Batman: Under the Red Hood

This article is about the animated film. For the comic book that it's based on, see Batman: Under the Hood.
Batman: Under the Red Hood

Home video release cover art
Directed by Brandon Vietti
Produced by
Written by Judd Winick
Based on DC Comics characters
Music by Christopher Drake
Edited by Margaret Hou
Distributed by Warner Home Video
Release dates
  • July 27, 2010 (2010-07-27)
Running time
75 minutes
Country United States
Language English

Batman: Under the Red Hood is a 2010 American superhero direct-to-video film produced by Warner Bros. Animation and released by Warner Home Video.[1] It is the eighth animated feature in the DC Universe Animated Original Movies series. It was released on July 27, 2010. The film stars Bruce Greenwood as Bruce Wayne/Batman, Jensen Ackles as the Red Hood/Jason Todd, John DiMaggio as the Joker, Neil Patrick Harris as Nightwing/Dick Grayson, Jason Isaacs as Ra's al Ghul, and Wade Williams as Black Mask. The screenplay was written by Judd Winick, who also wrote the "Under the Hood" run in the monthly Batman comic.

The two-disc special edition and Blu-ray also includes an animated short featuring Jonah Hex.[2][3]


At his manor, Ra's al Ghul realizes his mistake in allying with the Joker and using him as a distraction for the Dynamic Duo while Ra's himself tried to cripple the economy of Europe by destroying its financial districts. Meanwhile, in Sarajevo, Bosnia, the Joker has kidnapped Jason Todd, the second Robin, and brutally beats him with a crowbar in an abandoned warehouse. The Joker then leaves Jason locked in the warehouse with a bomb. Batman arrives too late as the warehouse explodes, killing Jason.

Five years later in Gotham City, a vigilante criminal called Red Hood assembles a meeting with the city's most notorious thugs and dealers. He announces his takeover of their drug trade, telling them that he will get 40% of the profit, and they will get total protection from both Black Mask, the reigning kingpin of the Gotham underworld, and Batman. However, he warns them not to deal to children, threatening to kill them if they do. Elsewhere, Batman stops an attempted theft of a shipment belonging to Black Mask, revealed to be Amazo. Batman destroys Amazo with the help of Jason's predecessor, Nightwing (Dick Grayson). Interrogating the thieves, Batman learns they are working for Red Hood before Red Hood himself kills them. Batman chases Red Hood who leads him to Ace Chemicals - the site of the first Red Hood's transformation into the Joker - and then sets off an explosion that destroys the facility with Batman barely escaping.

Batman and Nightwing go to Arkham Asylum to interrogate the Joker about Red Hood. He merely taunts Batman about Jason's death, then denies any involvement with his successor. Meanwhile, Black Mask, enraged that Amazo was destroyed, has his assistant Ms. Li put a hit on Red Hood. After learning of Black Mask's next shipment, Red Hood hijacks the helicopter carrying it, but is stopped by Batman and Nightwing. Red Hood flees and Batman and Nightwing pursue him. During the chase, Red Hood performs maneuvers similar to Batman and Nightwing's, also cutting one of Batman's cables with a custom-made knife before it went taut on Red Hood's leg. The chase ends at a train station, where Red Hood escapes after detonating a bomb that injures Nightwing. In the Batcave, both Batman and Nightwing realize that Red Hood is not only trained but also has knowledge of the former's tactics and gadgetry. Batman reviews audio footage of the chase, which reveals that Red Hood knows his secret identity. He then recalls Jason performing the same maneuvers he saw Red Hood use. In addition, a flashback reveals that as he got older, Jason grew darker and more violent and brutal, once even going so far as to break a criminal's collar bone in a fight.

In the present day, the Fearsome Hand of Four consisting of their leader, Baton, Bulk, and Shot lure out Red Hood by attacking Tyler Bramford, a criminal under his protection. They nearly overpower him with their leader cutting him on the shoulder. Batman then appears and helps Red Hood battle the group. They incapacitate three, but Batman is horrified when Red Hood kills Shot with a taser. After having an argument over how best to fight crime, Batman tries offering Red Hood help, but Red Hood rebuffs his attempts to help and leaves. Batman obtains a blood sample of Red Hood off one of the assassin's swords. The analysis shows it is a match for Jason. After exhuming the body and finding it to be a fake, Batman leaves to interrogate Ra's al Ghul. After surviving an assassination attempt by Red Hood, Black Mask reluctantly decides to set the Joker free from Arkham Asylum and give him the task of killing Red Hood.

Meanwhile, Batman confronts Ra's al Ghul at his mansion and demands to know the truth about Jason. Ra's al Ghul admits that he felt responsible for Jason's death, which was not part of his agreement with the Joker, and decided not to make war with Batman anymore; as a peace offering, he swapped Jason's body for a fake and revived him in his Lazarus Pit. Following his resurrection however, Jason was seemingly driven insane and escaped by leaping off a cliff. Ra's and his men believed Jason to have been killed in the fall, but deduces that recent events have since proved otherwise.

On his way back to Gotham City, Batman finds that the Joker has abducted Red Hood's crime bosses as well as Black Mask. As the Joker tries to set his hostages on fire, Red Hood appears and reveals that the Joker is his real target. Batman saves the hostages and tries to take the Joker with him, but Red Hood abducts him first, instructing Batman to come to Crime Alley if he wishes to reclaim him. At an abandoned apartment, Red Hood brutally beats the Joker with a crowbar, in revenge for his own murder, and then later confronts Batman. During the fight, Red Hood removes his helmet (which he then destroys with a self-destruct device), confirming that he truly is Jason Todd.

