In the war between DC and Marvel Comics, I would go as far as saying that DC had the upper hand in the animated film market. That is why for today’s film, I decided to check out the animated film Son Of Batman which came out in 2014. Ra’s al Ghul (Giancarlo Esposito), the leader of the League of Assassins, is training his heir to the league when the compound comes under attack by an old disciple by the name of Deathstroke (Thomas Gibson). After escaping the attack, Talia al Ghul ( Morena Baccarin) brings her son to Gotham and reveals to Batman (Jason O’Mara) that Damian (Stuart Allen) is their son. Batman quickly learns that Damien is an unruly and violent teen with a thirst for vengeance. No matter, he will try his best to mold him to become the new Robin while they try and track down Deathstroke. The film also stars Dee Bradley Baker (Legends Of The Hidden Temple) as Man-Bat, Xander Berkeley (Terminator 2: Judgement Day) as Dr. Kirk Langstrom, Sean Maher (Much Ado About Nothing) as Dick Grayson, David McCallum (The Man From U.N.C.L.E.) as Alfred Pennyworth, Diane Michelle (Happy Feet) as Francine Langstrom, Fred Tatasciore (Avengers Assemble) as Killer Croc, Bruce Thomas (Kyle XY) as James Gordon, and the film was directed by Ethan Spaulding (Batman: Assault On Arkham).
The one thing I really enjoyed about this film is that there was a different enemy for the film than the usual suspects that we are always given. First you get Killer Croc with Batman and then Deathstroke towards the end. I had been waiting a long time for something to feature Deathstroke a.k.a. Slade Wilson and we got it with this one. The only thing that bothers me a little is that he gets his ass kicked by a teenager with anger and control issues. For the whole entire film, he is an unruly teenager, but at one precise moment in the film he changes his tune and clearly wants to learn from his dad. That was the only issue I had with that, but for the most part this was an enjoyable film to watch. The thing that gets me about DC Animated films is that you don’t realize how much realistic violence is placed into their films. There is a scene where Deathstroke literally has Damien Wayne crucified with a sword through one arm and a knife through another I believe. I couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw that, but I enjoyed it. So as I was saying, I think that is why DC dominates the animated game because their films are not cheesy. This probably isn’t going to be the last animated film from DC that will be featured on here because there is a whole lot more to see. I am going to give Son Of Batman an B+ for a final grade.
I am a huge fan of Disney Pixar animation as they seem to get it right almost every single time they come out with a film. With that being said, I had to check out their latest offering The Good Dinosaur (to which I am surprised it wasn’t nominated for an oscar). In a world where Dinosaurs live among the humans, a Apatosaurus named Arlo (Raymond Ochoa) is just trying to figure out what his place is among his family. Every single member of his family seems to know what there purpose is except for the skiddish and smaller Arlo. One day after the death of his father, Arlo goes after a human named Spot (Jack Bright) who Arlo feels is responsible. While he is going after him, the two end up getting lost and they have to stick together if they want to find their way back home and that means figuring out who he really is deep inside for Arlo. The film also stars Jeffrey Wright (Boardwalk Empire) as Poppa, Frances McDormand (Fargo) as Momma, Marcus Scribner (Black-ish) as Buck, Maleah Nipay-Padilla (Fruitvale Station) as Libby, Steve Zahn (Dallas Buyers Club) as Thunderclap, A.J. Buckley (Happy Feet) as Nash, Anna Paquin (X-Men: Days Of Future Past) as Ramsey, Sam Elliot (Tombstone) as Butch, and the film was directed by Peter Sohn (who also voices Pet Collector).
I want to start this paragraph by saying that there is always a character that helps drive these children’s animated films. They are the characters that children always laugh at because they are the comedic relief like Tow Mater in Cars, the Minions in Despicable Me, and so on and so forth. In this film, Spot is that character that helps drive the film forward and is the comedic relief. Without him, I don’t think the film would be as awesome as it was. It would be a great tear jerking story, but he makes it incredible. He is so essential to the story that Arlo couldn’t grow up and find who he was without him. There are so many great appearances in this film like a family of T-Rex’s voiced by Paquin and Elliot or Zahn who is brilliant as the pterodactyl Thunderclap. The film also features some incredible animation that I was blown away by how far we have come. When they do close ups of Arlo, you can see all the detail in his scales along with the bruises and anything else. Even the details in the river are amazing especially when it floods. Again, I don’t know why this film wasn’t nominated for an Oscar, but it certainly deserved a nod at least. It’s truly a film that is full of adventure and it even pulls on your heart strings like any great Disney film would. If you are a fan of animated films, then do yourself a favor and check out The Good Dinosaur. So with that being said, I am going to give this film an A- for a final grade.