In recent years we have received several animated films from Warner Bros. Animation and DC. About some of them high expectations were had due to the stories that adapted. So we have “Batman: Hush”, “Superman: Red: Son” or “Justice League Dark: Apokolips War”, which brought the conclusion of the previous animated universe that to the liking of fans and the public it happened with more pain than glory.
Now a new universe or a new continuity has begun, as each one wants to call it, which seems to be sowing the seeds of a story arc, but whose deliveries lack solidity. The quality of the latest animated submissions has been a matter of concern for many DC animated installment enthusiasts.
In an airy way and hope that its continuation raise or maintain quality, “The Long Halloween” successfully bursts into Batman’s animated filmography. We are facing one of the stories that filmmakers and fans wanted to see materialized, at least in animated format. It is not for less, since it was made at the end of the nineties by the comic book writer, and television Jeph loeb and the artist Tim Sale whose work has influenced elements of several live action films from “Batman Begins”, “The Dark Knight” and the next “The Batman”, a remarkable dumbbell when it comes to bringing his comics with unique style to the vignettes, but what about by bringing it to animation?
“Batman: The Long Halloween” faithfully follows the events narrated in its printed counterpart. Thus, we have the arrival of a peculiar murderer known as “Holiday Killer” to Gotham city with an agenda that will shake several fronts, including the criminal families of the city, Batman and his allies: the prosecutor Harvey dent and the Commissioner James Gordon. All without forgetting his ability to manipulate several of the terrifying supervillains, who will gradually climb to become a predominant force in the city.
As the year progresses with each holiday, this mysterious and murderous will gradually eliminate the lieutenants of the Falcone criminal empire in Gotham, but what are their motives and how do they relate to the dark knight and his crusade?
The main trio that we see here are Bruce Wayne / Batman, the commissioner James Gordon Y Harvey dent. All of them at the beginning of their respective careers and crusades and each of them dealing with how to balance your personal life with the crusade against injustice that the three men have agreed to fight corruption in Gotham.
Although Batman is the protagonist of the story, both Gordon and Dent are fundamental pillars of history. Both characters reveal the difficulties and sacrifices they have to face in their personal lives while fighting corruption, managing to empathize with both characters.
On another front, we have Carmine falcone, visually inspired by Don Vito Corleone, from “The Godfather.” Despite not allowing us to go deep with it, we are allowed to see several interesting points broadly that we hope we can explore in the next installment.
On the other hand, the always troublesome Selyna Kyle / Catwoman He also makes an appearance, prevailing more as a feline alter ego and establishing a relationship with Bruce Wayne with clear moments of sexual tension between the two, getting viewers interested in his clear flirtation.
Bruce Wayne / Batman, meanwhile, is still in its infancy. Yet does not possess the necessary deduction and detective skills to keep up with The Holiday Killler and the mystery that surrounds it. This will lead the dark knight to do his best to discover the why of this criminal figure and his agenda in the city, while facing his nascent gallery of villains.
With a tone that refers to crime stories and mafia, especially “The Godfather” with very marked tributes, the film elevate the proposal in animation and setting. In addition, the most successful character designs and scenarios of the current DC animated universe are finally achieved, which will begin with “Man of Tomorrow” in 2020. By reducing the strokes of the characters, a better impression is achieved before the viewer, this accompanied by good music to liven up your suspense or mystery scenes.
While the style achieved with animation does not fully match Tim Sale’s unmistakable style, it does seeks to emulate a bit of this same. This shows in the designs of the suits and appearances, from Catwoman and Batman and many others, but they are not radical changes. There are also some action sequences added like a battle between Batman and the Chinese mafia assassins. The action sequences from the combats, chases and intensity are efficient and highly adrenaline-pumping.
“The Long Halloween Part 1” is a promising and satisfying start, which puts all the chips in your favor to avoid reaching seemingly predictable places, and distancing yourself from the resolution of your source material. It only remains to cross your fingers so that whatever the decision is, we hope it is worth it.
Unfortunately we still miss that excellent quality of various animated jewels that we had with tapes with the adaptations of “Year One”, “Under The Red Hood” and the two parts of “The Dark Knight Returns” that we saw a decade ago and this one does not enter within that animated Olympus. However, I sincerely wish that once with the premiere of the second part we can fully evaluate the animation project and if the wind blows in our favor, have a very good delivery.