–the Dark Knight faced him in the critically acclaimed graphic novel Red Rain–but in this battle, he’s up against not only the King of the Vampires (voiced with gusto by Peter Stormare) but his longtime foes the Joker (Kevin Michael Richardson) and the Penguin (Spongebob Squarepants’ Tom Kenny); it’s the latter who accidentally revives Dracula, and reluctantly aids the bloodsucker in unleashing a wave of vampirism in Gotham. Can the Batman defeat this terrible trio in time before lady-love Vicky Vale (Tara Strong) becomes their next victim? Only one way to find out–and while you’re enjoying the film, be sure to explore the supplemental features, which include “Voices in Close-up,” with behind-the-scenes footage and interviews with the film’s vocal talent, as well as “City of the Knight,” a game that allows access to additional behind-the-scenes glimpses. –Paul Gaita