Batman: Return of the Caped Crusaders
Return of the Caped Crusaders
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Rick Morales|
by William Dozier
and Bill Finger
|Narrated by||Jeff Bergman|
|Edited by||Christopher D. Lozinski|
|Distributed by||Warner Bros. Pictures|
Batman: Return of the Caped Crusaders is a 2016 American animated superhero film produced by Warner Bros. Animation and distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures. Based on the 1960s Batman TV series, the film stars Adam West, Burt Ward, and Julie Newmar reprising their roles of Batman, Robin, and Catwoman from the series.
Originally intended to be released directly on home media, the film premiered at the New York Comic Con on October 6, 2016, and had a simultaneous release in theaters on October 10, 2016, a digital release on October 11, 2016, and a physical home media release on DVD and Blu-ray on November 1, 2016.
Bruce Wayne (Adam West) and Dick Grayson (Burt Ward) are relaxing watching their favorite TV Show the Gotham Palace starring Miranda Moore (Sirena Irwin). The show takes a strange turn when the show's featured guests, the rock group Hector and the Ho-Daddys, throw off their disguises revealing themselves to be Batman's four main villains Joker (Jeff Bergman), Penguin (William Salyers), Riddler (Wally Wingert), and Catwoman (Julie Newmar). Batman tracks down the villains to the Acme Atomic Energy Laboratory where the villains are attempting to steal Professor Nichol’s “replica ray,” a gun that can duplicate anything. The villains and their henchman all gang up to fight Batman and Robin with Catwoman remaining on the side instead attempting to seduce Batman. While listening to Catwoman’s seduction, Batman is hit in the head by Penguin’s umbrella dazing him and he briefly sees Catwoman in triplicate each one representing one of the actresses who played her on the TV show. With Batman temporarily out of commission, the villains escape with the replica ray.
Batman discovers the villains are hiding out in an abandoned Fritzsimmons Frozen Food factory. After another brief battle, Catwoman manages to spray Batman and Robin with sleeping spray knocking them both out, and the villains then tie the duo to a giant frozen dinner to be cooked alive. Before putting him in the fire, Catwoman scratches Batman with her “bat-nip” formula, a drug designed to cause Batman to become evil and join the villains. However, the drug seemingly has no effect and the villains leave Batman and Robin to their fate. By using the acid in the frozen dinners lemon dessert, Batman is able to dissolve his bonds.
The next day, Bruce Wayne fires his long term butler Alfred (Steven Weber) over a minor infraction. As Batman, he condemns Commissioner James Gordon (Jim Ward) for briefly watching a rocket launch on TV while on the job. Unable to find the villains, Batman concludes they must have gone on that rocket and are hiding in space, so Batman and Robin take the “bat rocket” to the space station.
At the space station, the villains decide they have had enough of Catwoman’s seeming affection towards Batman and attempt to throw her into space through an airlock. Wearing a space suit, Batman catches Catwoman. After a brief fight in anti-gravity, Batman uncharacteristically pummels the villains almost to the point of their death.
Back in Gotham City, Batman continues his slow descent toward evil. He escapes out the window holding the replica ray during the middle of a meeting with Commissioner Gordon and later insults Aunt Harriet (Lynne Marie Stewart) calling her a “silly old woman.” When Robin approaches Batman about his disgraceful behavior, Batman throws Robin out of the house.
Despite Gotham City soon being overrun with crime, Batman refuses to answer the batphone and throws it into the fire. When he eventually does show up Gotham police headquarters, Batman, using the replica ray, makes a few duplicates of himself, deposes Commissioner Gordon and Chief Miles O’Hara (Thomas Lennon) and declares his duplicates the new commissioner and police chief. Next, another Batman duplicate throws Mayor Linseed out of his office and assumes the position of Mayor of Gotham City.
Robin surmises that Catwoman’s potion did work only slowly and approaches Catwoman who admits she liked the old Batman better and agrees to giving him the antidote. At the Batcave, Batman subdues Catwoman and Robin and lowers them into the “nuclear silo,” but the pair survive thanks to Robin having previously sprayed them with “bat anti-isotope spray.” Catwoman and Robin realize they need help to fight Batman and his duplicates, so they arrange the prison escape of almost every other villain at Gotham State Penitentiary including the Archer, Black Widow, Bookworm, Clock King, Egghead, False Face, King Tut, Louie the Lilac, Mad Hatter, Minstrel, Mr. Freeze, Sandman, Shame, and Siren by claiming to Warden Crichton (Thomas Lennon) that the ball and chains and pickaxes aren't in good shape. This resulted in the replaced versions carrying the villains out of the prison. While a prison guard tells Warden Crichton that Joker, Riddler, and Penguin didn't escape, the three of them mysteriously turn into a pile of dust.
Batman and his duplicates take over the "Gotham Palace" when the pack of escaped villains attempt to defeat him. After a long fight, Batman sends all the villains back to prison when Alfred arrives with a spiked bottle of champagne which Batman drinks and is cured of his evil ways. The duplicate Batmen then suddenly turn into dust revealing that and the replica ray doubles were unstable.
The now cured Batman surmises the remaining villains he had sent to prison must also have been duplicates and finds the real Joker, Riddler and Penguin attempting to steal Gotham City’s priceless works of art. The villains manage get away and go aboard Penguin’s blimp when Batman, Robin and Catwoman pursue them riding on "whirly-bat" mini-helicopters. They soon catch the blimp where they fight and eventually defeat the villains.
The end credits feature Batman and Catwoman go-go dancing.
- Adam West as Bruce Wayne / Batman
- Burt Ward as Dick Grayson / Robin
- Julie Newmar as Catwoman
- Jeff Bergman as Joker, Announcer
- William Salyers as Penguin
- Wally Wingert as Riddler
- Jim Ward as Commissioner James Gordon
- Steven Weber as Alfred Pennyworth
- Thomas Lennon as Chief Miles O'Hara, Warden Crichton
- Lynne Marie Stewart as Aunt Harriet Cooper
- Sirena Irwin as Miranda Moore
West and Ward announced at the Mad Monster Party that one or two Batman animated films will be released on Digital HD, starting with Batman: Return of the Caped Crusaders on October 11, 2016 and Blu-ray on November 1, 2016. West, Ward and Newmar would provide the voices of their respective characters for the series' 50th anniversary. A trailer was released August 17, 2016.
Warner Home Video hosted the world premiere of Batman: Return of the Caped Crusaders during the 2016 New York Comic-Con on October 6, 2016. The film was released digitally on October 11, 2016, while the deluxe edition DVD and combo pack Blu-ray of the film was released on November 1, 2016. On September 10, 2016, Fathom Events cinemas announced they would release the film in select theaters for one night only on October 10, 2016. It also received a limited release in Australia on October 8 and 9, 2016.
The movie was released on DVD and Blu-Ray in Australia on November 28, 2016
On Rotten Tomatoes the film has a rating of 88%, based on 8 reviews, with an average rating of 8.1/10. Dave Robinson of outlet Crash Landed awarded the film 3 stars out of 5, citing its success in capturing the iconic 60's television show but failing to create a cinematic quality expected of an animated feature film.
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- Batman: Return of the Caped Crusaders at the Internet Movie Database
- Batman: Return of the Caped Crusaders at Rotten Tomatoes
- Batman: Return of the Caped Crusaders at Metacritic
- Batman: Return of the Caped Crusaders at AllMovie
- Batman: Return of the Caped Crusaders at TV.com
- Batman: Return of the Caped Crusaders at The World's Finest