"Batman and Harley Quinn" Animated Release Talkback (Spoilers)

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Hulk not good with words.
Jun 6, 2001
St. Louis, MO
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So the canon. I'm going to be on the side it's a parallel universe.
Just to argue for the side that the movie IS in-continuity with DCAU, I'm going to nitpick some of your nitpicks, Yojimbo.
  • But we do know the canon never had a Powergirl nor did it ever have a Hal Jordan that became Green Lantern. Yet, they're referenced in Superbabes in the form of a waitress and wall decoration. The closest we got to Powergirl was Cadmus clone Galatea and to Hal, we got to see briefly when Chronos broke time in "The Once and Future Thing" but neither of which was made public. Sure, Powergirl could have appeared after Justice League Unlimited but it seemed pretty apparent Hal stayed a test pilot in this canon.
As you mentioned there's no reason Power Girl couldn't have popped up in the DCAU at some point after Galatea. After all there's definitely been a precedent set for pastiche versions of characters showing up in the DCAU before the genuine article - - We got Hro Talek before the true Hawkman made his official debut. And Black Siren and Catman showed up ahead of Black Canary and Wildcat.

As for the Hal Jordan/Green Lantern decoration at Superbabes, one could easily make the case that it's not Hal Jordan at all, but an artistic interpretation (by Gil Kane no less) of Kyle Rayner. It looks about as much like the DCAU Kyle Rayner as the old-school version of Robin in the restaurant resembles the 'official' BTAS version of the character.

  • None of those heroes Booster Gold mentioned were on members of the JLU! Well, they could joined after the show ended?
Not only was Elongated Man mentioned along with the so-far unseen Black Condor, Triumph and Bloodwynd, but B'wana Beast was also named. So was Aquaman. Of the seven Leaguers called out by name (including Booster Gold) four of them had indeed appeared in the JLU series. And it's not unprecedented for a member of the League to mentioned and not seen in the DCAU - just ask Plastic Man.

  • Would Batman really smile?
Yes he would:


  • Catwoman never had henchmen in this canon.
Hey, who's to say she didn't use henchmen sometime after TNBA? How can we even be sure those are her henchmen in the DCAU?

  • How can Captain Clown and Randa Duane be around and dancing so fluidly?!
They's robots. Red Tornado was split in two by Amazo and then literally exploded out of the sky in "The Return" only to make a complete recovery two episodes later in "Dark Heart."

Starfire can be rationalized, but a Granny Goodness is kinda hard.
No harder than explaining why Vykin of the Forever People is attending Harv Hickman's Halloween party.



Ubu would never hang with these people -- he's pretty stuck up and what not...
I agree that hanging out in a tavern for henchmen does seem out of character for Ubu, but this movie is a comedy so I can let it slide. But if I really had to defend it, I would look at Sinestro as an example of a DCAU character that changed quite a bit from his overly serious demeanor in "In Brightest Day" to his more easy going persona as depicted in "Fallen Hero." He was even cracking bald jokes at the expense of Lex (Flash) Luthor in "The Great Brain Robbery." So with that in mind I can forgive the idea of Ubu at a dance club. Along with Ricky the Hook.

Catwoman never employed henchmen in this canon, I can't really see this Ivy employing men - hasn't she only had lady henchs.
Catwoman is certainly not adverse to manipulating men though. Or at least trying to do so, as she did with Nightwing. And Poison Ivy has been known to use plant/men hybrids. I thought Shrubby could have definitely been part broccoli.

Yeah, there might be a lot to nit-pick for continuity buffs, but there's absolutely nothing that completely flies in the face of established DCAU continuity to officially render it non-canon (as is the case with Brainiac Attacks for example). Of course it's ultimately to each viewer and fan to decide for himself/herself. I understand if some people simply don't like the way the characters were portrayed, or some of the situations that were presented, but it wasn't enough to truly affect the canon of the DCAU. Personally I've never been crazy about the idea of 'kid detectives' rescuing Batman from the Penguin, but I still accept the fact that "I've Got Batman in My Basement" is 100% in-continuity.


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Yes, have some.
Staff member
Jul 13, 2003
11,676 21
Just to argue for the side that the movie IS in-continuity with DCAU, I'm going to nitpick some of your nitpicks, Yojimbo...Yeah, there might be a lot to nit-pick for continuity buffs, but there's absolutely nothing that completely flies in the face of established DCAU continuity to officially render it non-canon (as is the case with Brainiac Attacks for example). Of course it's ultimately to each viewer and fan to decide for himself/herself. I understand if some people simply don't like the way the characters were portrayed, or some of the situations that were presented, but it wasn't enough to truly affect the canon of the DCAU.
Fair enough. You made some good points.

Fone Bone

Matt Zimmer
Jan 19, 2004
2,625 7
Framingham, MA
Batman And Harley Quinn

I have some opinions about that.

As a single solitary entrance into DC Animated Universe canon? It was good. It was fun. It was enjoyable and probably the first of these DC Universe Animated Original Movies that that is true for. I had a good time.

As a blueprint for any potential future return to the DCAU? I am concerned. Big time. I am unhappy. I wish this movie were made under different sensibilities.

