When it comes to most superhero-related animated films, you kind of have to search online for these films to know which ones have been made and when they'll release. You won't hear about them being released in theaters or see previews of them while watching TV. As well, to find these movies, you'll have to go somewhere and find one. You can randomly stumble upon one while you're looking through the movie isle at a Best Buy or at Wal-Mart even.
I wish these animated films were received and broadcast just like regular films that come out, but they aren't, even though they are equally great in many cases. One of those cases is Batman: Under the Red Hood.
This film was written by Judd Winick and directed by Brandon Vietti. It was released July 27th, 2010. Bruce Greenwood (Young Justice, Star Trek: Into Darkness) voices Batman and Jensen Ackles (Supernatural) voices Red Hood. It also features the characters Nightwing, The Joker, and Black Mask.
*This post will contain spoilers so read at your own risk.*
It is based off of the storyline of the comic issue "Batman: A Death in the Family". In this story The Joker kills Robin/Jason Todd by beating him brutally with a crowbar and then blows up the building he is in, while he manages to get away. In the midst of this Batman was on his way to save Robin but he was too late. Batman carries the weight of Jason's death on his shoulders for all the years after this event, because he feels as if he failed him. He loved Robin and raised him up as if he was his very own son.
Years past, Batman is still fighting crime and dealing with the Black Mask and his thugs, but a new guy comes on the scene named Red Hood who is dealing with him as well, but his approach is a lot more vicious and bloody then Batman. As the story unfolds, we learn that Red Hood is Jason Todd and he is not the same as Batman/Bruce remembers him.
It gets the story and character right
Movies with comic-based storylines usually have to switch a few things up, take some things out, or add in some things. This is usually really disappointing, even if the film is great, because there are somethings you just don't want to be taken out or changed up. The beauty of animated films is that most things that happen according to the original storyline, actually get to happen in the movies. Like with this film, it actually follows the storyline very accurately and goes into the story very deeply without changing a whole bunch of things. Robin's death happened exactly as it did in the comic and the change of Robin/Jason into The Red Hood as well.
The way this great story come to life by the expression of the characters towards all that happened, was very honest and compelling. As was the actual qualities of the characters that we already know and love, or hate, very true to what we are familiar with and in a way brought out even more. Batman was more brooding and in depth, The Joker was his absolute evil self, and Jason Todd/Red Hood/Robin was still trying to find himself but be powerful.
It hits you in the heart, really hard
I'm a big fan of movies that really bring the emotion and impact. I always try to find the deep things in a movie or TV show, yet I definitely never thought I would be so emotionally affected by this movie. The truths, ideas and questions that this movie raised were really thought provoking. Some of those being:
- How much a person can dramatically change because of one occurrence. As Jason did because of the horrible things he went through.
- The amount of guilt someone can hold on themselves for so long. As Batman did because he felt like a failure to Jason because he couldn't save him.
- In order to keep your own peace of mind and the morality alive in you, you have to do things that you really don't want to initially or that the ones you love might hate you for. As was the issue between Batman and Jason in the end.
The ending scenes
This is in the ending of the movie. This scene is so powerful and emotional. We get a glimpse into who Batman is or better yet, who he battles to be and not be. It's not just awesome for the sake of this movie, but for the reason of getting a in depth look into who Batman really is.
I realized that we all identify with Batman and with Jason/Red Hood. With Batman because, we have all, at some point, felt like we've failed someone we care about. As well, because we all have some breaking point we personally know of, that we can be brought to because of people or circumstances, so there are some things we just can't do or allow.
We identify with Jason/Red Hood because, we all have been disappointed in someone we love and admire and respect. They may, in our eye's at least, have done us wrong but we may not even realize how much they could regret it or the dilemma they were in. Be that as it may, we still hold the confusion and pain of how could they do this wrong towards us mixed with wanting to forgive them and have what "was".
This was an amazing movie and it's hard not to love. The story is so deep and full of emotion and reality. It's really a story of change and hurt.