It’s a fanboy’s dream seeing iconic comic book characters come to life on the big screen. For the most part Hollywood gets them right (Batman, Hellboy, Spider-Man), while other times they completely miss their mark. Remember when you saw a hero (or villain) adapted so poorly that they were the laughing stock of the film? Luckily there’s been a place (other than the comics) where these characters have had better luck with their image: Animation. This series will be ongoing showcasing the various characters the live action movies couldn’t quite get right. Also it’ll be shown that the animated versions portray a better understanding of the character. So, the inaugural entry on our list is none other the Boy Wonder himself, Robin.
Created in 1940, this 71-year-old comic icon’s origin treads the same waters as his partner-in-crime, Batman. At the age of 9, Dick Grayson (Robin’s secret identity) lost his parents and just like his mentor vowed to become a hero, embrace justice, and help others. In the 1995 film Batman Forever, Robin’s origin is the same but his motivation has changed. Throughout the first half of the movie, all his focus is on killing Two-Face. He’s angst-fueled and selfish. When he discovers who Batman is, all he cares about is becoming his partner to exact revenge. Though justified in a real life situation, this mindset is annoying and kind of makes him look like an a**. In the 1993 Emmy award winning episode “Robin’s Reckoning” of Batman: The Animated Series, this version is much more endearing and heartfelt.
In the episode, Dick blames himself for his parent’s murder. Bruce Wayne comforts him and the ep really drives home the fact that Dick and his lives are mirrored. They both wonder if they could have done something to prevent their pain but there’s no way they could have. He assures Dick that the hurt won’t stop but will get better over time. Finally, he asks Dick “How bad do you want Zucco?” insinuating that this guilt can be turned into a positive force. Thus Robin is born. In the movie version there really isn’t any of that. There’s no real bonding to that degree. The care and detail put into the growth of this character hands down goes to the animated series.