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This article is about the animated film; for the Batman comic series, see Batman: Gotham Knights.


 is a 2008 animated direct-to-DVD anthology film of six animated short films set in-between Batman Begins and The Dark Knight. It depicts Batman battling against the mob of Gotham City, as well as other villains. Although the producers have acknowledged that it is not necessarily meant to be canon to the "Nolanverse" and indeed any of the six segments could easily fall into almost any Batman continuity. The shorts, or segments, are written by Josh Olson, David S. Goyer, Brian Azzarello, Greg Rucka, Jordan Goldberg and Alan Burnett. Although all based on Japanese Anime art style, each segment has its own writing and artistic style, just as the works from the DC Universe, and with the same style of The Animatrix although some segments are connected. All six films of the feature star Kevin Conroy, reprising his voice role as Batman from the DC Animated Universe.


It is similar to another tie-in, The Animatrix, as both are collections of short animated films relating to their respective series. It is the third in the line of DC Universe Original Animated Movies released by Warner Premiere and Warner Bros. Animation; with the first two releases being Superman: Doomsday, Justice League: The New Frontier, (followed by Wonder Woman and Green Lantern: First Flight). It is rated PG-13 for stylized violence, including some bloody images,, but it is not the first animated Batman film to be rated PG-13 (that claim goes to the uncut version of Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker). This film is notable for being the first DC Original Animated movie to have a connection with another Batman medium. While Superman: Doomsday and Justice League: The New Frontier have been released in the United Kingdom with a 12 rating, Batman: Gotham Knight is being accompanied with a 15 certificate for "images of bloody violence and injury". The film aired on Cartoon Network on October 4, 2008 at 9:00 pm with a TV-14-V rating and an exclusive parental warning after each commercial break, with a few of the more graphic scenes cut.

Segments

Have I Got a Story for You (Studio 4°C)

Batman as envisioned by one of the teenagers in Have I Got a Story for You.
Have I Got a Story for You was written by Josh Olson and animated by Studio 4°C. A street kid meets with three of his friends at a skate park. All three of them claim to have seen Batman earlier that day. Batman's battle with the Man in Black, a high-tech criminal, is told in reverse chronological order, with three very different interpretations of Batman's form and abilities: one describes him as a living shadow that can melt away and reappear at will (similar to Vampire Batman), another describes him as a half-human, half-bat creature (similar to Man-Bat), and one describes him as a combat robot that can leap tall buildings in a single bound. At the end, Batman pursues the Man in Black to the skate park, and captures him with the help of the fourth street kid. The fourth kid is able to see what Batman truly is after seeing him sustain injuries from the battle: a very human warrior in a costume. He proceeded to tell his experience to his friends after Batman disappeared.

Though the film credits give "story by" acknowledgment to first-time writer Jordan Goldberg, Josh Olson acknowledged it was actually based on a very similar story by Frank Robbins called "The Batman Nobody Knows". The story was first printed in Batman #250 in 1973, and subsequently adapted as "Legends of the Dark Knight" in the original Batman: The Animated Series. According to Olson: "The first time it's stealing, the second time it's borrowing, the third time you're creating a genre".

Also, the three different versions of the man in black have many similarities to other members of Batman's Rogues gallery, though they all resemble a member of the League of Shadows. The first story features a tech-wielding villain who has teeth similar to Killer Croc, the second uses a jetpack, which may or may not be a reference to Firefly, and the third has similarities to Deadshot. Also, the Batman of the second encounter is very similar to the villain Man-Bat. When the Man in Black is seen by all the teenagers, he has no identifiable characteristics, other than that of the new Red Hood for his use of gadgetry and trademark "knife" use (the piece of glass he picks up). (Killer Croc and Deadshot are both featured in the full movie.)

Lastly, the story is told backwards, with the kid who saw Batman most recently going first, ending with the kid who saw him first, in a tongue in cheek homage to Nolan's earlier film Memento.