First off, right away, DCAU or not? Probably. Nightwing's mullet means the DCAU is the only continuity it COULD be in. The Police blimps are the other dead giveaway. It's probably canon.

But I don't THINK it should be canon.

Because as fun as this movie is, it makes the canon worse. In several ways I will get to. And this is literally the ONLY DCAU project that does that. Even Static Shock's "Hoop Squad", even if it was worse than this, didn't so negatively effect the canon. This is going to be an unusually in-depth review, even for me. Bear with me.

I am not down with graphic violence, overt sex scenes, vulgarities and cursing in this continuity. The thing that I love (or rather loved, past tense) about the DCAU is that it WAS appropriate for all ages. It had the sophisticated plots that adults appreciated, while being able to be enjoyed by kids. The fact that it never talked down to kids meant that Batman: The Animated Series and all of the connecting shows were never going to be popular fads the way stuff like Transformers, Pokemon, and High School Musical are. That's the trade-off of making the DCAU so well-made and well-written. Some kids will take quality or leave it, and then go back to watching Power Rangers out of boredom. But just the fact that kids and their parents could enjoy it together if they wanted to, was literally the best thing about the franchise. Comic books and the movies and TV shows they are based on, have gotten so dark and vulgar, and inappropriate for kids, that I love that the DCAU was my one "safe" superhero fandom, to get away from the depravity and relentless moroseness that other people my age demand from their superhero projects. And again, this particular project is fun. I'm worried about the next DCAU PG-13 project that isn't. Are we going to have instance after instance of Toyman killing four year olds as seen in Superman Doomsday? Or maybe an evil Woman Woman murdering the Shazam kids like in The Flashpoint Paradox? All I'm saying is that it's a slippery slope for a kids franchise to turn into something completely inappropriate for kids, and frankly something no fun to watch. This is my worry. This project did not suck. I worry that the precedent it set means that all future DCAU projects will.

I also did not like Harley Quinn. What bothers me is that I cannot blame the new voice (Melissa Rauch), as much as I miss Arlene Sorkin. This Harley is morose and bitter. And no real fun. It's nice and a bit refreshing that she's genuinely earnest, but the reason DCAU Harley is superior to every other Harley is that she is a ball of sunshine and a total goofball dingbat. The comic book and movie interpretations of Harley as a violent, serial-killer are actually something I find quite appalling. Sunshine Harley is the one true Harley for me.

That being said, I recognize this Harley better than any other Harley but Sorkin's herself. As dour as she seems, and despite her claims of being a sociopath, she's a real person and not actually malevolent. And I like that she's evolved enough that she now recognizes that the Joker is a useless jerk.

Rauch is fine in some ways and in some ways she's terrible. I personally would have cast a VO soundalike to Sorkin, but I'm betting WHV wanted a celebrity, so Rauch was called. She sounds less like someone trying to actually sound like Sorkin, and more like somebody doing an SNL-ish parody impression of her. Some of Rauch works, like her meltdown to Batman, and the ending with her truly pathetic pleading with Ivy. But it is not lost on me that Harley's singing voice for the song was entirely off-key, while Sorkin could knock our socks off with the musical number. Still, I'll give the producers this: Even if Rauch is not a great singer, they at least didn't cast an entirely different person for the singing voice, which is easily the thing I hate most about animated musicals. They stuck with Rauch to keep things authentic, and I admire that. But I am fully aware that Rauch is just passble, while Sorkin was a showstopper.

Here's another complaint. This movie makes Batman Beyond: Return Of The Joker worse in hindsight. Knowing that this empathetic version of Harley once existed, and then went off with Mistah J to torture Tim Drake makes me very unhappy. I DO prefer a sunny, light Harley. But I don't want her building personal and real connections to Batman and Nightwing. That just makes what she was a part of in the ROTJ flashback absolutely unforgivable and abhorrent. Now it is not just an example of Harley getting carried away with the Joker's madness. It is a legit betrayal of Batman and the Bat-Family after this. I know Bruce Timm's perspective is that he didn't need to go back and rewatch the entire DCAU to keep things consistent. That would be unnecessarily anal, and I agree. But the ROTJ is one of the most defining moments of the DCAU Harley Quinn, and I would think that would be the ONE piece of the canon always in the back of Timm's mind. It was in mine.

It's definitely before the flashback though. Batman would never let her onto the case after she did that to Tim, much less enjoyed her company, or kissed her on the cheek at the end. He'd be a total monster otherwise. If I have to choose between Batman being a total monster or Harley, I'll still pick Harley.

Another bad thing with the vulgarities is that they seem completely inconsistent with the rest of the franchise. Hearing the characters talk like sailors actually makes me feel like something actually sounds wrong about this one project, where in every other instance, the franchise (often over)-indulges in hecks and darns. Of course, Twin Peaks was strictly a broadcast network level of adult until the R rated movie and Showtime miniseries came out, and suddenly everyone could magically get naked and drop F bombs. By the way, what did you think of the new ending to Twin Peaks, b.t.? I bet you actually LIKED it.

Batman being disgusted Nightwing slept with Harley is the correct reaction. Nightwing seems embarrassed. What he should be is ashamed.

