Is the Animated Killing Joke Movie As Bad as Everyone Says?

So, ever since it came out, everyone has hated on the animated Killing Joke adaptation and I have to ask: why?

I mean, the Batgirl subplot was not needed, but if you cut that, you have a really faithful 50 minute adaptation of the comic.

What do you all think?


I think it is pretty much what you said, the last part is a more or less panel by panel adaption, but the beginning is like a different movie and not really a good one. Also hasn’t helped tha tmost just find the idea of Batgirl and Batman hooking up uncomfortable and unessecary. Also the comic has not aged well with some fans which probably didn’t help although that is nto really a gripe with the movie IMHO.


I agree, though the Joker’s origin is always great to see.


I didn’t like the movie and what’s worst I didn’t like one of the animater’s attitude towards a fan who ask a honest question about beginning of the movie between Batman & Batgirl, I forget who it was, the guy who made this film just snap at the fan during a premiere showing. It was the first movie from DC Comic I didn’t buy on DVD, for 2 reasons, for that incident and I don’t like the idea of animated ‘R’ rated movie. When I saw the movie for the first time, didn’t like it.

1 Like

I think people just get too emotionally invested in adaptations to enjoy anything. That’s why a lot of purists hated Robert Pattison’s portrayal of Batman, and they also hated Ben Affleck’s portrayal of Batman as well. No one is ever happy because they can never accept that these things are just portrayals and not direct adaptations. That’s why everybody made a big fuss about the neck snapping in MOS. This is also the reason why we’re getting a reboot on the promise of a more “faithful” interpretation of these characters. That’s why I tend to sympathize with Alan Moore when he talks about why he hates comic book movies.

The fans are in denial about the reality of the situation. And the studios play right along with fan expectations. :joy:



In other words if you remove 28:08 from the film it is not terrible. There is 48:25 minutes left and 4:47 left is end credits. There are 14 seconds of opening credits so exclude credits and it is 27:54 out of 1:11:46. So to be good you are saying you must cut out 38.88% of the movie.

No you do not. For one you do not just cut things. One of the most important parts of any work is the beginning and ending, and now the beginning is all messed up. It is now about Batman and the tone doing a huge change from earlier with him randomly trying to bury a hatchet.

If you actually cut straight to there and edit out the beginning, which I can do just really look at this animation straight from that point.

This scene moves like a movie. The characters have motion.

Then Batman just poses just poses perfectly still for an entire 8 seconds. This hardly feels like a movie now and more like a somewhat animated comic.
This part where he stares at all these bodies Joker killed is nowhere in the comic, and it is way different from him marching by all the other inmates. The tone now makes Bats look crazy instead of hopeful that he can save all these villains by fixing the worst of them.

This whole opening scene with the dentist convention is not in the comic, and is really just a waste of time.

After that is yet another scene that is not in the comic of Barbara working out. Why is that in here?

Fan service. Even when you get to the actual killing joke part it is full of padding like this.

Back to them adapting stuff from the comic and now lots of dialogue is added to make it just a little longer, and that is something that keeps happening for extra padding.

Looking at all these shows another crucial problem. Mark Hamill is the only one earning his paycheck. When only the villain does it that is a huge problem, since I now want him on screen. Quit wasting time with Conroy and Strong’s bland performances. Put more emphasis on the one guy who is entertaining.

Here is something they should have done to pad the runtime. Animate those nightmares. Full acid scene, and now this actually adds to the mood instead of taking away from it.

Hey, they kept the part where Barbara is an idiot and just opens the door without looking. If they are going to add all this stuff and change all this stuff why not find a new way to do this. You animated her outside earlier. Why not have Joker just blast her there and then throw her bleeding body at the Commisioner later? Why not have Joker break the door down? Why not adapt pieces from his first appearence where he poisoned something like the newspaper earlier and used that to get them both?

Then we get to this adaptation problem.

They adapt all these comic panels very faithfully, and that is bad for a movie. Instead of feeling like moving pictures it now looks like a slideshow, and it is just distracting that it goes from the simplistic Timm style to this much more complex Bolland style of art.

Yikes is the energy and drama different this scene. From comforting a friend to seeing if she has a tick on her neck.

If Joker thinks everybody is already evil like him then why is he bothering with that twist out trial. Still probably the best way they have padded the runtime.

After this they add a Batman looking for Joker scene. This movie is already slow enough paced, but it shows why all the padding is not working. Killing Joke is not about Batman or Batgirl. It is about Joker vs. Gordon. The added scenes should have been about them. Other than the trial scene none of them are.

Best scene in the movie. They should have cut the rest of the movie and just released this song as a bonus feature. What makes it work is they are fully moving. It is not like the rest of the Killing Joke part where they are constantly posing to resemble the comic.

