Damian, Bruce Wayne’s petulant son, can’t wait for Christmas and hopes that this is the year his Christmas wish comes true and he can finally become a superhero like his dear old Bat-Dad in new DC animation Merry Little Batman.
Disappointingly for Damien, however, his old man still sees him as a kid and is desperate to preserve the childhood he never had. When a freak weather incident in Nova Scotia calls the caped crusader away on Christmas Eve, Damian is left home alone, with only Alfred’s world famous hot cocoa to console him. But would you believe it, Gotham’s rouges gallery has other plans this year and start to wreak havoc in Gotham City, starting with Wayne Manor. As the last line of defence against a crime-ridden Christmas, Damian must suit up as the Dark Knight and emerge from his father’s shadow.
Decked out in a brand new animation style that more befits the lunacy of Sponge Bob than the rather more serious modern Justice League animations, this festive caper is a laugh-a-minute, zany and irreverent comedy that fans of Lego Batman will love. Led by a brand new voice cast that includes a simpering Luke Wilson as Batman and Mythic Quest’s David Hornsby as The Joker, each character has a fresh new energy, yet all are still respectful of their identity (even in this nonsensical world).
The plot plays out as if Batman did Home Alone for a Saturday morning kids’ cartoon, but it’s not quite as throw-away as you’d expect, with emotional beats that pay off with enough gravity to balance the off-beat humour. Packed with a banging soundtrack of hilarious festive new tunes from Fall Out Boy’s Patrick Stump, interspersed with alternative Christmas classics, there are more than a couple of tunes that are sure to find their way onto your Christmas playlist.
Although mega Bat-Fans may be irked by the way the story messes with canonical Batman in how it depicts Bruce’s father-son relationship with the eight-year-old Damian, by not weighing such a delightfully fun story down with 80 years of history, director Mike Roth has kept the tone light and the movie immediately accessible.
Merry Little Batman is streaming now on Amazon Prime Video