Batman and Harley Quinn
|Batman and Harley Quinn|
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Sam Liu|
|Screenplay by||Bruce Timm|
|Story by||Bruce Timm|
Kevin Michael Richardson
|Music by||Michael McCuistion|
|Edited by||Christopher D. Lozinski|
|Distributed by||Warner Bros. Home Entertainment|
Batman and Harley Quinn is a 2017 American animated superhero film produced by Warner Bros. Animation and distributed by Warner Bros. Home Entertainment. It is the twenty-ninth film in the DC Universe Animated Original Movies series, and is directed by Sam Liu and written by Jim Krieg and Bruce Timm, who has also worked on Batman: The Animated Series. It has been stated by Timm that he considers the film a spiritual successor to Batman: The Animated Series, although it was never explicitly confirmed whether it is or not. It premiered on July 21, 2017 at San Diego Comic-Con International and was released into participating theaters for one night only on August 14, 2017.
Batman and Nightwing discover that Poison Ivy and Floronic Man (Jason Woodrue) have teamed up. Much to their reluctance, they decide to look for Harley Quinn (Ivy's best friend and Joker's usual sidekick), to find out where the duo are hiding; however, Harley has gone off the grid since getting paroled. Batman leaves finding Harley to Nightwing, while he gets information from A.R.G.U.S.
At A.R.G.U.S. HQ, Batman learns that Ivy and Woodrue stole the information on Swamp Thing's birth and kidnapped a scientist named Dr. Harold Goldbloom who could help them replicate the process and turn everyone into plant people.
Nightwing finds Harley working as a waitress at a restaurant. Tailing her, Nightwing angers her since she wants to live a normal life, but her past as a super criminal keeps her from getting hired as a psychiatrist. Eventually, the two have an intimate moment with each other - until Batman walks in on them - with the result being that Harley declares to help.
Harley leads them to a popular hangout for henchmen where she gets the location of Ivy from one of her old minions named Shrubby. The trio head to Blüdhaven where Ivy is saddened to see her friend helping Batman. Woodrue fatally wounds Dr. Goldbloom to keep him quiet as he and Ivy escape as their lab catches fire. However, the dying Dr. Goldbloom reveals that the duo are heading to Slaughter Swamp in Louisiana where the correct swamp chemicals are.
Contacting A.R.G.U.S., Batman, Nightwing and Harley head after them to convince Ivy to stop her mad plans, realizing that even the slightest miscalculation could result in the extermination of the human race. Harley resorts to crying to convince Ivy, who is finally swayed by their relationship. Swamp Thing appears, informing Woodrue that he would threaten the Green with his concoction; however, he will not interfere. Batman and Nightwing wonder how to stop Woodrue, until Harley points out he is a plant and asks if they have a match. Grateful, they both give her a kiss on the cheek and just set Woodrue on fire.
In the post-credits scene, Harley has gone back to being Dr. Quinzel. However, she now has a reality game show, where she makes her patients face their fears on an elaborate obstacle course.
- Kevin Conroy as Batman / Bruce Wayne
- Melissa Rauch as Harley Quinn / Dr. Harleen Quinzel
- Loren Lester as Nightwing / Dick Grayson
- Paget Brewster as Poison Ivy / Pamela Isley
- Kevin Michael Richardson as Floronic Man / Jason Woodrue
- John DiMaggio as Swamp Thing / Alec Holland, Sarge Steel
- Eric Bauza as Wesley
- Robin Atkin Downes as Charles "Rhino" Daily
- Trevor Devall as Bobby Liebowitz
- Rob Paulsen as Dr. Harold Goldblum, Min & Max
- Mindy Sterling as Project Supervisor
- Bruce Timm as Booster Gold / Michael J. Carter
The director is Sam Liu, who also worked on three prior DC animated films. The story is written by Bruce Timm partnered with Jim Krieg. However, according to Krieg, Timm conceived the complete story while he added some details to it. Kevin Conroy voices Batman and Loren Lester voices Nightwing, both of whom voiced those same roles in Batman: The Animated Series and in The New Batman Adventures. The Big Bang Theory regular Melissa Rauch voices Harley Quinn, which is her first time voicing the character. Voice director Wes Gleason said, "They've grabbed these characters that are so established from Batman: The Animated Series and found a way to spin them in this '80s roadshow that's full of action, but yet has all the comedic notes to it as they still try to save the day." The official trailer was first shown by Entertainment Weekly on May 25, 2017. Oliver Gettell, writing for Entertainment Weekly, wrote "With its 48 Hrs.-style antics, Batman and Harley Quinn promises to take a more comedic tack than DC's recent animated offerings, such as the controversial adaptation of The Killing Joke." However, due to the financial success of The Killing Joke, the film was released in theaters for one night only in the United States on August 14, 2017. The next week, a combo set with a Blu-ray copy, a DVD copy, and a digital copy was released. This is Bruce Timm's return to writing an animated DC Comics property since Justice League Unlimited concluded in 2006. The film was released on digital on August 15, 2017 and on DVD and Blu-ray on August 29.
