I've heard 'Nicholson playing himself' comments before. I can understand that. I feel that way about many celebrities, and even celeb voice acting can remove me from an animated film. You might see Donkey, Shrek's wacky sidekick. I see Eddie Murphy in a recording booth. I'm starting to see Clancy Brown that way now, too, that's more due to his frequent performances on cartoons than his live action familiarity.
The other thing that gets me is how small this film feels. I mean in the sense it feels like it was all filmed on a soundstage. It doesn't feel like it's part of a larger world hidden off camera and just beyond the sets.
seems worse in that aspect. Gotham City = a department store, sewers and an abandoned zoo.
I agree the film hasn't aged well.
As for the trueness to the source material. That's almost an irrelevant critique now. Everything has been "reimagined" or is part of an alternate continuity. Even the sacred cow called Star Trek
. If comic creators can do it, film makers can, too. Tim Burton is notorious for reimaginings now. Batman
was just the start.
I tend not to compare animated and live action films, myself. I'm bored with ideal that Batman the Animated Series has become in the eyes of comic fans. Yes, it was good. (Until the awful redesigns of the spin-off.) But you can stop comparing everything to it, because that just sets yourself up for disappointment.
1989's "Batman" is all about style over substance and yeah, it hasn't aged so well. Still, I liked that Burton's Batman would kill when necessary. Nolan's "comic book realism" approach suffers from keeping the whole "vigilante who DOESN'T carry a gun has a no kill rule."
The idea doesn't work realistically, because, sooner or later, Batman would kill someone by accident.