Okay, Animaniacs. I know not everyone agreed when I made Lego movie my best film of 2014, but it was my list, and I apologize for nothing. But I acknowledge that that was a year with a fair number of movies it all could have been called the best. It’s such an arbitrary concept anyway. However its success at least reassured me that even if it would be making a spin-off of one of its most popular comic characters, *with mildly shadeulous attitude* a trope that Does Not Always Yield Pleasant Results, I was assured that they’d pull it off with at least the similar ballpark of quality. And that theory has been CONFIRMED, because to say completely original from every other movie reviewer on the internet, turns out Lego Batman, is pretty good! At least for those who also thought that the Lego Movie was amazing. In fact it probably wouldn’t be that controversial to say that this is the best movie with Batman in the central character in almost a decade! Though DC Animated movies may vary. Of course this isn’t technically the canonical DC Universe Batman this is the Batman character as-portrayed-from-The-Lego-Movie Batman. An exaggerated narcissist obsessed with darkness and being the very best, like no one ever was. A perfect parody for what various industries have been doing to this character for decades now. In fact this Batman is almost like if the How It Should Have Ended series had its own movie. And actually that description is even more relevant for reasons I can’t even go into because spoilers. And not just because he says BECAUSE I’M BATMAN! like five times. Still, this Batman is a Master Builder like he was in The Lego Movie, but other than that, there’s no real references to the larger Lego Multiverse. No, rather than self aware dissection of Chosen One tropes and incorporating the philosophy of the brand its advertising, Lego Batman is full on a Batman movie, or more particularly, a Batman spoof movie, you know, back when those didn’t suck. Aside from Batman just being a very cartoony version of himself this movie pulls in jokes and references from the Entire Batman Franchise not just the movies not just the cartoon his entire Existence from the very start: comic books, Adam West, Shark Repellent Spray. Oh Yeah. You know it’s in there. And that aside There’s jokes about other superheroes, meta jokes about Superhero movies, meta jokes on movie movies, movie villains There’s a lot of jokes in here is my point, because this movie is insanely funny. It throws out jokes a mile a minute and hardly ever slows down and that can seem overwhelming, but it’s actually pretty well contained in a compelling narrative that’s also one of the better theatrical Batman character stories. Of course it has the second and final Act emotional moments, but really from start to finish it is a roller coaster of crazy Lego action scene and Batman metahumor, again, why the How It Should Have Ended comparison is so apt. Heck, actually given the pokes at its own franchise, the exaggerated almost unlikable self-centered personality and even the shortened stature, GEE! IT’S LIKE IF TEEN TITANS GO DIDN’T SUCK! And again, its construction being so similar to The Lego Movie is a good gauge on how you’d feel about this one, though I think it might actually be more funny. I’m not even kidding; about halfway through this movie I noticed that my cheeks were hurting and I realized I had spent almost the entire movie smiling. I didn’t know my face was capable of doing that! Still, it has the same manic speed and because everything is constructed out of CGI blocks, sometimes the action scenes and destruction can be a bit…cluttered. Also the final ending solution is a little bit…silly. (Yes even for a Lego movie.) So it’s not perfect, but it is unquestionably well written, excellently performed, and executed with love. Even the overly cute hyper-fanboy Robin, the easiest thing that could have gone wrong, is funny, adorable, and sympathetic. But it’s also really crucial that Alfred and Barbara Gordon are the grounded serious characters to balance out the over-the-top personalities of Batman and Robin. Though if anything Barbara Gordon is the exact same character as Wyldstyle. I don’t care, as long as she’s not Barbara Gordon from Killing Joke. Oh, and Zach Galifanakis as the Joker. Oh, Zach Galifanakis as the Joker. It’s just…the Joker is just fantastic. The Joker is just great. Again, the best in almost a decade. Oh, and while I’m at it, and at risk giving away a mild spoiler, a better Suicide Squad movie than Suicide Squad. *all clandestine-like* Psst. I hope you got my subtle insinuations that the recent DC stuff isn’t very good. So, yes the movie was spectacular and more than welcome. I don’t know if you’ve noticed lately, but the world has been kind of a, well, let’s just say more stressful place than usual in the past couple of weeks So man did the world just need this movie right now. I guess the only question now is Has DC Learned Anything? *spoiler alert: yes. But only for this one movie.* And also how many more Lego movies are we going to get? Oh. Right. That thing. I know nothing about. Well, we’ll cross that bridge when we come to it. *Who’s the (Bat)Man begins to play* WHO HAS THE COOLEST GADGETS‽ (BATMAN!) WHO HAS THE TRICKED-OUT RIDE‽ (BATMAN!) WHO DOES THE SICKEST BACKFLIPS‽ (BATMAN!) NA-NA-NA-NA-NA-NA-NA-NA-NA: BATMAN!!! Oh, also, if any of you ask where the Worst to Best list is, I will curse you with leeches.