In no particular order, but.
- Jenny Slate as Harley Quinn, Riki Lindholme as Poison Ivy, and Zoe Kravitz as Catwoman? Talk about the greatest Gotham City Sirens lineup. I hope they make a million more movies in this universe and should all of them be about these three? Maybe yes.
- Another big delight of Jenny Slate’s Harley was how aggressively not in keeping with current DC cinematic properties she was. The outfit was silly but not that insulting kinkshameable nonsense, she was funny in a way that felt appropriate to the character, she never said “puddin’,” and damned if she didn’t make cute little silent :O faces when Batman and Joker discussed healthy relationships sometimes.
- This is probably the best non-comics Barbara Gordon I’ve seen since the 90s cartoon. It’s a really good distillation of her character. It was also cool that she was subtly brown. And Rosario Dawson seemed to be having a great time.
- I liked that there were women just hanging out doing stuff, in the background or the police force or in crowd scenes. Somebody was careful about that.
- This movie understands that Batman is only good if he’s got people with him because by himself he’s fucking ridiculous.
- I love Dick Grayson, and if they don’t make a good Nightwing movie I’m going to go to Warner Brothers and pee on everything they love. They got a really good sense of the younger version of him, like in the 60s show when he’s a sidekick kid. And Michael Cera did a really good job.
- Will Arnett is the best Batman. He’s perfect. Nobody else should be Batman, except for Kevin Conroy who’s not being Batman anymore anyway so it’s fine.
- The writers clearly just looked up everything a child would know and then put it all in a movie. They included a bunch of older suits, including Nightwing’s original suit, and the Batman Beyond suit. There’s a montage of shitty Silver Age villains and it’s beautiful. There are probably jokes we missed, but if you are familiar with more than one Batman piece of media you’re probably gonna catch something.
- There are also a fair amount of non-Batman/DC jokes shoved in here, and some of them are definitely more for the grown-ups in the audience (my personal favorite was when Batman was suggesting potential team-ups and listed “Fox Force Five”).
- And then let’s talk about the Phantom Zone. In the original Lego Movie style, the Phantom Zone pulled in Legoified versions of every villainous character you could imagine. They’re mostly from the Lego Dimensions game, but you don’t need to know that to enjoy their gloriously nonsensical presence.
- In 1988 there was an infamous Batman graphic novel called The Killing Joke that goes into a version of the Joker’s backstory and is also the comic in which Barbara is shot in the spine and paralyzed. It’s very divisive, and they made it worse because in the 2016 animated movie version some dumbass decided to add a weird sexual component to Bruce and Barbara’s relationship that is not in the comic. The internet promptly lost its entire shit and I swear someone at WB was like OH FUCK and rewrote the ending of The Lego Batman Movie to erase the romantic relationship that had been building up. Batman at one point says Barbara is “my platonic coworker who I see as a friend” or something like that. The first shot of her is shot Gaussian Girl style from Bruce’s POV and “(I Just) Died in Your arms” is playing. I was horrified and then very relieved when it didn’t go anywhere. So thanks, WB, for not fucking that up.
–your fangirl heroines.