Batman and Harley Quinn (4K UHD Blu-ray Review)

Before we begin I have to admit something.  Other than Batman: Under the Red Hood and most recently Wonder Woman I have never seen another animated DC Animated Universe film despite how heralded most of them are.  Isn’t that sad?  What got me here for this one though is a combination of three things: I love Harley Quinn, I love The Big Bang Theory and Brandon Peters already reviewed the Limited Edition Blu-ray gift set here so I’m trying to help a brother out.  I saw the Harley taking advantage of Nightwing scene online last week and that provided a mild chuckle.  LOL. I  am a bit sick and twisted like that when it comes to my Harley Quinn.  So what do I have to lose other than a couple hours of my life?  I’m not that special.  Now granted I haven’t heard the greatest of things about this one (although our own Bron Anderson loved it here), but unlike the thought of trying seafood I’ll give this one a chance for Harley that is.  So without further ado let’s talk some Batman and Harley Quinn, DC’s first animated adventure on the 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray format August 29th.  


One thing that I know which had to at least please many animated Batman fans was the return of Kevin Conroy voicing the caped crusader.  He is heralded by many as the best Batman ever.  So there’s that.  However, for me it was all Big Bang Theory‘s Melissa Rauch tackling the super popular, and always mischievous Harley Quinn.  I love her on Big Bang Theory and in my opinion she hits a home run here with wise cracking accent and take on Harley Quinn.  It’s like second nature for her.  As long as we’re being honest here too you know this is basically a quick way for DC to capitalize on the current popularity this character has gained ever since Margot Robbie‘s take on her in 2016’s Suicide Squad (reviewed here).  This may not be Margot’s take on the character, but I love me some Harley so I’ll take her any which way I can get her.  Apparently, so will Nightwing too.  Ha ha!

Like I said up above there have been many scathing reviews of this film, which did see a one-night limited engagement theatrical screening too on August 14th.  In Batman and Harley Quinn, Poison Ivy and Jason Woodrue (a.k.a. The Floronic Man) embark on an ecological quest to save the planet, which really equates to they seek to eliminate humanity for destroying the planet.  So to save humanity, Batman and Nightwing are forced to work with Harley Quinn because she’s Ivy’s BFF and she’ll know how to find her. The only problem is Harley is trying to live a clean life and is off the grid.  However, it’s not long before Harley is back to her old self.  But does Batman have the patience to put up with her shenanigans?   That’s the fun in all of this because just like her real life counterpart on the big screen Harley Quinn is wise-cracking, unpredictable and full of tomfoolery.  How the hell are you supposed to trust her?  That’s just it you can’t!  It’s like a buddy cop flick filled with action, adventure, music, song, dance, scoring (play that wah wah pedal interlude here) and most importantly comedy.  Harley cracked me up throughout.   

Before I go into how much fun I had with this one let’s get some obligatory housekeeping out of the way.  Batman and Harley Quinn features a voice cast led by Kevin Conroy (Batman: The Animated Series) reprising his role as the Dark Knight, alongside Melissa Rauch (The Big Bang Theory) making her debut as the unpredictable Harley Quinn.  Loren Lester, the voice of Robin in Batman: The Animated Series, returns as Nightwing.  Paget Brewster (Criminal Minds) and Kevin Michael Richardson (The Cleveland Show) provide the voices of the villainous duo Poison Ivy & Jason Woodrue (aka The Floronic Man), respectively.  Sam Liu (Batman: The Killing Joke) directs here from an original story by Bruce Timm (Batman: The Dark Knight Returns) with a teleplay written by Timm & Jim Krieg (Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox).  You got all that?  Good!  Now let’s have some fun talking Batman and Harley Quinn!

Keep this in mind when reading the following.  Animated films are not my proverbial cup of tea.  I usually despise them and I was expecting to hate this one too.  However, my love of Harley conquered all as she cracked me up throughout in Batman and Harley Quinn (even in a post credit sequence too).  I really think the critics were overly harsh on this one.  Yes the majority of the humor here is juvenile, but I laughed my butt off.  From sexual innuendos, multiple swear words and fart gags I never wanted this one to end (the lack of a proper ending is a sore subject for me here though).  This one is also definitely not for the kiddos.  It sports lots of sexual situations and bad words, hence the PG-13 rating.  At the end of the day though this is a cartoon.  It’s not to be taken seriously.  It’s not The Dark Knight.  It’s a goofy detective romp.  Remember that when watching and appreciate the erratic, comedic behavior of Miss Quinn.