Because another problem with this movie's PG-13 sensibilities is Nightwing's fight with Harley near the beginning. It is brutal and for me, tough to watch. It is not a superhero fight like when Batman fights Harley Quinn on Batman: The Animated Series. What it appears to me to be is Dick Grayson violently beating up a woman. The brutality makes him look like the Joker. And the fact that he sleeps with her afterwards makes the domestic violence angle explicit to me. Harley's fight with Ivy at the end is similarly brutal, but it's still funny and awesome (love the hard boob punches). Do you see the difference? It is not objectionable to me to seeing two women hold their own against each other in a violent fight. That is the precise reason why even though those two fights are similar in tone, Ivy's makes me smile, and Nightwing's makes me cringe. Brutal realistic violence does NOT make everything better, especially when a man is fighting a woman who doesn't have superpowers to protect her. For exactly that reason. Which is another reason I do not look forward to more PG-13 DCAU movies.

And is Nightwing seriously shaming Harley for going to work wearing a tacky costume to thrill people? He was a freaking acrobat for Pete's sake! How is that an any different way to make a living? Because he's a guy? Because he STILL wore the tights that left little to the imagination.

Also, Nightwing offering Batman ten dollars to simply drive off and ditch Harley might have been a funny joke, had it not been a person offering that pittance to billionaire Bruce Wayne. I am very surprised Bruce does not say "Do you have any idea who I am?" To which Nightwing would reply, "I think I do. Weren't you one of the Little Rascals?"

I was a bit amazed to see Nightwing walking down the sidewalk. I was like "Wow, since the JLU formed, weirdness has REALLY been normalized in the DCAU." Nobody looks twice at him in that weird get-up, not even to ask for his autograph. I'd be inclined to think "Only Gotham," but this scene leads me more to believe this is normalcy for a person in the DCAU. Plus, he's near the Superbabes club, and they might have assumed he's a bouncer.

I like that the cook at Superbabes simply does NOT care that Harley broke that guy's arm. He was the one being a jerk, and not following the rules, and assaulting the waitress. I like that Harley doesn't get in trouble for that.

The Superbabes club is a "fabulous" idea in a way, because I'm betting in an actual world with real live superpowered people dressed in spandex, those kinds of dives would actually be a thing. I am tickled they actually get to put the REAL Harley in the atrociously offensive New 52 Harley costume. That is one meta gag I truly appreciate.

But should I? Should I REALLY appreciate it? Or is there something deeper going on than an observational gag about how much people suck everywhere? Because if it WAS a gag about how much people suck everywhere, they didn't need to do the blatant fanservice and ogling of women they did. If they were truly making fun of comic Harley's costume, they wouldn't have her half naked half of the time.

Interestingly, there have been a ton of online feminist complaints about the Superbabes club, and it never occurred to me watching it that it was out of the ordinary before I read those complaints. Fanservice is Superhero 101, and Bruce Timm engages in it more than most. It's dumb, but not unexpected. I might be inclined to say people bothered by it are in the wrong fandom, as this has ALWAYS been the subtext of the DCAU women.

But then I thought to myself, why does it HAVE to be the subtext to this franchise? It literally makes it worse. There is no disputing that. Why do we HAVE to put up with it because some creepy middle-aged male fans can never get up the courage to walk into the adult videostore themselves, or have something on their browser history they might not want their loves ones to see? Why do these movies HAVE to be targeted towards creeps? What makes their target demographic more important than any woman who has to put up with seeing that?

I think comic books and movies like this are reaching a breaking point. And I think it's a good thing. I want the creators to be called out for this. I want the women readers and the male readers with actual high standards to say "Enough." I want the male fans who are not losers to say, "We are not all creeps sex offenders, and we shouldn't be catered to as if this is what we want." I truly believe we are reaching a tipping point in having this conversation. And stuff like this movie says it is long overdue.

Thinking on it some more, it doesn't matter if the concept is clever or not. That is literally not the reason the joke is in the movie, or the reason the camera hovers on the scantily clad women. It's because there is something incredibly wrong with the entire genre. And we should really stop putting up with it.

And sorry, Bruce Timm, you should have gotten back Tom Everett Scott for Booster Gold. Yes. I went there.

How pathetic is Booster Gold? Even freaking BATMAN lies to him to spare his feelings. That's some straight-up loserdom right there, bud. Even Batman feels sorry for him.

The tag wasn't actually funny, and didn't go anywhere. I actually found it a bit depressing after that fun movie. What a bummer. Also the whole "People are out to get you thing," actually sounds like a more appropriate show tag for Springer than the one Springer actually uses.

Let's talk about some good things before I drive myself into a deep depression.

I love the main title. Very cute, with silly animation and fun music.

I love that we finally got a real-live DCAU Swamp Thing. I love that in the DCAU, he is treated with the reverence usually associated with Superman. Batman and Nightwing look upon his glory in wonder with expressions usually reserved for those watching celestial deities or Lil' Sebastian. When Nightwing breathes "Swamp Thing..." in that hushed tone, I will admit, I kinda got the chills. That was cool.

But Swamp Thing is ultimately useless, which seems to be a dig at the comics. They were building him up for the whole movie, and as Harley noted, that was a big bucket of nothing.

