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Campy Batman is back, in this animated throwback to the '60's TV show. But not only just that. It even stars the voice talents of Adam West, Burt Ward and Julie Newmar, who all reprise their roles of Batman, Robin and Catwoman from the original series, this time in animated form.

In this day and age in which superhero movies seem to get more and more gritty and realistic it's actually quite refreshing to see a fun and lighthearted throwback to the good old early days of the genre, when it was OK for superhero movies/TV series to be silly and far from realistic, as long as it was entertaining.

The story really doesn't make much sense, characters are over-the-top but all this all is very deliberate and the movie actually is constantly adding fuel to the fire, by throwing in nonsensical twists, always in favor of the comedy and entertainment of the movie and less so to the story its credibility. Which is all fine, in this particular case! The movie creates a world, filled with visual gags and over-the-top craziness, in which things aren't meant to be taken too seriously and it more or less forces you to just sit back and let all of the craziness happen on the screen in front of you, without ever worrying or even thinking about the plot.

It's a very self aware movie, that's tongue-in-cheek and is constantly breaking the fourth wall. In many regards it's just like the '60's TV show, which aired from 1966 to 1968. Not just in terms of the campy humor and feel to it but also in the way how it progresses and presents its characters.

The movie wastes absolutely no time setting up or introducing the characters to you. And why should it? Surely, everybody knows Batman by now and the same could be said for characters such as Robin, Alfred, Commissioner Gordon and iconic villains such as The Joker, Catwoman, The Penguin and The Riddler. All classic characters you expect to show up really do show up in this movie. Even some of the smaller- and less familiar characters from the original show and Batman universe, which should definitely please the more hardcore fans, in a way that doesn't throw of anyone who isn't all that familiar with the original TV show and some of its lesser known characters.

Basically the movie feels like 2 different TV-series episodes wrapped up into one. The first half is all about Batman and the Boy Wonder battling The Joker,The Penguin, Catwoman and The Riddler (even in space!), while the second half is a bit more story-driven, without obviously ever turning into a very complicated movie. It's truly all about the entertainment and the movie definitely delivers in that regard.

Visually and animation-wise the movie's perhaps less colorful- and more realistic looking than you would expect but my guess is that they didn't wanted to scare off any viewers who are new to this alternate Batman and universe. It's doesn't really matter all that much though, since the movie itself still manages to capture the same sense and atmosphere as the classic TV show through its story as well as with its humor and entertainment. Just see at as a typical DC animated Batman movie, combined with the '60's humor and characters of the original Batman TV show.

And sure it's fun to hear Adam West, Burt Ward and Julie Newmar reprise their roles, from all those years ago. Their voices obviously suit their characters well, though I also have to admit that West and Newmar sound quite 'old' at times. It's never much of a distraction though, so it's also not a real complaint. Since again, it really doesn't matter all that much. The movie is meant to be a throwback the classic series, and what better way to do this than to feature the original voice talents. Really, it's amazing that even after nearly 50 years these people are still capable of reprising some classic superheroes, without it turning into a joke. The movie is respectful and faithful to its source material, even to the original actors that aren't alive anymore. Cesar Romero, Burgess Meredith and Frank Gorshin all died quite some years ago but their spirits and the characters they played live on in this movie. The animations definitely resemble their appearances very closely.

Fun to watch for fans of the '60's show as well as to the more casual viewer, who is looking for some simple straightforward and very light superhero entertainment.

8/10

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About Frank Veenstra

Watches movies...writes about them...and that's it for now.
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