The DCU animation canon has a strong reputation dating back to the original Batman: The Animated series and continuing to the more recent Justice League shows. Lately the focus has been on direct to DVD animated films while they had something of a rocky start (Superman: Doomsday, for example) the more recent ones have become pretty good and the new Batman movie may be the best yet.
Set in the very recent comic timeline, but taking some liberties (no Tim Drake Robin); Under the Red Hood details the return of Jason Todd (the second Robin) as the anti-hero the Red Hood. And aside from the liberties taken (that were obviously done for brevity as to not confuse viewers), it’s a very good adaptation of the current Batman comics. It opens with a quick version of Death in the Family and flash forwards a few years to Batman and Nightwing fighting crime when the Red Hood comes into the picture.
This is the sort of Batman movie I always would have liked to have seen done in live action. No current Robin as Batman is still hurt by Jason Todd’s death, but Dick Grayson is there as Nightwing and they team up. The only thing that would’ve made it better would be tossing Oracle in, but that would’ve probably confused people; however Jason Todd does allude to Oracle when talking about the Joker. Speaking of the Joker here, it’s not Mark Hamill, and there are moments where he tries to sound a bit too much like Ledger’s Joker in his mannerisms, which really doesn’t fit the comic-based nature of this movie.
Yet despite that, Under the Red Hood is one of the best Batman animated movies in a long time and easily the best of the crop of direct to video DCU animated films. The BluRay is also great with really good features on the history of Robin and Jason Todd, four episodes from the original animated series, and a preview of the new Superman/Batman movie coming next month.