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YMMV / Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker

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  • Author's Saving Throw: The DCAU crew were aware of the negative reception that the fans had towards the Joker’s design in The New Batman Adventures, so this feature-length installment features yet another re-design for the Joker that’s presented in the flashback sequence. It combines elements of both his Batman: The Animated Series (general appearance and details) and TNBA (the color scheme and triangular jawline) designs and adds a darker color scheme to his mouth and sharper teeth. This design was re-used for his chronologically earlier appearances in Static Shock and Justice League
  • Awesome Music:
    • The soundtrack has the Humble Brothers Remix of "Crash" by Mephisto Odyssey featuring Static-X.
    • It even includes the music video for the original version of the song as well.
    • Similarly, Kristopher Carter's score is incredible, blending the metal/techno-tinged world of Beyond effortlessly with an orchestra for a greater emotional scope.
  • Broken Base: There is a contingent of fans who argue that the Bowdlerized edit is, if not a better film, a far darker and more effective one. Most of this sentiment draws from the fact that editing down to a PG rating meant that the creators had to be far more ingenious with what violence was shown, making use of the Discretion Shot in a way that actually made it artistically better and scarier. On the other hand, it is also admitted that the censored version had some shoddy editing with continuity errors, the dialogue suffers as a result of the Never Say "Die" trope, Bonk's death was more ambiguous and much less shocking, the scene of the Joker stabbing Batman was made much less effective by the replacing of said stabbing with a punch, and Tim being only indirectly responsible for the Joker's death makes it seem like he has been suffering from an ''irrational'' guilt complex his entire life...
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  • Complete Monster: The JOKER. See DC Animation.
  • Crosses the Line Twice: Almost everything the Joker says or does, especially during the flashback scene.
    Joker: If you don't like the movie, I've got slides!
  • Ensemble Dark Horse: The Jokerz in this movienote , especially Dee Dee, are all extremely popular among the fandom. This is likely the reason they were included in the Bad Future episode of Justice League Unlimited.
  • Fan-Disliked Explanation: A number of fans weren't fond of the mind control DNA chip plot device, thinking the film would have had a stronger plot with Tim snapping due to his past torture and becoming the Joker entirely by himself.
  • Foe Yay: One of the biggest examples of Batman/Joker. To put it bluntly, Joker kidnapped one of Batman's "sons" with the intention of molding him into his own "son".
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  • "Funny Aneurysm" Moment: Joker claiming that Terry isn't Batman served as a metaphor to the fandom's reaction of Zack Snyder's take on Batman for the DC Extended Universe, where he took down everyone with a gun occasionally. (Even worse, Zack probably confirmed that Batman kills the goons)
  • Harsher in Hindsight:
    • The shootout in the nightclub is this, given the Orlando nightclub shooting.
    • What Tim goes through here in the flashback, given that the backstory for Batman: Arkham Knight has Jason Todd go through the same thing and end up assisting the Scarecrow in, what is for all intents and purposes, a terrorist attack on Gotham.
  • Heartwarming in Hindsight: See the cameo bit on the Trivia page? Considering all that's happened between Tim Drake and Stephanie Brown since this film was made, note  it's nice to see that there's at least one version where the two of them settled down together with their own life.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
    • The Joker crashes a high-rise party, and escapes because Batman has to save a guest from falling. Sound familiar?
    • In Batman: Arkham Series, Troy Baker is mirroring Tim Drake and Jason Todd, going from voicing Drake in Arkham City to voicing the Joker in Arkham Origins to voicing Todd in Arkham Knight.
    • A former Big Bad who seemingly died has come back to life through nanotechnology attached to another character. Are we talking about the resurrection of The Joker or Liquid Snake/Ocelot?
    • Harley Quinn, of all people, became a mother and eventually even a grandmother? At least in an alternate universe/franchise it looks like.
    • Terry proclaims that he was never a Robin. While he didn't voice them as Robin, Will Friedle, Terry's voice actor, voiced Dick (as Nightwing) in the Batman Unlimited movies and Tim (as Red Robin) in Batman Ninja.
    • The comic book Recursive Adaptation drops a small throwaway line about Terry half-jokingly asking if he's going to be in Bruce's will. Certain revelations in the JLU episode "Epilogue" imply that Terry may be more than eligible to inherit Bruce's fortune, among other things.
    • Atypical of the Joker, a smiley face is prominent in the movie, using his new "toy" to try to carve one on Neo Gotham and the microchip containing his DNA happens to have its circuits in the shape of a crooked smiley. More than a decade later Batman would begin an investigation involving another iconic smiley face in The Button.
  • Inferred Holocaust: On two occasions, Joker uses a gigantic military orbital laser to carve a swathe of destruction through Gotham. Civilian casualties are never mentioned on either occasion, but it's a giant military laser carving through a major city, often going right through buildings. One can only imagine the death toll. The commentary track notes that the laser miraculously avoided hitting a single person.
  • Just Here for Godzilla: There are a some people who view the film only for the flashback sequence featuring the Joker's death and the events leading up to it.
  • Memetic Mutation: Oh, what the heck, I'll laugh anyway! HA HA HA HA HA HAA!
  • Moral Event Horizon:
    • The movie gives the Clown Prince of Crime a rather infamous line-crossing moment: he kidnapped then-Robin Tim Drake, tortured and mind raped him for three weeks, mutilated him, "fixed" him up as Joker Jr., implanted a microchip doctored with the Joker's DNA into his body, and invited Batman over to see his work in detail (which included a home video of the boy's torture labeled as "Our Family Memories"). He then reveals that he's learned Batman's secret identity, mocks him for it (and for not having the balls to kill him after all this), and knifes him before he tosses "J.J." a spear gun to finish him off with. Also worth mentioning that this particular MEH crossing is now the trope image for DC Animation's complete monsters.
    • Even for the Joker, the events of Return of the Joker were extreme. Not even Harley Quinn gets a get out free card after helping with that. Although she survives anyways, thanks to her quasi-superpowered vitality after Poison Ivy made her nervous system immune to all poisons back in Batman: The Animated Series. Even Mark Hamill, who had been voicing the Joker for years at this point, felt uncomfortable with the role this time.
  • Overshadowed by Controversy: The film will forever be remembered for two controversial death scenes (Bonk's and the Joker's), which were first heavily altered along with other scenes before it was released in 2000, in an attempt to tone down the violence due to being pressured by criticism from Moral Guardians and Media Watchdogs for violence in films during the fallout of Columbine; and then eventually brought back in 2002 when the Bowdlerised version didn't help matters but only caused unrest among many Batman fans that lasted for over a year.
  • The Problem with Licensed Games: The PlayStation and Nintendo 64 versions had bad music, bad graphics, clunky controls, repetitive boring gameplay, broken combat, and can be started and finished within a half hour- 'seriously'- which is why it was given lowest scores from GameRankings and Metacritic. The Game Boy Color version fared a little better, however, but some reviews are mixed.
  • Signature Scene: Pretty much all of the flashback sequence detailing the Joker's death.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot: There's a consensus that the control chip was a unnecessary plot point that took attention from Tim's torture and any possible psychological development. A surprising number of people believe it would have been better to have Tim succumbing to his programming again and becoming a Joker imitator instead of being technologically taken over by the Joker himself (although it is also acknowledged this could have only taken place in the uncensored version given the mentioned controversy).
  • The Woobie: Poor, poor Tim Drake.


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