This breathtaking adventure explodes into animated action when the villainous Mr. Freeze kidnaps Batgirl. Now, racing the clock, Batman and Robin face off against Mr. Freeze in the iciest showdown of the century.
"In my humble corner of the universe, the creator/producer behind the BATMAN: THE ANIMATED SERIES has masterminded the only storytelling -- big and small screen -- to hit the "nail on the head" with its portrayal of Batman, Robin, and the whole Rogues Gallery of criminals. The animation is brisk, the tales are even swifter, and the conclusions typically pack an emotional wallop not commonly associated with animation.SUBZERO isn't 'substandard' Bat-telling fare by any stretch of the imagination. The tale -- Mr. Freeze once again is up to trying to save the life of his beloved wife, Nora, in suspended animation, and it just so happens that Barbara Gordon (aka Batgirl) has the proper DNA to make it possible -- is intelligent, insightful, and captivating. The events happen quickly, and the action-packed ending puts everything in the budget up on the screen.In fact, if SUBZERO has any shortcomings, it might be that the intended blending of traditional animation with CGI isn't as seamless as the producers might've wanted it to be. There are whole sequences that stand out because of the contrast, but, in the end, they do little to detract from the story.SUBZERO briefly explores the tragic nature of Mr. Freeze, a reluctant supervillain forced to do what he does out of the attempts to save his wife's life. This is the beauty of the animated Batman venues; the characters -- especially the villains -- are just as flawed as Bats himself."
On DVD April 23, 2002!!
Simon | Brampton, ON | 01/06/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)
"That's right, Warner Bros has decided to release Sub-Zero to DVD, along with JLA, ROTJ Uncut, and the first five Batman episodes. Sub-Zero was originally a direct-to-video release around late 1997 that was supposed to cash in on the popularity of the Batman and Robin movie, and bridge the gap between seasons of the tv series. HOWEVER, in a rather hilarious twist, the live-action movie bombed, and WB shelved Sub-Zero for a few months so it wouldn't make the movie look worse than it already did. Sub-Zero features Mr. Freeze, one of the best villains from the now-classic Batman cartoons of the early 90's. What made this villain so memorable was the emotionless, monotone voice delivered by Michael Ansara. The villian also has some sentimental value for me, as his was the first episode of Batman I ever saw. The story revolved around Mr. Freeze taking revenge against those who killed his wife and destroyed his life, and was the most emotionally compelling piece of animation I'd seen up to that point. Sub-Zero doesn't quite match that first Mr. Freeze episode I saw, due to some minor points and the fact that I was older, but its still an excellent piece of work. It's better than the last two live-action Batmans, but falls short of Mask of the Phantasm and Return of the Joker. As a recap, Mr. Freeze eventually finds out his wife Nora is still alive, kept in suspended animation. He retreats to the north pole, where he befriends a boy and some polar bears, and spends his time searching for a cure to his wife's disease. A team of explorers accidentally shatters Nora's containment vessel, and Freeze returns to Gotham to find a live organ donor to save his wife. That donor turns out to Barbara Gordon (Batgirl), which puts Batman and Robin on a race against time to find and save her.The vocal talent is excellent, especially Michael Ansara and Kevin Conroy, who still continues to provide the voice of Batman to this day. The animation is really good for a direct-to-video release (hey, when ALL your animated movies are DTV, you tend to do a good job) and includes a lot of CGI enhancements. Some people have had problems with this, citing that the random CGI inserts detract from the movie. For me, it's no big deal, the CGI in this movie, especially of the submarine rising into the caverns in the intro, is impressive. Where the movie falls short is in that Batman feels underutilized. Granted, Batman still has a beefier role than Clooney did in the live-action movie, but Robin and Batgirl tend to eat up more screentime. Nothing wrong with this, but the movie's full title was Batman & Mr. Freeze: Sub-Zero, so I expected Batman. I also thought that Barbara's various escape attempts ate up more time than they should have. Finally, the movie doesn't really escape its DTV roots. Where Batman: Mask of the Phantasm was originally a theatrical release and Return of the Joker (Uncut) could have been one, Sub-Zero feels like three episodes of the TV series, albeit three VERY GOOD episodes.Still, Sub-Zero is classic Batman. The new DVD makes for a great addition to your collection, or a great gift for a Batman fan. I've heard the supplements aren't anything overly special, just an intro by Bruce Timm and a game or two, but the disc should be relatively cheap and well worth it. Until April 23rd...."
