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Batman & Mr. Freeze: SubZero (not rated)
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This is a direct to video movie based on Batman: The Animated Series. It came out in 1998, and I think I first saw it on VHS sometime in the late 90s or maybe the early aughts. I got it on DVD in 2019, as a double feature with Batman: Mask of the Phantasm. And like that movie, nothing about this one seemed particularly familiar when I watched it this time. But it was pretty good.

So, a submarine is transporting some scientists to the Arctic to do some kind of study. But Mr. Freeze is living up there with a couple of pet polar bears and an Inuit boy named Koonak. Of course, he also has his wife Nora with him, encased in her cryofreeze chamber thing, waiting for a cure to be found for her disease. When the submarine breaks through the ice, it destroys the cryo chamber, which puts Nora's life in danger.

Two weeks later, in Gotham, Batman and Robin stop a couple of jewel thieves before heading off to some swanky fundraiser, as Bruce Wayne and Dick Grayson. Batgirl (Mary Kay Bergman) rescues a woman from some thugs in a park before heading to the same event, as Barbara Gordon. Dick asks her to go away with him for the weekend. (And btw, they both looked to be young adults now, definitely older than I remember them looking on the TV series. But I suppose time marches on.) Another attendee of the fundraiser is Dr. Gregory Belson, who shows up there to talk with his stock broker, Dean Arbagast (Dean Jones), about an investment that hadn't worked out, so Belson was on the verge of being financially ruined. After he leaves the party, he has a car accident caused by Mr. Freeze, a former associate of his who wants his help in saving Nora's life. However, this will require an organ transplant, and Nora's blood type is very rare. So there aren't any organs currently available that would be a match... at least not from any deceased donors. So Mr. Freeze decides they'll just have to get an organ from a living donor (whom they would have to kill). And when Belson does a computer search for any matches, one of the people on that list is Barbara Gordon. (It strikes me as odd that she's the only person Belson and Freeze even considered, because it looked to me like there were plenty of other matches on the list, but whatever.)

So, Freeze finds out where Barbara is on a date with Dick, and he goes there with his polar bears to kidnap her. Of course Dick tries to stop him, and then gives chase, but Freeze gets away, and takes Barbara to his hideout (on an oil rig). It will be awhile before Belson is ready to perform the operation, and in the meantime, Barbara keeps trying to escape. And of course she comes pretty close, and probably would have gotten away, if they weren't miles away from land. Meanwhile, Commissioner Gordon gets all his cops to look for his daughter, while Batman and Robin do some research to figure out where Freeze is keeping her. And finally they fly out to the rig in the Batwing. And all hell breaks loose when the rig catches fire, and, you know... action ensues.

I guess that's all I want to say about the plot. But it's definitely a very dramatic movie, and Freeze's motivation makes him a sympathetic villain. And of course Barbara is pretty awesome. So, yeah, it's all pretty cool.

DC animated index

DC Animated Universe
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TV: Batman: TAS * Superman * Batman Beyond * Static Shock * The Zeta Project * Justice League
Movies: Mask of the Phantasm * SubZero * Return of the Joker * Mystery of the Batwoman
Comics: The Batman Adventures * Gotham Girls * Batman: The Adventures Continue
Other: Chase Me (short film) * Gotham Girls (web) * Lobo (web)