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Batman and Harley Quinn: Deluxe Edition

Score: 77%
Rating: PG-13
Publisher: Warner Brothers Home
                  Entertainment

Region: A
Media: Blu-ray/2
Running Time: 74 Mins.
Genre: Animated/Comic Book/Action
Audio: DTS-HD MA: English 5.1, Dolby
           Digital: French 5.1 & Spanish
           5.1 (Both Castilian & Latin)

Subtitles: English SDH, French & Spanish

Features:

  • Featurettes:
    • The Harley Effect
    • Loren Lester: In His Own Voice
  • Sneak Peeks:
    • Batman: Gotham by Gaslight - The Next DC Animated Movie
    • Batman: The Dark Knight Returns: Part 1
    • Batman: The Dark Knight Returns: Part 2
    • Batman: Assault on Arkham
  • Batman: The Animated Series Episodes from the DC Comics Vault:
    • "Harley and Ivy"
    • "Harley's Holiday"
  • Deluxe Edition Exclusive: Harley Quinn Figure

Batman and Harley Quinn: Deluxe Edition is more than just a nod to the now-iconic 90's cartoon series, it almost feels like a continuation of the show, and one that has taken that time to grow up as well. While Batman: The Animated Series was dark and brooding, it didn't have the overt adult references and dialogue that frequents this movie, so while fun, it should be noted that this film is for a somewhat older audience and it earns its PG-13 rating.

Batman and Harley Quinn not only draws upon the classic art style of Batman: The Animated Series, but it also reunites Kevin Conroy and Loren Lester as Batman and Nightwing. While these are the only two original voice actors to reprise their roles in this film, Melissa Rauch uses the squeaky voice she's honed in The Big Bang Theory to play a really strong Harley Quinn and even though Criminal Mind's Paget Brewster doesn't use the husky voice of Poison Ivy from The Animated Series, her take on the plant-controlling femme fatale still fits the character rather well.

When Batman and Nightwing find themselves facing off against Ivy and the interdimensional dryad, Floronic Man (Kevin Michael Richardson, The Cleveland Show), they decide to track down one of Ivy's old associates, Harley, in order to find potential hideouts for the green-menace. What they don't bargain for is Harley deciding to join the fight and team up with the dynamic duo in order to talk Ivy down from whatever plan the super villains are cooking up.

Batman and Harley Quinn takes on a much more comedic tone than most stories featuring the Dark Knight. In fact, there is almost a buddy-cop feel to the story as a whole and, while the art style is that of The Animated Series, the tone of the film is more like the 1960's Adam West show, complete with a scene at a dance club and someone dancing the Batusi. While not bad, it might throw viewers for a loop if they are expecting one of the dark and broody stories that typically follow the caped crusader these days.

Batman and Harley Quinn comes with two featurettes, one is about the history of the Harley Quinn character and her origins in The Animated Series. Not only does this featurette interview her creator, but it also brings in a psychiatrist to analyze Harley. The other featurette is an interview with Lester as he talks about voicing Dick Grayson as both Robin and Nightwing and what it was like to have the character grow and change so much during The Animated Series. This Blu-ray release also contains a sneak peek at the next DC Animated film, Gotham by Gaslight, an Elseworld story that pits Batman against Jack the Ripper, as well as sneak peeks at three other previously released animated movies: both parts of The Dark Knight Returns and Assault on Arkham. Rounding out the on-disc extras are two Harley-centric episodes from The Animated Series and lastly, the Deluxe Edition is packaged with a Harley Quinn figure.

While Batman and Harley Quinn isn't the most compelling and top-notch animated movie to come out of DC in the last few years, it is a lot of fun and pays homage to many classic versions of Batman. Like I said above, if you are looking for a complex story, you won't find it here, but what Batman and Harley Quinn has, it does well and can be appreciated for that.

Warner Bros. Home Entertainment provided me with a copy of the Blu-ray. The opinions I share are my own.



-J.R. Nip, GameVortex Communications
AKA Chris Meyer

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