A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Beware the Batman joins predecessors like Batman: The Brave and the Bold and Batman Beyond in telling the story of the brooding Caped Crusader and his campaign for justice in Gotham City. The show's sleek CGI animation style makes the already dark content feel even more ominous at times, especially during the violent exchanges between Batman and a revolving cast of villains. Weapons range from swords to poison darts, there are kidnappings and mild forms of torture (in one scene, captives must run through an obstacle course of booby traps and synchronized explosions), hostage situations, and lots of death-defying escapes. As always, Batman is a conflicted character, fighting evil with violent methods of his own that don't always sit well with him, and wrestling with personal insecurities.
- Parents say
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What's the story?
BEWARE THE BATMAN is a retelling of the tale of Gotham City's caped superhero and his alter ego, Bruce Wayne. Flanked by his loyal butler, Alfred (voiced by J.B. Blanc), and a new sword-wielding accomplice, Katana (Sumalee Montano), Batman (Anthony Ruivivar) keeps a watchful eye on his town and swoops into action whenever villains like Professor Pyg (Brian George) and Mr. Toad (Udo Kier) come to call.
Is it any good?
There's no shortage of interpretations of Batman's familiar story, from big-screen blockbusters to kid-friendly cartoons, so why another go at an animated series about the Dark Knight? Beware the Batman toes the line between the two styles in a new way, leaning more toward the intensity of movies like Batman Begins, but blending this ominous tone with the fantasy nature of an animated show. The CG-rendered style of this incarnation perfectly suits this combination, making Beware the Batman a standout among its peers.
That said, the show is also a great example of the misleading nature of animation. Violence can pack a punch even when the players are computer-generated, and the show's often sinister tone isn't entirely overshadowed by its animated style. Batman (and Bruce) is as brooding as ever, and his spells of contemplation and personal insecurities require a more mature viewer to put into perspective. What's more, there's always the delicate balance between Batman's altruistic motives and the violent means by which he achieves success to consider. The bottom line? If your older tweens have outgrown the lighter cartoony stuff but aren't quite ready for the intensity of the real Batman movies, then this might fill the void.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about heroes. Tweens: What do you think defines a hero? Do Batman's motives always justify his methods? Does his use of violence stand in the way of his heroic title?
How has Batman's character evolved over the years? Which of the series and movies about him are your favorites? Why? Why does his story continue to get refurbished?
Is vigilante justice ever warranted? Do our laws do an adequate job of protecting us from harm? What role do average citizens play in public safety? What messages do we get from violence in the media?
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