Movie Plot – Batman & Mr. Freeze: SubZero: When Mr. Freeze, desperate to save his dying wife, kidnaps Barbara Gordon (Batgirl) as an involuntary organ donor, Batman and Robin must find her before surgery can begin.
Director: Boyd Kirkland
Writers: Randy Rogel, Boyd Kirkland
Cast: Kevin Conroy, Michael Ansara, Loren Lester, Mary Kay Bergman
Animated Batman Movie
At the height of the Warner Bros. cartoon series around Batman, this full-length animated film appeared. And even though the film is purely aimed at the video market, director Kirkland has created a well-cared-for product that effortlessly rivals drawn Disney quality cinema films.
In terms of content, ‘Batman & Mr. Freeze: SubZero’ stands out head and shoulders above his cartoon counterparts. The story is challenging enough for both children and adults. It is not afraid to deviate a little to be kid-friendly. On the contrary, it feels like they’re aiming for a more mature audience. However, it’s still incomparable to The Mask of The Phantasm, which was a true masterpiece.
I’ve actually never seen the film before. It’s one that escaped under my radar when I was a kid. So now, it was my first time watching Batman & Mr. Freeze: SubZero.
Batman & Mr. Freeze: SubZero’ starts with the introduction of the bitter scientist Mr. Freeze (Michael Ansara). Due to an accident, the man is forced to live in a specially designed suit that keeps his body temperature below freezing. He is forced to live in Antarctica and desperately looks for a way to cure his wife Nora of an illness that has brought her into a coma. When Nora’s condition deteriorates, Mr. Freeze realizes that he has to intervene quickly.
Therefore he needs to find an organ donor. However, Nora is from a rare blood type, and Mr. Freeze needs to find someone alive because he needs it ASAP. That brings us to Batgirl, who is going to be his victim. Of course, Batman and Robin will intervene with this.
The story is pretty grim. A lot of attention is paid to Mr. Freeze’s motives, which are understandable but not justifiable. He’s one of my favorite villains because you truly understand why he does it. That makes it even more terrifying. The emphasis in this film is on the ‘bad guy’ and less on the hero himself. That this approach pays off is demonstrated by the success of Batman’s cartoon series that uses the same principle.
Adults can enjoy the deeper layers of the story, like the tragic figure that Mr. Freeze actually is. The love of his wife has made him what he despises: a criminal. Despite the cruel acts of him, you can feel nothing but pity for him.
Feels like the Animated TV show
The standard formula of the tv show is also maintained in the film. This means that the same voice actors and the dark, Gothic soundtrack from the TV series return in this drawn feature film. A good move because Conroy is cut like the voice of ‘The Dark Knight.’ And even with Mr. Freeze, you wouldn’t expect another voice like Ansara’s, who, despite the robotic, chilly voice of his character, manages to put a surprising amount of emotion into his voice.
Batman & Mr. Freeze: SubZero skillfully avoids all the pitfalls of full-length feature films. Contrary to other cartoon franchises that have been adapted to cinema format, this 1998 film is convincing as a stand-alone film. This is thanks to the solid story that leaves a lot of room for character deepening. However, it feels like a well-extended episode of Batman: the animated series.
The film has been shot at full speed and is easy to watch. The animations look good, and the Batman world’s well-known sleek, stylistic design gives the film its very own face. The minimalistic drawing style and the gloomy music give Batman just that touch that also characterizes the tone: atmosphere. A dark, mysterious atmosphere.
Now you shouldn’t think that this cartoon is not suitable for children because of the adult atmosphere. That is not true. The cartoon is not bloody or as obscure as the comics around the masked vigilante. The violence in the cartoon is depicted in a cartoon-like manner and does not show any horrible scene. Some older children will also enjoy themselves with the many action scenes in this production.
Batman & Mr. Freeze: SubZero’ is a must for fans of the animated and comic book series around Batman. People who never wanted to immerse themselves in the wonderful world of this cartoon character can also give this movie a pass. In that case, I still recommend Mask of the Phantasm.