Bossanova

It’s hardly a stretch to see a mutant Tyranosaurus chasing after the Ninja Turtles by the third act of DC’s animated feature. This comes after mutagen sprayed around Arkham Asylum. The results are expected.

This is a fun pairing of superhero fandoms. Above the characters themselves, that’s what Batman vs Ninja Turtles is – a piece of art bringing fanbases together under one banner. It’s not as if Batman’s crew of Robin and Batgirl diverge from the Turtles. Both deal in vigilantism and bond over a learned moral of teamwork. Their differences come down to diet; Batman’s a foodie, the Turtles not as much.

Batman vs Ninja Turtles plays out to form, with a Saturday morning pop and vibrancy. It’s bloodier. Shredder makes someone bleed, and so too do the Turtles, rare in the mainstream adaptations outside of comics. That’s fresh, hopefully setting up an eventual R-rated take pairing with Eastman & Laird’s original ‘80s superhero satire. It’s overdue.

Batman vs Ninja Turtles proves cozy, simple, and peppy

As a story, this isn’t much. Get everyone on screen, have the title match-up come early, then band everyone together for a final brawl. In the middle, a distraction from Ra’s al Ghul and Shredder that mutates key Batman supervillains for a lengthy encounter. Ironic, since it is a distraction from the lack of story momentum, if submissive to expectations of seeing Leonardo and company tussle with Joker, Bane, and others.

Lucky then, Batman vs Ninja Turtles uses humor in droves. References abound in small quips, and gags never overreach. Michelangelo goofiness fits, not overstated or out of place (as if that’s possible in something like this). Raphael’s brutishness butts against Batman’s, while Donatello and Batgirl find a shared scientific groove. It’s efficient in getting everything in order, leaving room for the smart, well-rendered action. References add up there too – Michelangelo re-enacts his nunchuck routine from the opening of the first animated series in one brawl.

There’s no reason to deny the existence of this DC offering is comic standard, team-up fan bait. Batman vs Ninja Turtles embraces that identity, splashy and kooky with no substance. In that, it’s not trying. Bane fights Donatello, Batman fights Shredder. Everything builds around those duels rather than those fights serving a narrative. In not stepping outside or pushing boundaries, Batman vs Ninja Turtles proves cozy, simple, and peppy. For an idea taking the outlandish and merging it with the more outlandish, that all makes sense.

Video

In line with the rest of DC’s animated output so far, the UHD release deals in banding issues. It’s not only the typical color bands, but also an odd horizontal artifact on certain frames of animation. Given the general simplicity of the art, that cannot be compression. It’s likely a quirk of the source.

The HDR pass sticks out here, rich and bright against a moody, dark aesthetic. Bullets and lasers jump out from Gotham’s persistent night skyline. Also great? Eyes. The glow on Batgirl’s all-white eyes leaves an intense contrast from her purple suit.

Deep color does cause some concern. Say, Foot Clan soldiers, draped in purple like the cartoon counterparts. Purple is barely noticeable, especially when in comparison to the Blu-ray. While colors at 1080p lack density, at least purple sticks out.

Bland resolution isn’t the reason to go 4K over the Blu-ray either. With some aliasing problems on 3D elements (look at the shipping crates during a late chase, and during the opening credits’ line art), the upscale introduces a few problems. Or, that’s the original animation.

Audio

Routine 5.1 in DTS-HD is enough for this offering. Surrounds handle obvious material, notably motorcycles riding past the screen or thrown objects panning between front and rears. Dialog rests comfortably in the center.

Lacking LFE is the downer, hardly accentuating things like explosions. There is a bump or two with hard punches and a vehicle smashing through a door, if lean and lacking range.

Extras

Over on the Blu-ray (only) a 12-minute chat about the pairing includes cast members and production crew. The second featurette runs 18-minutes, focusing on the fights. That’s interesting as it dives into styles and influences. A few trailers come in for the finale.

Full disclosure: This Blu-ray was provided to us for review. This has not affected the editorial process. For information on how we handle review material, please visit our about us page to learn more.

Batman vs Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
  • Video
  • Audio
  • Extras
4

Movie

With a routine team-up story, Batman vs Ninja Turtles doesn’t re-invent superhero pairings, but it’s wacky and vibrant enough to earn credibility.

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The following six screen shots serve as samples for our Patreon-exclusive set of 52 full 4K screen shots grabbed directly from the UHD: