Batman & Mr. Freeze: Sub-Zero (1998, 67 minutes)
Plot: When his wife’s cryogenic chamber is damaged, Mr. Freeze kidnaps Barbara Gordon to serve as a live donor to save her life.
Source Material: This is set in the DCAU and draws from the Mr. Freeze episodes. It’s also a transparent tie-in to Batman and Robin with Freeze and Batgirl central to the plot. In fact the movie was intended to be released alongside B&R but that film’s dismal reception forced the delay.
Animation: An absolute feast for the eyes. This is a frequently beautiful film with all of the best imagery one expects from the DCAU. It’s filled with great noir images throughout. Colors are evocatively dark shades. Everything is interesting to look at. Action is breakneck exciting. Though always planned for video, it would’ve looked great in theaters.
Script: Slight but effective. This isn’t an epic story. It’s only 67 minutes and really only barely a step above an episode. But it works. Characters are solidly fleshed out. There’s a number of great Batman being a detective scenes. It’s a decent plot.
Voice acting: It’s the DCAU. Everyone is on their a game with one exception. Michael Ansara dominates as Mr. Freeze, giving the character profound gravitas as a man who must commit evil to save his great love. Kevin Conroy is as usual strong as Batman, playing a very astute version. Sadly the weak link is the late Mary Kay Bergman as Barbara Gordon, sounding a good two decades too old for the role.
Final Verdict: I planned on giving this a kids score of watch since it’s a film aimed for them. But with the new site and the end of Kids Corner, I’ll give it an adult score. 4/5. It nearly misses the top tier due to its slightness, but it’s still great. This is as much fun as you can hope for from a Batman story. It’s solid on all fronts with some of the best chase scenes in any Batman movie yet. The quick running time means it fails to outstay its welcome. Oh and it’s a joke how much better it is than Batman and Robin. First rate stuff here.