Batman / Batman Joker

Why Was Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker Censored?

Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker is a popular animated movie from the early 2000s that has a controversial past. The movie was initially released in 2000, but it was later censored due to its violent content.

Fans of the movie were upset about this decision and wondered why the movie was censored. In this article, we’ll explore the reasons behind Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker’s censorship.

The Plot

Before we delve into the reasons behind the censorship, let’s briefly discuss the plot of Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker. The movie is set in a future where an older Bruce Wayne (the original Batman) has retired and passed on his mantle to a new young hero named Terry McGinnis.

Joker, Batman’s arch-nemesis, has been dead for years, or so everyone thought. However, he resurfaces with an evil plan that involves brainwashing Robin (Tim Drake) and turning him against Batman.

The Original Version

The original version of Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker contained several scenes that were considered too violent for children. These included:

  • Robin being tortured and brainwashed by Joker
  • A flashback scene where Joker shoots Tim Drake (the previous Robin) and turns him into his accomplice
  • A fight scene between Terry McGinnis and Joker that ends with Terry breaking Joker’s neck

These scenes were deemed too graphic for children and prompted Warner Bros., the studio behind the movie, to censor it.

The Censored Version

The censored version of Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker removed or altered all scenes containing violence or disturbing content. The torture scene involving Robin was cut entirely from the movie, as was the flashback scene where Tim Drake is shot by Joker.

The fight scene between Terry McGinnis and Joker was also altered to make it less violent. Instead of breaking Joker’s neck, Terry now simply knocks him unconscious.

The Reasoning Behind the Censorship

The decision to censor Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker was made in response to concerns from parents and advocacy groups. They felt that the movie’s violent content was inappropriate for children and could be disturbing for young viewers. Warner Bros. opted to make the changes to ensure that the movie was suitable for its Target audience.

The Impact on the Movie

The censorship of Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker had a significant impact on the movie’s reception. Fans of the original version were disappointed with the changes and felt that they detracted from the movie’s overall quality. Some argued that the censored version lacked emotional depth and failed to convey the true horror of Joker’s actions.

Despite these criticisms, Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker remains a popular animated movie among fans of DC Comics and Batman in particular. The controversy surrounding its censorship has only added to its mystique, making it a must-see for anyone interested in exploring Batman’s darker side.


In conclusion, Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker was censored due to concerns about its violent content. While some fans were disappointed with these changes, they have not diminished the movie’s popularity or impact on popular culture. Whether you prefer the original version or the censored one, there is no denying that Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker is a classic animated movie that continues to captivate audiences today.