Warner Brothers and DC might make more R-rated animated films, even after The Killing Joke received major backlash.
DC’s animation has always been considered the best of DC’s offerings over the live action movie and TV universes. Bruce Timm’s Batman: The Animated Series started the trend in the ’90s, and it’s continued since. Since 2007, they’ve been releasing PG-13 animated films pretty regularly to positive reviews from fans and critics alike, like Wonder Woman or Batman: Under the Red Hood.
This all changed when WB and DC decided to take on The Killing Joke, a famous and controversial comic by Alan Moore. It earned an R-rating due to graphic source material. At the same time, though, B:TAS‘ Kevin Conroy and Mark Hamill came back to do the voice work. The movie even made it to theaters. Clearly WB thought there was an audience for it.
However, the film had horrible reviews, particularly in its treatment of Barbara Gordon. This “dark and gritty” animation was getting the same kind of reception as the DCEU’s “dark and gritty” films.
Justice League Dark was the second R-rated animated film, released earlier this year to better reviews. The next animated film from DC is going to be the PG-13 Teen Titans: The Judas Contract. Does that mean the R-rated movies are done? Probably not.
Producer James Tucker told ComicBook.com:
"“I will say this, that they have said that if the content merits the R they’ll look into it, they’re open to it, which was not something that was a part of the landscape until recently. I like having that option because there’s certain things that you just can’t do without being a little edgy, without being a little more violent.”"
So the door is open for more edgy and violent offerings from DC. As if that’s what DC has been missing.
Anyway, Teen Titans: The Judas Contract is available now for digital download, and will be released on Blu-ray on April 18. Support kid-friendly DC cartoons while we still have them.