Animators, at least try to stick to a style. Either Timm or Bolland. Quit going back and forth.

The one Bad Day scene meanwhile sticks to the Timm style.

Interestingly they change the false WW2 analogy to an accurate Cold War analogy. I have no idea if Moore knew that was false or used it because it was false.

I think it is that Bats does not grab Joker while laughing but this is way less menacing than the comic.

Well I already watched it and clearly saw why that is not the case. In addition that is not the last part of the movie. They add in an Oracle scene that has nothing to do with the last 40 minutes and again goes against the tone. Also Joker is considerably less sad in the final battle. Just look at their expressions back to back.

No mainstream audiences were talking about that before the movie. As an adaptation it made people question if the source material was any good in the first place.

@Reaganfan78 That was writer Brian Azarello.

How do you think movies are supposed to be viewed. They are designed to appeal to emotions to trick us into thinking 24 frames per seconds is real.

Snyder’s portrayal is very far from comic accurate. They make Bats regularly kill and use guns left and right. Pattison’s is an adaptation of Loeb and O’Neil’s Batman.

Most fans adore the DCAOM films with this being the notable exception. Those are all adaptations. The neck snapping is complete character betrayal and very forced. Just move his head upwards you idiot and then deflect the lazers back into his head knocking him out. This is not rocket science Clark. It is just giving Clark the idiot ball to make a controversial scene.

It was the Snyder regime that promised failthfullness. This regime is promising contectedness.

There is nothing to by sympaphetic with about a millionaire being upset at the people who made him rich. He became a grumpy old man while still in his 40s for one reason, he wants to be.


That took me 5 minutes to read and then another 5 to reread.

Can we at least agree that the voice acting is good, with the Joker being better then ever, especially in his final scene?


No. Hamill is amazing. Conroy and Strong gave bored phoned in performances.


Can’t believe I’m about to ask, but who’s Strong?


Tara Strong is the voice of Batgirl reprising her role from The New Batman Adventures (but not the Animated Series). She has a very impressive filmography.


I have no clue how I miss that.

Can we also agree that stuff like the last fight between Joker and Batman is, at the very least, nice to see animated? Like the upside-down house and such.


I can only speak for myself, and here is what I have to say. The entire Batgirl section prior to the actual Killing Joke has sub-par writing. You can feel it in the dialogue and in the way characters react to events and other people. Not to mention that it takes the criticism of the original story - that Babs was “fridged” to further the development of male characters - and makes it so much worse by both objectifying her and fetishizing her (sorry if I didn’t write those words correctly, but hopefully you get me point).

But even when it comes to the actual Killing Joke stuff itself, everything just feels off. I love Conroy and Hamill, but their performances just don’t match how the original story was written and laid out. There are various small changes made in visuals and dialogue that just confuse me regarding why they were made at all, since you can argue it takes away impact and meaning from the narrative. And the animation just doesn’t work. They could have really had fun with visually showcasing the story, especially with transitions and the way they could fade in and out of flashbacks. But instead they take the safe eay, making it look and feel standard and stiff.

So…those are basically my thoughts. Meaning yes, I think it is as bad as people say.


Yes, but by then I have trouble caring.

1 Like

I actually made the mistake of watching the entire film the first time and by the time Batman arrived at the carnival, I had stopped caring about what happened to Gordon (the Commissioner, not Barbra).


If they wanted to make what happened to Barbra feel big, then here’s what they should have done:

They should have made the film an adaptation of the comic based in one of the already existing animated universes, like the Timmverse or the DCAU. Then, instead of creating a dull Batgirl story that feels tacked on, that time could have been used to connect the film to that series and then, we would have a stronger connection to Batgirl before she got shot and it wouldn’t feel like she was a plot device meant to further the story.


@EDT @BatMike9theMKfan

How about just using another character? There is nothing in the Killing Joke actually about Barbara Gordon, and her role could have easily been replaced with her mother, James Jr, or even Bullock. Now it is a side character in Batman playing the simple damsel in distress role.

1 Like

In a way. Had they, again:

the Gotham-based projects from then on could have had Barbra dealing with the events of Killing Joke, which would’ve been interesting to see.

1 Like

Based on the end credit scene that was their plan, but the negative reception killed it. Remember Birds of Prey came out less than 4 years later, so they were probably planning an animated film to cross promote each other.

1 Like

Well, they botched that royally.

It’s funny how I could plan out the idea of a Killing Joke movie then the people who actually made a Killing Joke movie.

1 Like

There is plenty they could and should have done. But if they really wanted to treat her correctly, while still keeping true to the story’s theme of not everyone breaks after one bad day, Babs wouldn’t have been paralyzed in the first place. She joins Batman in the circus, stops to take care of her dad while Bats and Joker face off alone