Jacob Reviews….Batman: Year One

Warning: Spoilers Ahead!

One of the premiere Batman storylines from the comics is Batman: Year One.  The story was written by legendary scribe Frank Miller and illustrated by comic book artist David Mazzucchelli.   Recently, Warner Bros. Animation made an adaptation of the storyline in their latest DC Universe Original Animated Movie series.    This one hour and four-minute feature film is one of their best films to date.

The story follows how Bruce Wayne became Batman and James Gordon arrived in Gotham City to clean up the Gotham City Police Department.  As a special bonus, look for Batman and Gordon’s first encounter with the pre-Two-Face Harvey Dent and the Caped Crusader’s first meeting with Catwoman.   This movie is accessible to anyone who either wants to learn more about the Caped Crusader or wants a change from watching the Christopher Nolan films.

One of the best features about this film is the animation.  The animation successfully combines hand-drawn animation with 3-D backgrounds.  In addition, the animation was very consistent with Mazzucchelli’s original artwork especially on the character and scenery design.

Another strong feature was the strong vocal ensemble that was directed under legendary Casting and Voicing Director Andrea Romano.   One of the film standouts was Breaking Bad’s Bryan Cranston who voiced Gordon.   Cranston sounded very believable as the future Gotham Police Commissioner and I hope that he would be asked to return to future Batman animated movies in the future.  Buffy the Vampire Slayer alum Eliza Dushku brought sexuality and power into her portrayal as Catwoman and like Cranston’s Gordon; fans would enjoy hearing Dushku’s femme fatale in the future.

The third strong feature in the film was the music that was made by Christopher Drake.   This is Mr. Drake’s eighth movie composing the DC Universe Animated Original Movie and as usual does a terrific job creating the music.  One of my favorite parts of the film is when the SWAT team confronts Batman in a burning building.   Drake does a terrific job putting the music to this tense scene.

Final Thoughts and Grade: What a terrific direct-to-video film! Batman: Year One is one of 2011’s best animation films and fans will want Warner Bros. Animation to create more DC Universe Original Animated Movies like this one. 5/5 A+

 

 

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