Batman: Under the Red Hood is the next film in the series of DC animated films released by Warner Bros. It marks the first time Batman has a solo film that isn't related to another film project. I don't think fans will be disappointed by this film at all. I was pleasantly surprised by the film as I immediately try not to have high expectations for them.
When Batman: Under the Red Hood was first announced, I had to instantly go back and read the Batman: Under the Hood storyline. I wanted to see if making this a film was feasible. There are some obvious changes that were made to the film, but that is because it is a film. I understand that films can not be one hundred percent true to the original source material. The thing I was most interested in was whether or not they would mention Superboy Prime's punch into the wall of time. They did change that around, but I thought it worked out just fine. If they changed something like the Joker using a gun instead of a crowbar and then an explosion, I would have been upset.
The film does a nice job at mixing the past and present together to make sense. It helps a lot for fans of Batman who do not read the comics as well as first time viewers. This marks the first time Jason Todd has appeared in DC animation and they needed to make sure they did a good job at introducing the character to not only inform you of who he is, but also why he is important to the Batman Universe.
As far as the voice cast, another superb job. Casting of the various characters was perfect. Bruce Greenwood took a unique direction with his Batman voice that made you understand the pain that he has felt after loosing his partner. Although it worked for this film, I would hope that when Greenwood is voicing Batman in the upcoming Young Justice series, he has more than sadness to express. John DiMaggio as the Joker was a unique take that I just might have to say, could be the new definitive Joker voice. It is a mix of sadistic, crazy, and funny, and it works perfectly. Jensen Ackles as Red Hood did an amazing job as well by really making you understand where the character is coming from. The supporting cast of Wade Williams as the Black Mask and Neil Patrick Harris as Nightwing also felt right.
As far as the special features go, I am reviewing the blu-ray version of the film which has more special features than the other versions released. The digital copy of the film is always a nice addition. One of the documentaries is about Jason Todd's death and the fans' involvement. It was good, but it was off-setting when I kept seeing images of Tim Drake and Dick Grayson shown when Todd was the only one being talked about. We also get a first look at Superman/Batman: Apocalypse. Based on the animation alone, this looks much more promising than Public Enemies. The DC Showcase was for Jonah Hex this time. I felt as if they chose Hex because of the release of the live-action film that didn't fare so well at the box office. It was good, but not memorable. The final documentary talked about the history of Dick Grayson as Robin. This was the best special feature ever released on these films.
Overall, I think Batman: Under the Red Hood was a fantastic film that did take some liberties in certain areas of the film, but it still worked and made the film entertaining. I would rate this at the top of the DC animated films as of right now. I can't help but to start to imagine, what they are going to do with Batman: Year One next year.
Batman: Under the Red Hood:
Reviewed by Dustin