The animation was outsourced to DR Movie in South Korea.
On July 31, a five-issue prequel series called "Harley Quinn and Batman" was released on a bi-weekly basis via Digital Download. Written by Ty Templeton and drawn by Rick Burchett, the plot follows Harley as she looks to separate herself from the Joker and become a full-fledged super-villain in her own right. Afterwards, a seven-issue series (which shares the same title of the film) was released on a weekly basis (also for Digital Download) starting on October 23. This serves as an anthology series that takes place after the events of the movie and is worked on by various writers. Both mini-series were collected into a trade paperback and released on March 7, 2018.
The score by Michael McCuistion, Kristopher Carter & Lolita Ritmanis was released on CD by WaterTower Records as an exclusive with FYE.
Due to vague language used in online articles promoting the movie, there has been debate in the fan community as to whether the film is canon to the DCAU. The most notable example being The Vocal Range's headline stating that the film is unofficially canon.
Writer and Executive Producer Bruce Timm has stated in interviews that it is a return to the DCAU saying "it was just an excuse to kind of go back to the BTAS world", "I personally kind of think of it as a continuation of Batman: The Animated Series, and the DC Animated Universe", and in an interview with ComicBook.com that it was always his intent for the film to be in continuity but went on to state that he's "not actually in control of what’s in continuity and what isn’t" citing "several other classic Batman animated-style movies that I didn’t have anything to do with" such as Batman & Mr. Freeze: SubZero and Batman: Mystery of the Batwoman. The implication here being that corporate entities such as DC and Warner Brothers have the final say.
Co-Writer Jim Krieg has also stated that the film is "DCAU Adjacent" rather than strictly canonical.
Ty Templeton, author of the prequel comic, also referred to it as a return to this universe in an interview with io9, stating: "In my mind, we pick up no more than a month or so after our last adventure in the DCU (which was more than 10 years ago, I think). The last status quo for the characters (in the comics, anyway) was that Joker and Harley almost got married as part of a fairly twisted scheme that didn’t pan out (Batman Adventures Vol. 2, issue #16) and each went back to Arkham at the end of that story, so I figure they’ve busted out since, and were working on a nefarious prank to kill or inconvenience hundreds of Gothamites."
The film received mixed reviews from critics with many praising the animation, the voice performances of Conroy and Lester, and throwbacks to the animated series, but criticizing the script and Rauch's performance as Harley Quinn. The film has a 50% on Rotten Tomatoes with an average rating of 4.99/10, based on 10 reviews.
The film earned $808,020 from domestic DVD sales and $1,039,938 from domestic Blu-ray sales, bringing its total domestic home video earnings to $1,847,958.
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- "Harley Quinn Deserves Better Than The Laughably Bad Batman And Harley Quinn Animated Movie". Cinemablend. July 22, 2017.
- "Batman And Harley Quinn Gives A Big Middle Finger To The Beloved Antivillain". Gizmodo. August 19, 2017.
- "'Batman and Harley Quinn' Is Uneven, Missed Potential". monkeysfightingrobots.com. August 14, 2017.
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