Monday, June 9, 2014

Batman and Mr. Freeze: SubZero (Boyd Kirkland, 1998) Review

You thought I was done with Batman, didn't you. After reveiwing all of the live action films as well as the animated films Under the Red Hood and Mask of the Phantasm, you were certain there weren't anymore. Well, that is where you were wrong. I have two more lesser known ones up my sleeve purely because they were not released on Region 2 DVD...yet Amazon Instant Video still has figure that out. So, let's take a look at the OTHER film based on 'Batman: The Animated Series', Batman and Mr. Freeze: SubZero.

Mr. Freeze (Michael Ansara) has been in hiding in the Arctic with his cryongenically-frozen wife. When his base is disturbed by Arctic explorers, Freeze travels back to Gotham in search of a final cure for his wife's disease. He learns that he has to find someone for a heart transplant and the only person in Gotham who fits the criteria is Comissioner Gordon's daughter, Barbara (Mary Kay Bergman). Batman (Kevin Conroy) and Robin (Loren Lester) have to save Barbara from the clutches of Mr. Freeze and find a way to help his wife.

I love Batman: The Animated Series. I would say it's the best animated show of all time but I've recently been binge watching Avatar: The Last Airbender and...that's taken over as the best animated show. One of the reasons it's so good that manages to carry over to this film is the voice acting. Kevin Conroy has cemented himself as the dark knight himself and works well opposite Michael Ansara as Mr. Freeze. The rest of the cast also continue their great work from the animated series. The animation is on a TV level of quality and it does suffer from it to an extent but it's forgivable as this was released directly to video so it's essentially an extra long episode of an amazing show.

When it comes to Batman animated films, this is probably the weakest that I've seen (there are many left unseen but I'll probably get to them eventually). Ironic since the weakest live action Batman film also features Mr. Freeze but...this one has dignity. I think it's not so much a problem with this film in particular, I think it's more a case of the bar being set so high for animated Batman films that this one feels lacking in Batman (the focus is more on Barbara) but it is tied into the animated series well. Plus it's nice to see Mr. Freeze actually get some closure for once. I have never seen that.

Batman and Mr. Freeze: SubZero is a perfectly solid entry into the Batman animated film line-up. Mask of the Phantasm is hands down the best of the lot and is more than worth a watch. This one I can only really recommend to Batman fans since there is very little Batman as Freeze and Barbara get the focus. It's more of an expansion of the Batman Universe which makes it a good addition. Yes, I am reviewing another animated Batman animated film on Wednesday...and its one of the big ones.

While lacking in a few elements, it's as good as any other animated Batman film....although probably the weakest.

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