Batman vs. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (4K UHD Blu-ray Review)

Mash-ups can be a slippery slope. It’s certainly not a new concept as I’ve been a fan of them since the early 90’s when I read Magnus: Robot Fighter vs. Predator, courtesy of Valiant and Dark Horse. That mini-series was, at least at the moment, exceptional. I haven’t revisited it since so who knows if it stood the test of time, but I digress. Others, like Robocop vs. Terminator, have been less memorable, though the title alone was enough to draw me in. In December 2015, another epic-sounding mash-up in comics arrived in the form of Batman vs. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. The series proved to be an entertaining read that has since spawned two sequel mini-series, the latter of which, Batman vs. TMNT III, is ongoing as we speak. However, if that wasn’t enough to whet your Dark Knight/reptilian ninjutsu palette, then certainly a feature-length animated film would be.


Arriving on 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray and regular Blu-ray tomorrow, June 4th, this collision of epic franchises clocks in at a runtime of 87 minutes with a cast of voice actors, specifically on the DC side of things here, that I was rather nervous about.  I only say that because of my affinity for Batman: The Animated Series and the spectacular work that actors like Kevin Conroy and Mark Hamill did for that series.  Rest assured that here in Batman vs. TMNT, Troy Baker impresses as the voice of both Batman and the Joker while the casting for the Turtles was also smartly accomplished with Eric Bauza as Leonardo, Baron Vaughn as Donatello, Darren Criss as Raphael and Kyle Mooney as Michelangelo, who, dare I say, steals the show.

There is just the right amount of Raphael sarcasm and playful Mikey dialogue that retains this piece in the realm of smile-inducing without going over the top and becoming obnoxious.  There is a definite chemistry that grows amongst the characters here too, which adds a layer of believability to the plot and all its side quests.  It is a mash-up that certainly blends quite effectively, rather than something thrown together in a forced combination.

The story and fight scenes, without question, get the job done here.  Make no mistake as this is not a film for little kids as the violence includes dismemberment and a few shuriken to the skull.  Blood is spilled and limbs will crack, which is just another element as to why I so thoroughly enjoyed this tale.  The battle that takes the cake, however, is definitely the face-off between Shredder and Batman.  In the words of Samuel L. Jackson, “Hold on to your butts!”  The story does let its foot off the gas during part of an Arkham sequence, which I felt bogged things down temporarily, but the pace quickly recovers and we are back on our way to jaw-crunching crime fighting.

The animation is nothing jaw-dropping like Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse (way different budget spectrum too), but it does perform well, especially in the vehicle assault scene, which I won’t say anymore about.  After all, I’m trying to keep this spoiler-free, but the obvious computer-enhancement looks great for the high speed effects.  I do question the drawing of Donatello as he has more of a human-shaped head than his green compadres.  The legs on the Turtles also look more like lazily drawn stumps than effective limbs, then again, this is a look Nickelodeon has gone with on the animated front since taking over TMNT.  I’m not a fan of the style at all, but it is what it is.

Once it hit the mainstream, TMNT became a franchise that has never taken itself too seriously, which is likely something that has contributed to its ongoing success and longevity.  Batman, on the other hand, is an entity that has operated in the complete opposite manner with story arcs like ‘A Death in the Family’ and films like The Dark Knight.  When you put these two together, it combines for a film that offers a little something for both of those audiences.  There were moments that harkened back to the ridiculousness of 1990’s TMNT cartoon and other times that felt like a nod to Batman: The Animated Series.  For the near hour and a half length of this film, it was one fun turn after another.


Encoding: MPEG 4 / AVC

Resolution: 4K (1080p for standard Blu-ray disc)

Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1

Even for a film that largely takes place at night, the colors pop and flourish. I was initially miffed to learn Batman would be donning his blue and gray costumer as opposed to all black or gray and black, but that blue/gray just contrasts so well against the Turtles.  Additionally, it looks so good when the Dark Knight and Leo share their moment in leadership with both characters sporting blue.  Frame rates look good as well with some intended stuttered, bullet-time slow down which is added for dramatic effect in a few scenes.  The aforementioned vehicle assault scene gets points for its fluidity and clarity too.  Depth is kept to a minimum here as it is a cartoon, and unlike live action films, nearly everything is happening in the foreground.


Formats: DTS-HD MA English 5.1, Dolby Digital French 5.1

When it comes to surround sound, action films like to make use of those rear speakers and Batman vs. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles is no exception.  With all the physical conflict in this movie, you can bet those landed punches, connected kicks and blade on blade clashes successfully deliver an inviting audible experience.  It is not insane rumble fest it could have been, but it definitely meets the grade of proficiency.  Dialogue, as always, makes its entry through the front channels and is consistent throughout the film.  I never found myself in a scenario of annoyance where I had to up the volume for a normal conversation, only to turn it down for a battle.


I was really hoping for more here.  The special features that are provided here are kind of meaty when it comes to their runtimes, but it’s just that those features are not numerous.  I will say what was provided here is definitely worth a watch as they’re all in high def and offer some great content such as a making of and a look at DC’s next highly anticipated animated film, Batman: Hush.

  • Cowabunga Batman! When Comic Book Worlds Collide (12:31)
  • Fight Night in Gotham (18:06)
  • Sneak Peak at Batman: Hush (9:18)
  • Trailers (6:08)
    • Reign of the Supermen (animated)
    • Justice League vs. The Fatal Five (animated)
    • Shazam! (live action)

Final Thoughts 

No doubt, I was about to do a backflip when I heard this was coming out and that I’d have a chance to review it.  Once it arrived, I thought, “Well, this could either be really fun or really bad.”  Without question, it was definitely the former, not the latter.  Batman vs. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles was a raucous ride that hopefully sees a sequel just like it did in print form.  The fact that so many other characters from both franchises did not make an appearance here leaves it wide open for them to pop up later on.  Also, now that the Turtles have visited Gotham, perhaps it’s time for Batman to drop in on the Big Apple.

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