Voice actor Character
Kevin Conroy Batman
Jason Marsden Cop
Scott Menville B-Devil
George Newbern Man in Black

Jacob Feely
Corey Padnos Porkchop
Crystal Scales Meesh
Alanna Ubach Dander
Hynden Walch Woman


Crossfire (Production I.G)

Crossfire was written by Greg Rucka and animated by Production I.G. Crispus Allen and Anna Ramirez are partners and members of the Major Crimes Unit that have been hand-picked by James Gordon. The two are assigned to take the recently captured Man in Black (captured during Have I Got A Story For You), revealed to be Jacob Feely, an escaped inmate from Arkham Asylum with an expertise in advanced electronics and explosives, to the Narrows to be incarcerated. On their way, they argue over whether Batman can be trusted, with Allen saying that they're just running errands for a vigilante, while Ramirez replies that Batman has changed Gotham for the better. As they are heading back, Allen declares his intention to leave the MCU, and Ramirez pulls into a vacant lot to confront Allen. However, the two get caught in a confrontation between gangs, The Russian and Sal Maroni. Maroni's men are gunned down, and Maroni takes refuge behind Allen and Ramirez's patrol car, which The Russian subsequently destroys with a rocket launcher. Ramirez and Maroni manage to get clear in time, while Allen is rescued by Batman, who proceeds to take out The Russian and his men. Maroni then threatens to kill Ramirez, but he, too, is dispatched by Batman. Batman recognizes Allen and Ramirez as Gordon's hand-picked officers, remarks that Gordon is a good judge of character, and disappears.

Voice actor Character
Kevin Conroy Batman
Corey Burton The Russian
Gary Dourdan Crispus Allen
Jason Marsden Doctor
Scott Menville Cop
Jim Meskimen James Gordon
Pat Musick News Anchor
Ana Ortiz Anna Ramirez
Rob Paulsen Maroni
Andrea Romano Dispatcher


Field Test (Bee Train)

Field Test was written by Jordan Goldberg and animated by Bee Train. An accident involving a new WayneCom satellite's gyroscopic electromagnetic guidance system gives Lucius Fox an idea to create a device with the satellite's gyro with an advance motion sensor that will electromagnetically deflect small-arms fire. Bruce Wayne takes the device and attends a charity golf tournament being held by developer Ronald Marshall, with whom he discusses the mysterious death of a woman, Teresa Williams, who had opposed some of Marshall's plans. During the tournament, Wayne secretly takes Marshall's PDA device. Later that night, as Batman, he hijacks a boat owned by Sal Maroni and drives it alongside a boat owned by rival gang leader The Russian and proceeds to attack both gangs at once, with assistance from his new device. He attempts to force a truce between the two gang leaders until he can get evidence against them, but is disrupted when one of Maroni's men fires at him. The bullet deflects and instead hits one of The Russian's men. Distressed, Batman takes the injured man to the hospital. Later, he returns the device to Fox, stating, "... it works too well; I'm willing to put my life on the line to do what I have to. But it has to be mine, no one else's."

Voice actor Character
Kevin Conroy Bruce Wayne / Batman
Corey Burton The Russian
Ronald Marshall
Will Friedle Anton
George Newbern Guido
Rob Paulsen Sal Maroni
Kevin Michael Richardson Lucius Fox


In Darkness Dwells (Madhouse)

In Darkness Dwells, was written by David S. Goyer and animated by Madhouse. The police respond to a riot in a cathedral where Cardinal O'Fallon was giving a sermon. According to eyewitness testimony, the Cardinal was abducted by a large lizard-monster and taken down into the crypts below the cathedral. Lieutenant Gordon, Crispus Allen, and Anna Ramirez investigate; Gordon has a brief conversation with Batman, who agrees with Gordon's theory that the Scarecrow's fear toxin is behind the riot as the doctor has been at large since the riot at the Narrows (during the event of Batman Begins). Batman gives Gordon an earpiece that will allow them to stay in contact and descends below ground, trying to find Cardinal O'Fallon and his abductor. A homeless man living in an abandoned subway station identifies the abductor as Killer Croc. Batman and Gordon briefly discuss the villain's past, but are cut off when Killer Croc himself shows up, under the influence of the fear toxin, and attacks Batman. Batman defeats him, but not before sustaining a bite that transfers some of the toxin to him. He then finds Cardinal O'Fallon being put on trial and sentenced to death by the Scarecrow, who is unhappy with O'Fallon's efforts to help the homeless. Batman leaps in to defend the Cardinal. Using the methane already present in the room, he sparks an explosion that destroys several water pipes, flooding the area and allowing him to escape with the Cardinal. Gordon appears in a helicopter to retrieve the Cardinal and offers to help Batman as well, but Batman refuses, saying, "Maybe next time."

