“What? Another Batman animated movie?”
Yes, another Batman animated movie. A very good one. One that has virtually everything: violence, humour, Harley Quinn in a lead role, Nightwing, song and dance (the Batuzi!), Swamp Thing, blood, sex, fart jokes,… Batman and Harley Quinn is one of the best in not the best Batman animated feature I’ve reviewed to date!
Extradimensional dryad Jason Woodrue partners with Poison Ivy. The green team plans on releasing a virus on the world that would turn all animal and human life into plants. Believing it’s the only way to save the earth from destruction, they go on a trek to find Swamp Things original bayou, as water from there will perfect the virus. Batman and Nightwing are desperate for help and enlist Ivy’s former partner and best friend Harley Quinn. Now a reformed citizen, Harley works shifts at the Superbabes restaurant, but is silently itching for action.
While the green warriors crusade to protect the earth is a somewhat clichéd given for them, the idea of a reformed Harley Quinn now helping the Caped Crusader is one I hadn’t seen before. And oddly enough, it works. While I thought Harley needed the Joker to be a character that works, she does pretty well on her own.
Storywise, I can’t say I was blown away by the main premise. As I said above, Woodrue’s and Ivy’s plan seems like a thing they always do. Babble about earth and nature’s dying, blame humans and then having some sort of ultimate solution for it all. Mostly a virus, or a pathogen of some sort.
What does work however, is the dynamic between Batman and Harley. Both are believeable as characters and are written really well.
What also works is the return to the Bruce Timm style of animation. Something I’ve always longed for. While not as dark as the original Timm cartoons, Batman and Harley Quinn really copies well. It even adds blood and some fatalities to the mix, so you might consider it a tad darker in tone.
So yes. I’m a fan. And I hope Batman and Harley Quinn is the precursor to a whole lot of animated Batmen in this style!