Batman and Superman join forces when the Joker teams up with Lex Luthor to destroy them in THE BATMAN/SUPERMAN MOVIE, a hip and stylish made-for-video cartoon.
After discovering that the Joker (voice of Mark Hamill) has stolen a statuette made of kryptonite, Batman (voice of Kevin Conroy) follows the archcriminal from Gotham to Metropolis. In Metropolis, Batman's alter-ego, industrialist Bruce Wayne, meets reporter Lois Lane (voice of Dana Delany) and
begins wining and dining her, much to the chagrin of Superman (voice of Tim Daly) and his alter-ego Clark Kent. Superman discovers Batman's true identity, and the rivalry between the two men spills over when they don their costumes, resulting in a fistfight. Later, the Joker coerces Lex Luthor
(voice of Clancy Brown) into a scheme to destroy Batman and Superman and they kidnap Lois and bring her to Luthor's LexCorp, where he manufactures robotic military weapons. When Superman comes to rescue her, the Joker subdues him with kryptonite, but Batman arrives and restores Superman's powers
by pouring acid on the deadly substance. After they repel an attack of gigantic robotic spiders, during which, Batman's mask comes off and Lois sees that he's really Wayne, the Joker tries to kill them by blowing up LexCorp, but they escape and the Joker is trapped inside during the explosion.
Wayne then says goodbye to Lois and warns Kent to treat her right.
Although the narrative suffers from being formatted for eventual airing as a multi-part episode on the Cartoon Network TV series (the credits even bear the episode title "World's Finest"), the artwork in BATMAN/SUPERMAN is exceptionally well done. Drawn in the series's best neo-noir style, which
imitates the look of the vintage 1940s Fleischer Bros. "Superman" cartoons, the visuals feature a striking use of forced perspective and the illusion of deep focus. Scenes of Superman and Batman soaring through the night skies of Metropolis have a sense of grace and velocity that's rare in
contemporary animation, and the plethora of colorful explosions and psychedelic "lighting" schemes are imaginatively rendered. The nonstop action should delight kids, particularly the very cool robotic spiders, which are obviously modeled on Phil Tippett's creations for the ROBOCOP movies, but
there's nothing childish about the movie's sensibility. In some ways, the depiction of the characters remind one of Russ Myer's formula for his movies: "Square jaws and big bosoms." The ridiculously muscular, ruggedly handsome Wayne and Kent are virtually identical cliches of he-man beefcake,
possessing sharp granite-like features and huge upper torsos, while the brassy and aggressive Lois practically throws herself at Wayne and is seen in a variety of tight dresses and clinging nighties. The jealousy and clash of egos between the Man of Steel and the Caped Crusader is also amusing,
prompting Lois to accuse Batman of "suffering from propulsion envy." Like its recent made-for-video predecessor, BATMAN & MR. FREEZE: SUBZERO (1998), this is another comic-strip adventure that's superior to its bigscreen, live-action cousins.(Violence.)
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- Released: 1998
- Rating: NR
- Review: Batman and Superman join forces when the Joker teams up with Lex Luthor to destroy them in THE BATMAN/SUPERMAN MOVIE, a hip and stylish made-for-video cartoon. After discovering that the Joker (voice of Mark Hamill) has stolen a statuette made of kryptoni… (more)