Sometimes one of the most important things to get right is the opening to a movie, it's what gets the ball rolling, and it's what gets us excited for the experience to come. When it comes to the Batman series, they've had there high's and lows. So, as a little add on to my Batman marathon this month, here's a quick ranking of all the opening Batman title sequences ... in my own personal opinion.
#11 The lead-in to “Batman Begins”
One little detail I’ve admittedly hatted about Nolan’s trilogy is that we don’t have any opening credit sequences or even title cards. One of my favorite charms from all the previous films were those lengthy credit sequences, with their riveting music, and those awesome title cards, which always got me excited to start a new Batman venture. I will admit, I at least liked seeing the new Bat logo before each film, which did help tie this trilogy together.
#10 The lead-in to “The Dark Knight”
After the previous film, I was hoping that the bat logo and zero title card was a one-time thing. Unfortunately, this film made it clear that it was going to be a tradition. At least the blue-smoke Bat logo is a cooler effect then before, but it’s still not the same.
#9 The lead-in to “The Lego Batman Movie”
Once “The Dark Knight Trilogy” wrapped up, I was so hopping the Batman movies would return to featuring their opening title cards again. Sadly, that just isn’t the case, as yet again another Batman movie begins without a title card. The one good thing is that we get a narration comedically mocking the clichés of multiple logos in the intros these days.
#8 The lead-in to “The Dark Knight Rises”
I knew that once again this movie would start without a title card, but this one was at least the most effective, as the slow build up of the bruised and cracked Bat logo was quiet chilling.
#7 The lead-in to “Batman: The Movie”
The movie begins with a colorful, comic book style opening, in which Batman and Robin are stepping into the spot light, a random guy in a trench coat is running through alleyways, the villains are sneaking in and out of different colored locations, and it perfectly sets the tone for a film that’s not meant to be taken seriously.
#6 The lead-in to “Batman Returns”
This opening credit sequence follows a baby carriage floating through Gotham’s elaborately designed underground sewer channels. It’s certainly not the best opening credit sequences of the series, but it is still something to savor as it’s the last time we’ll get a title opening matched to Danny Elfman’s iconic Batman score.
#5 The lead-in to “Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice”
This movie kicks off on a high note with an opening credit sequence that’s paired with two flashbacks, the death of Bruce Wayne’s parents, and him as a boy discovering the bat cave. While it’s exhausting for us fans to see these same flashbacks on film again, they were undeniably shot and scored beautifully, and I loved that they were intertwined with the opening credits. Seriously, a Batman movie with an opening credit sequence is a special treat I thought I’d never have the privilege of seeing again.
#4 The lead-in to “Batman & Robin”
One small but noteworthy highlight in “Batman & Robin” is that it features my favorite opening title card of the whole franchise, which is an appeal that future Batman movies would noticeably lack. In this opening we see the WB logo dissolve into a frozen Batman-logo, (effectively highlighting Mr. Freeze as the villain) the cast cards roll out paired with character-based sound effects, then the music builds, both the Batman and Robin logos cling together to form the title, and I honestly get hyped as hell every time I see this. It’s just unfortunate that the rest of the movie can’t live up to the epic-ness of that opening title screen.
#3 The lead-in to “Batman”
This opening credit sequence is one of the best of the series as a whole. The camera travels through a lot of dark tunnels, the music builds and then in a big pull back shot it’s revealed to be the Batman logo. It gives me chills every time, and the classic score by Danny Elfman is one of the greatest music themes ever composed for a superhero movie. It fits the character perfectly, and it’s one of Elfman’s greatest achievements.
#2 The lead-in to “Batman Forever”
This movie begins with a very fun opening credit sequence, in which the WB logo dissolves into the Batman symbol, the colorful cast names fly out in a cheesy, yet awesome 3D effect, the music builds, the title comes up, and it perfectly sets the tone for a superhero movie that’s more fun in design.
#1 The lead-in to “Batman Mask of the Phantasm”
Here's honestly one of my favorite scenes in the whole Batman movie franchise, and it's just a simple opening credit sequence. To call this my favorite opening of the Batman franchise is an understatement, as I’d honestly rank this opening credit sequence among my top 10 absolute favorites. The camera travels through a digital Gotham City, while a Latin Quire sings into the night, and it just sends chills down my spine every time I watch this. Granted the CG animation in this opening is dated by today’s standards, but it’s still a unique visual design, and the red-tint lighting is awesome.