Batman Unlimited: Animal Instincts (2015)

Roger Craig Smith, Chris Diamantopoulos, Will Friedle, Charlie Schlatter, Yuri Lowenthal, Dana Snyder,
Batman Unlimited: Animal Instincts is a video starring Roger Craig Smith, Chris Diamantopoulos, and Will Friedle. Batman, with the help of the Flash, Green Arrow, Nightwing, and Red Robin, has to try and get to the bottom of the...
  • 5.8 /10.0 IMDB Rating:
  • DatePublished:
  • 2020-03-15 Added:
  • Heath Corson, Writer:
  • Butch Lukic, Director:
  • Producer:

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2 / 10

So much Nope

This is just a rotten cartoon. I honestly don't think it would entertain anyone over the age of six.

If you don't know what Batman Unlimited is, it's essentially a line Batman universe toys which, until now, didn't have any cartoon or comicbook to back them up. This movie attempts to do that for kids... but yeah, it's not even worth the $3.99 digital view price.

The first thing you'll notice on viewing it is that, unlike previous Direct-to-DVD DC Comics cartoons, this one doesn't fly under the "Warner Premier" banner. Meaning it has none the writing pedigree or production values of movies like "Under the Red Hood" or "Batman: Gotham Knight." And that shows in how full of plot holes and contrivances this toon is; such as the bat-dog-robot-motorcycle and the clumsy attempt to tie in the Batman Beyond suit, which is instantly forgotten to move on to the next in a line of "neon street luge batman" bat costumes you get throughout the viewing. Villains are given no more reason to work together and no more plot than the fact that they share an animal theme, and one of the heroes just happens to be hanging around Gotham City despite not even having a connection to Batman ever mentioned.

In other words, the movie is a 90 minute toy commercial, and it makes the original Thundercats and Silverhawks seem like Shakespeare by comparison.

1 / 10

I went out of my way to make an account to tell people to avoid this rubbish

Bad bad so very bad.

I am a huge batman fan and watched every piece that has come from the franchise so far. This lackluster monstrosity to the batman name should have never been made.

Watching the trailer it seemed like a great way of doing a new take on the batman. It failed. The plot was ridiculous in points (beyond normal superhero film levels), characters were boring and I am struggling to come up with one positive point except the animation was good about 30% of the time.

Do not watch this and making your children watch this is child abuse.

5 / 10

Batman and Pals exercise animal cruelty

Review batman unlimited

Remember those 1970s and 80s cartoons that were created just to con kids into buying toys? Well the trend is back, and Batman is jumping on the bandwagon. Sporting a brighter coloured new suit, a colourful supporting cast and equally multi coloured villains, BATMAN UNLIMITED: ANIMAL INSTINCT is based on the recent colourful toy line by Mattel. So colourful.

You all know the drill: hero team vs villain team. In this case, heroic Batman and pals vs the evil "Animalitia" in a citywide caper that sets the "kindness to animals" campaign back by a decade or so. The Penguin, Silverback, Cheetah, Manbat and KillerCroc are evil and want cheating now, that would be a spoiler. They want to do crime, so enter Batman N Pals Nightwing, Robin, Green Arrow and the Flash. Each one sporting a sharp pointy new look with "cool" spiked hair and diamond sharp chins. Not exactly a kid friendly toy design seem to like this sort of thing.

A lighter tone and story for Batman can work if done well (see BRAVE AND THE BOLD). Unfortunately this is not done well. Whether intentional or not, the script sounds like it fits right in with the worst episodes of the 80s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles sans the pizza. They might as well have left the pizza in though because the script is cheesy as heck. Jokes aren't funny, humour feels out of place, but the excellent cast do a fantastic job with the sub par material at hand.

Roger Craig Smith reprises his role of Batman after having played the character in some of the "Arkham" series of video games. I like his batman voice. Almost like a young Kevin Conroy. What I did not like was the horrible character design of Batman (or most of the characters for that matter).

Looking like some bad Gatchaman cosplay made with Power Ranger pyjamas, this new batman design is hilarious! The supporting cast ain't any better either; Everyone looks "stretched" and I already mentioned the silly hair. Everyone gets a cool weapon or gadget and the "money shot moment" where they get to show it off, while daddy gets another toy to add to junior's "Christmas wish list". Maybe it's not the production team's fault for the silly designs. Blame Mattel.

It is the production team's fault for the sub standard art and animation. Characters barely have any shadowing or shading on them except in the extreme close-ups, just lazy flat colouring otherwise. The backgrounds have this techy futuristic vibe that reminds me of BATMAN BEYOND but they are equally flat and look worse off than Batman Beyond's lower quality episodes. The animation is barely better with its inconsistent nature. You have scenes that are smooth moving, an easy feat thanks to the simplistic artwork. But you have a good number of scenes that look like a flash animated internet browser game. Robot animals don't transform much less "melt" from animal to motorbike. And i absolutely hate that cheapskate tactic of blurring key frames to create the illusion of movement! Some parts seem to be drawing from the worst excesses of Japanese anime with the speed lines and freeze frames, just more lazy animation at work.

Just because kids don't mind doesn't mean you give them animation on the cheap. If JLA TRAPPED IN TIME was the new millennium's "Superfriends", then BATMAN UNLIMITED is this decade's rehash of the 1970s "adventures of Batman with Robin the Boy Wonder". With production values of a TV series episode, perhaps this movie would be more suited as a pilot for a Saturday morning cartoon. Compared to other direct-to-video animation, this is ignorant fun for kids and a Cheesy, sub-par curiosity for adults who yearn for the nostalgic days of cartoons that sell toys.

8 / 10

Lighter take on the whole Batman theme

This movie has a style that is different from most, if not all Batman movies so far. It is quite a bit lighter, brighter in the less serious sense. So if you're open to see something a bit different, you'll enjoy it. If you are hoping to see something that goes along with the previous Batman movies, you might feel that your expectations aren't met.

Had this movie tried to merge its colorful, somewhat more cartoony style with a serious, dark narrative that is usually a common thing to expect, given that it plays in Gotham, it would have failed to do so and felt really out of place. Instead it takes events a bit less serious, mixing well written, witty dialogue that has some quite entertaining moments with a story that is simple, but serves its purpose, resulting in a combination that works - if you're open to see these kind of things (and don't expect to be surprised by intricate plot-twists - other reviews pick up on this). That also makes this movie quite easy to stomach for the younger audiences. Style, story and dialogue have been chosen to work together, which is nice to see.

The animation quality is very much acceptable and up to the task, voice acting is very nice! No complaints there. The soundtrack is also good.


7 / 10

Is this the pilot for a new series

In the last 25 year, we've seen I believe four Batman animated series, ranging in quality from the Great ("Batman the Animated Series" from 1991) to the truly awful ("Beware the Batman"- a series so dreadful that the Cartoon Network buried it like radioactive waste. Twice.)

This look like it is in the same vein, with Batman's team of Nighwing and Red Robin teaming up with the "Two Guys Who Have Popular Live Action Series Right Now But I'm Sure That's A Co-incidence". (That would be the Green Arrow and Flash, BTW, for the Sarcasm Imparied.) So there is a series of crimes being carried out by out of town villains and robotic animals, all being co-ordinated by The Penguin who really doesn't even bother to hide his complicity. His grand scheme makes even less sense than Batman Returns.

Worth a watch? Sure. The animation looks nice. The voice work is good.