The Dark Knight is back in this all-new feature-length thriller featuring the voices of Kelly Ripa (Live! With Regis and Kelly), Kyra Sedgwick (Born on the Fourth of July) and Hector Elizondo (The Princess Diaries). The Pe... more »nguin and Rupert Thorn are criminal cohorts with a scheme to sell illegal weapons. But there's a new super hero in Gotham City who has other plans for the evil entrepreneurs - Batwoman! With high-tech gadgets and powerful punches, Batwoman proves to be a formidable crimefighter - the only problem is that the Dark Knight has no clue who she is! And when Batwoman crosses the criminal line, Batman must identify whether or not this new player is really an ally! Join the world's greatest detective in this exciting new adventure that will keep you guessing until the mask is pulled off! The DVD includes an exclusive Batman animated short, "Chase Me" from the Emmy(R) Award winning writers Alan Burnett and Paul Dini.« less
A very enjoyable animated adventure; plus a bonus short film
Ryan Harvey | Los Angeles, CA USA | 03/25/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
""Batman: The Mystery of the Batwoman" is the first new straight-to-DVD Batman animated project since "Batman Beyond: The Return of the Joker." It was worth the wait. Even if it doesn't match the manic, violent heights of "The Return of the Joker," it's a welcome, more lightweight adventure that's full of action and drama and also a very enjoyable mystery. There's a slew of villains: The Penguin, Bane, and gangser Rupert Thorne. And there's the fascinating new character of Batwoman herself, with her unique abilities and unusual arsenal of gadgets. It's also quite a sexy, steamy Batman story (but don't worry, parents, not THAT steamy), with a strong romantic subplot that gives Bruce Wayne plenty to do when he's not hunting through the night as Batman. Like all of the animated D.C. Comics projects to come out of Warner Bros. since the early 90s, it's enjoyable, smart entertainment for both children and adults. If it doesn't quite attain the level of some of the previous Batman animated adventures, it nonetheless delivers a fun, exciting time in Gotham city.Directed by Kurt Geda (who also directed "Return of the Joker") and Tim Maltby, and written by frequent writers of the various D.C. TV shows, Michael Reaves and Alan Burnett, the movie takes us back to the days of "The New Batman Adventures" (which means the look and style of the movie matches the more stylized look of the last few seasons of the show). Batman and Robin (the younger Tim Drake version of Robin) are still together fighting crime, but Batgirl has left Gotham City to go to college (no mention is made of Nightwing, the former Robin). But a new vigilante has suddenly appeared in Gotham: Batwoman (voice of Kyra Sedgewick), who wields bizarre technology and seems to have a grudge against the Penguin and Rupert Thorne's weapons-dealing operation. Batman sets out to find out the truth behind Batwoman and also stop the Penguin, Thorne, and their cronies. There are plenty of suspects who could be beneath Batwoman's mask: scientist Roxanne "Roxy" Ballantine (voice of Kelly Ripa), mobster Carlton Duquesne's beautiful daughter Kathy (voice of Kimberly Brooks, although the character is clearly modeled on Halle Berry), and police detective Sonia Alcana (voice of Elisa Pensler-Gabrielli). Each one, Batman discovers, has a reason for revenge against the Penguin or Rupert Thorne. Things become more complicated when Bruce Wayne becomes romantically involved with Kathy Duquesne.The animation is, as usual, fantastic. It's limited by budget, but nonetheless is far ahead of most of what appears on television, and the animators use the minimalist, art-deco look to great advantage. The set-pieces are stunning: Penguin's icy-night club, the truck chase action opening, Batwoman's hyper-kinetic fight with Penguin's female goons, the cruise boat slam-bang finale, and a beautiful sunset romance scene. It's sequences like these that make me wish Warner Bros. would give the animated Batman another shot at the movie theaters. (Only "Mask of the Phantasm" has shown up on movie screens.) The voice work is impeccable: Kevin Conroy is always a terrific Batman, Efrem Zimbalist Jr. is still the perfect Alfred, and Hector Elizondo has fun with villain Bane. All the various female actresses mentioned above do great jobs with their characters. The only disconcerting casting choice is David Ogden-Stiers (a frequent voice-over artist) as the Penguin. He gives a good performance, but it's hard to better Paul Williams in the role, who had played the character throughout the TV series. The jazz-oriented score is also a nice change and adds to the steamier and mysterious aspects of the story.The DVD contains a number of extras, but the best is a short animated film called "Chase Me." It is done completely in pantomime -- no dialogue -- as Batman chases Catwoman across Gotham City after she robs a jewelry safe at a ritzy party. It's a stunning piece of animation, and if it had been released in theaters would probably have easily snatched up the Oscar for Best Animated Short. It's one of the best explorations of the strange Batman-Catwoman-Bruce Wayne-Selina Kyle relationship, and the jazz score is hypnotic. It's a great bonus feature to have along with this extremely enjoyable Batman film. Buy this DVD! It will encourage more animated Batman features in the future, and maybe, just maybe, get one of them released to the theaters!"
