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  • Alas, Poor Villain: After being knocked through a skylight window and nearly drowning, and then weakly emerging from the Arctic World pool burned, bleeding, and literally vomiting up toxic waste, the Penguin dies completely unrepentant, still raving about how he intends to take Batman to Hell with him. But through it all, we can't ever forget that this is someone who was forced to grow up in a cold and lonely sewer ever since he was a boy, and for whom Bruce Wayne - who as Batman is largely responsible for his death - once expressed sympathy as a fellow orphan. The moving "funeral" that a group of emperor penguins hold for the villain helps to soften the blow, too.
  • Alternate Character Interpretation: Were Tucker and Esther Cobblepot really Abusive Parents, or were they Well Intentioned Extremists who wanted to spare their son the misery of growing up as a "freak"? When Oswald speaks to the press after "rescuing" the Mayor's baby, he seems to suggest that they were the latter ("....what I guess they felt they had to do....").
    • Here's a third one: they did it to protect others from Oswald. It's regarded that kids torturing/killing animals is a sign something's not right in the head and the kid might grow up to be a serial kiler; right before they tossed him, Oswald did kill the family cat, who just got near him.
      • But Oswald wasn't a "kid" at the moment; he was a baby. It's highly unreasonable to expect any kind of moral scruples from someone who barely knows that he's alive.
  • Anvilicious: "It is human nature to fear the unusual. Perhaps, when I held my Tiffany baby rattle with a shiny flipper instead of five chubby digits, they freaked." (Of course, Oswald is just milking the citizens for sympathy.)
  • Critical Research Failure: Despite having spent his entire life around them, the Penguin seems to think that birds are cold-blooded.
  • Crowning Music of Awesome: Siouxsie And The Banshees' "Face to Face".
    • Much of the incredibly intense Danny Elfman score. "The Final Confrontation" in particular takes the cake.
  • Crowning Movie of Awesome: According to the critics, for the pre-Nolan Batman films. It has the highest critical rating of any of the original 4 Batman films and while it remains divisive, it is widely seen as the deepest and most intellectual of the original run of films.
  • Ending Fatigue: Batman takes out Penguin's gang and saves the day. Then he has to confront Shreck and Catwoman. Then we see Penguin die from the earlier attack. Then we see Bruce take in Selina's cat and the camera pans in to see Catwoman who is Not Quite Dead. Then it ends.
  • Evil Is Sexy: Catwoman. Just look at that outfit.
  • Fridge Horror: When researching the Red Triangle Gang, Bruce discovers that their Freak Show formerly featured an "aquatic bird boy", around the same time that the circus was shut down after numerous reports of missing children whenever they visited a new town, implying that the Penguin has been murdering children his entire life.
  • Hollywood Homely: Michelle Pfeiffer as Selina Kyle.
    • I don't think she was ever meant to be "homely". Just very meek.
    • Very likely to be the case. In the time period the movie seemed to be mimicking, executive assistants and secretaries weren't hired for their office skills but for their... ahem... other assets. The movie itself showed that Selina was treated bad mostly because she was so timid she was intimidated just by being in the same room as a bunch of people. But, in her favor, she is also shown pre-transformation as intelligent... just overlooked due to the sexism of her workplace.
    • Completely averted in a coloring book published to market the movie to children, where Selina is depicted as a big-haired, Barbie-like blonde babe without glasses even before her transformation into Catwoman. (Kind of understandable since the activity book was for little kids, for whom Beauty Equals Goodness.)
  • Love It or Hate It: Some fans think that the dialogue, acting, and overall tragic feel to the film gives it a weight and maturity that the other movies just don't have. Other fans believe that this movie is unreasonably dark and depressing, while simultaneously being completely ridiculous. The critics are similarly split.
  • Misaimed Marketing: This is not a kids' movie, not by a long shot, but McDonald's had Happy Meal toys made of it. After the parental backlash, McDonald's pulled the toys.
  • Moral Event Horizon: Penguin has been parlaying his status as The Grotesque into a bid for the Mayor's office. When he gets hoisted by his own petard via an Engineered Public Confession, he reveals his true plans to his hench-clowns -- to kill all the first-born sons of Gotham. He then proceeds to Kick the Dog by shooting the Fat Clown dead when he points out that killing babies is a little too much for him to take.
  • Narm Charm: The Penguin's death. When Oswald, wearing pajamas, asks for a drink of ice water as his last words, falls over dead, and is ceremoniously pushed into the sewer by a six emperor penguins, acing as pallbearers, while sad and dramatic music plays in the background, it should be completely ridiculous! But somehow, it isn't. The scene still works, and is actually rather moving.
  • Nightmare Fuel: With surprisingly gross behavior from the Penguin (i.e. biting a man's nose and his death scene where carcinogens pour from his mouth). There's also Selina's breakdown and Max Shreck's demise.
    • And the Ice Princess falling to her death - especially since we see her screaming all the way down and hitting the ground. Even Die Hard didn't do that, and that was an R-rated movie!
    • See Fridge Horror, where it is implied that the Penguin has been murdering children his entire life.
  • No Problem With Licensed Games: The Sega Genesis and Super Nintendo game adaptations are actually fairly good, fun adaptations.
  • Older Than They Think: Despite being a Darker and Edgier movie from a Darker and Edgier time, the primary villains have major callbacks to their Silver Age incarnations: Penguin's gang and weaponized penguins wouldn't have been terribly out of place in the Adam West TV show, and Catwoman's personality shifts were the explanation given in comics for why Batman was Dating Catwoman -- he wanted her good personality.
  • The Problem with Licensed Games: Depends on which systems were released for.
    • The Konami games for the Nintendo systems were well-received. For the longest time, the Super Nintendo version was considered the best Batman game ever released. (Until, you know...)
    • The Sega games for the Sega systems received mixed reviews (although the driving sections in the Sega CD version did score a decent reception).
    • Don't know how the Atari Lynx version is received, but this is the Lynx we're talking about.
      • The first boss in that version is the Penguin and his duck!
  • Tastes Like Diabetes: Selina's apartment, before her Evil Makeover. Seriously, what grown woman has that many stuffed animals, dollhouses, and pink stuff everywhere? This may be a sign of an already present mental imbalance (i.e., she is the type to cover everything with optimism).
  • Tear Jerker: The Penguin's funeral when the penguins gather around him and drag his body into the sea.
    • "Don't pretend this is a happy ending!"
  • What an Idiot!: Batman reveals himself right in front of Shreck in an attempt to stop Selina from killing him. To which Shreck says "Bruce Wayne? Why are you dressed up as Batman?" Selina quickly points out that Shreck is a moron. Of course, he gave Selena another excuse to kill him after he apparently shot Batman in front of her. He had his armor on and Max was unfortunate enough to miss his exposed head.
  • What Do You Mean It's Not Political?: The name "Red Triangle Gang" may at first seem random, or as an ironic nod to the circus troupe's colorful and innocent origins. But in fact, the "red triangle" is a fairly common antifascist symbol in Europe.
  • Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds: Really, you can't blame Oswald "The Penguin" Cobblepot for becoming the way he is today.
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