There were other DCAU firsts in the movie too. There is apparently a DCAU Power Girl out there (presumably one with a different origin than Galatea), and one of the waitresses was dressed as Starfire, so that unseen version of the Teen Titans the DCAU has teased a couple of times on Static Shock also includes her, besides Tim Drake Robin and Beast Boy. Lady Shiva is also name-dropped for the first time, as is Nanda Parbat. This is the first time we've seen DCAU ARGUS too.

The only "new" DCAU reference that doesn't make sense are pictures of Hal Jordan on the wall. I guess you could come up with the half-baked explanation that as the rest of the superheroes on the wall are stylized, that's the stylized version of Kyle Rayner. It's not like the DCAU Kyle didn't look exactly like Hal in his first DCAU appearance anyways. The costume on the wall picture is different, but so are Batman, Superman, and Wonder Woman's costumes too.

For some reason I feel like Batman blackmailing Sarge Steel crosses a moral line, but in truth, it's probably not worse than anything ELSE Batman does outside of the law. I dunno, when Sarge Steel says "Mistress Ilsa says it is considered therapy... in some countries," I feel more bad for the guy than I might otherwise have.

Speaking of Sarge Steel, anybody else a bit delighted and excited to see Batman and Nightwing working with Law Enforcement in such an official capacity? Batman helped out outside the law on the old show, but he was always a vigilante that Commissioner Gordon looked the other way about. I love that probably since Batman has joined the Justice League, his crusade has gained a government legitimacy at this point. I love that the army will send out troops with him if he needs it. I will not deny it was a pleasure to see this particular evolution of Batman and Gotham.

Of course, Law enforcement helping out Batman this way raises questions as to where they were during the manhunt for Tim Drake.

I actually feel Steel and the rest of his soldiers were a bit TOO deferential to Batman. Batman does NOT actually have any legal authority, but he's built up so much good will with the public over the years, I'm guessing mainly because of the Justice League, that they act like he does. And he's kind of rude, and despite Steel making some snarky comments, my first instinct upon Batman treating me and my men so shabbily would not be, "Whatever you say, Boss." And then the soldier just pipes up with, "I'm a big fan," and I kind of get why they put up with it. They really shouldn't.

While it is true that a DCAU project where anything goes is potentially bad for the franchise in the long run, I cannot picture an earlier JLU episode bothering to be nerdy enough to include a cameo from Captain Clown, Emmylou Brown, or Randa Duane. One of the double edged swords of JLU being a kids show, is that they couldn't get TOO nerdy, or kids would be lost or alienated. Even if there was no Bat-Embargo, JLU would never do a Captain Clown cameo in a million years. This is one of the biggest pluses of being able to cater exclusively to adult fans. I think the potential negatives far outweigh this joke, but I cannot deny the positives for fandom the freedom of writing mainly for nerds give the producers.

I love Rob Paulson beating throat cancer, thank you very much. That original song is outright awesome. It might be considered an earworm if it weren't so fantastic. I love every note Paulson sings.

But am I the only one seriously disturbed that Min and Max are singing a love ballad at each other in the first place? They are literally identical twin brothers. Even most slash ficcers draw the line at that. Some don't, and will be happy about this, but I think it's all kinds of ick.

Also, didn't Min and Max get subtly killed in "Two-Face: Part 2"? I think it's kind of a bummer this movie just retconned the hardest, baddest scene EVER on BTAS (two villains dying on-screen) but maybe the musical number was worth it. But "Two-Face: Part 2" will seem worse now. No question.

There will be people who accuse Harley advising Ivy to vote for Democrats as an overtly partisan joke. It is. But I like it because it's that. Because the moral is so obvious that even Harley Freaking Quinn knows it. Maybe she isn't as crazy as she is billed. I should not have to argue to with people that is unacceptable to vote for someone who brags about sexually assaulting multiple women on-camera. That should go without saying. People should already know that. I feel dumber for having to argue that, and I find it appalling that I do. And I'm thinking that if Harley Quinn knows it, I am not alone in feeling dumb about having the argument.

I sometimes forget Greenpeace is whales too.

Do you know something I REALLY like about Harley? She does crossword puzzles on the way home from work. I love whenever creators put in small moments like that to make a character seem more well-rounded, and in this particular project, that was appreciated by me in the rare instances it happened. She exercises her mind in her free time. That's awesome. Go Harley!

I am 100% positive Bruce Timm stole that Nightwig mullet gag, from me, Matt Zimmer. I made that joke on the Toon Zone forums ages ago and it got a huge laugh, and b.t. was a pretty heavy presence at the time, and I'm sure he saw that post. Which sort of reminds me why internet message boards and stuff like that is so awesome. I, as an aspiring comic book writer, love to take inspirations from people like Bruce Timm and Dwayne McDuffie. What message boards have done is that creators can take inspirations from us. My Toon Zone joke being used in an actual Batman movie makes me feel incredibly connected to this project, and to the DCAU in general. I love it. I absolutely love it.

I love that all it takes from Harley for Ivy, is taking off the make-up and making the Bambi eyes. But does it seem weird to anybody else that the mask around her eyes is actually facepaint? I'm not alone in thinking that's weird, right? That she carefully paints her face each time? If she used a mask and a powder puff she'd instantly be good to go.

