This before I go on is the best animated Batman movie that there is, hell, I may go as far as saying it is a real contender as being up there with the live action films....well, the good ones.
The film starts off with the Joker beating Robin near death in a shack with a crowbar. Batman is on a motorcycle trying his best to get there to reach him but after a bit Joker gets bored and leaves for better things to do, leaving Robin bloody on the ground. After he leaves, Robin musters his strength to try to crawl to the door but it is locked and he notices the pounds of dynamite with a timer. Batman reaches the shack in time to see it explode, killing his partner.
What an opening.
That Robin was the second Robin, the first being Dick Grayson who got too old to stay as Robin and went off solo as Nightwing. But this second Robin had a jerk personality and Batman took him under his wing to stop him from getting in trouble with the law and make something of him, use his talents for good. It started off well but Robin, Jason Todd, began getting too vicious and started killing their enemies when they went out to fight crime. Now that he is gone, Batman feels that it was his fault and will live with the blame for the rest of his life.
Meanwhile, a villain by the name of Red Hood is causing chaos in the streets and threatening other crime lords to work for him while also killing them at the same time. The main big crime lord is Black Mask. A mobster whose face is a black skull. He doesn't like the fact that this guy is on his turf and taking out all of his men and investing mobs. It is up to Batman to stop them both and end the killing spree.
He has a nice almost reunion team up with Nightwing for a bit that is nice and almost wants you to see them keep being a team. The Joker also appears because Batman believes that he is behind it all somehow even though he is locked up in Arkham Asylum.
This movie was amazing and is aimed at an older audience as well, which is exactly what I want from my Batman movies. It deals with very serious themes and they aren't afraid to kill, show blood, and the occasional low level curse words like hell, damn, etc.
The fight scenes are amazingly animated and choreographed and even though they changed voice actors for Batman and Joker, they pull them off very well. Batman sounds great and instead of Mark Hammil's silly happy laughing Joker, we get a deeper more disturbing Joker, not without the jokes and humor though. The Joker in this movie is voiced by the guy that voices Bender on the cartoon Futurama.
It does a very nice job with it's twists and even when things are revealed there is still tension and it only adds to the excitement as you want to see the outcome.
I can't really say I found much of this movie in the negative category. Just a few minor quibbles like the beginning after the robin death seemed slightly slow and they changed the design of Alfred!!
Alfred was almost unrecognizable, I mean we know its him but they gave him different hair and more hair for that matter. Plus Nightwing joked a bit too much, almost every line out of his mouth was a joke.
And for some reason, everything had to explode...seriously count the number of explosions. Other than that, this is a must see even for people who dont watch or haven't seen the other animated batman movies or the cartoons themselves.
+Great story with really good themes
+Beautiful animation and fight scenes
+A real joy to watch
-Nothing really negative as you can see, just quibbles.
Watch this movie!