DC Animation’s last Batman entry in its animated line-up was a massive disappointment (Batman: Gotham by Gaslight). This is keeping in mind that Batman vs Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles was a collaboration between Warner Brothers and Nickelodeon. Moreover, it was not a part of the regular line-up of 3 animated DC movies that are released annually. Hence, when Batman: Hush was announced, there was a huge sense of expectation due to its iconic source material.
Batman vs Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles is based on the comic book mini-series Batman/Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. When the trailer for this movie first appeared, it immediately piqued my interest. A Batman/TMNT crossover movie ? What’s not to like about that ? The very concept itself has ‘Cool’ written all over it.
Batman in Japan… This is not a concept that hasn’t been explored before. Many fans will remember Kyodai Ken and Bruce Wayne’s exploits in Batman: The Animated Series. Bat-Manga: The Secret History of Batman in Japan by Jiro Kuwata was also a memorable re-imagining of the character’s exploits in Japan and garnered very positive reviews. A story based on this work was portrayed in an episode of Batman: The Brave and the Bold.
This movie is based on the 1989 Else Worlds comic of the same name by Brian Augustyn and Mike Mignola. The basic premise of this film is great. Batman taking on Jack the Ripper in a steam-punk Victorian era version of Gotham (London more-like). Batman and mysterious figures prowling the dark streets and alleys in foggy London (I mean Gotham !). What’s not to like about such a setting ?
This may fly past many fans of the Dark Knight (or possibly even most casual viewers) but it takes some effort to make a movie like this. When producing something entirely new, one can always throw caution to the wind and unleash his/her creativity. However, works such as Adam West’s Batman from the 60s is another story. Being faithful to the source material is a must for most fans especially when it is something that you grew up with. One has to be careful while re-creating a work like this while adding a fresh take on it. Take a few wrong turns and you can end up with a monumental disaster or have the fans claiming ‘Blasphemy !! Blasphemy !!’.