Pretty good ... for a Batman flick
Ben | Calgary, AB | 11/03/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"First of all, I think it's unfair to compare this animated movie to the works of Paul Dini and Bruce Timm. They are long gone on other series and this was an attempt to take a new turn of the head in the series. And it succeeds. Certainly, don't want to discourage WB from making more of these movies because I love them a lot.From a story point of view the plot is obvious. Who is Batwoman? The answer will astound you. I can't say I saw it coming or thought it was the most original thing to do but it was executed perfectly nonetheless. I'm not sure if I'm too fond of the new animation style however, it seems to lack detail where detail is called for and there is an abscence of shadows which gives Batman its dark feel - but as I said they're trying to take a new direction.Probably the thing I hate the MOST has to do nothing with the movie but with the franchise itself. You'd think that they'd actually have Batwoman stay once the mystery is solved but instead she is gone like all the other new characters - in short, nothings changed AT ALL and it slowly degrades itself because of its reptitiveness. They should introduce some permanent change that encourages fans to stay interested in the series. So why 5 stars? Well, the special features were great but watch them last or there won't be any mystery. Also I do like the fact that they are trying to show a lighter side of Bruce and the simple fact that they did make another moive. The script is good, the acting even better. To me it was certainly better than Sub Zero for here the viewer is actually drawn into a mystery rather than an adventure.Bottom line, its a worthy buy. I recommend anyone to buy it or at least see it for its entertainment value. And a note to WB executives if they happen to read this: make the next movie longer than 75 min."
Excellent Batman Adventure
Inspector Gadget | On the trail of Doctor Claw | 11/08/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)
"The original animated Dark Knight returns in this ace adventure movie that rivals Mask of Phantasm in its coolness. There's a lot of style and intelligence in Mystery of the Batwoman, so much more than Batman Forever or Batman and Robin. There's a new crime-fighter on the streets of Gotham. She dresses like a bat but she's not a grown-up Batgirl. And Batman is denying any affiliation with her. Meanwhile Bruce Wayne has to deal with the usual romances and detective work. But the Penguin, Bain and the local Mob makes things little more complicated. I didn't have high hopes for this 'un since being strongly let down but the weak Batman: Sub Zero (Robin isn't featured so much here!)but I was delighted with the imaginative and exciting set pieces, the clever plot and a cheeky sense of humor. This is definitely a movie no fan of Batman should be without. Keep your ears open for a really catchy song called 'Betcha Neva' which is featured prominently through-out. It's a shame the DVD isn't so great. Don't get me wrong there are some great features (the short 'Chase Me' is awesome) and a very cool Dolby 5.1 soundtrack but... the movie is presented in Pan and Scan. Batman: Mystery of the Batwoman was drawn and shot in 1.85:1 but this DVD is presented in 1.33:1 an in comparison to the widescreen clips shown on the features there IS picture cut off on both sides. I find this extremely annoying considering Mask of Phantasm was presented in anamorphic widescreen. Warner have had to re-release literally dozens of movies on DVD because people have complained about the lack of Original Aspect Ratio available on some titles. Why they chose to make that same mistake here again is beyond me. I would give this DVD 5/5 but the lack of OAR brings the overall score down to 4/5. It's a shame because widescreen would have completed a great DVD package."
The stakes are high, the danger's real and Batman is better
A.P. Fuchs / Canister X | 09/29/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"There's a new superhero in Gotham, one who wears silver-gray tights and a cape.
And she's a woman, a bat-woman.
At first it appears she's here to help, but when she begins targeting the Penguin and Rupert Thorne's secret arms operation, the Dark Knight and the Boy Wonder step in to solve the mystery of the Batwoman.
Who is she? What does she want? And why is it each time Batman thinks he's solved her secret identity does he find himself back at square one?
As Batman and Batwoman put the strain on the Penguin's operation, the bird man calls in a deadly force to eliminate them: Bane.
The Bruce Timm-designed Batman series is a staple on the animated superhero genre. The sleek yet angler style's been used in Batman: The Animated Series, Batman Beyond, Superman: The Animated Series and Justice League and Justice League Unlimited. And in Batman: Mystery of the Batwoman, it's delivered in spades. The art is just simply amazing straight through.
The story is terrific, with twists and turns right up till the end, and no punches are pulled in giving each and every character a level of depth not usually achieved in animated features.
Kevin Conroy is Batman and has the greatest Batman voice out of them all, both live action and animated. His line delivery as the Dark Knight forces you to respect the pointy-eared vigilante and take him seriously. The dude's got major authority.
Likewise, Efrem Zimbalist Jr. as Alfred? Wow. Between him and Kevin, these two hold down the film and set the tone for the entire movie. The relationship Alfred and Bruce Wayne share is beyond close and is a stark contrast to the relationships the bat women suspects have with their own family or loved ones.
You know what? All the voices were terrific, not a one out of place. Each suited the character they portrayed, the acting and tone behind their voices never missing a beat.
The stakes are high, the danger's real and Batman is better than ever.
Go. Watch. Enjoy.
I Liked This Batman Adventure A Lot!!
CBScorpio | Boston | 01/23/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I own the entire Batman The Animated Series (BTAS)on DVD, so my collection wouldn't be complete without this one.....and I liked it a lot. I'm not sure why some of the other reviewers didn't but I did. I thought that the concept was unique and that it had a great ending. Truthfully, I enjoyed it as much if not better than some of the actual BTAS episodes.
The animation for the 1st 3 seasons of BTAS was superb. They changed it for the 4th season and it's been lack luster ever since. Still, despite the not so awesome animation, I liked this story!!"