Animated Batman Movie Tournament!

Discussion in 'DC Comics Films' started by godisawesome, Feb 27, 2018.

  1. godisawesome

    godisawesome Well-Known Member

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    On our podcast (FranchiseWars) my buddy and I decided to start a kind of monthly episode type building off our name and some of our earlier episodes where we'd pit two movies from the same franchise against each other. We've reformed out technique a bit as we've gone on; for instance, the Good Spider-Man Movie episode in my signature actually has an organization to it, whereas the bad one did not.

    Anyways, we're both massive Batman fans, so we're going to actually pair up two Batman cartoon movies against each other every month, judge them on their protagonist-arcs for Batman and his allies, the antagonists and villains, and their value as adapatations or original work.

    And we're going to use everyone's votes to try and determine a victor.

    Because we wanted to kind of hit the ground running, we're going to do the first round comparing films that have similar themes or elements, even if they're top tier films and should probably take on a lower level film first.

    For the first match up, we decided to tackle the idea of an animated Batman Origin story. Soooo....

    Round 1

    Batman: Mask of the Phantasm

    VS

    Batman: Year One

    Vote here: https://www.powr.io/plugins/poll/view/13750038?mode=page

    We felt this would be a good kickoff episode, because while both films deal with the idea of Bruce Wayne as a dynamic protagonist who becomes Batman, they're otherwise totally different but still high quality films. Phantasm is a traditional noir story with Bruce as the clear central protagonist and clear anatagonists in Phantasm and Joker, with a fairly focused plotline, and is notable for being an almost entirely original story in a lot of ways. Year One is a very, *very* faithful adapatation that has a more sprawling focus, since not only is Gordon arguably an equal protagonist to Bruce, but so is Gotham as a city, with a wider and less focused Rogues Gallery.

    Both are critically acclaimed.

    So who's your pick, and why? And what duo would you like to see next?
     
    #1
  2. Rorschach2012

    Rorschach2012 I'll Cancel the Pizzas

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    The best ones are Mask of the Phantasm, The Dark Knight Returns, Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker and Batman: Under the Red Hood.
     
    #2
  3. TheFlamingCoco

    TheFlamingCoco Well-Known Member

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    It's funny, but before I saw BYO, I thought it would be the Batman animated film that I'd always wanted to see-it's my favorite comic ever.

    But somehow between script and screen the "life" of the comic was lost.

    There's Ben Mackenzie's uneven vocal performance, Bryan Cranston feeling a bit outside his element here, and the problem of cutting out some of the inner dialog while retaining just enough of it to feel "weird."

    On top of that the animation seems to be "Design-over-movement."

    In a risk of seeming unfair, WATCHMEN has similar problems in recreating exact scenes from the comic to less than optimal effectiveness.

    The difference is the latter film has an energy in and of itself-think of Dr Manhatten's transformation, for example, whereas Year One feels "afraid" of playing up the comic moments, to the expense of its stand-alone drama.

    And that "shadow masking" in the climax. Ugh.

    BATMAN: Mask of the Phantasm is an entirely different animal.

    It essentially takes BATMAN:THE ANIMATED SERIES and builds an entire movie around the character around Bruce Wayne.

    It doesn't really reflect the tone of Year One, but it contrasts that with the idea of Bruce being
    a moderately successful vigilante
    who doesn't need the Batsuit to demoralize his opponents as much as empower himself.

    Phantasm succeeds in arguably every way but one: the animation is at best a moderate upgrade to BTAS, and at worst feels like a lesser episode.

    It's hard to believe these frames are in the same movie.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Honestly, if WB spent upwards of 15 million on the movie, I feel like it could actually be the greatest American animated film due to its nuanced characterizations and engaging score by the late Shirley Walker.

    But as it is, it feels more visually self-aware than it should, and forces the viewer to put a little more involvement than he or she should have to. Some scenes are brilliantly atmospheric, but other scenes I feel like I'm "fighting the animation."

