Tuesday, September 11, 2012

ANI-MOVIES, *Batman: Sub-Zero

Also called Batman & Mr. Freeze: SubZero, this was the second full-length animated movie of the Darknight Detective, although, this was the first one to be specifically made-for-video. It was meant to draw attention to the Batman franchise enough to coincide with the appauling Batman & Robin live-action movie, although most people were suprised at how much better this film was from that one.

The story takes place after Season 3 of Batman: The Animated Series, but sometime prior to when Dick Grayson left to become Nightwing. Mr. Freeze has been hanging out in the North Pole with his trained polar bears, and his wife Nora has been “chilling” inside the same oversized snowglobe until Freeze can find a cure for her. Unfortunately, an arctic exploration crew crashes his pad, causing Nora to relapse into her disease. Making his way to Gotham, Freeze abducts Belson, an old medical colleague who is desperate to make some quick money to pay off some debts. Freeze offers him a gold deposit to help him save Nora. They look for an compatible donor to replace one of Nora’s organs that was damaged(which one is never said), and their search leads them to Barbara Gordon. After kicking some ass as Batgirl, Barbara goes out with Dick on what looks like the beginning of their romance. Freeze breaks up their date, and kidnaps Barbara. Dick and Bruce head to the Batpoles and locate where Barbara is being held, which is at an offshore oil rig. Barbara manages to get away, but Belson accidently starts a fire. Nora gets trapped underneath in the fire, so Mr. Freeze helps Batman and Robin get her out of the burning wreck, although Freeze seemingly doesn’t make it out. Although the movie concludes with Freeze back in the Arctic conveniently making it to an outpost station to see the CNN report that Nora recovered thanks to Bruce Wayne’s big wallet.

Of the three original Batman: TAS animated movies, this one probably has the weaker plot to it. I don’t mind them bringing back Mr. Freeze, although you would’ve had to see the prior episodes of the series to get his backstory which is pretty essential for watching this movie. There also is an absence of the Batman Family doing much any real “crime-fighting” in this, aside from a scene at the beginning where the Dynamic Duo make a real thing about stopping a couple of crooks when they could’ve taken them out easily. It’s also a little disappointing when we catch up with Freeze again in Season 4 of the TV series where he returns again as an emo psychopath because he’s then just a head on a robot spider-legs(BTW, Freeze’s suit was originally designed by Mike Mignola of Hellboy fame). I’d say that your average Bat-Fan would like this, but only if they had the TV series boxset to go with it.

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