So Brandon Peters wrote that “there are so many references, cameos and easter eggs to Batman: The Animated Series.”  That I cannot attest to, but I did pick up all the 60’s Batman nostalgia.  I do also love how they didn’t use the Joker as a prop device here or as a way to turn the tables, but make no mistake about it he was mentioned here.  Now since I know nothing of Conroy I am going to focus solely on Rauch here.  I can’t see her pull off Harley in the looks department on the big screen, but as far as this animated feature goes she’s spot on perfect.  That wise-cracking accent she has going on here literally brought Harley to life for me despite the crude animation of it all.  This isn’t the best looking cartoon I have ever seen, not by a long shot, but it did do something I never thought it would.  It kind of makes me want to check out some more of the DC Animated Universe films.  Do see that undeniable power Harley has over me?  I’m a poor chump.  Now how does it look and sound in 4K?  I’m so glad you asked that!


The below video score and related critique of things here are based solely upon my viewing of the 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray presentation of Batman and Harley Quinn.  The 1080p presentation of the film was formerly reviewed here by our legend Brandon Peters.   In my opinion this 4K presentation is an unnecessary one, but let’s tackle it anyway.

  • Encoding: HEVC / H.265
  • Resolution: 4K (2160p)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Clarity/Detail: Batman and Harley Quinn‘s has a simple stylized look to its animation.  It’s not exactly the most pleasing animation I have ever seen, but it’s sharp and clean, and that’s really all that matters here.  Sadly though there’s really no details.  The background stills has some faux texturing in them, but that’s about all you’ll notice.  This is NOT Angry Birds 4K.   The one disturbing thing I found here though is problems with color banding.  Blu-ray.com reports there is none on the 4K UHD disc compared to the Blu-ray, but I beg to differ.  I found multiple examples of color banding.  Early on I checked to ensure I had put in the 4K UHD disc and not mistakenly the Blu-ray one.  Nope!  I had in the UHD disc.  Boo!  Truth of the matter too is due to the simplicity of everything here I really can’t justify the existence of this on the 4K format.  It looked great mostly, but then again so does the Blu-ray.  I usually say the UHD disc is but a minor uptick over it’s 1080p counterpart, but I cannot say that here.
  • Depth:  Like Brandon Peter’s originally wrote in his Blu-ray review “It’s 2D animated, which is overall flat by nature and not lending to three dimensional appeals, but it moves pretty smoothly with no jitter problems and some sequences show good spacing.”  I found the onscreen characters had a sense of three-dimensional pop to them all due to the fact that the majority of the backgrounds are static.  So if you are okay with that, then yes this one has some depth of field going for it.
  • Black Levels: Blacks are deep and inky here throughout.  I have zero qualms and thanks to the HDR nothing gets lost in the shadows.  LOL.  I tried to type that with a smile on my face.  I really did.  Ha ha.  Also there’s no crushing present too, which is always a good thing.
  • Color Reproduction: The colors are solid, strong and bold in this distinct palette.  Best of all night sequences actually feel like um nighttime.  The shading changes and the colors get duller, but never lost.  I can’t say it’s because of the HDR, but I loved what I saw in the color department.
  • Flesh Tones: N/A
  • Noise/Artifacts: This one is a tricky one to grade because of the crudeness and simplicity of it all, but other than the color banding I reported up above there’s really nothing else to nitpick here.


Like I mentioned up above in the video section, the below audio score and critical comments of such are based solely upon my viewing of the 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray presentation of Batman and Harley Quinn.  The Blu-ray presentation was formerly reviewed here for your reference, which has the same audio surround track here.  However, instead of merely just copying Brandon’s thoughts I added my own down below.

