Batman: Return of the Caped Crusaders is an animated superhero movie based on the 1960s Batman TV series. The movie follows crime-fighters Batman and Robin as they battle a group of nefarious villains to protect Gotham city.
The Joker, the Penguin, the Riddler and Catwoman appear on live television one day, and the Police Commissioner asks Batman and Robin to bring them to justice. The movie follows the heroes and villains as they chase each other around the city, leave clues and follow each other’s trails. In the midst of the chaos, Catwoman tries to poison Batman with a potion that will bring out the evil within him. Although it doesn’t seem to affect him at first, Batman gradually begins to seek out power, control and supremacy over Gotham. For example, he appoints replicas of himself to every significant public position.
Robin eventually teams up with Catwoman to bring Batman back from the dark side, so that they can take on the other supervillains and stop them before it’s too late.
Crime and justice; morality; good versus evil; romance and friendship
Batman: Return of the Caped Crusaders has quite frequent animated violence. For example:
- During the opening credits, Batman and Robin punch unnamed characters in the face – no injuries are shown, and the points of physical contact are often covered by the names/titles.
- Some hostages are tied up when the four villains take over a TV show. The villains run away and release what appears to be a bomb, but after several moments of fearful suspense among the hostages, only a small scroll of paper comes out of the explosive.
- One of the villains threatens to hurt a scientist in the laboratory. He says, ‘What is black and blue and red all over? You, if you don’t…’.
- Batman, Robin and the villains have a stand-off in the lab. They punch, kick, strangle, and try to physically overpower each other. Each physical contact makes a noise, and words appear on the screen – for example, ‘Bash’, ‘Whomp’, ‘Smok’, ‘Kram’, ‘Ker-pow’.
- During a car chase where the villains and Batman and Robin are racing through the streets, the villains shoot small bombs and lasers from the back of their car. These explode on the ground near Batman’s vehicle.
- The villains leave Batman and Robin tied up on a conveyer belt heading towards a large fire. The two men manage to escape an imminent death.
- The villains try to kill Catwoman by sending her out of the air vent on their space ship. They believe they have killed her, but Batman is nearby and secretly saves her.
- Batman throws a small blade through the air during one fight sequence. Although it initially seems that he is directing it towards the villains, the blade hits a different target in the distance.
- Batman and Robin fight while Batman is under the influence of a mind-controlling substance. They use gadgets like bombs, shields, cuffs and so on.
- Batman ties up Catwoman and Robin. He hangs them over the top of a large pit in the ground (which he calls a ‘death trap’) and slowly lowers them in. They’re able to escape before they drop to their deaths.
- Catwoman jumps off the edge of a flying blimp, presumably to her death, saying that she would never want to go back to prison.
Content that may disturb children
Children in this age group are likely to be scared by some of the scenes and characters mentioned above.
Children in this age group might also find some scenes and characters scary.
Nothing of concern
Nothing of concern
Batman: Return of the Caped Crusaders has several mild sexual references. For example:
- There is continual innuendo and flirtation between Batman and Catwoman. Batman says at one point that if Catwoman were to turn herself in, he would ‘handle her personally’. Catwoman also tells Batman that it is ‘impolite to rub (his) masculine superiority on a woman’.
- To keep the location of the Bat Cave secret, Robin asks Catwoman to inhale a substance that will put her to sleep as they drive to the Cave. She agrees but says, ‘OK, but I expect you to keep your hands to yourself’.
Alcohol, drugs and other substances
Batman: Return of the Caped Crusaders has mild references to substance use. For example, Robin goes to a bar called Purrr and asks the bartender for an unknown drink ‘on the rocks’. The scene shows unlabelled bottles behind the bar.
Nudity and sexual activity
Batman: Return of the Caped Crusaders shows Batman and Catwoman kissing.
There is no product placement of concern in the movie, but plenty of superhero merchandise is marketed to children.
Batman: Return of the Caped Crusaders has some very mild coarse language, including:
- religious exclamations like ‘holy trench warfare’ – Robin uses these exclamations when he’s shocked, panicked or surprised
- insults like ‘pretentious poser’, ‘diabolical devils’ and ‘silly old woman’.
Ideas to discuss with your children
Batman: Return of the Caped Crusaders is a return to the comic version of Batman from the 1960s and a contrast to the very dark superhero movies of more recent times. The movie explores the nature of good and evil, and it also highlights the importance of democracy, law and social rules. The story emphasises the importance of taking ‘bold risks’ for the greater good of society and the importance of friendship in overcoming challenging obstacles.
Although Batman: Return of the Caped Crusaders isn’t as dark and scary as recent versions of the Batman story, this movie does have some violent and scary scenes that could disturb young children. Therefore we don’t recommend it for children under 8 years. We do recommend parental guidance for children aged 8-10 years.