Wait, what’s Batman Unlimited, you’re probably asking…well…Batman Unlimited is an action figure line produced by Mattel based on Batman. It has inspired a series of direct-to-video animated films and online shorts…and that’s about it, there’s nothing really all that different compared to the other Batman movies and TV shows we’ve gotten.
And apparently, these have become popular enough to spawn animated movies hence we have the first movie, Animal Instincts.
Gotham is plagued by crime committed by an animal-themed villain squad, The “Animalitia” composed of Penguin, Silverback, Cheetah, Killer Croc, and Man-Bat. Batman, Red Robin, Nightwing, Green Arrow, and the Flash must band together to stop them.
It’s pretty obvious that these are intended solely for kids to enjoy and as far as kids movies are concerned, this is actually not that bad. It’s clearly not intended for an adult audience but I think Batman fans who are looking for a decent Batman adventure will definitely get their enjoyment here.
The Animalitia is a cool concept to give some of these lesser known baddies a chance to shine in a big Batman project, and the action sequences in this are pretty decent as well.
The animation is pretty solid as well, not quite Batman TAS level or DC Universe movie level but still, pretty solid. I like the fact that they got Kevin Riepl to do the score, this is the guy who did the scores for Gears Of War, Rocket League, and Battleborn and it’s a pretty good score.
Probably my favorite thing about the movie is the casting, this is not done by Andrea Romano this time around at casting and voice director, instead we have Wes Gleason, he’s actually done a number of DC Universe animated movies as the casting director including Batman: Bad Blood and Batman: The Killing Joke and you can tell he took a lot from Andrea Romano because he actually gets really solid surprisingly effective voice actors for the leads.
That’s Roger Craig Smith, the voice of Sonic The Hedgehog and Batman in the game, Arkham Origins, as the Dark Knight and he’s so good, he’s channeling Kevin Conroy’s Batman very well. You’ve got Dana Snyder, Master Shake on Aqua Teen Hunger Force, as the Penguin and he surprisingly works really well. Chris Diamantopoulos, who not only played Moe very well in the 2012 Three Stooges movie but also does the voice of Mickey Mouse in Disney’s short cartoons, is really solid as Oliver Queen/Arrow. There’s also Yuri Lowenthal, Will Friedle, Laura Bailey, John DiMaggio, Phil Lamarr, Charlie Schlatter (reprising The Flash as he did in Superman: TAS), and Alastair Duncan (reprising Alfred from The Batman) and everybody fits into their roles very nicely.
If there’s any real complaints I had towards the movie, it mostly comes into the story itself, it’s about as predictable as you can get. You can easily pinpoint every plot point you’d expect from a story like this and that’s really the worst thing you can say about this is that it’s too predictable.
Batman Unlimited: Animal Instincts isn’t no classic or a high caliber film but it is a fun little movie for kids to enjoy, if you go into this just looking to see some of your favorite Batman characters in a new adventure, the adults can find some enjoyment out of it too. No real classic but still a fun little watch for itself, if you can rent it or stream it for a good price, give it a watch and you might be pleasantly surprised by it like I was.