Movie Name: The Batman vs. Dracula
Studio: Warner Bros. Animation
Genre(s): Animated/Action/Adventure/Comic Book
Release Date(s): October 15, 2005
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
Something new has come to Gotham. It is old, evil, and dark. When the Penguin accidentally unleashes Dracula, a plague begins to take over the city. People are disappearing, and Dracula is forming an army. It is up to the Batman to stop him, but Dracula’s army is growing and Dracula has his eyes on Bruce Wayne’s recent love interest Vicki Vale. Dracula might have inspired the Batman, but the Batman might be the only man who can stop him!
Directed by Michael Goguen, Sam Liu, Brandon Vietti, and Seung Eun Kim, The Batman vs. Dracula is a direct-to-DVD movie that spun off The Batman TV series. The movie was well received by most. The movie was aired on October 15, 2005 the Cartoon Network and released on DVD on October 18, 2005.
I loved Batman: The Animated Series, but The Batman (despite the changes in style) wasn’t bad as well. With a spin-off movie like this, you expect bigger and better than The Batman animated series. While the movie’s tone is a bit darker, The Batman vs. Dracula doesn’t quite push the story far enough.
The movie starts out with a cheesy concept. I always hated when characters met major fictional characters in comics. While things like Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein work, Superman, Captain America, and Spider-Man meeting characters like Dracula don’t always work (though Marvel did have a great Tomb of Dracula series that actually incorporated the character into the Marvel Universe). The movie however does work in that it feels a bit more like Batman: The Animated Series instead of The Batman. I just wish it had been darker.
The animation for The Batman just wasn’t up to the level of Batman: The Animated Series and The Batman vs. Dracula would have benefited more by being a spin-off of that series. The Batman was brighter and gaudier. It worked in the context of the series, but here it hinders the storyline. A darker grittier series would have been more in line with the tone of the story which actually gets pretty dark.
The Batman vs. Dracula is also hindered by the character acting of the series. Both the Joker and the Penguin are so over the top, but the movie is pretty dark. Overall, Dracula’s plans fall apart and no one really dies, but a lot of the acting/animation for the characters are pretty goofy. It doesn’t quite fit.
The Batman vs. Dracula isn’t DC’s finest animated film, but it also isn’t bad. If you don’t like The Batman, this movie might be slightly better than the series (which I’m ok with). It is a fun little movie if you want a DC movie with a Halloween feel. The movie didn’t quite do as well as the producers hoped because a planned sequel movie called The Batman vs. Hush never materialized.