Having this new Batman movie, I must say that I was amazed and caught off guard. I was expecting it to be good BUT not that good. The opening alone is a thing of beauty and one that stays in your head long after the the film has ended. Yes it is violent BUT you can't say its a great film then mark it down for being too violent. That makes utterly no sense. The people who watched the original animation series are now adults. The Batman comics are incredibly violent and the films aren't exactly for kids. I was amazed that D.C had the courage to present a story that was brutal, emotional, funny and with consequence. One scene in particular is as shocking as anything the Dark Knight had to offer. This is without doubt ranks as one of the very best DC animations and a good stop gap while you wait for the new movie to arrive. I know the Joker may not look like you expect him too but the Dark Knight proved that you don't need to have a skinny pale character in the role. This Joker is dangerous and for once you get the real sense that he is Batman's equal rather than a bumbling fool. He is crazy and has a death wise. He just wants to see the world burn. The other characters are well done, each adding to the Batman mythology. The Dark Knight isn't portrayed as some demigod without feelings. Here he is imperfect and haunted by past mistakes. You understand why he is the way he is. Nightwing was done well, cracking jokes and lightening the mood. With his character you get a real sense at his frustration with Batman and how hard it must have been for him to be the first robin. Their relationship is fractured to say the least but it also has the hallmarks of a father and son bond where there are many unspoken emotions running between them. I won't talk about the other characters as I do not want to ruin the plot. All I will say that even if you just watched the Batman films, you need to add this to your collection.