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14 Ways Tim Burton's Batman Is Better Than The Dark Knight

Updated August 27, 2019 388.0k views14 items

Believe it or not, there are things in Tim Burton's Batman that are better than Christopher Nolan's Dark Knight movies. Burton's comic book blockbuster thundered into theaters in 1989 and set the bar for what a superhero film could be. When Nolan rebooted the Caped Crusader in 2005's Batman Begins, Burton's Batman was replaced in the hearts and minds of fans and critics alike. This list is meant to remind comic book die-hards and moviegoers that the 1989 Batman holds up against the likes of The Dark Knight Rises.

For a lot of people, Nolan's take on the character was more grounded, realistic and borrowed from famous story lines from the comic (something Burton admitted he avoided). It was the Batman that they had been waiting for. However, there is a unique charm to Batman and Batman Returns that is often overshadowed by Batman Begins and its sequels.

That is why fans could use a reminder of what made Tim Burton's Batman so great in the first place. From Prince to the Batmobile, enjoy this list of reasons Tim Burton's Batman is better than Christopher Nolan's Dark Knight films.
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  • Chicks Dig the Car

    Chicks Dig the Car
    Photo: 3DVF
    Perhaps one of the most memorable onscreen vehicles of all time: Anton Furst's Batmobile. Never before or since have audiences got a car that as sleek and impossibly cool as this version of the car. Other versions were either garish or too militarized to be this cool. The Tumbler would obviously be more fun to drive, but its design lacks a striking silhouette and battiness of this vehicle.
  • The Heady Days of Hype

    For better or worse, there was certainly a lot of hype surrounding Nolan's The Dark Knight. However, it didn't match the fever pitch going into Batman. Fans were shaving the Batman logo into their freakin' hair! Since these were pre-Internet days, there was more excitement undiluted by online tribalism and criticism. The 1989 film is also notable for being the first time that fandom of this level leaked into the mainstream and impacted pop culture to this degree. 
  • Where Does He Get Those Toys?

    Where Does He Get Those Toys?
    Photo: The Fwoosh
    It's no secret that the Toy Biz figures released in promotion of the Batman film kind of sucked in comparison (remember, this was a time when He-Man, G.I. Joe, and TMNT ruled the toy shelves). However, they are light-years ahead of the utter garbage that was released for Nolan's films. Sure, the Movie Masters figures have their charm but it stops there. 
  • New and Improved Joker Products!

    Look, Heath Ledger's Joker is basically untouchable. So much so, in fact, that it's easy to forget the long shadow cast by Jack Nicholson for his portrayal of the Clown Prince of Crime. Thought irreplaceable for decades, Nicholson's Joker felt like it was pulled straight from a Brian Bolland comic. This version, a criminal enforcer turned homicidal performance artist, still has an exuberant edge that only Nicholson can provide.