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Heartwarming / Batman Returns

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Even the most nihilistic Batman film ever made has its humane moments.

  • When the Penguin returns to his lair, the penguins squawk happily at him — Even Evil Has Loved Ones.
    Penguin: My babies, did you miss me?
  • Bruce and Selina's brief date, where they're somehow able to bond over how messed up they are. It culminates when they dance at the party.
  • Bruce/Batman's "We are the same" talk to Selina and Dramatic Unmask to her at the end. She outright rejects that Happily Ever After offer, being too messed up and too eager to take revenge on Max Shreck to think of such an opportunity at a better life, but major props to Bruce for trying.
  • Before Bruce figures out that Penguin is the leader of the Red Triangle Gang and is playing Gotham for fools, he first sees Oswald on TV declaring his intent to discover his parents. He tells Alfred, “His parents... I hope he finds them.” Given his own backstory, it’s a genuinely human sentiment.
  • Max Shreck is an utter bastard, no doubt. But it's made clear that he really does love his son Chip. When the Penguin crashes his party to kill Chip, Max gives himself up and takes Chip's place instead.
    • Earlier in the film, Chip was willing to put himself in harm's way, just so that his father can escape safely. This could also be why Max was willing to sacrifice himself to the penguin.
    • While he later abandons Oswald to fend for himself, Max also defends him against anyone who speaks even slightly ill about him. He has a vested interest in making Oswald seem dignified, sure, but he's so quick witted, passionate, and well-spoken when he does so, one has to wonder if he's even fooled himself into loving the Penguin.
  • While being driven home by Alfred, Bruce thinks he sees a shadow of Selina/Catwoman and tells him to stop the car as he searches if it is Selina but to no avail, however he does find her cat Miss Kitty and takes her.
  • The last lines of the film in which Alfred wishes Bruce Merry Christmas and Bruce wishing Alfred the same and also mentioning goodwill towards men and women.
    • It might have flew over kids heads at the time but for young adults and adults who understood what Bruce was saying it was a very important message that women deserves equal treatment and justice as men do and decades years later? The message is more important than ever.
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  • A minor one, but the scene when the Penguin comes out from the sewers after "rescuing" the Mayor's son from one of the Red Triangle Circus Gang members. When Oswald peeked through the sewer with the infant, no Gothamite present at the scene recoiled in horror at his appearance or made a sign of disgust towards Oswald, demonstrating that the citizens of Gotham City can accept someone regardless of their physical appearance, unlike Oswald's parents.