In 1999, an animated series called, “Batman Beyond” takes place after “Batman: The Animated Series.” Bruce Wayne retires as The Dark Knight after reality ensues due to a heart attack during a hostage mission, forcing him to grab a gun at a criminal. Because of his age, he decides to put away his batsuit becoming a recluse. Twenty Years Later, an elderly Bruce encounters Terry McGinnis pursued by a gang inspired by The Joker. Bruce aids him in battle. Until one night, Terry stole his high-tech batsuit to seek revenge against Derek Powers/Blight who’s responsible for murdering his father.
Bruce reluctantly helps Terry finish his mission without killing Blight. After Terry proved himself to be a worthy masked vigilante, Bruce establishes an alliance with him to guide him on dangerous missions to protect Gotham City from old & new enemies including Mr. Freeze, Ra’s Al Ghul, Inque, Spellbinder, Jokerz (a gang based on Joker) among many others. The show ran three seasons from 1999-2001.
Batman Beyond earned positive reception from television critics, fans & young viewers alike. Like Harley Quinn, Terry McGinnis became a fan favorite appearing in his own comic book series, action figures, t-shirts, video games, crossover appearances & his first animated film known as “Barman Beyond: Return Of The Joker.” Before Miles Morales from Spider-Man, Terry is the first worthy successor to an iconic hero now wearing black & red.
Batman Beyond was released on home video in 2000. It received critical acclaim from critics, fans & viewers alike labeled as one of the best Batman films of all time next to “The Dark Knight Trilogy,” “Batman: Mask Of The Phantasm” & “The Lego Batman Movie.” An uncut version of Return Of The Joker was released in 2002.
With the upcoming Joker movie starring Joaquin Phoenix as “The Clown Prince Of Crime” slated to come out this October, I want to share my real thoughts on my favorite animated Batman movie of all time. By the way, Mark Hamill is gonna portray Chucky in a remake of “Child’s Play.” Don’t forget he’s reprising his role as Luke Skywalker in “Star Wars: The Rise Of Skywalker.”
The following review doesn’t contain any very important SPOILERS whatsoever. If you have never ever ever seen Batman Beyond: Return Of The Joker, feel free to read my non-spoiler article. Is this one the same level as Mask Of The Phantasm, The Dark Knight Trilogy & The Lego Batman Movie? Let’s find out shall we?
Positive & Negative Aspects
Positive: Kevin Conroy, Will Friedle & Mark Hamill reprise their roles as Bruce Wayne, Terry McGinnis & Joker. They all did an excellent job for their respective voiceover performances.
Other Cast Members such as Angie Harmon, Tara Strong, Melissa Joan Hart, Michael Rosenbaum, Lauren Tom & Teri Garr all did a great job for their respective voiceover performances.
Bruce Timm & Paul Dini both did an amazing job co-writing & co-producing the film.
Animation is very polished yet beautiful at the same time bringing Gotham City’s futuristic setting to life, environment, set pieces & character models. Joker’s appearance is scary as fudge for a kid’s movie. As Doug Walker/Nostalgia Critic once said, “You know, for kids!”
Action Sequences were pretty darn good from start to finish without making me feel easily bored.
Although the tone of the film is dark based on a kids show, Humor contains elements of Black Comedy.
The Pacing is fast (not way too fast) as each scene transitions well like blood flowing through the veins as they make their way to the heart.
The Uncut Version is very brutal. The reason why it was heavily edited on Cartoon Network & home video before release was “The Columbine Shooting.” For example, a crucial character’s death scene was changed in the last minute.
One of Joker’s goons who looks like Scarecrow, sounds like Christopher Walken. A nod to Chris’ role as Max Shreck from “Batman Returns.”
A flashback shows Bruce Wayne/Batman & Barbara Gordon/Batgirl going on a “rescue mission.” Let’s be honest guys & gals, this was absolutely the best part of the entire film.
Terry assumed Joker was frozen in a block of ice. A reference to Captain America or perhaps Christopher Lloyd’s line “I was frozen today” from “Suburban Commando.” That’s right, I did a special shout-out to both Nostalgia Critic & Doc Brown.
A Plot Twist reveals a pivotal plot point. I refuse to spill the beans. You’re gonna have to see for yourselves.
My favorite line from the movie is, “That’s not funny that’s not!” I’m giving it Bonus Points for giving me chills down my spine. For those who’ve seen it, you probably know why.
Negative: To be honest with you fellow Batman fans, I couldn’t find anything wrong with this movie. I’m giving The Cast & Crew an Extra Point for making a movie as flawless as they can.
The Final Verdict: A, FOR APEX!
Batman Beyond: Return Of The Joker remains as one of the best Batman related movies of all time next to Mask Of The Phantasm, The Dark Knight Trilogy & The Lego Batman Movie. All the positive things listed indicates why it’s a masterpiece. If you’re very excited to see Joaquin Phoenix’s iteration of Batman’s archenemy, I strongly recommend Return Of The Joker. If you’re a huge fan of Batman Beyond, go out and buy the complete series on DVD.
Dear Warner Bros. & DC Films, if you’re reading this article, I want to see a live action Batman Beyond film set in the DC Extended Universe. (DCEU for short) All you have to do is find an actor who resembles Terry McGinnis.