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. 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. The film was released on digital on August 15, 2017 and on DVD and Blu-ray on August 29.
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 prevents her from getting rehired 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 a post-credits scene, Harley has gone back to being Dr. Harleen Quinzel while 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
- 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 has directed prior DC animated films. The film is an original story written by Bruce Timm partnered with Jim Krieg. 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. It is designed in the classic style similar to The New Batman Adventures, with Bruce Timm stating that the film is essentially a "48 Hrs." style antics version of Batman and Harley Quinn teaming up. Notably, the film is much more comedic than the original series, with co-writer Jim Krieg stating "This is kind of a strange, red-headed nephew of Batman: The Animated Series, but don't show it to your kids thinking that it's Batman: The Animated Series, it is its own thing, kind of extrapolated."
The score was composed by Michael McCuistion, Kristopher Carter & Lolita Ritmanis, which was released on CD by WaterTower Records as an exclusive with FYE.
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.
Due to the financial success of The Killing Joke, the film was released in theaters for one night only through Fathom Events 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.
Batman and Harley Quinn's theatrical release grossed $32,671 in Australia and $6,420 in the Netherlands, bringing its international total to $39,091. The film earned $965,291 from domestic DVD sales and $1,192,032 from domestic Blu-ray sales, bringing its total domestic home video earnings to $2,157,323.
The film received mixed to negative reviews from critics with some praise towards the voice performances of Conroy and Lester, and throwbacks to the animated series, but criticizing the script, humor, and more risque content. On Rotten Tomatoes, the film has an approval rating of 45% based on 11 reviews, with an average rating of 4.99/10.
Collider criticized the film's inconsistent tone, as well as its lack of resolution. Tyler Smith of Battleship Pretension criticized the more explicit sexual elements, writing "As Batman and Harley Quinn attempts to incorporate more explicit sexuality – what could be considered "adult content" – into the story, the film takes on the tone of a couple of 13-year-olds constantly high-fiving each other as they take turns writing risque Harley Quinn fan fiction. I'm not exactly sure what the filmmakers were trying to achieve by treating the audience to gratuitous upskirt shots of Harley, but it certainly wasn't an attempt to make her a more well-rounded character. In fact, it's actually pretty dehumanizing."
IGN's review of the film was more positive, citing the throwback elements, aesthetics, and fight choreography, but commented that the film is "self-indulgent" in its humor and "unbalanced between comedy and drama."
- "Batman and Harley Quinn (2017)". The Numbers. Retrieved September 11, 2017.
- World Premiere of Batman and Harley Quinn at Comic-Con International | Comic-Con International: San Diego
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- Hayman, Amanda (May 30, 2017). "Batman and Harley Quinn Release Date & DVD/Blu-ray Features Revealed". Screen Rant. Retrieved June 2, 2017.
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- Whitbrook, James (July 5, 2017). "The Animated Batman and Harley Quinn Movie is Getting its Own Comic Series". IO9.
- Diaz, Eric (July 5, 2017). "BATMAN AND HARLEY QUINN GETS A COMIC BOOK PREQUEL…AND SEQUEL". The Nerdist.
- "Batman and Harley Quinn is coming to Theaters... for One Night Only". DC Comics. June 30, 2017. Retrieved July 12, 2017.
- "Batman & Harley Quinn Blu-ray". Blu-ray.com. Retrieved May 28, 2017.
- "Batman and Harley Quinn (2017) The Numbers Listing". The Numbers. Retrieved January 22, 2018.
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