With The LEGO Batman Movie proving popular with cinema-goers around the world, many fans are returning for second and third viewings – here is a checklist of fun visual gags and subtle references to look out for on those return visits
Following the first part of our The LEGO Batman Movie re-watch guide, which focused on LEGO related gems to look out for in the animated flick, it’s time to take a look at how the film paid homage to DC, movies in general and Apple products. Yes, this movie is jam-packed with references – this list provides just a small selection to look out for.
There are probably thousands of these throughout the entire film, so I’ve included some of my favourite ones. There are more detailed lists of specific Batman references dotted around the web.
- Right at the beginning of the film, when Batman is narrating over each logo, the DC icon appears and he refers to ‘the house that Batman built’. Look closely and shortly after the flash of lightning, you’ll see the outline of the clouds are in fact the shape of the Nolan Bat-logo that appears hundreds of times throughout the film.
- Footage of Superman fighting Zod – at the bottom says, ‘Footage courtesy of Z. Snyder and A. Mokri’, who are Man of Steel’s director and director of photography.
- Superman’s Fortress of Solitude has a doorbell chime that is the first few notes from the famous Superman theme written by John Williams for the 1978 film that starred Christopher Reeves in the starring role.
- The Phantom Zone itself is a concept featured prominently in the Superman comics and the Superman II movie – a floating space prison where villains might be sentenced for eternity.
- Batman has a poke at last year’s critically panned Suicide Squad with the line, ‘getting bad guys to fight bad guys sounds like a stupid idea’.
- ‘Want to see a magic trick?’ yells Batgirl at the end of the film – a direct reference to a line used by Heath Ledgers’ Joker in The Dark Knight.
- Bane’s voice is very similar to Tom Hardy’s incomprehensible muffle in The Dark Knight Rises, showing the comic potential it has.
- There is a luxury yacht docked outside the Wayne Manor Island, which must surely be the same one Alfred uses in the Dark Knight to create an alibi for Bruce Wayne when he employs the entire Russian Ballet troupe.
- The Iceberg Lounge can be seen a few times in downtown Gotham, the venue is Penguin’s private nightclub.
- Ferris Air – this is featured on a poster and on some aeroplanes in the opening airport scene. It’s a reference to the company that employs Hal Jordan, aka Green Lantern, whose girlfriend Carol Ferris is the daughter of the original Ferris Air owner.
- Calculator has ‘HELLO’ written on his helmet visor written with numbers ‘07734’. However when he gets hit it changes to ‘OUCH’.
- The Justice League and Super Friends are celebrating their 57th Annual Justice League bash at Superman’s Fortress of Solitude, which is correct as the Justice League first appeared in comic form back in March 1960.
- Barris Automative is briefly featured on the back page of the magazine Batman brings out during the Winter Gala. George Barris is actually the man famous for creating the original 1966 Batmobile.
- Batman’s ‘puter is voiced by none other than Siri, who you might be familiar with as the voice of your iPhone. A cool little thing Apple have now allowed users to do is talk to Siri as if Batman – just say ‘hey ‘Puter’ and wait for the hilarious replies.
- Several inhabitants of Gotham City, including Batman, own an iPhone whereas other citizens favour the Brickphone, also seen in the first LEGO Movie. Is this just blatant product placement, or part of the comedy? Perhaps the former – but then it’s hard to criticise product placement in a movie with this many LEGO bricks in it.
- Not only is Batman’s computer clearly running the latest OS system, but so are his vehicles, as you can hear the Apple Mac start-up chime when his ‘Scuttler’ first boots online.
- Gremlins attacking the Batwing during the final third action sequence is not only a moment of entertainment for the sake of it, but references the actual origin of what a ‘gremlin’ is. The term was originally RAF slang back in the 1920s referring to a mischievous creature that sabotages aircraft. It was popularised by Roald Dahl in the 1940s when he wrote a children’s book on them.
- ‘Ark-Ham Sandwich Café’ features at the bottom of the signpost inside the entrance of Arkham Asylum.
- Agent Smith, Jaws, King Kong, Sauron, T-Rex/Velociraptors, Wicked Witch and Flying Monkeys, Kraken, Count Dracula, Swamp Creature, Mummy (Classic Universal Monsters) are among the ultra villains found in the Phantom Zone.
- 1980s references – Highway To the Phantom Zone (reference to the Kenny Loggins classic from Top Gun) is on a massive electronic billboard in the background of Gotham City Centre. Alfred shouts at the Gremlins about being ‘animatronic fiends’, referring to their 1980s puppet incarnation.
- One of Batman’s helicopters that ends up being stolen by Joker and his new villainous crew is nicknamed ‘Air-Bat’ which is a nod to Airwolf, the 1980s American TV show about a supersonic helicopter with stealth abilities.
- Seth Green voices King Kong, but is certainly no stranger to voice acting. Most famously recognised for voicing Chris Griffin in Family Guy, he also co-created Robot Chicken which director Chris McKay worked on several seasons of – his stop motion experience clearly informed the look of the LEGO movies.
- Fly Robin Fly, a song by Silver Convention, is first quoted by Robin when he is attempting to retrieve the Phantom Zone blaster, but then an actual clip is played when he is choosing the soundtrack for the final battle.
One more thing:
If you wondered where the choreography came from that’s part of the Friends are Family musical finale, wonder no longer…
Let us know which ones you spotted, which others you found and which were your favourites.