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The best family movies on Netflix (that you’ll enjoy even if you don’t have kids)

I’m Batman

I’m Batman
Image: Batman: Mask Of The Phantasm

Batman was born when the Waynes were gunned down in Crime Alley, and the years Bruce spent training and studying around the world are the childhood years of Bruce’s new identity. The flashbacks in Mask of the Phantasm are Batman’s adolescence, as he goes through an identity crisis sparked by emotional confusion and sexual desire. Batman reaches adulthood when Bruce puts on the mask for the firs time, conceding to the influence of the cape and cowl. The present-day action forces Bruce Wayne back to the surface when Andrea reenters his life, but unbeknownst to him, she has undergone a similar transformation. When Batman sees his former fiancée Andrea at her mother’s grave, a dark mirror of their first meeting years ago, she has already fallen into the abyss by having killed Chuckie Sol. Andrea builds up a lie that suggests her father is the man behind the killing, but she can’t fool the world’s greatest detective, and as the World’s Fair where she fell in love with Bruce is engulfed in flames, she sees her life burn away with it. When Buzz Bronski goes to leave roses at Chuckie’s grave, Phantasm strikes again, crushing Buzz with a giant statue in an open grave. Once Bruce and Andrea reignite their relationship, Phantasm stops killing, as Sal Valestra (Abe Vigoda) hires the Joker to take care of Batman but ends up getting a smiling face full of Joker’s poison, killing him faster than the cigars he smokes throughout the movie. Mark Hamill nails every one liner the writers throw at him, and his signature Joker laugh is used to chilling effect throughout the film. When Phantasm discovers Sal Valestri’s dead body (the first time someone has died from Joker’s poison in the DCAU), Joker laughs. When Batman realizes Joker’s civilian identity Jack Napier is the man with Carl Beaumont and the mobsters, Joker laughs. And when the World’s Fair is exploding all around him and Batman watches his greatest love slip away, Joker positively loses his shit. [Oliver Sava]

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