Quality Acting and Fine Storytelling
Reginald D. Garrard | Camilla, GA USA | 01/28/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"In America it is a shame that animation is so often relegated to the "children's" category. Other nations have a respect for the talents and the energy of the artisans whose sole task is to tell a good story through animated means. This video release is superb from beginning credits to the final frame and deserves to be seen by a wider audience - preferably the makers of the last two "live action" films. Like the animated series, the movie features exemplary voiceover work from regulars Kevin Conroy and Loren Lester, as Batman and Robin, respectively, with an outstanding performance from Michael Ansara as the strip's most sympathetic "villain," Mr. Freeze. The story keeps the viewer captivated until the final resolution, itself being quite satisfying. This movie, if aimed at children, is not condescinding to them; it is simplistic enough for them to grasp, and "adult" enough to get the parents involved. Hats off its filmmkers who respect the intelligence of the audience, especially in a time when so many movies are excuses for over-the-top special effects, wooden acting,lame dialogue, and a poorly developed plot. This film has none of these. It is a finely tuned piece of work and well worth the financial investment."
Mr. Freeze...did he really do anything criminal?
LARRY | Capitol Heights, MD | 02/12/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I truly enjoyed this particular Batman episode. It was action-packed. The animation and graphics were just fantastic!
Mr. Freeze, a.k.a Victor Fries, is somewhere in the Artic, along with his wife, Nora, who is in a cyrogenic (sp?) state. Nora is suffering from some heart disease. Mr. Freeze, who truly loves his wife, has put her in a capsule to slow down the disease until a cure has been found.
However, when something happens that threatened the health of Nora, Mr. Freeze must act fast to save her life. Mr. Freeze stalks Gotham City, along with his 2 polar bears. He kidnaps a doctor, a former colleague of Mr. Freeze. With the doctor's help, they were able to pinpoint who shares the same rare blood type as Nora's...and that is Barbara Gordon, a.k.a. Batgirl.
Dick Grayson (Robin) and Barbara are out on a date at a swing dance club. Mr. Freeze attacks the place and kidnaps Barbara. Dick tries to save Barbara but ultimately fails.
Batman and Robin investigate immediately. Their investigation led them to discover why Mr. Freeze is in town and why Barbara has been kidnapped. The problem is where is Barbara hidden. Time is essential.
At first, you'll look at Mr. Freeze as this vicious villian. However, after reflecting, you'll see that he shares the same frustration like the rest of us on the medical system. His wife is slowly dying. She can be saved with some medical treatment. However, the waiting list is long. The cure has yet to be discovered, despite the donations of millions of dollars. In the end, Mr. Freeze was simply a desperate man who wanted to save his wife.
My favorite part was the end, where everyone is helping each other despite what damages have been done. However, was it enough to save Nora? That's for you to watch and find out.
*SubZero* is one of the best animated shows that I've seen."
Chilled To Perfection
Anthony Nasti | Staten Island, New York United States | 02/01/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"While no Batman animated film will ever top the 1993 masterpiece "Batman: Mask Of The Phantasm", this 1998 follow up is nearly as good as that should've been classic.
When Mr. Freeze returns to Gotham City, to find a donor for his dying wife Nora, who has kept chryogenically frozen at his now destroyed hideaway, he kidnaps Barbara Gordon aka Batgirl for a blood transfusion, despite knowing that he could easily kil her. Batman and Robin go on a desparate hunt to find their missing sidekick, but to no avail. As time runs out for Nora, Barbara and everyone else, the film gets stronger and leaves you with an ending you will never forget.
This is a great animated film that I recommend to all Batman fans."