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Batman Unlimited: Mechs vs Mutants a Messy Toy Advert Packaged as Entertainment
Let's not kid ourselves. As much as Batman has been used for merchandising, it's always been that the toys were based off the character. With BATMAN UNLIMITED, it's clearly a case of the story being designed to foster a base for the merchandising. It's an advertisement wrapped in entertainment.
The plot: Mr. Freeze (ODED FEHR) is providing asylum to Penguin (DANA SNYDER) at his arctic retreat. But drilling in the region prompts Freeze to respond by siccing a giant monster of his own creation on the crew.
That Freeze can do this gives Penguin an idea, and he encourages Freeze to return to Gotham City and turn it into an icy wasteland for himself, while creating an impossible enemy for Batman. But first they must break out some Arkham inmates (which do not include The Joker, although he gets two cameos voiced by Troy Baker).
Using Freeze's experimental grow-a-monster technology, they turn Killer Crock (JOHN DIMAGGIO) into a beast of Godzilla-like proportions. And when Freeze figures out Penguin has played him, Penguin retaliates by using the same process to make sky-high versions of Bane (CARLOS ALAZRAQUI) and Clayface (DAVE B. MITCHELL).
Fortunately, Batman (ROGER CRAIG SMITH) has an answer: a giant mech suit built to spec for him by Dr. Kirk Langstron (PHIL LAMARR). And because every billionaire crimefighter wants one, Green Arrow (CHRIS DIAMANTOUPOLOS) has one built as well. Can Gotham survive the icy slugfest of kaiju proportions?
Plot and characterizations are thin here, and often don't align with even the most basic tenets of the DC Universe. Nightwing (WILL FRIEDLE) is cold and annoyed by The Flash (CHARLIE SCHLATTER) when they ought to be friends, and this version of Damian Wayne/Robin is more "Gosh, Gee, Thank you Batman" than Burt Ward's version -- nothing at all like the acerbic sarcasm of the comics character. And when it gets difficult to take down a ginormous Killer Croc, Batman orders up a giant built-to-specifications laser to be cobbled together on the spur of the moment, which is usually believable in comics but just didn't cause any suspension of disbelief in this portrayal.
The animation and artwork was fine, and the voice work was top notch. But as a marketing tool, this is the kind of DVD that's better served as something that comes with the toy rather than something you pay for up front to entice you to buy the toy afterward.
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