Batman & Mr. Freeze: SubZero

Batman & Mr. Freeze: SubZero

Film poster
Directed by Boyd Kirkland
Produced by Boyd Kirkland
Randy Rogel
Written by Boyd Kirkland
Randy Rogel
Based on Characters
by Bob Kane
Starring Kevin Conroy
Michael Ansara
Loren Lester
Mary Kay Bergman
George Dzundza
Bob Hastings
Robert Costanzo
Efrem Zimbalist, Jr.
Music by Michael McCuistion
Edited by Al Breitenbach
Warner Bros. Animation
Warner Bros. Family Entertainment
Dong Yang Animation
KoKo Enterprises Company
Distributed by Warner Home Video
Release dates
  • March 17, 1998 (1998-03-17)
Running time
67 minutes
Language English

Batman & Mr. Freeze: SubZero is a 1998 direct-to-video superhero animated feature film, the second based on Batman: The Animated Series, serving as a stand-alone sequel to Batman: Mask of the Phantasm. It won the Annie Award for Best Home Video Animation, and was produced by Warner Bros. Animation.


Since his last encounter against Batman, Mr. Freeze has found a home in the Arctic and started a family (of sorts) with the still cryogenically-encased Nora, an Inuit boy named Koonak, and two pet polar bears, Hotchka and Shaka. Nora's condition begins to rapidly deteriorate due to a submarine accidentally emerging from underwater directly underneath them, shattering her containment vessel. Freeze returns to Gotham City with his companions. He enlists the help of Dr. Gregory Belson to find a cure. Belson determines that Nora needs an organ transplant, but due to her rare blood type there are no suitable donors available.

Freeze declares that they will use a live donor, even if it means the donor will die in the process. Belson is at first reluctant to kill an innocent girl, but Freeze bribes him with a gold nugget and even more gold from an entire vein in the Arctic that will put an end to Belson's financial problems. Barbara Gordon (Batgirl) is a perfect match, and Freeze learns from her roommate that she is at a restaurant with her boyfriend, Dick Grayson (Robin). Freeze attacks the restaurant and kidnaps Barbara, taking her to an abandoned oil rig where he and Belson are hiding. Freeze and Belson explain the situation to Barbara, who claims that she is willing to help Nora for the "blood transfusion", but not at the oil rig, prompting Freeze to keep Barbara imprisoned. When the time for the operation comes, Barbara realizes that they are lying when they say she will need to be put under for a mere transfusion. She escapes with the help of Koonak. Belson gives pursuit and almost catches her, before the arrival of Batman and Robin in the Batwing.

Freeze follows, and in the ensuing confrontation, Belson accidentally shoots one of the fuel tanks and starts a rapidly spreading fire as Freeze traps Batman and Robin. Freeze insists that Belson perform the operation, despite the oil rig blazing and ready to explode, but Belson betrays Freeze and attempts to escape, only to be killed by falling wreckage. Batman and Robin escape just as Freeze's leg is broken, but he tells Batman to save Nora and Kunac first, along with Barbara. Nora, Kunac and Barbara are put safely aboard the waiting Batwing with Robin at the controls, but when Batman tries to save the weakened Freeze, the platform collapses beneath them. Batman manages to catch Freeze with a rope, but falling debris knocks Freeze loose and Batman can only watch as Freeze is sent plummeting into the ocean below.

Batman manages to get back to the Batwing, and they fly away just before the oil rig finally explodes, but Freeze survives his fall and escapes just in time, and is able to hold onto Hotchka and Shaka as they swim to shore. Freeze returns with his polar bears to the Arctic to resume his life alone, having frozen his leg in an ice cast. He sees on a television in a research station that Nora has been revived after an organ transplant operation funded by Wayne Enterprises, moving him to tears of joy. Then he walks away, limping with a wooden stick for support, with his two polar bears as the screen fades.



Critical response

SubZero was well received by critics. Based on ten reviews collected on Rotten Tomatoes, Batman & Mr. Freeze: SubZero received a positive "Fresh" score with an average of a 90% approval rating; it was the highest rated direct-to-video Batman film of all time until Batman: Under the Red Hood took over the title with a 100% approval rating.[1]

TV Guide praised the film for being "more enjoyable and far less campy than Joel Schumacher's first two live action Batman movies." In addition, the magazine stated that "Though clearly aimed at kids, there's also plenty to keep adult viewers entertained, not the least of which are the amusingly curvaceous drawings of several dishy dames and the exaggerated muscularity of Batman & Robin."[2]


  1. "Batman & Mr. Freeze: SubZero". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 2009-10-31.
  2. TV Guide, Batman & Mr. Freeze: Subzero - Review.

Further reading

External links

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