I laughed at the idea that the Floronic Man could be defeated using a match. It sort of made me feel like the entire movie was pointless. But I kind of thought that already, so no harm, no foul.

When the Floronic Man is disgusted that Ivy has to kiss people to keep them under her thrall, I felt his pain. It is like the grossest superpower ever. Or at least it would be if B'wana Beast didn't exist.

"Smells like... discipline." Nah, seriously, Bats, roll down the window. I love him waving his fingers to interrupt her every time she spoke. Even Batman could tell they were doing a routine.

"Sociopath! So-ci-o-PATH! Why do people get that wrong?" Ironically, Dr. Harleen Quinzel just got that wrong. Harley is clearly NOT a sociopath in the slightest. A sociopath would not have comforted the scientist as he died, and told him he was going to Heaven. Just the fact that Harley has this much empathy for people and doesn't even realize it, tells me she is, and always has been, a quack.

I love Batman tapping his fingers during Harley's song, Nightwing giving him a look, and then Batman stopping. Nightwing didn't even give him a judgmental look (he smiles), it's just the fact that he saw him which made Batman quit it. Which amuses me. As does Nightwing doing the goofy dance.

Is Batman revealing he dropped out of med school as stupid as it sounds to me? A costumed hero should never reveal ANYTHING that specific about their secret identity in costume, to someone who doesn't know their secret, much less to a villain. It's a good laugh line, but makes me think Batman is stupid. If Harley had a mind to, should could pick threads just by knowing that.

Kevin Conroy's line reading on "Let me get this straight. Your Plan B is.... HARLEY QUINN?!" was sublime. There is a reason Kevin is irreplaceable in the role of Batman. No other actor could have made that line as funny as Kevin just did, and for the reasons he did. Diedrich Bader coulda gotten a laugh from it, but his Batman is ALWAYS funny. Kevin's reading here is precisely as funny as it is because his Batman usually is NOT. It was amazing. "God help me."

I've heard a lot of complaints that Batman should have just called the League at various points, as the situation was so dire, and threatened all life on Earth, but I'm glad he didn't. Could you imagine the withering look Diana woulda given him? "Why didn't you just light a match, you knob? You are so dumb, Bruce."

Speaking of which, the Utility Belt doesn't have bug spray? I'm starting to agree with Harley that Bats is useless. Yeah, let's NOT have the League witness this. Please. Oh, but you have Vitamin B? Do continue, Batman! You didn't quite strike me as a TOTAL jerk until you just said that. Thanks for finally getting rid of that last shred of respect I held for you. It's appreciated.

Speaking of appreciation, I kind of love and appreciate that Harley was not frightened by Batman's scary moment in the car, and pushed back on him 100%. She's never done that before when Batman has gotten scary with her, and that strikes me as an essential character development. I think the fact that she did not cower in the least, frustrated Batman with her more than he has ever been. He can control a scared Harley. One willing to stick up for herself IS indeed, a definition of a loose cannon, at least if you're Batman. But I personally loved it.

Batman was in general, FUNNY. He actually got to use a Terry McGinnis quip ("Let's Dance") and is all smiles when says it. And Adam West never had to deal with "Break!", "Bleed!", and "Ow, My Balls!"

The "Ow, My Balls!" thing is interesting to me. Because the Joker claimed to Terry McGinnis that Batman never fought dirty. And yet he DID. Could Batman maybe never have hit Joker that way because he respected him on some level? I'd hate to think that, but it's also the only thing that explains Batman kicking cannon fodder like that.

Speaking of Adam West, is that nightclub-goer doing the Batusi behind Batman? That is the craziest, most mindblowing idea I have ever seen in this continuity for the questions (and probably plot holes) it raises. Is the Batusi a THING in the DCAU? Did Batman invent it? Or was it like Pac-Man Fever, unrelated to the project, but still recognized as part of the craze? Or is the guy just nuts? And if he is, why did he walk up to Batman to do the crazy dance he did? What did he get out of that? I love thinking about random stuff that like that. And obviously Bruce Timm does too.

Honestly, I might have laughed at Batman taking a deep breath to drink a glass of milk at the bar if JLU hadn't done a milk bar joke in "Flash And Substance" a thousand times funnier. There, the hardest, baddest men in Central City all order G-rated drinks from the bar, and Captain Cold says "Milk". The rest of these Shirley Temple and pop swillers for some reason, find this unacceptable, and he explains, "My ulcer has been acting up." Sorry, Bruce Timm. You will never be as funny as Matt Wayne. And you are just going to have to live with that fact. We all will.

I love the fact that we see Nightwing actually got a doggie bag for the fries and soda from the club. Here's what I imagine happened: Batman beat everyone, and the last guy standing says, "Will there be anything else, sir?" and Dick's all, "Yes, could I get these to go?" You can't tell me different.

I love that they do the electronic Shirley Walker Batman theme in the Batplane at the end. Bridging the gaps between BTAS and Batman Beyond.

It strikes me that since this movie is structured like Harlequinade, that that episode should have been one of the bonus cartoons on the Blu-Ray. I get having Harley And Ivy as an extra, but using Harley's Holiday instead makes little sense to me.

