In 2004, Warner Brothers went for an entirely different animated series starring Batman simply called The Batman. I recently tried to watch it, and while it wasn’t bad, I can’t say it got me all that excited. Trying to top Batman: The Animated Series was always going to be an uphill battle. Even more than twenty years after Kevin Conroy first lent his voice to the Dark Knight, many people still consider him the defining actor for Batman (and that includes all of the live-action actors to tackle the role). Despite the fact The Batman underwhelmed for some, it delivered something pretty spectacular in 2005. The creators released a special animated film (direct to video) entitled Batman vs. Dracula.
Actor Peter Stormare provided the voice for the master vampire (most probably best remember Stormare as the crazy cosmonaut from the 1998 film Armageddon). Dracula gets resurrected thanks to the shenanigans of the Joker and Penguin hunting for a stash of stolen money hidden in Gotham City. In the process, Dracula turns Penguin into his little flying monkey (not literally) to help him with his schemes. Joker later gets turned into a vampire (naturally, he gets turned back to normal before its over). Batman’s fight with “Vampire Joker” is probably my favorite part of the film, but that’s a Fangs God It’s Friday for another week.
Dracula proves an excellent foe for Batman, and their first encounter leaves Batman licking his wounds. Perhaps my least favorite part of the plot involves Dracula trying to resurrect his dead bride Carmilla by sacrificing Batman’s off-and-on romantic interest, reporter Vicki Vale (seriously, how many times are writers going to give Dracula a lost love he’s desperate to bring back to life or unlife?). Still, this animated film delivered something pretty cool, and it’s well worth checking out for the diehard Batman fans.