A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Batman vs Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles combines the Warner Bros/DC Comics and Nickelodeon franchises in an animated, action-packed, feature-length film. Batman, Batgirl, and Robin team up with Leonardo, Raphael, Michelangelo, and Donatello to save Gotham yet again. Heavy on cartoon violence -- very few pauses for character and/or story development -- the superhero movie also features the humor that's closely associated with the four heroic teen turtles. Fighting an army of well-established villains from both franchises, the heroes' battles are fast paced and sometimes brutal, and utilize weaponry of all sorts: guns, swords, syringes of ooze, katana, nunchaku, sai. Hand-to-hand combat is frequent, with some deadly outcomes. "Hell" and "damn" are heard. The intensity and frequency of the cartoon action make this crossover entry best suited for mature tweens and teens.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
An array of supervillains is on the attack in BATMAN VS TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES. With Ra's al Ghul (voiced by Cas Anvar), the Foot Clan, and the Shredder (Andrew Kishino) working together to steal enough equipment to create a machine that will transform the citizens of Gotham into bizarre mutants, the stakes for Batman (Troy Baker), Batgirl (Rachel Bloom), and Robin (Ben Giroux) are high. Their initial encounter with the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles in a laboratory under siege is ferocious, but when the combatants realize they're all fighting the same dark enemy, they join forces. Things worsen when the inmates at Arkham are mutated and join the fray in even more murderous form than usual. The "ooze" flows; the monstrous mutants cackle their way to an asylum Armageddon; and a climactic battle finds even Batman metamorphosed into a source of evil.
Is it any good?
Fusing the dazzling cartoon action of DC Comics heroes with the farcical teenage buffoonery of the four mutant ninja turtles successfully gives new life to both well-worn franchises. The animation in Batman vs Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles is sharp. Performances are first-rate. There are multiple funny sequences that contrast the cartoon seriousness of Batman's steadiness with the TMNT's silliness. The story, which at first seems to head in one direction, gets side-tracked by bizarre skirmishes that let loose familiar villains in new forms. The result is an astonishing number of action set pieces, filled with an even more astonishing number of villains. So many bad guys with so much evil intent, it's hard to keep track. But we do. Gotham is saved. The enemies, while foiled, will no doubt return to wreak havoc in the next franchise adventure.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the almost continuous cartoon action in Batman vs Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. How much violence is too much for kids? Why is it important to be aware of the impact of violence on children of different ages?
This movie states: "We make mistakes. We're a family, and learning from mistakes is how a family works." Does this concept have meaning for you? Can you think of specific instances in your life in which this proved true?
What is a "crossover" story? Which characters crossed-over in this movie? Besides being fun for viewers, how does a crossover help both film producers and merchandising companies market their products?
- On DVD or streaming: June 4, 2019
- Cast: Troy Baker, Eric Bauza, Rachel Bloom
- Director: Jake Castorena
- Studios: Nickelodeon, DC Entertainment, Warner Bros. Animation
- Genre: Action/Adventure
- Topics: Superheroes, Adventures, Brothers and Sisters, Robots
- Run time: 87 minutes
- MPAA rating: PG-13
- MPAA explanation: fantasy violence
- Last updated: March 23, 2021
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