Batman and Jason Todd (aka Robin), team up as the dynamic duo, taking down many villains within Gotham City. One night the two team up to take down a major villain. On the same night, The Joker makes a guest appearance with much bigger plans for the Bat along with the boy wonder. The Joker successfully captures Robin, but what happens to him next is entirely up to you.
Introducing a brand-new experience thanks to the good people of DC Comics and Warner Brothers studios. Batman: Death in the Family not only brings a brand-new story to life, but viewers are given the option to change the entire story along the way. When the Joker captures Robin, a selection menu appears on the screen asking the viewers what the fate of Jason Todd will be. There are many other challenging choices viewers will need to make throughout the film, plus the film has seven different endings which all depend on what selections are chosen by the viewer. This is the very first interactive animated movie in the Batman universe.
As a Batman fan, I am quite familiar with this story of Jason Todd and the villain known as Red Hood. Thankfully, this film feels more like a prequel leading up to the well-known tale of Red Hood and the mystery that surrounds him. The duration of the film itself can vary and truly depends on what selections are made by the viewers. Upon my first viewing, it was rare that choices were ever required from me, and I felt the selections made and end results were the main, accurate story. But when I decided to go back and take a darker path, this film truly surprised me. Selecting different directions did provide me with a very different story and perhaps a higher level of violence. Along with this, to my surprise, the movie would suddenly be led by a different character other than Batman himself.
For the most part, the film is also narrated with voice over from the leading hero. Because of the amount of narration from the lead character, this movie can feel more like a prequel than a major feature film. The film visuals are pleasing and consistent when compared to other previous animations from DC Comics. The movie’s audio track was also quite enjoyable.
The interactive concept of making selections is a fun idea and quite a pleasing experience for Batman fans. The only downfall is while the interactive feature seems like fun to start off with, the joy and pleasure does wear off quickly, and some selections that are offered feel somewhat of a spoiler with predictable outcomes. Depending on what choices are made, the film can also feel quick, which was also surprising to me. Upon my first time viewing the film, the duration was relatively brief, and I took a path which I felt was the real story based on my knowledge of Batman and the villain Red Hood. Going back on decisions was easy enough, and thankfully, I was not forced to start the film all over again. Viewers can go back, make different selections and resume the movie, taking a new journey and experience entirely.
Overall, as a Batman fan, I was quite impressed at this DC movie which is the first interactive film, giving viewers the choice of Jason Todd’s fate along with many other key moments. It is a great and fun concept which I did enjoy for the most part. The visuals, including the animation, is excellent, and the audio track is outstanding. Batman: Death in The Family is a solid short film, but the excitement of making selections and choosing one’s fate does wear off rather quickly, even more so once viewers see all the different choices and endings. This is undoubtedly one for DC fans around the world who will enjoy a different experience, unlike anything else before.
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Review Written by Peter Walkden