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The Batman vs Dracula
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Batman vs. Dracula, The (DVD)
Gotham City sleeps under the cover of darkness while two legendary bats take flight. One is turning the city into an army of vampires, while the other does everything he can to stop the mayhem. But Dracula isn't simply on of The Batman's usual foes: He has supernatural powers of strength, speed and mind control. Even with his arsenal of high-tech gadgets, the Dark Knight is still a mortal. This is the one face-off that could clip The Batman's wings permanently!]]>
The creators of the popular The Batman animated series pit the Caped Crusader against the Prince of Darkness in this energetic full-length animated feature. This isn't the first time Batman (Rino Romano) has squared off against Dracula--the Dark Knight faced him in the critically acclaimed graphic novel Red Rain--but in this battle, he's up against not only the King of the Vampires (voiced with gusto by Peter Stormare) but his longtime foes the Joker (Kevin Michael Richardson) and the Penguin (Spongebob Squarepants' Tom Kenny); it's the latter who accidentally revives Dracula, and reluctantly aids the bloodsucker in unleashing a wave of vampirism in Gotham. Can the Batman defeat this terrible trio in time before lady-love Vicky Vale (Tara Strong) becomes their next victim? Only one way to find out--and while you're enjoying the film, be sure to explore the supplemental features, which include "Voices in Close-up," with behind-the-scenes footage and interviews with the film's vocal talent, as well as "City of the Knight," a game that allows access to additional behind-the-scenes glimpses. --Paul Gaita
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I made "vs. Dracula" the third part of my review progression on The Batman, simply because as I watched through the series, I watched it between the second and third seasons. Chronologically, that is where it seemed to fit best. Realistically, it was released to DVD, and subsequently aired, a few episodes into Season Three, though it also could have fit between the first two seasons or anytime during Season Two.
To keep with the comparing to B:TAS, it's no Mask Of The Phantasm or Return Of The Joker (Batman Beyond), but I really enjoyed this DTV movie. Perhaps, I'm slightly biased, as I like stories about vampires. Because there was more time for story development, it has that advantage over any episode of the series, even the two-parters, though I did feel the plot dragging in places. Another thing it has in its favor is, though it aired on TV, it was still DTV and took some liberty in being unrated here in the States. That helps when trying to satisfy an older audience, though I think some of the content is a little much for the 7 year old plus crowd I referred to in my review on Season One.
Besides the obvious main villain, The Joker and Penguin are also featured in this film. It also contains Vicki Vale's only prominent animated appearance. (After this was released, she made small "cameos" in the DCUAOMs Superman/Batman: Apocalypse and Batman: Year One). When it is revealed how Dracula ever came to be in Gotham, it is very conceivable. As I touched on briefly in my review of Season One, gadgets, and the science behind them, are a major part of the whole series, especially early on. That being said, science plays a major role in The Batman's treatment of the circumstances at hand, which always makes a good vampire story better, in my opinion.
In summary, this was one of the highest points of the series, though there have definitely been some stand out episodes that are up there, too. I rate all the seasons at 4 stars, simply because you have to take 13 episodes at once. Truly, some episodes are fives and some I rate less than four. If you only watch one item from this series, this movie is what I would suggest. If I had not liked what I had seen so far, this film would make me go back and try it out again. Again, the little bat-tikes might need to be some years older before watching "vs. Dracula," but it's sure to appease the older fans.
This movie is awesome with its visuals, dark tone, and overall atmosphere. *WARNING* not recommended for younger viewers without parental guidance due to its scary visuals, violent situations, and a few scenes with more blood than thought necessary.
Plot summed up quickly: Dracula is woken up by The Penguin (on accident) and decides to make Gotham City his new kingdom as The Batman tries to figure out a way to stop him and cure all the innocents that have been transformed into vampires.
This movie follows the mid 2000s series "The Batman", which I recommend watching as well. My main complaint with the series as a whole is some of the character designs and Mr. Freeze's backstory ruins his character story. But once you look past that it's a truly wonderful series. Everything that was awesome in the series is definitely present in this movie, which takes place somewhere between seasons 1 and 3. You have the flashy movements, well animated action, fantastic voice acting as well, but since this is an unrated animated feature they were able to up the anty a bit and add very nice visuals with the vampire minions, lots of neck biting, and a nice touch with when they use darkness in this film.
My recommendation for watching this is if you get a chance switch your tv's video setting to monochrome and enjoy this as a black and white film, you will be pleasantly surprised.
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