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Animated Movie Review: Batman: Under the Red Hood (2010)

Updated on September 5, 2019
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Natalie is a writer who works at her local library. She enjoys writing reviews, watching anime and TV shows, and playing video games.

Batman: Under the Red Hood blu-ray cover.
Batman: Under the Red Hood blu-ray cover. | Source

Quick Info

Studio: Warner Brothers Animation
Directed by: Brandon Vietti
Release Date: July 27th, 2010
Runtime: 75 minutes
Written by: Judd Winick
Availability: On DVD, blu-ray and digital copy, buy on Amazon

Story Summary

Batman: Under the Red Hood (2010) is a movie adaptation of the comic of the same name that I have reviewed. It tells the story of the tragic death of Batman’s sidekick Robin, Jason Todd when he was murdered by the Joker.

Years later, a vigilante starts fighting crime in Gotham City, but he ignores Batman’s no-killing rule, and now Batman must discover who he is, and what his plans are.

This is An Adaptation Written by the Original Author

Batman: Under the Red Hood has a unique distinction among movie adaptations, as the screenplay is written by the comic book’s author, Judd Winick. While this has been done by some other more famous film adaptations, such as the Harry Potter and Hunger Games films, which had input from both J.K. Rowling and Susan Collins respectively, most DC Comics' film adaptations aren’t adapted by the original author.

Judd Winick fixed his weird plot issues that made the Batman: Under the Red Hood graphic novel retcons look silly and did away with them in the movie and rewrote it so that it made more sense than a magical Superboy-Prime retcon punch that was the explanation in the comics.

But he also took out Captain Nazi and the Hyena appearance in the comic, along with the Deathstroke cameo that I enjoyed. He also took out a fight scene I liked but it had references to other comic story arcs that would take too much time to explain in a movie when you have a short time limit.

Judd Winick fixing his comic’s plot holes made the movie even better than the comic in some ways, and that’s nice when you think about it.

Batman: Under the Red Hood (Trailer)

The Animation Still Looks Good Most of the Time

The animation for Batman: Under the Red Hood (2010) looks really good. The fights are fluid and exciting. I also like the art style and they made minimal changes to the character designs compared to the original graphic novel.

I still don’t like that they changed the color of Red Hood’s domino mask from green to red, because the red looked cooler in the comic.

They also changed the color of his jacket from blue to black, but it doesn’t really make a difference.

The art and animation look great with the exception of the CGI cars used in a car chase scene, they really stand out for being conspicuous CGI.

The death of the second Robin, Jason Todd.
The death of the second Robin, Jason Todd. | Source

The Voice Cast is Fantastic!

Bruce Greenwood is an excellent voice for Batman. Sure it’s not Kevin Conroy, the most well-known voice actor to play Batman. Sure everyone knows George Clooney and Val Kilmar for being Batman in the movies. But fans of the animated series are always wary of different voice actors playing Batman, but Greenwood did a great job portraying all the different aspects of Batman.

Jensen Ackles voices the Red Hood. He did a great job, and this was one of his first voice acting jobs, besides the Supernatural anime. He also portrayed both the anti-heroic and psychotic sides of his character and he was fun to see on screen.

John DiMaggio did a great job as the Joker. Sure he’s not Mark Hamill, but he did the best he could do. He was terrifying and amusing at the same time, but this is a darker Joker than Batman: The Animated series. But because he uses his Bender voice from Futurama, it might be distracting to people who like him as Bender.

Neil Patrick Harris was so fun as Nightwing. He did a great job and sounded like he was having fun. He had limited screen time but every second of him being around is a blast.

Jason Isaacs also has limited screen time as Ra’s Al Ghul, but he also did a terrific job and was a perfect fit for the character.

Batman Under the Red Hood Soundtrack 02 Main titles

The Soundtrack is Dark and Brooding

Christopher Drake’s soundtrack is amazing. It’s a very well done soundtrack that fits the movie and gives the film its dark and brooding atmosphere.

I love this soundtrack and it’s very well done. It’s what makes the movie so memorable, besides the story and the voice acting.

The soundtrack is available digitally on iTunes and Amazon.

Parental Warning

This movie is rated PG-13 for violence, blood, and language. This is definitely one of the stronger PG-13 so don’t let the little kids watch this Batman movie just because it’s animated.

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The vigilante the Red Hood.
The vigilante the Red Hood. | Source

I Wish the Film Had a Longer Runtime

I do wish the movie had a longer runtime, because they would have been able to have more scenes from the original graphic novel in it, but since they had time constraints they only had to use the most important parts of the graphic novel in the movie.

This is My Favorite Comic Book Adaptation

The movie is excellent. The writing, the story, the animation. It all looks very good, except for some conspicuously CGI cars. The cinematography is nice and the fight scenes are very well done. It sets up a good mystery unless you know the source comics, you know what’s going to happen already.

The movie fixes the comic book’s problems and stands on its own so even if you aren’t familiar with the graphic novel you can still enjoy the movie. It’s a fantastic adaptation because the original author knew what he wanted to fix with the movie.

Quick Summary

What Works:
What Doesn't Work:
Great story, characters and world-building
The CGI cars stick out in a bad way
Great animaton when it's not CGI
Short runtime condenses the story that I wish were longer
Great voice cast
Great soundtrack

My Grade: A+

I highly recommend this movie to anyone who likes Batman. It’s an excellent adaptation that fixes a lot of the comic book’s flaws and is an excellent story with stellar voice acting and superb animation. It’s a must-buy for any Batman fan.

It fixes the problems and plot holes from the original graphic novel while still telling the same gripping, emotional story that it was based on. It also helped Jason Todd become more sympathetic and mainstream since it was very controversial to bring him back when the original comic was published. The movie helped boost his popularity and made him more sympathetic than his comic book counterpart was.

I bought this on DVD a long time ago and it’s one of my favorite movies to watch. It’s my favorite Batman movie and I’ve watched a lot of Batman movies.

It’s a very affordable movie that I can recommend blind buying, although I bought this because I had already read the comic book as I have owned the Batman: Under the Hood comic for years before this movie was released. It’s a very inexpensive release and the rental price is also inexpensive too.

If you’re curious about the movie, see if your local library has it. It’s also streaming on DCUniverse if you have a membership so you can see it. It’s also available Amazon for digital and physical purchase or on digital rental It’s well worth your time and money.

My Rating

5 stars for Movie Review: Batman: Under the Red Hood (2010)

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