I did some looking around YouTube, and this is the first animated project we see DCAU Poison Ivy with the green skin she sported in the Bruce Timm / Paul Dini comic "Harley And Ivy". I thought she might have had it in "Hard as Nails" from Static Shock, but the clips of that show her with the white skin from The New Batman Adventures.

For the record, Ivy had the green skin in Justice League's "A Better World" too, but that was Justice Lords Universe Ivy, so I wasn't sure if that was "canon", as it were. Batman states Ivy was always part plant due to a natural mutation, and yeah, if the skin color evolution is any indication, she is definitely a Metahuman. Makes sense.

All in all, this was a light and fun movie. Which I totally have mixed feelings towards. I kind of feel like this project is Bruce Timm's Age Of Ultron. Bruce Timm worships the ground Joss Whedon walks on, and I kind of feel like after The Killing Joke and this, him and Whedon are on the same downward trajectory with fandom, and for the same reasons. Joss Whedon's problem is that he'll create excellent female butt-kickers, and after he builds up the feminist credentials for creating these characters, he'll objectify them and humiliate them, as if creating an empowered character in the first place gives him license to do that without being called on it. I kind of feel like Barbara and Bruce hooking up in Batman Beyond was a terrible idea, that we sort of put up with because it's the DCAU, and we love the franchise. Much like the way we put up with Joss Whedon creating a male "hero" who repeatedly and unironically called his love interest a "prostitute". Neither of these things are feminist, but because Joss and Bruce Timm built up some feminist credential with Buffy and Willow, and Lois Lane and Harley Quinn, we'll let it slide. And we never should have done that. Because that got us The Dollhouse, and Age of Ultron turning Black Widow into a damsel in distress after Joss already got the accolades for her previously being a feminist icon. Similarly, Bruce Timm has turned both Harley Quinn and Batgirl into objects and victims respectively, and he probably never would have done that had we pushed back on Bruce and Barbara like we should have in the first place. Positive feedback is essential for creators to know what we love and think works. But we should also not be afraid to point out when something sucks, and when the creators let us down, or do something counter to the impression they want us to have of them. And that is this movie and The Killing Joke. The more I look at this movie, the less I like it. And that bums me out.

Still, even if I like it less each time I see it, that doesn't mean I still don't like it. I can't help it. It's DCAU. It's good to have it back. ***.

A Sneak Peek At Batman: Gotham By Gaslight:

Why is Jim Krieg dressed up in 19th century Victorian clothes? He looks like a doofus. This one looks a bit violent for me, but I DO like when these movies take chances, and that's what this does. I was disappointed the voice cast wasn't showcased in this preview. Batman sounds like Bruce Greenwood, but I'm not sure. Mike Carlin says we've never seen a Batman in a Sherlock Holmes era. Sure we have. On Batman: The Brave And The Bold! Where Batman time-traveled there and actually teamed up with Sherlock Freaking Holmes! I kind of don't feel like pulling the wind out of Carlin's sails though. Everybody was SO excited that Constantine in Justice League Dark would be the first ever animated adaptation of that character, and then Justice League Action aired a couple of months earlier than planned. So... Whaugh, whaugh. Let's let Carlin live with his delusion that this is new. He'll be happier that way. ****.

The Harley Effect:

I liked some of this featurette. Some of it, I didn't. They brought on a psychoanalyst who claims that Harley is a histrionic personality type. I'm calling b.s.. Totally. They talk about how someone like that likes attention so much they they dress inappropriately and provocatively. And as they says this, all of the dirty scenes from this movie flash across the screen. But Harley has never been that in this continuity until this precise movie. And it bothers me, to be honest, especially if she's going to get completely misdiagnosed by a single movie. Before this, Harley did NOT dress provocatively. At all. Her costume literally covered her entire body besides her face. She probably wouldn't wind up getting too many stares in Victorian England if she was in a crowd. Yeah, the colors and facepaint and mask draw attention. But that's every superhero and villain everywhere. If you are going to sit there and tell me Harley is histrionic because of either this movie or the Harlequin costume, I'mma call b.s.. Because that means Wonder Woman has that exact same personality type, only worse, because her costume is practically a bathing suit. So, no, not buying it. The good parts were several of the creator's opinions. Paul Dini had jack to do with this movie, but they snagged him for the interview anyways, which is cool. I almost wish they had gotten Arlene Sorkin too, but seeing what they did to Harley in this movie sort of also made me want to see her separated from every aspect of the project on some level, including the special features. Dini notes a personality aspect that must be true, because he's written it in the comics, but I agree with him that I would have liked to have seen it more on the cartoon. Harley is cunning on the level of that she can read and size up people incredibly well while putting on the performance of the goofy blonde with the baby voice. That's part of her being a former psychiatrist, and partly why her enemies may underestimate her. That is an incredibly cool skill to have, and I like the idea that she has it. Mike Carlin says something I disagree with. He notes that before she met the Joker, she was an innocent, and a good person trying to do the right thing. I don't believe that for a second. If she were, the Joker probably wouldn't have targeted her. But she slept her way through college via bedding professors, and wanted to interview the Joker, so she could eventually write a tell-all book. The idea that the Joker will literally hurt everyone who tries to help him is only true if you actually believe that Harley is the only therapist Arkham ever gave him. Personally? Dr. Leland seems pretty together to me, and is not wearing tights. Harley didn't become the Joker's moll because she was his victim. It's because she wanted to on some level. The fact that she became entirely a victim of his abuse after that doesn't change the initial reason she went to him. One of the producers says that the Joker is probably not capable of love, but that on the level that he can, he truly adores her. That doesn't strike me as true either. Maybe the comics retconned that into their relationship, but I think Joker sees Harley as a tool. If he needs henchwomaning, she'll hand him his gun. If he needs sex, she'll let him finish anywhere. If he needs someone to laugh at his jokes, she does, even the unfunny ones (which is pretty much all of them). If he needs somebody to beat up in frustration when Batman isn't there, she'll suffice. And if he's in a certain mindframe, and his fragile ego needs to bare his soul about a fabricated lousy childhood, she'll soothe it. Even when he is supposedly treating her decently, it doesn't mean he likes her. I think he actually adores her about as much as he does Bud and Lou, and probably considers her worth about equal to theirs. If Harley WERE quite as good as sizing up people as Dini wanted, maybe she would have picked up on that sooner. Finally, the psychoanalyst notes that Harley refuses to kill people. About dang time somebody noticed that about the original character! Suicide Squad and the comics are trying retcon her into a vicious serial killer, and she's not. She's dangerous because she's unpredictable and unstable. But these recent projects portraying her as dangerous because she's murderous and deadly are completely misrepresenting the character. I get that there are several different ways to interpret DC characters, but you still never see Catwoman portrayed as a murderous serial killer either. Along the way, DC started doing wrong by the character's intentions. This movie helped with that a little, but it ruined Harley in so many other ways, that I don't see a net positive there. Cool featurette though. ****.

