It’s Batman meets Pixar’s Cars. The DC Comics legend has finally lightened up enough for preschool kids to enjoy and good news parents, you’ll enjoy it, too.
With a legion of talking cars at his disposal, Batman takes on familiar villains from Gotham City in a vivid, playful animation with a practiced ease. With nice, short episodes at about 15 minutes, each mission is a fun-filled romp through the city with Batman and his Bat-Family, expressive cars and all.
Ethan Hawke is phenomenal as Batman, his suave, collected adaption oozing confidence and charisma as he runs around Gotham getting business done, helping the younger members of his team learn valuable lessons about teamwork, confidence, and other values our kids should be being exposed to at the youngest of ages.
The cars have all the coolest gadgets and skills to keep the kids entranced and the heroes vary in age from a younger Robin to BatDad extraordinaire, all these working together to hold those dizzying attention spans of preschoolers and beyond. It’s simple, it’s fun, and it’s beautifully colorful, taking a step away from the normal dreary, drab Gotham in favor of bright hues and shnazzy cars.
The best part, however, is that it’s a show I don’t mind being on in the background as I go about my day. No terrible songs or infantile characters, it’s a show that isn’t offensively irksome being on when the kids are home sick from school and keeping control of the TV for hours on end (let’s be honest, it’s sort of thanks to Hawke for getting something for the parents in there.) It’s got enough of the Batman parents know and love paired with the pizzazz a kid’s show needs to keep them enthralled.
Batwheels stars the voices of Hawke (as Batman), Gina Rodriguez (as Catwoman), Cobra Kai’s Jacob Bertrand (as Bam the Batmobile), and Xolo Maridueña (as Snowy the Snowcrawler) among others. The series is currently airing on Cartoon Network and is available to stream on HBO Max.