Batman: Death in the Family is a 2020 direct to video animated superhero film written, produced, & directed by Brandon Vietti (Batman: Under the Red Hood, Superman/Doomsday, The Batman, & Batman: The Brave and the Bold). It’s a prequel to 2010’s Batman: Under the Red Hood. It’s based on the comic book series from Jim Aparo. Which path to justice will you take? Immerse yourself in this interactive movie, based on the iconic DC storyline event, where your choices will shape the destinies of Gotham City’s Caped Crusaders. Trained as Batman’s (played by: Bruce Greenwood from Young Justice, Batman: Gotham by Gaslight, Batman: Under the Red Hood, & The Resident) protege, Jason Todd (played by: Vincent Martella from Deuce Bigalow: European Gigolo, Role Models, & The Walking Dead) brings a relentless sense of justice as Robin, who sets his sights on bringing down the Joker (played by: John DiMaggio from Batman vs Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Teen Ttians GO!, Batman: Gotham by Gaslight, & Batman and Harley Quinn).
Plus interactions with Clark Kent (played by: Nolan North from LEGO DC: Shazam – Magic & Monsters, Rise of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Young Justice, & Transformers Prime), Two-Face (played by: Gary Cole from Family Guy, Office Space, Dodgeball, & Veep), & Talia al Ghul (played by: Zehra Fazal from Big Hero 6: The Series, Lost in Space, & Young Justice). Can Batman save Robin from a fate worse than death? Tragedy, revenge & redemption await in this groundbreaking DC Comics film! It’s time for Jason Todd to take a dark journey by himself. Who will live? Who will die? Who will watch over Gotham? The choice is now yours!
Death in the Family is a fun & creative experience. There’s so many different ways that the story can go depending on your choices. It’s very interesting because it can either be the full length or very short depending on what path you take during this dark journey with Jason Todd. It’s a prequel to the amazing Under the Red Hood which is one of the best animated DC Comics films ever made so it has a lot to live up to considering that plus the legendary comic series that it’s based on. I like how it’s basically a few different cuts & versions for one project. That alone, gives it amazing replay value because you never know what’s going to happen when you mix different scenarios up in Death in the Family. If you just want to sit down & watch the feature, it picks options for you while viewing it. Bruce Greenwood is always great when he voices Bruce Wayne & Batman, it’s awesome to see him return from the Under the Red Hood feature. John DiMaggio has played so many different characters in the DC universe & I really enjoyed his take on iconic Joker here. The biggest surprise & my personal favorite performance in this was from known character actor Gary Cole. He was amazing as Two Face in this small cameo. I would love to see a future full length movie featuring him as the unstable Harvey Dent. DC Comics keeps being innovative when it comes to their animated films & this one is no different, RECOMMENDED!!!!
Let’s talk about the high definition presentation from Warner Bros! This 1080p (1.78:1) looks fantastic on blu ray. When it comes to animation in the superhero world, DC Comics remains the best to do it. The English: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track packs a nice punch when it comes to the audio. All of the dialogue is crystal clear, the action has a killer boost to it, & the music is elevated. It has English SDH subtitles.
Let’s discuss the special features from Warner Bros! “Audio Commentary” with Amy Dallen & Hector Navarro. You might be familiar with both from their days with DC Daily. They chat about Under the Red Hood & the original Death in the Family comic series. They talk about the voice cast & the cameos from the feature. They bring up the interactive experience from it. They go over the Jason Todd & Bruce Wayne relationship. Lots of information here & it’s definitely worth checking out sometime. This home video release kinda celebrates the shorts of the DC universe. I’ve reviewed most of these before on other releases. It has 4 additional shorts here which includes the almost 15 minute “Sgt. Rock”, the little over 16 minute “Adam Strange”, the little over 15 minute “The Phantom Stranger”, & the little over 19 minute “Death”. I love these shorts & I think it’s great that they feature barely used characters from the DC world. All of these were top short & I could easily see a few of them turned into full lengths someday. Yes, they all have been released before but never together like this before plus they all have brand new audio commentaries with Amy Dallen & Hector Navarro. They drop knowledge on some of these unknowns & go over the production history with them. It has a few “Trailers” from Warner Bros on it. It also includes a slipcover & a digital code that has the Under the Red Hood: Reloaded version which is extremely cool. It’s available everywhere right now, CHECK IT OUT!!!!