Blu-ray Review: Holy Retro Animation! BATMAN: RETURN OF THE CAPED CRUSADERS

4 out of 5 stars


Batman is not only one of the cornerstones of pop culture in the 20th/21st Century, but the characters is also a major component on the DNA of Movies In Focus. You wouldn’t be reading this if it wasn’t for Bob Kane and Bill Finger’s work back in 1939. Tim Burton’s 1989 film was the catalyst for my love of comic books and film and the 1960s Batman series also played into this fanboy fever.

The iconic ‘60s series finally hit DVD and Blu-ray in the last couple of years after over a decade of legal wrangles (boring rights issues that are very Google-able if you feel the need) and now the backlash against the show, which saw it as childish and silly has subsided and you can now enjoy it guilt free like you did before. This isn’t hipster bullshit – this is the appreciation of good writing and a strong presentation of a character which is very malleable, depending on time and the medium. Adam West now has additional cache with Family Guy, but his Batman is – and always will be – one of the important interpretations of the character. This interest in the 1960s series and the birth of DC/Warner Bros. animation means that the time is nigh to revisit this new style of pop-Batman.

Rick Morales’ Batman: Return of the Caped Crusaders takes the 1960s series, along with original stars Adam West, Burt Ward and Julie Newmar and celebrates its 50th Anniversary. It’s a wonderfully exciting modern interpretation of the show that keeps the vibe of the show but also taps into the more recent history of Batman (i.e.. the last 50 years). Everyone’s favourite characters return, even though most of the show’s original cast has retired to the great comic book store in the sky, but they all manage to rise to the challenge of matching the onscreen talent. The animation is fresh but familiar, while Kristopher Carter, Michael McCuistion and Lolita Ritmanis’ music complements Neil Hefti’s music and Nelson Riddle’s strings.

Batman is a character that will change for every generation. Batman: Return of the Caped Crusaders bridges the 50 year gap for those who love the 1960s series and a more modern interpretation of the caped crusader. Retro, modern and just damn good fun – this will be embraced by Batman fans of all ages.

Special Features

Those Dastardly Desperados, A Classic Cadre of Voices, A Sneak Peak at Batman vs. Robin and A Sneak Peak at Son of Batman offer up over 40 minutes of extras. The original cast love being back, the newbies (and the behind the scenes talent) can’t believe their luck!