Fleeing back to the apartment, Todd holds Batman at gunpoint and tells him that he forgives him for not saving him, but angrily confronts him over his decision to still allow the Joker to live. Batman confesses that he has always wanted to kill the Joker, but will not allow himself the pleasure out of fear of fully succumbing to it. Todd then tosses Batman a gun and gives him an ultimatum: Todd will execute the Joker unless Batman shoots Todd to prevent it, much to the Joker's pleasure. Batman refuses and drops the gun. Angered, Todd shoots at Batman, but Batman dodges the bullet and throws a batarang into the barrel of the gun, causing a small explosion that mangles Todd's gun hand. Defeated and critically injured, Todd uses his other hand to set off a time bomb he had previously planted in the room. Wanting them all to die together, the Joker maniacally delays Batman long enough to stop him from defusing the bomb. Batman subdues the Joker and leaves him to die in an attempt to rescue Todd. The bomb goes off and while Batman and the Joker survive the explosion, Todd has vanished and is nowhere to be found, leaving his fate ambiguous.

In the aftermath, the Joker is returned to Arkham Asylum, and Black Mask is arrested by the police where he is awaiting trial for his alleged involvement in the Joker's escape. Back at the Batcave, Alfred asks Batman if he should remove the memorial display case containing Jason's Robin uniform. Batman replies that nothing has changed and departs in the Batmobile. A flashback is then shown of Jason's first day in his Robin costume, which he declares is the best day of his life.

Voice cast

Top row (l-r): Bruce Greenwood, Jensen Ackles
Bottom row (l-r): John DiMaggio, Neil Patrick Harris



Batman: Under The Red Hood – Soundtrack to The Animated Original Movie
Film score by Christopher Drake
Released July 27, 2010 (July 27, 2010)
Length 57:24
Label WaterTower Music

The score for Batman: Under the Red Hood was composed by Christopher Drake,[7] who had previously scored several animated films set in the DC Universe. It was inspired by the soundtrack of the 1993 film Batman: Mask of the Phantasm, which features a traditional orchestral score, and the 2008 film The Dark Knight, which features a computer generated, electronic score.[8] Drake said that since Under the Red Hood has a darker tone than previous DC Universe animated films, he chose not to use the music as epic and melodramatic, but instead as a bit more intimate, minimal and restrained.[8] He added that this is the first DC film he has scored that didn't rely on using a large choir to make the fight scenes sound bigger. The music played in action scenes in the film are more percussive and rhythmic, serving the emotion of the scenes without overpowering them.[8] Drake scored the film as a reference to modern minimalistic electronic scores, as the film's director Brandon Vietti felt that Under the Red Hood needed to go in a different, more modern direction to separate it from previous DC animation's scores. At that point, Drake started introducing more electronic and ambient elements, like synthesized and processed electronic guitar, while still keeping some orchestral elements.[8]

Batman: Under The Red Hood – Soundtrack to The Animated Original Movie was released by WaterTower Music on July 27, 2010 and features 18 tracks composed for the film.[9]


Batman: Under the Red Hood received universal acclaim. Demeter's review for The World's Finest stated: "I have to say this really was a damn good film." James Harvey's review on the same website was even more positive, calling it "a mature and faithful take on the Batman lore."[10] IGN gave the movie an 8 out of 10, calling it "An interesting peek inside the psyche of Batman and the fine line between good and evil."[11] Based on seven reviews collected on Rotten Tomatoes, Batman: Under the Red Hood has 100% rating with an average of a 7.3/10 rating. It was the highest rated direct-to-video Batman film until the release of The Dark Knight Returns which is rated 8.3/10 as of October 20, 2012. The film grossed $10,249,509 in domestic home video sales.[12]


  1. "Batman: Under the Red Hood". Amazon. Retrieved August 7, 2014.
  2. ""Batman: Under the Red Hood" Trailer". Comic Book Resources. 2010-04-27. Retrieved 2010-06-20.
  3. "Warner Premiere Formally Announces 'Batman: Under the Red Hood' - ComicMix news". 2010-04-27. Archived from the original on 29 June 2010. Retrieved 2010-06-20.
  4. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 Harvey, James (July 9, 2010). "Complete Cast And Crew, Features Details For "Batman: Under The Red Hood"". Retrieved July 11, 2010.
  5. "The World's Finest - New Cast Details For Upcoming "Batman: Under The Red Hood"". March 11, 2010. Retrieved December 29, 2010.
  6. "The World's Finest - New Cast Details For Upcoming "Batman: Under The Red Hood" Animated Feature". Retrieved January 2, 2011.
  7. "Christopher Drake". IMDb. Retrieved 15 October 2014.
  8. 1 2 3 4 "Backstage - Christopher Drake Interview (WF Conducted)". The World's Finest. Retrieved August 16, 2014.
  9. "Batman: Under the Red Hood - Soundtrack to The Animated Original Movie". iTunes. July 27, 2010. Retrieved August 16, 2010.
  10. "Batman: Under the Red Hood Film Review". The World's Finest. Retrieved April 3, 2013.
  11. White, Cindy (July 8, 2010). "Batman: Under the Red Hood Blu-ray Review". IGN. Archived from the original on July 12, 2010. Retrieved July 9, 2010.
  12. "Batman: Under the Red Hood (2010) - Financial Information". The Numbers. Retrieved March 21, 2012.

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