This review was originally published on 2/5/22.
The thing I love the most about the Batman franchise is the plethora of characters that have come to us over the years. One, in particular, is Catwoman, my favorite femme-fatale. After years of waiting, the new all-original animated film Catwoman: Hunted gives us an entire tale dedicated to our favorite cat. The story follows Catwoman (Elizabeth Gillies) as she is forced to work alongside Batwoman (Stephanie Beatriz) and Interpol agents Julia Pennyworth (Lauren Cohan) and King Faraday (Jonathan Frakes) to bring down a criminal organization. So how does this standalone DC animated film rank among the others? Keep reading to find out!
DISCLAIMER: We will try and steer clear of spoilers, but some might just slip through the cracks. If you want to go into Catwoman: Hunted completely blind, bookmark this page and come back after!
DC might struggle a bit with their live-action adaptations of films, but it never falters with its animated ones. Catwoman: Hunted is a perfect example of this. The story isn’t complex; a jewel heist gone wrong turns into helping Interpol bring down a criminal organization, but it is near perfect. Due to its simplicity, it gives viewers a chance to dive more into Catwoman’s character and allow her to be the playful, cheeky and intelligent femme fatale we know and love. In between some deep dives into the personal side of the story, we get the action sequences like a car chase and a fight on the Eifel tower, just to name a few.
A massive win for Catwoman: Hunted was the casting. Gillies fills the role of Catwoman perfectly. She embraces the character’s feminine side and balances the seduction with power. Selina isn’t a cat who needs help in a fight. But she does have a sidekick of sorts in the form of Batwoman. The two play off each other well within the film and it never feels like one is “saving” the other. Beatriz’s portrayal of Batwoman is also spot on and her serious tones are a great foil to the playful side of Catwoman.
Aside from focusing heavily on two female characters from the Batman franchise, the other big difference with Catwoman: Hunted is the art style. It focuses more on a Japanese anime feel instead of the iconic American animated style we have come to know over the last few years. And it’s safe to say that the style they went with works and works well. The opening gives me major Lupin the Third mixed with the music of Cowboy Bebop vibes right down to its core. Taking Catwoman out of the typically darker tones of a Batman film and giving her this style was the right move on every front.
In the last few years, we have seen that DC is open to creating more content outside of the main Batfamily, like with Harley Quinn. Catwoman: Hunted is another step in bringing us strong, female-driven stories from the franchise without the caped crusader leading the way. While this film is pretty cut and dry as a standalone, it does give us the feeling that they are leaving the door open to follow this storyline in the future. We would be thrilled to see Catwoman and Batwoman back together, taking down criminal organizations any day.
Overall, Catwoman: Hunted is proof that our Cat doesn’t need Batman for a fun day out. It isn’t just a remarkable animated film to enjoy; it is a remarkable DC animated film. The film holds its own against some of our favorites and is one we will be going back to rewatch over the years.
Catwoman: Hunted drops on February 8, 2022, on Blue-ray, 4K Ultra HD and Digital HD.
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