BATMAN: RETURN OF THE CAPED CRUSADERS (2016) Reviews of animated retro feature

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Batman: Return of the Caped Crusaders is a 2016 American animated feature film in which Batman and Robin face four of their deadliest foes.

Directed by Rick Morales (Batman vs. Two-Face; Lego Scooby-Doo!: Haunted Hollywood; Lego Scooby-Doo! Knight Time Terror) from a screenplay co-written by Michael Jelenic (Batman vs. Two-Face; Lego DC Comics Super Heroes: Justice League vs. Bizarro League; Wonder Woman 2009) and James Tucker (Scooby-Doo & Batman: The Brave and the Bold; Justice League Action TV series) based on the 1966 Batman series created by William Dozier and Lorenzo Semple Jr.

Batman and Robin spring into action when Gotham City is threatened by Penguin, The Joker, Riddler and Catwoman. This time, the four super villains have combined their wicked talents to hatch a plot so nefarious that the Dynamic Duo really have their hands full.

“On the whole, Return of the Caped Crusaders is a resounding success. It’s a fun return to a beloved incarnation of arguably the most popular superhero; a version who’d been somewhat left out in the cold for a couple of decades by a world that grew up a bit too much, but is now being re-embraced and held in deserved esteem.” 100 Films in a Year

“The movie is meant to be a throwback the classic series, and what better way to do this than to feature the original voice talents. Really, it’s amazing that even after nearly 50 years these people are still capable of reprising some classic superheroes, without it turning into a joke. The movie is respectful and faithful to its source material, even to the original actors that aren’t alive anymore.” Boba_Fett1138

“Granted it’s all nonsense and a plot that changes gears dramatically every 20 minutes, but even that feels like an accurate representation of the show that’s hard to resist. The art is a mix between the DC Animation house Bruce Timm style and the old 60’s designs that you love. Production values are noticeably higher than the recent Killing Joke feature that irked many.” CG Magazine

“It’s a nostalgic trip back to the days of the 1960’s television show but it’s also a spoof of itself. It’s also a tribute to the characters in general. With so much doom and gloom Batman in recent years, Return of the Caped Crusaders is a beacon of hope. It’s over the top and ridiculous but entertaining and amusing as can be.” Cinema Smack

“West and company are clearly having a lot of fun here and it’s obviously a project that everyone was very emotionally invested in. It contains the best of the classic show while bringing something fresh to potential new audiences. My guess is it will go over well with smaller children who may be too young for something like Batman: The Killing Joke.” The Cinemaholic

” …Return of the Caped Crusaders feels more like a fan film than a real-deal reunion, as if it exists purely to wring dollars from nostalgia rather than because there was a new story to be told. It’s not bad — it’s certainly not drawn that way — but I quickly grew tired of its unrelenting need to poke me in the ribs. To be reminded of the TV series this much, I’d rather just watch the TV series.” Flick Attack

“Not only was it fun in spirit, but it also provided some great laughs and so many exciting moments. The animation was also perfect providing well-crafted locations and realistic motions for the characters. This was definitely a proper return of these caped crusaders with Batman and Robin back in full force.” Gamer Headquarters

” …screenwriters Michael Jelenic and James Tucker don’t really match the writing style of the old show that well (they don’t use the distinctive William Dozier narration) and West and Ward seem to coast a bit, bringing less to this prestige project than to disposable TV cartoons over the years.  Newmar, however, gives it the same %100 she’s given everything she’s done in her career.” The Kim Newman Web Site

“The homage is cute and affectionate. At the same time, it brings back memories of just how silly the original tv series was and how much it treated the original comic-books as a bad joke. As a result, it leaves you in two minds about whether you should applaud the film for the cleverness of its replication of the old show’s style or repudiate it for the continued trashing of the source material.” Moria

“The fight scenes are staged exactly as they were in the live-action show (ie, lots of colourful BIF! and KAPOW! overlays. The villains are as over-the-top as ever, while the Caped Crusaders are as dull as strait-laced as you’d expect. And yes, the theme music is present and accounted for (although there are no lyrics, sadly). This is the Batman we all know and love…” ScreenJabber

“Better than it needed to be, West did sound his eighty-something age though was enthusiastic, but Ward’s tones were as youthful as ever and Newmar’s coquettish cadences were still present; it was more accomplished than the last time West and Ward had voiced the characters, the Filmation series of the seventies, because it did more with the history of the work.” The Spinning Image

Voice cast and characters:
Adam West … Bruce Wayne/Batman
Burt Ward … Dick Grayson/Robin
Julie Newmar … Catwoman
Jeff Bergman … Announcer/The Joker
Sirena Irwin … Miranda Monroe
Thomas Lennon … Chief O’Hara/Prison Warden
William Salyers … The Penguin
Lynne Marie Stewart … Aunt Harriet
Jim Ward … Commissioner Gordon
Steven Weber … Alfred Pennyworth
Wally Wingert … The Riddler

Technical details:
78 minutes

MOVIES and MANIA rating:

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