Earlier today I posted a Morning Article Link for a trailer for Batman & Harley Quinn, the latest animated Bat-Movie, as Batman and Nightwing seeks Harley’s help to stop Poison Ivy from destroying humanity. (Kind of like the DCAU version of Ra’s Al Ghul.) Well someone also posted the behind-the-scenes featurette on the movie. I don’t know if this came from a previous DVD or what. The poster doesn’t say. He also posted an end card with Deadpool, which is from the Marvel universe, not DC. Oops.
The film is using the same style as the DCAU Bat-shows, mostly the Fox ones, although it does have the Nightwing costume from Kids WB. However, as you’ll seeing video, this isn’t going to be kid-friendly. It will however have the same tone as the DCAU shows. Considering how dark the more recent DC Bat-films have been, both animated direct-to-video and live-action theatrical, it’s a nice change of pace.
Bruce Timm is co-creator of Harley Quinn along with Paul Dini so I’m not surprised that he agreed to do a Harley movie or that he had it half-figured out by the time it got to the other writer. I also like the joke “my punishment for dropping out of med school”, since I’m sure that’s one of the classes Bruce went to while becoming Batman, as well as a nice nod to his father. (Thomas Wayne was a doctor.) There’s also acknowledgement of Dr. Alec Holland, aka Swamp Thing, and the research that led to him becoming a plant man similar to Floronic Man. I don’t think Swampy is going to show up here, although that would be interesting. My favorite part is when Nightwing is motioning his opinion on the heroes Booster offers to send to help.
And that’s one other thing I do like. Most of the recent animated DC movies lately have been darker, with the exception of the formerly Target-exclusive JLA movie and the Batman Unlimited movies, but those were for kids so of course they won’t be darker. (I do want to see those, though.) Then there’s the LEGO DC movies, but if a LEGO movie is ever dark and gritty we have failed as a society. That’s not what the brand is about. This appears to be lighter and more fun, but hopefully there will still be a good mystery attached. The mystery stories, where Batman and whomever is working with him have to do detective work, are my favorite Batman stories, probably because of my first Batman comic.
It’s too bad that they couldn’t get Arleen Sorkin, the original voice and inspiration for Harley, since they got both Kevin Conroy and Loren Lester come back from the DCAU. Melissa Rauch seems to be doing a good job but if you’re going for the DCAU art style it seems weird not hearing Sorkin’s take but more of a Brooklyn accent. Especially since they got the DCAU Dick Grayson. (Conroy has been doing Batman’s voice on and off ever since Justice League Unlimited ended.) But I’m not about to judge Rauch’s take based on Sorkin’s regardless of art style. My only other complaint is that with Nightwing as prominent as he is, shouldn’t he be in the title as well? Batman, Nightwing, And Harley isn’t a bad name.
Overall this looks fun and interesting and I would love to see it when it hits store shelves. It comes out August 15, 2017 in digital format with physical copies coming on the 29th. I prefer the physical myself, so I know I always have it available should I lose the internet somehow.