Conclusion: 'Batman: The Dark Knight Returns - Part 1' is a mostly successful animated adaptation of Frank Miller's celebrated comic book series. A dark, violent interpretation of the Caped Crusader, the film features cool animation but suffers from some thin characterizations and occasionally stilted performances. The video transfer and audio mix are both very good, and the supplements offer a few solid bonuses for fans.
Conclusion: Batman: The Dark Knight Returns, Part 1 isn't quite all that it could be and, in a few seemingly small but arguably fundamental ways, alters Frank Miller's original four-issue comic more than is necessary. But there's a lot to love in the first part of Warner Premiere's "Dark Knight Returns" adaptation and even more to suggest Part 2 will be even better.
Summary: Although Warner Bros. and Marvel's animated direct-to-video featurettes largely play to a relatively narrow base of comicbook aficionados, "Batman: The Dark Knight Returns Part 1" has the potential to reach -- and perhaps more significantly, deserves -- a wider audience.