Loren Lester: In His Own Voice:

Loren Lester strikes me as one of those voice artists who is also an amazing person. My favorite thing about the featurette was unintentional. After Bruce Timm says that they like to cast people who use their own speaking voices to play these roles, Lester later does a demonstration of how he pitches up the voice as Robin and pitched it down for Nightwing. I am a very amused that once again, Bruce Timm has no idea what he is talking about on a DVD special feature, due to being one-upped by a cast member. Lester just Friedled him. ****.


Teen Titans: The Judas Contract: I cannot tell if the fact that this doesn't reveal this is a Teen Titans movie halfway through the trailer is a good thing, or a bad thing. Probably both. Audacious marketing that will probably be bad for business. ***1/2.

Justice League: It is a cool trailer moment that Bruce Wayne instantly reveals he's Batman to Barry Allen, but it actually strikes me as a bite unwise. Good to see Ezra Miller will not be sporting the long hair and beard we saw in Batman v Superman. Batman's superpower is being rich. Good line. No sign of Superman in the trailer, which strikes me as WB dropping the ball. It's no secret he is in it, and we all know it, so they wouldn't be spoiling anything. But by not even HINTING that he's coming, the Justice League roster seems to be notably absent a person, which is bad for a trailer. Pretty good overall though. Love the "Come Together" montage ***1/2.

Wonder Woman: The second trailer is not as good as the first, but it's still cool. Interestingly, the second trailer is only on the DVD, not the Blu-Ray. ***1/2.

Mod Note: Post edited for language.
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Active Member
Jan 26, 2003
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What if this move exists in the DCAU but as a story told from Harley's skewed perspective? That would explain that more outlandish and out of character moments as Harley embellishing the facts, or just totally getting them wrong.


Active Member
Aug 11, 2012
What if this move exists in the DCAU but as a story told from Harley's skewed perspective? That would explain that more outlandish and out of character moments as Harley embellishing the facts, or just totally getting them wrong.
Not sure that works well on acount of all the scenes she isn't there for. She'd have no clue


In summary then: "Oh no."
Nov 18, 2001
San Francisco, CA
Batman and Harley Quinn should have been a winner--the always-welcome return of Bruce Timm's designs, the re-union of Conroy and Lester, and a script by Timm and James Krieg, writer of the excellent Flashpoint Paradox--what could go wrong?

. Sure, seeing Batman get annoyed by Harley is a surefire gag, but didn't we already see it in "Harleyquinade"? Didn't we already see Harley try and go straight in "Harley's Holiday"? Everything in this film feels like derivative fan-fiction--we even get demented fanshipping with Harley and Nightwing, whose erection makes its DCAU debut.

I like Rabelaisian humor as much as the next low-brow, but not when there are so few memorable gags, aside from a handful of one-liners and amusing swipes at Batman '66 and Swamp Thing. If your strongest cards are fart jokes, you've got a lousy hand. Good comedy depends on good timing and B&HQ has neither. The overall storytelling is similarly sluggish: expository scenes drag on, long minutes are wasted on a pointless duet by Two-Face's henchmen, and Harley follows them with a song that has none of the humor or charm of her performance in "Harleyquinade." But she does jounce her boobies, for those who like that sort of thing. Funny how so-called "adult" humor feels so juvenile.

Having watched several episodes of Justice League: Action beforehand, I thought B&HQ's animation looked stodgy in comparison. The compositions and staging are dull and the action--aside from some unremarkable fistfights--is lethargic. The lighting is flatter than a porno's and the backgrounds scream computer coloring in their blandness. The animation is more consistent than in BTAS or TNBA, yet looks cheaper and flimsier.

