Batman & Mr. Freeze: SubZero (1998)
Let’s get something straight: anything related to Batman: The Animated Series is amazing, and this holds true here as well. While Batman: Mask of the Phantasm receives all the praise, Batman & Mr. Freeze: SubZero is often the forgotten relic of this era. Heck, it even has a 90% approval on everyone’s favourite (snort) review aggregator, Rotten Tomatoes.
But, why is it so underrated? Maybe it’s because this film was only released in 1998, a considerable time after the series’ heyday. Or maybe it’s because Joel Schumacher butchered Freeze in 1997’s Batman & Robin and we couldn’t stand more ice puns. Either way, it’s criminal that this effort remains a mere footnote in Batman’s film history.
What the animated series did phenomenally well was allow us to sympathize with Freeze and his motives. SubZero built on this, revealing how he was prepared to sacrifice a live donor (in this case, Barbara Gordon/Batgirl) in order to save his wife, Nora. In the end, Batman shows his human side and chooses to help Freeze in another way, rather than giving him a cold shoulder (sorry, not sorry).