Plot: An incident at S.T.A.R. Labs has caused quite an uproar, as Poison Ivy and Floronic Man broke in and accessed some top secret information. The two wanted to know more about Dr. Alec Holland, also known as Swamp Thing, but their intentions for the data remain unknown. Batman soon arrives to lend his expertise and with the help of Nightwing, he sets out to uncover the truth. An obvious first stop would be Harley Quinn, as she is best friends with Poison Ivy and would be a valuable source of potential clues, but she has left the caped crusading for a more normal life. But after some persuasion and a rumble with Nightwing, she agrees to help, as she is worried about her friend and wants to protect her. But can Batman trust Harley and even if so, can they stop whatever plan Poison Ivy has in motion?
Entertainment Value: One of the more unusual entries in the DC Universe animated features line, Batman and Harley Quinn focused on humor over action, with some odd moments thrown in. The story is a fun one, as a retired and rather bitter Harley Quinn is lured back into action by Nightwing and Batman, which means it opens up some interesting options for character interactions. Once Harley enters the narrative, she becomes the focus and the tone reflects her persona, wild and unpredictable, but with a deep down sweetness. One of her first scenes has her complaining about her own body odor, then engaging Nightwing in some BDSM inspired hijinks, though of course the naughtiness unfolds off screen. There’s also an awkward, but hilarious sequence in which Harley needs to use the bathroom, but Batman refuses to pull over and things take an odorous turn. The tone is brisk and and the humor is broad, but it works, as it feels rooted in Harley’s persona and she is the focal point of this one. The PG-13 rating guide lists violence, but there’s not much action compared to the usual Batman outing, so it is the sexual references and rude humor.
I think Melissa Rauch provides a super fun take on Harley and her voice seems like a natural fit, cute and bubbly, but fierce when needed. She is a little overpowering at times, but this yet again another ideal element for Harley’s personality. Kevin Conroy returns as Batman and turns in his usual excellent effort, especially when dealing with Harley’s various quirks. A nice dash of humor, while keeping up the serious Batman presence and his work here is terrific. Loren Lester is given a lot of material here as Nightwing (even more than Batman himself) and he is quite good as well, while Paget Brewster also shines, in a smaller role as Poison Ivy. So overall the voice cast is great and the visuals are as well, with stylish animation throughout. I also appreciated all of the little details and throwbacks to other Batman animated adventures, especially all of the ones found in the sidekick area. While perhaps a little saucy at times for the younger viewers, Batman and Harley Quinn is a lot of fun and lets Harley shine in the spotlight, without tempering her fiery persona.