Voice actor Character
Kevin Conroy Batman
Corey Burton The Scarecrow
Gary Dourdan Crispus Allen
Will Friedle Cultist
Brian George O'Fallon
Jim Meskimen James Gordon
George Newbern Man
Ana Ortiz Anna Ramirez
Rob Paulsen Mole Man


Working Through Pain (Studio 4°C)

Working Through Pain was written by Brian Azzarello and animated by Studio 4°C. Continuing on from In Darkness Dwells, Batman is shot in the stomach by a man hallucinating in the sewers of Gotham.
A wounded Batman as he appears in Working Through Pain.
He cauterizes the wound and attempts to get out from underground, reflecting on his experiences with managing pain as he does so. First, he remembers volunteering with a relief effort and assisting a doctor in performing surgery without anesthesia. Next, he reflects on the lessons he learned from a woman named Cassandra, who was cast out of her community for disguising herself as a boy in an attempt to become a Fakir. Over several months, she teaches him to minimize his pain to the point where he can control it, sleeping on a bed of needles or standing on hot coals without reacting. One night, several young men appear to harass Cassandra, who takes their blows without seeming to feel them. Bruce steps in to defend her, not only demonstrating his ability to withstand their attacks, but defeating them all with his martial arts skills. Cassandra then tells him to leave, saying that he has learned what he came to learn.
Young Bruce Wayne as depicted in Working Through Pain.
She then comments on how Bruce's pain was beyond her, or possibly even his, ability to handle, but how it also appeared to be leading him down a path he desired. Back in the present, Batman ends up in a gutter, where he discovers a cache of guns buried in the garbage. Alfred arrives to assist him and tells Batman to give him his hand so he can pull him out of the gutter, but Batman, arms full of guns, replies that he can't.

Voice actor Character
Kevin Conroy Bruce Wayne / Batman
Will Friedle Youth 1
Brian George Arman
Scruffy Man
Jason Marsden Youth 2
David McCallum Alfred Pennyworth
Parminder Nagra Cassandra
George Newbern Youth 3
Rob Paulsen Youth 4
Kevin Michael Richardson Avery

Wounded Man
Hynden Walch Young Cassandra


Deadshot (Madhouse)

Deadshot as he appears in Batman: Gotham Knight.
Deadshot was written by Alan Burnett and animated by Madhouse. Bruce Wayne has a flashback to the murder of his parents. In his penthouse, he examines the firearms he took from the underground tunnel's gutter (during the event of Working Through Pain) which he intends to turn in to the police. Wayne admits to Alfred that even though he vowed never to use them in the memory of his parents, he can still understand the temptation to use one. Meanwhile, in another city, an assassin known as Deadshot carries out an assassination on a local mayor with a spectacularly difficult shot from a ferris wheel literally miles away from the man and returns to his tropical base. There, one of his associates hires him to carry out a hit in Gotham. It is revealed that The Russian has put out a hit on Lieutenant Gordon, and Batman is called in to protect him. Batman gives Crispus Allen Ronald Marshall's handheld PDA device (which he stole as Bruce Wayne in Field Test), containing a link to encrypted e-mails proving that Ronald Marshall hired Deadshot in the past. He then follows Gordon's motorcade, with Alfred providing satellite-imagery assistance using the new WayneCom satellites. Deadshot attempts to shoot Gordon from a moving train, but Batman deflects the bullet. Deadshot then gleefully reveals that Batman was his real target the entire time, and that the threat against Gordon was merely a ruse to draw him out. He opens fire as the train enters a tunnel, and as Batman attempts to charge Deadshot, he is injured, falling off the train. Deadshot advances to where he saw Batman fall, gloating, but is ambushed from behind and disarmed. He and Ronald Marshall are arrested. Wayne confides to Alfred about how similar the fight in the tunnel seemed to the night his parents were murdered, and comments that "I've been trying to stop those two bullets all my life." He expresses discouragement, and Alfred agrees, but adds that he thinks Bruce has a higher purpose. Bruce then looks up at the sky and sees the Bat-Signal.

Voice actor Character
Kevin Conroy Bruce Wayne / Batman
Gary Dourdan Crispus Allen
Jason Marsden Thomas Wayne
Doctor
Jim Meskimen James Gordon
Floyd Lawton / Deadshot
David McCallum Alfred Pennyworth
Pat Musick News Anchor
Kevin Michael Richardson Bulky Man
Andrea Romano Martha Wayne
Hynden Walch Young Bruce
Female Campaign Worker


Critical reception

Three months prior to the release, the first review for Batman: Gotham Knight appeared on The World's Finest website. The review gave the movie a generally favorable response, stating, "it’s something new and entirely fresh for the Dark Knight and that alone is worth checking out if you’re a DC Animation fan."World's Finest website also labelled its advice as "Recommended".

Based on 6 reviews collected from Rotten Tomatoes, Batman: Gotham Knight has an overall approval rating of 83%, with a weighted average score of 7.4/10.

