Batman: Gotham Knight
(2008) is an Animated Anthology
film consisting of six-interlocked short episodes set in The Dark Knight Saga
(between Batman Begins
and The Dark Knight
). An Animesque
series in the vein of The Animatrix
, Gotham Knight
was produced by a gathering of some of the best in the business, including writers David Goyer and John Olson; animation studios Studio 4°C
, Bee Train
, and Production I.G
; and voice actor Kevin Conroy
(who reprised his role as Batman
included established characters from Batman Begins
(Batman, Jim Gordon, Alfred Pennyworth, Lucius Fox and The Scarecrow), introduced characters from The Dark Knight
(Detective Ramirez and Sal Maroni), and did its best to fit other Batman characters into the Nolanverse (Crispus Allen, Killer Croc, and Deadshot).
The six animated segments include:
- "Have I Got A Story For You" — Several teenage skateboarders discuss their encounters with The Batman as he fights a Firefly-like criminal; each of their respective stories imagine him as a Living Shadow, a Bat out of Hell, and a Killer Robot. Batman and the criminal appear in the skating building, and one of the kids helps take out the crook with his skateboard.
- "Crossfire" — Detectives Anna Ramirez and Crispus Allen escort the captured criminal from the previous segment to the fortified Arkham Asylum whilst discussing their views on Batman. They're eventually caught in a shootout between mobsters (Sal Maroni and The Russian) until Batman arrives to break up the turf war.
- "Field Test" — Bruce Wayne investigates the possible murder of a charity worker and a corrupt businessman's involvement before moving to end the ongoing fight between Maroni and The Russian (using a Wayne Enterprises gadget to deflect small firearms using magnetics), but his actions come with bloody consequences.
- "In Darkness Dwells" — Batman travels into the sewers of Gotham to rescue a cardinal after he is kidnapped by The Scarecrow and Killer Croc, but after being bitten by Croc, Batman begins to hallucinate, which makes the rescue attempt twice as difficult.
- "Working Through Pain" — While trudging through Gotham's sewers, Bruce flashes back to his training under a woman named Cassandra, who helps him learn how to withstand harsh pain.
- "Deadshot" — Gun-for-hire Deadshot is on an assignment to assassinate Jim Gordon, and both Batman and Alfred are pushed to their limits as they work to protect their ally.
Batman: Gotham Knight contains examples of the following tropes:
- Animesque: The film's shorts were created by several studios, which each lent their own style to their respective short.
- Art Shift: Each segment has its own style of animation; Field Test is often referred to as "the most anime-looking" short.
- Bishōnen: Field Test featured a far more "animesque" Batman, whose appearance fits this trope. Bruce Timm was concerned that Kevin Conroy might not be convincing as a very young looking Bruce Wayne, although Kevin certainly pulled it off. The Japanese version had the younger sounding Shinichiro Miki voice that particular segment.
- Broad Strokes: Since several different directors handled the shorts, little consistency (artistic or otherwise) exists with each short or the Nolan films.
- One of the shorts involves a trio of kids telling urban legend stories about Batman; while the artwork varies widely, the characters themselves (including Batman) stay pretty consistent.
- The Batman costume varies wildly throughout all six shorts.
- Complexity Addiction: Deadshot is noting for liking to make his shots as needlessly complex as possible. His shot at Gordon involves firing from a moving train, through another moving train, and across a bridge, at a target in a moving car.
- Continuity Snarl: Gotham Knight is said to take place between Batman Begins and The Dark Knight, but one of the segments shows an undamaged Wayne Manor, which snarls with the mansion's fiery destruction in Begins.
- Additionally one segment portrays Ramirez as having an adamant, unwavering faith in Batman. In The Dark Knight she's outspoken about her scorn for Batman, and she is even the one who betrays him in the end.
- The segment Working Through Pain features the Batmobile from the 1989 Tim Burton film, rather than the Tumbler from Nolan's films. Field Test- meanwhile- features a vehicle very similar to the Tumbler, and the others don't show the Batmobile.
- Expy: The Man in Black from Have I Got a Story For You is obviously one of Firefly. He's a jetpack-wearing psychopath whose design resembles one of Firefly's more recent costumes. Also, the animated episode this segment was inspired by, "Legends of the Dark Knight" from the New Batman Adventures, has Firefly as the villain, so here the Man in Black fills his role. The only thing he's missing is Firefly's name and pyromaniac tendencies.
- Foreshadowing: Probably coincidental, Batman trains himself to Feel No Pain in Working Through Pain. Later on in The Dark Knight Rises, he encounters a villain who too does not feel pain. Though a notable difference is that Batman trained himself to do it, while Bane requires his mask to keep pumping him with anaesthetic that numbs out the pain.
- Gratuitous English: The on-screen English in "Deadshot" is... odd.
- Just Following Orders: Deadshot states this when he realises Batman has him outmatched. Seeing several scenes of him relishing both his killings and the lavish lifestyle his job offers show just how weak this defense is. Big cheers when Batman punches his lights out.
- Oh Crap: In Darkness Dwells, Scarecrow is completely frozen in fear as he sees the Batman effortlessly beat up his cultists. Justified, as he previously had a rather freaky run-in with him.
- In Deadshot, when the title villain had his Arm Cannon cut off by Batman, leaving him powerless.
- "Rashomon"-Style: Have I Got a Story For You, where the kids all tell their own stories of seeing Batman, is an example of this.
- Role Reprisal: While the japanese dubs had different voice actors for Batman, the English dub had Kevin Conroy reprising his role from the Animated Series and Justice League.
- Scenery Porn: With the studios making this, what did you expect?
- Totally Radical: Everything that comes out of the mouths of the skateboarders in "Have I Got a Story for You."
- Trash Talk: "Shoot your mouth off now, Deadshot!"