The story opens by showing Dr. Victor Fries (Michael Ansara) in the arctic where he has managed to survive and form a family (of sorts) with an orphaned boy and two polar bears. As a continuation of the back story he was given in the cartoon, his motivations are based on the tragedy of his circumstances: his sick wife is kept frozen in stasis until she can be cured. A submarine unknowingly uses his home as a port and breaks the container that held his wife, causing him to seek a means of curing her back in
|Robin (Loren Lester)|
As with Batman: Mask of the Phantasm, this movie was made by many people who worked on the show, although this time Boyd Kirkland is the director instead of Eric Radomski and Bruce Timm. There are also some minor animation differences from the previous film, a minor one being the flesh colored eyes some characters seem to have. For whatever reason, and this doesn’t apply to the female characters, most of the male characters (Bruce Wayne and Dick Grayson included) no longer have whites in their eyes. It may seem like a mundane detail, but it’s noticeable and makes the characters a bit less attractive. The biggest problem with this movie, and the only one that actually detracts from the experience, is the use of computer animation. This movie was made in 1998 and needless to say, the CG is bad. It’s obvious from the first CG fish that appear during the opening credits. At the time it might have been more cutting edge to utilize 3D computer animation with the cel animated characters, but it doesn’t mix well here and dates this movie significantly. In fact, combining CG with 2D animation is still likely to look bad even today, so you can guess what it looked like in the late ‘90s. The action scene with Robin on a motorcycle chasing Mr. Freeze in his truck is almost painful to watch because of how poor the animation looks. This is such a shame because the 2D animation is still crisp and stylized, just as it was on the show. The action scenes that are fully reliant on the cel animation are so much better and more satisfying to watch. That complaint aside, Batman & Mr. Freeze: SubZero is still an entertaining Batman story that lives up to the high standards set by the animated series.