Common Sense Note
Parents need to know that Batman: The Dark Knight Returns, Part 1 is extremely violent. Based on the 1986 Frank Miller graphic novel, this Batman is a reflection of a mid-'80s vigilantism mindset as exemplified by Dirty Harry, Rambo, and so many other "tough guy gets even" movies from that era. Even compared to recent Batman films, this one is more violent, even if it's animated. The story is dark, and the complexities of the characters and the violence make it inappropriate for younger viewers. But for teens and parents ready for a superhero story with ambiguity, this is one worth seeing.
Graphic animated violence abounds. Extended fight scenes -- with punching, kicking, stabbing, and eye-gouging. Knife-wielding "mutant" gangs constantly talk of "slicing and dicing" citizens. In a flashback, a boy watches as his parents are murdered in an alley; there's a shot of the parents on their backs in the alley, dying and bloody. During a race, a car spins out of control and crashes. Batman shoots at The Mutants in a Batmobile that looks more like a massive tank.
"Damn," "hell," "son of a bitch."
As an exploration of the good and evil existing in everyone, as well as a debate on due process versus vigilantism, there isn't much in the way of a clear-cut positive message.
Tie-in to vast quantities of related merchandise.
Drugs / Tobacco /
Commissioner Gordon and Bruce Wayne drink whiskey but don't act intoxicated. A teenage girl continually overhears adults in her apartment talking like extremely parodied examples of burnt-out old hippies who talk about tripping, getting high, and memory lapses.