  • Audio Format(s): English 5.1 DTS-HD MA, French 5.1 Dolby Digital, Spanish (Latin) 5.1 Dolby Digital, Spanish (Castilian) 5.1 Dolby Digital, German 5.1 Dolby Digital, Italian 5.1 Dolby Digital, Portuguese, 5.1 Dolby Digital
  • Subtitles: English SDH, French, Spanish, German SDH, Italian SDH, Korean, Portuguese, Danish, Finnish, Norwegian, Swedish
  • Dynamics: Sadly there’s no Dolby Atmos surround track here, but I was quite impressed by this one.  As Brandon Peters already said “Batman and Harley Quinn does a pretty admiral job with the 5.1 mix.”   Its balanced, immersive, flexible and “features a seamless relationship with the music, vocals and sound effects in the mix.”  Also the action is quite hefty and aggressive at times, but thankfully none of the dialogue ever gets lost in the shuffle.  I really liked what I heard here. I was prepared to be underwhelmed, but instead I was immersed within.
  • Height: N/A (no DTS:X or Atmos surround track here utilizing the height channels)
  • Low Frequency Extension: The bass is quite aggressive and deep throughout and that’s much appreciated for it made me enjoy all the moments of action and destruction here that much more.  Even Floronic Man’s voice carries a sense of heft here.  Love it!  Other events like scattered gun play, explosions, the Batman’s vehicles, thuds, punches, kicks landing and so much more make the peril and excitement that much richer here thanks in part to the LFE channel.
  • Surround Sound Presentation: For the most part the rear channels are reserved for carrying the score and providing that sense of immersion.  They also provide ambiance and mild effects throughout too, but once we reach the half way mark here things get more interesting.  The onscreen action starts bleeding into them and all the sudden we have a sense of directionality.  It helps that my rear speakers are gigantic, but I get what Brandon Peters was saying when he called this “mostly front heavy.”  The swirling score and many fun scenes playing out in the rears really do add a sense of immersion for me here and that’s really all I care about.
  • Dialogue Reproduction: I think Brandon Peters said it best in his Blu-ray review when he typed “Dialogue is loud, crisp and clean with all good recorded voices spouting terrific diction in their performances.”  I have zero problems here.

Batman and Harley


Batman and Harley Quinn 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray set boasts enhanced content including multiple featurettes and sneak peeks into what is next for the DC Universe.  Furthermore, it also comes with the film presentation in 1080p housed on the Blu-ray Disc and a redemption code for the Digital HD version of the movie via your favorite Ultraviolet retailer.  Sadly all the extras are found only on the Blu-ray Disc so let’s take a deeper dive down below at all you’ll find here.

  • A Sneak Peek at DC Universe’s Next Animated Movie (HD, 8:30) – Here we have a look at Gotham By Gaslight, a tale of Batman vs Jack the Ripper in the Sherlock Holmes era.  This extra also contains scenes and interviews about bringing the film to light.
  • The Harley Effect (HD, 21:15) – Paul Dini (who gets pretty emotional when discussing Harley’s legacy) and Bruce Timm lead the conversation on the history and evolution of the character through the years going into making this movie.  Hell yeah!  As a fan of Harley I love this one!
  • Loren Lester: In His Own Voice (HD, 11:46) – Here the Robin/Nightwing voice actor looks over his legacy and how Dick Grayson has now been more associated with Nightwing than as Robin.  Lester even touches on his relationship with fans through conventions and such.
  • A Sneak Peek – These are archived sneak peeks from previous releases.
    • Batman: The Dark Knight Returns, Part 1 (HD, 12:36)
    • Batman: The Dark Knight Returns, Part 2 (HD, 6:52)
    • Batman: Assault on Arkham (HD, 7:29)
  • From the DC Comics Vault
    • Batman: The Animated Series, “Harley and Ivy” (SD, 22:23)
    • Batman: The Animated Series, “Harley’s Hoiday” (SD, 21:15)
  • Trailers – Teen Titans: The Judas Contract, Justice League Dark, Justice League, Wonder Woman


Batman and Harley Quinn is a film, albeit an animated one, that’s not to be taken seriously.  It’s a fun one and in my opinion not as bad as the mass critics make it out to be.  I feel this is very much a nod to all the new Harley Quinn fans and a way for DC and Warner Bros. to make some quick cash.  I must say it’s kind of gimmicky releasing this on 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray since there’s really not much advantage over the 1080p Blu-ray, but whatever.  I’ll take it!  After all, this is Harley Quinn!  If I did not get the chance to review this one, I was going to buy it anyway.  So for anyone looking for continuity in the Batman animated world this may not apply to you, but I believe it’s for those thrill seekers and Harley fans looking for something different and a bit quirky to enjoy.  Your results may vary, but I truly hope you can enjoy it for what it is like I was able to.  Thanks for reading!


DISCLAIMER: This 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray review was judged and graded using the following 4K certified Ultra HD Premium television set found here and player here.  Make sure to check out all our 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray reviews archived here.


Batman and Harley Quinn

Take Down Poison Ivy

 on 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray

August 29th




Batman and Harley 4K Blu-ray Cover


Owner/Writer/Reviewer/Editor, Dreamer, Producer, Agent of Love, Film Lover, Writer of Screenplays and a Devoted Apostle to all things Ford Mustangs (the real ones with V8's!). Some of my favorite films include FIGHT CLUB, MOULIN ROUGE, THE DARK KNIGHT, STAR WARS alongside television shows such as SEINFELD, 24, SANFORD & SON and even the often loathed in the geek community BIG BANG THEORY. Outside of my three lives I live I also enjoy spending time with my girlfriend and our three girls (of the furry kind).

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