The following Blu-ray was provided to me by Warner Brothers for review. Thoughts and opinions are my own.
DC Animated movies are the best out there. I’ve said it before and I will continue to say it. No studio does it better. On top of the that they have some of the greatest source material in comic book history to draw from. Throw that into the mix with their outstanding voice cast and great animation and you get a winner every time. Batman, the worlds greatest comic book character in my opinion benefits the best from these as he has such a great backlog of stories. This newest offering is a Batman one, it’s the Long Halloween. Long Halloween is a very deep and complex mystery , so its being done in two parts. This review is for Part one which releases today (6/22/21)
Batman the Long Halloween takes place on Halloween, and other holidays for that matter. It takes place during the beginning part of Batman’s career. That is not overly emphasized in the film which is not good as you see Batman still “Learning” his detective craft. I find it very interictal to the plot as he even references at one point he needs to be a better detective. That aside the film opens on Halloween, hence the title. Batman is working with not only Jim Gordon but also Harvey Dent who is the DA. This is before Harvey becomes Two-Face. In fact this takes place not long after Batman Year One, another amazing comic and animated Film. When the film opens we learn Gotham is in the middle of a mob war between the Falcone family and the Maroni family. Johnny Viti is planning on testifying against Carmine Falcone much to the delight of Harvey Dent as he is looking for anyway to bring him down. When Johnny gets into his bath a mysterious figure opens the door with a baby pacifier on a gun as a makeshift silencer. He shoot him dead and leaves a jack o lantern next to the body.
Batman is the first to notice the jack o lantern as Harvey is more preoccupied with the death of his star witness against Falcone. While Batman agrees to help focusing on taking Falcone down he is met by Catwoman who shows him where the family hides their unlaundered money. He is joined by Harvey who flips a coin, something he will be known for when he becomes Two Face and they decide to burn it. Shortly after Harvey returns home and his house is blown up. The film cuts to thanksgiving where the Holiday Killer has struck again as he murders members of a rival Triad gang. At Christmas time he claims yet another victim in the form of Falcone’s muscle. As this is going on The Joker has escaped from Arkham and plans on spreading poison gas on New Year’s Eve bringing suspect he may be the Holiday Killer. That is proven false. Sorry its really not a spoiler if you watch. As the film ends we are left to wonder who the holiday killer is, and if Batman can figure it out before he strikes again.
This is such an amazing story and so important to the Batman legacy. Joker and Catwoman are introduced, but the main focus is on Batman battling gangsters, which is something he did very early on before he acquired a huge gallery of supervillains. Harvey Dent has not yet become Two Face and a lot of the story deals with his personal life and how much pressure it put on the relationship with his wife. In turn we see the same for Jim Gordon and how he has to leave his kids on Halloween to answer the call dealing with the killings. We see his wife has adjusted to it, but not the kids. We even focus on Bruce Wayne who is unable to have a relationship with Selena Kyle due to his double life. Yes, she does know he’s Batman, but its never made clear if he knows she is really Catwoman. We also learn a lot that Falcone was in business with Bruce Wayne’s late father as he helped him open one of Thomas’s first clinics. Because of that we also delve into the relationship Bruce has with Falcone when he is not Batman.
This is such a fantastic story. And its done so well. Jensen Ackles does an amazing job as the voice of Bruce Wayne/Batman. I like that they used a different voice actor as this is a version of Batman in his early years. Josh Duhamel is fantastic as Harvey Dent showing a large range of emotions in the part, and planting subtle seeds for when he becomes Two Face. The animation is state of the art and really gives this a gritty almost Noire look and feel. As I said this is Part One, so first of all, stay after the credits, and don’t be sad when you don’t learn the identity of the killer. That will happen in august when part two come out. Sure you can read the comic now, but if you haven’t please wait and read it after watching part two.
Warner Brothers has done their usual amazing job in terms of picture and sound. The film looks so good and polished. Its almost three dimensional the animation is so fluent. The audio bellows out of your speakers and during the action scenes you almost feel Batman fighting in your living room. Its loaded with extras and the cover art is gorgeous. I’m upset it didn’t come with a poster. They did send me an awesome Holliday Killer Calendar and candy though.
This is a must watch cartoon for fans of the animated films, and Batman fans in general. Heck even if your neither of those but a fan of detective novels you should check this one out. I highly recommend picking it up today.
Overall 4 out of 5 Stars!