Wildside Cinema called Batman: Gotham Knight, "diverse, innovative and engaging," rating it 4.5 out of 5 stars.

DVD

Batman: Gotham Knight was released on both single and two-disc DVD editions, and in a double pack with the two-disc version of Batman Begins, as well as a Blu-Ray version on July 8, 2008.

The special features on the single-disc edition contain an audio commentary of the film by Gregory Noveck, Dennis O'Neil and Kevin Conroy, as well as a sneak peek at the next movie of the DC Universe Original Animated Movies line: Wonder Woman. It is also including trailers and advertisements of The Dark Knight, Journey to the Center of the Earth, Lego Batman and Popeye The Sailor 1938-1940 (vol. 2). The Target edition also includes the first two episodes of Batman Beyond. The Blockbuster Inc. edition comes with a second disc with a digital copy of the Batman: Year One graphic novel (Batman #404-407).

The Two-Disc and Blu-Ray Editions of the film contain the above mentioned special features as well as a documentary titled Batman and Me: The Bob Kane Story, a featurette exploring Batman and the Gotham villains he faces titled A Mirror for the Bat, as well as four episodes from Batman: The Animated Series (see below), presented by Bruce Timm. WalMartmarker and Target both released store exclusive versions of the Single-Disc Edition of the film, both with different box covers/sleeves. WalMart's is a holographic cover/sleeve and Target's is a holographic cover/sleeve that can be hidden or shown. Certain Best Buy stores released a special edition for the Two-Disc Edition which came in a Steelbook case and came with a mini-encyclopedia to the characters in the movie as well as Batman's weapons and vehicles, and a coupon for $3.00 off concessions when the buyer sees The Dark Knight.

The four episodes from Batman: The Animated Series attached are:

The DVD was advertised as the "first animated Batman movie to be rated PG-13," but this is incorrect. The uncut version of Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker (2000) was also rated PG-13. The film has sold over 390,000 copies on DVD.

Soundtrack

The soundtrack for Batman: Gotham Knight was released on July 29, 2008 by La La Land Records. The music for Gotham Knight, while being an original score, contains samples of earlier and notable Batman themes from past media. For example, in "Crossfire", when Batman saves Crispus Allen from an explosion by launching him onto a rooftop, his appearance (for the first time in the short) is marked by the distinctive choral Batman theme introduced in Danny Elfman's 1989 score to the film Batman. The tracklist is as follows.

HAVE I GOT A STORY FOR YOU - Christopher Drake
  1. "Main Titles/Intro/Interlude/Punk Skater/Trouble At The Dock" (2:28)
  2. "Living Shadow/Living Shadow Finale" (1:45)
  3. "Skater Girl / Trouble In the City" (0:50)
  4. "Batmonster Appears/Batmonster Do-Over/Batmonster Finale" (2:18)
  5. "Rooftop Robbery/Robobat" (1:44)
  6. "Have I Got A Story For You Finale" (1:35)


CROSSFIRE - Kevin Manthei
  1. "Crossfire" (4:49)
  2. "Inferno" (5:48)


FIELD TEST - Robert J. Kral
  1. "New Device" (1:22)
  2. "Trigger A Device/As Good As Your Drive" (1:10)
  3. "A Russian in His Grave/It Works Too Well" (3:53)


IN DARKNESS DWELLS - Christopher Drake
  1. "In Darkness Dwells Intro" (1:00)
  2. "Gordon's Cannibal/Ghost Station" (3:00)
  3. "Epidermolytic Hyperkeratosis" (0:43)
  4. "Killer Croc/Hallucinations/Scarecrow Interrupted" (3:19)
  5. "Escape and End" (1:45)


WORKING THROUGH PAIN - Kevin Manthei
  1. "Working Through Pain/The Fall" (1:46)
  2. "Bazaar" (0:26)
  3. "There is Another/Training" (2:46)
  4. "Rejected and Despised" (1:30)
  5. "Painless Fight/I Can't" (3:23)


DEADSHOT - Robert J. Kral
  1. "Parents Killed" (0:54)
  2. "Gun Attraction/Park Killing" (1:26)
  3. "Gordon/Batman/The Train" (6:14)
  4. "His Life's Quest" (0:56)


END CREDITS - Christopher Drake, Robert J. Kral, Kevin Manthei
  1. "End Credits Suite" (5:02)


Novelization

Comic book veteran Louise Simonson wrote a novel adaptation of the feature, published by Ace Books. It was released on May 27, 2008. ISBN 0441016138 ISBN 978-0441016136. Reviews for the novelization have been positive .

References

External links




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