Melissa Rauch is an energetic but deeply unsatisfactory Harley Quinn. She doesn't have Sorkin's brass and upper register and gives a monotonous, strained performance, with a permanent pinch in her voice. Paget Brewster is okay, but lacks the sultry authority of her predecessor. As the Floronic Man, Kevin Michael Richardson is game but saddled with a boring villain whose goofy design resembles a cross between Jack Frost and Swamp Thing.

If you want lightweight comedy starring Harley, you're better off with "Harleyquinade" and "Harley's Holiday," both of which have far more heart and humor than a crass cash-in like Batman and Harley Quinn. Both were written by Paul Dini, and I have no doubt that Batman and Harley Quinn would have had far more heart and far less crassness if he'd been involved. This film is an ersatz revival of past glories, trading on our nostalgia for goodwill. It feels more like the work of a Bruce Timm imitator than the real thing.
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Nov 15, 2003
Metropolis, Earth,
Finally had a chance to watch this, I was going to rent it, but it was only $10 at Target, so I bought it. It wasn’t as horrible as I thought it would be considering the general consensus of the animated film was like-warm. I found the sexual stuff pointless and the shots and jokes about men and female parts unnecessary, (doing so just cause they could.)
Yeah this Release could have been spectacular had Harley not been in it or if less of the sexual stuff was shoved in our faces. (*sexuLly explicit content is just a de-railing subject to me.)
Anyways, it wasn’t AS bad as I imagined it would be.
The movie had great animation, good action, good casting (besides Harley) and mostly good dialog, a few too “off” lines from Batman. But eh.

DCAU style!
Great animation.
Great designs.
Funny story (enough to escape reality for a while.)

Mellisa Rauch wasn’t bad but she was hit and miss, especially the after credits scene where I was hoping she’d jump a little back into her regular demeanor as a psychologist even though she wasn’t a real one.
Ivy wasn’t given enough good screen time.
Floronic Man was not explained enough.
Lame how Swamp thing did nothing (it worked for comedic effect) but come on, him ending Floronic-Man would have been way cooler.
Unnecessary swearing in certain scenes (often thrown in just for good measure for the rating.)
Fart joke was out of character for everyone including BT and Co. sure the first time was funny, but not something that should be in Batman IMO.
Funny Story... I wanted more traditional action and seriousness with humor only thrown through-out.

Overall it was fun and entertaining, but it was too satirical for me. I give it 6.5 out of 10.

I want a real DCAU film. lol

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Sep 10, 2010
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James Harvey

The World's Finest
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Apr 23, 2001
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Jul 24, 2007
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Those numbers omit sales from the first two weeks of the movie's release. The total listed on the website is likely 1/3 to 1/4 of what the numbers should actually be. Please be more careful when reporting figures in the future - take the time to read, etc., before passing it along - to ensure we get accurate information.
Strange that they didn't report on the first two weeks. Hopefully that means it did quite well overall... If we want more DCAU style projects, we really needed this one to sell well.
Jan 6, 2013
Those numbers omit sales from the first two weeks of the movie's release. The total listed on the website is likely 1/3 to 1/4 of what the numbers should actually be. Please be more careful when reporting figures in the future - take the time to read, etc., before passing it along - to ensure we get accurate information.
Strange that they didn't report on the first two weeks. Hopefully that means it did quite well overall... If we want more DCAU style projects, we really needed this one to sell well.
I could be wrong, but I think the site (confusingly) used the digital release date to determine the number of "Weeks in Release". But then only counted the physical sales. Which would account for their "Weeks in Release" 3 and 4, being the first two weeks of release for the DVDs and Blu-rays.
Aug 30, 2016
In a way, I think that the DCAU needing to be appropriate for all ages caused them to have to think outside the box, and really get clever with things. This movie didn't have to follow those rules, so I think that's part of why it throws around the subject of sex and foul language in the way that it does. It almost seems to me like they said, "Well, this can be PG-13, so let's make sure we make it PG-13!" I don't know, with future DCAU releases (if we ever get any), I'd like them to do what they did before, and try to find ways to make them appropriate for all ages FIRST. THEN maybe go back and figure out what they can uncensor (such as allowing characters to die on camera) and make more effective, not simply make more inappropriate.
(This was inspired by the thought that the death of Robin's parents would never have been so effective if they just allowed them to hit the ground on screen)
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Active Member
Nov 10, 2010
138 1
In a way, I think that the DCAU needing to be appropriate for all ages caused them to have to think outside the box, and really get clever with things. This movie didn't have to follow those rules, so I think that's part of why it throws around the subject of sex and foul language in the way that it does. It almost seems to me like, "Well, this can be PG-13, so let's make sure we make it PG-13!" I don't know, with future DCAU releases (if we ever get any), I'd like them to do what they did before, and try to find ways to make them appropriate for all ages FIRST. THEN maybe go back and figure out what they can uncensor (such as allowing characters to die on camera) and make more effective, not simply make more inappropriate.
(This was inspired by the thought that the death of Robin's parents would never have been so effective if they just allowed them to hit the ground on screen)
Yes! Preach it!