I think it’s safe to say that everyone remembers Batman from a cartoon or TV show when they were kids. We’ve recently had a bout of dark, gritty, adult Batman movies in the media – and they’re wonderful – but they are not always a good way to introduce this amazing character to children. As a comic, Batman’s beginnings were full of humor and PG themes – children being a large target market for comics. It’s good to see that DC has not turned their back on the family market. Really, who loves Batman more than kids? Batman Unlimited: Animal Instincts (BU) resides nicely in the family genre category. There are jokes and antics for every age group without alienating anyone.
“When Gotham City is plagued by a rash of bizarre crimes committed by the animal-inspired villain squad, the Animilitia (made up of Silverback, Cheetah, Killer Croc and Man-Bat), Batman swings into action to investigate. But could the Animilita be working for powerful businessman Oswald Cobblepot aka The Penguin? How does Cobblepot’s new invention of robotic Cyber Animals fit into the mix? In the end, it’ll take the combined forces of Batman, Green Arrow, Flash, Nightwing and Red Robin to fight off these “ANIMAL INSTINCTS.” ~ Warner Bros. Entertainment
Like many other straight-to-video feature films, BU‘s story is self contained. You don’t have to know anything about the DC Universe to understand what is going on or who the characters are. There is a bit of mystery to the plot, but it isn’t so complicated that kids can’t follow along. On the other hand, it will also keep parents guessing up to the ending. The care spent creating that balance is worth appreciation.
The best part of BU is the mash-up of characters. The humor based around the team-up of Batman, Nightwing, Red Robin, Flash, and Arrow (aka Green Arrow) is great fun, and the tension between Flash and Nightwing is convincing. They are polar opposites personality-wise, so it is a pretty realistic representation of how they would react meeting each other. All of the character interactions work the same way, so nothing feels forced or awkward.
The animation is typical of current styles and the details look great – though there is nothing incredibly remarkable or outstanding about it. Fight scenes are fluid and fast, but not hard to follow. The animation is stylized with a futuristic, slightly anime feel. It fits nicely and isn’t distracting.
Batman Unlimited: Animal Instincts isn’t a game-changing addition to the DC Universe canon – but it is a nice, family-friendly, action packed one-off to the Batman franchise. I would recommend parental guidance for children under 10 years of age. This review is based on the Blu-rayTM Combo Pack for $24.98 SRP.
BATMAN UNLIMITED: ANIMAL INSTINCTS
ON BLU-RAYTM COMBO PACK, DVD and DIGITAL HD
ON MAY 12, 2015
All-New DC Comics Original Movie For the Entire Family Featuring Batman and Other Iconic DC Comics Characters
BURBANK, CA (February 10, 2015) — Find out if Batman and his team of fellow heroes can tame the beasts in Batman Unlimited: Animal Instincts. Produced by Warner Bros. Animation, the latest animated DC Comics film to hit shelves from Warner Bros. Home Entertainment arrives May 12, 2015 on Blu-rayTM Combo Pack, DVD and Digital HD. The Blu-Ray Combo Pack and DVD will include an exclusive Firebat figurine, while supplies last.
Batman Unlimited: Animal Instincts will be available on Blu-rayTM Combo Pack for $24.98 SRP and on DVD for $19.98 SRP. The Blu-rayTM Combo Pack includes a digital version of the movie on Digital HD with UltraViolet.* Fans can also own Batman Unlimited: Animal Instincts in Digital HD on May 12 via purchase from digital retailers.