    Now that we're on the tournament, Under The Red Hood seems to have the most finesse in its animation and is truly exciting from beginning to end, but it doesn't really have the heart of Phantasm.

    It's emotional in its own right, and the casting of Ackles actually works.

    But something about UTRH feels like it's a little manufactured, like it's taking off from the "Dark Knight" hype and pulling its effect, rather than internalizing Batman's universe as an extension of his psyche.

    So, in the end, Phantasm wins for me :)
     
    #3
  4. Batmannerism

    Batmannerism Super-unknown

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    I'll play

    Round 1 : I pick Batman:MOTP over BY1.

    Batman: Year One is my second favorite Batman story of all time, after Dark Knight Returns.

    The animated film fails to deliver the atmosphere or the intensity of the comic story, and the visuals don't even come close to the amazing colours and shades of the artwork.

    I was very disappointed by it :(

    Batman MOTP is a bit like an extended Batman TAS - having said that Batman TAS was an absolute triumph, a wonderful hybrid between the comics and the first Burton movie.

    I remember seeing it in the cinema and enjoying it greatly.

    For those reasons I got with Mask of the Phantasm.
     
    #4
  5. hellblazer103

    hellblazer103 Nasty Piece of Work

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    Year One doesn't even come CLOSE lmao. The graphic novel is great, the movie... Not so much. ( I realize it's pretty much a carbon copy of the comic book, but it's a mediocrley animated one with mediocre voice acting, even from Bryan Cranston, who I normally would've thought to be a perfect choice for Gordon, but he just didn't deliver, and neither did McKenzie, Gotham's Gordon, as Bats himself. )


    Meanwhile, MOTP might just be one of the best Batman films in GENERAL , to this day.
     
    #5
  6. Pennywise

    Pennywise Well-Known Member

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    Definitely MOTP!
     
    #6
  7. Rorschach2012

    Rorschach2012 I'll Cancel the Pizzas

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    I bet it'll come down to MOTP and UTRH
     
    #7
  8. Boom

    Boom I got nothin'

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    Mask of the Phantasm is the only correct answer.
     
    #8
  9. Grommers

    Grommers Well-Known Member

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    I much preferred TDKR p1 and p2.

    Don't get me wrong they are all amazing, just instead of a 9.9/10 i give motp a 9.8 and a UTHR a 9.5
     
    #9
  10. godisawesome

    godisawesome Well-Known Member

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    Here's our first episode. It's honestly taken over largely by a philosophical debate about who or what Batman should be, and how that impacts my buddy and I's reaction to the films.

    https://www.buzzsprout.com/132209/656386-mask-of-the-phantasm-vs-year-one-batman-movie-tournament

    In short, he finds Gordon's exclusion from Phantasm to make it significantly worse, whereas I find that Batman's static portrayal and almost secondary status in Year One (both the book and movie) to make it less interesting compared to the very dynamic portrayal of Bruce in Phantasm.

    We're still voting until next month in the poll in the first post, and we'd greatly appreciate some listener feedback to read during the second episode. Of course, we'd also like some ideas for what the second episode would be. Right now, we're thinking about doing The Dark Knight Returns two-parter vs Batman Beyond's premier compilation and Return of the Joker, to effect something closer to an equal battle in terms of length.

    Any ideas, comments or suggestions?
     
    #10
  11. Batmannerism

    Batmannerism Super-unknown

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    Dude, just a thought, why not some rounds, seeded for obvious reasons.

    Round 1

    Other rounds/match ups

    Batman Y1 v Mask of the Phantasm = Phantasm wins

    Under the red hood v Batman and Harley Quinn

    Dark Knight Returns v Batman Beyond Joker returns

    Assault on Arkham v Batman vs Two Face

    Gotham Knight v Mystery of the Batwoman

    Gotham by Gaslight v Strange Days

    Son of Batman v Mechs vs Mutants

    BAD Blood v Batman vs Dracula
     
    #11
    Last edited: Mar 11, 2018

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