|This coloring book will break your fucking jaw, you filthy animal.|
Christopher Nolan's BatMan Begins was, on the tail of a quartet of live-action films and amidst of sea of cartoons and direct-to-dvd releases, pretty much the first Batman film which was expressly not for children. Violent, dense, dark - tonally and visually - and telling its superhero tale amidst an occult, claustrophobic tale of a man driven to grisly extremes to come to terms with his drive for revenge, the film had little in the way of fun, enthusiastic scenes with which to inspire pre-adolescent imagination.
Specifically, there was little inspire the kiddie-winks to go straight to the toy aisle.
It's pretty clear from the marketing which surrounded the movie that the merchandising licensees who are the natural accompaniment to any superhero movie simply had no idea had to react to this news. You may recall the lackluster action figures which popped up at this time, a few off-model tee-shirts and licensed products with soft drinks and tortilla chip companies, and then a raft of high-end merchandise aimed at adults.
Nothing quite captures the inappropriateness of marketing Batman Begins for a grade school audience than the Batman Begins Official Movie Color & Activity Fun Book (with 64 Stickers!) which was released in 2005 and evidently illustrated exclusively by a chimp.
|"Hey Alfred, I need help with my pants again."|
Lacking much in the way of scenes from the film to translate to paper for a children's coloring book, there were few opportunities to render Batman fighting, driving around in cool cars, swinging from rooftops. What you could have, though, is his butler wrecking Batman's stuff.
|"This helmet owes me $400 and I'm gonna get my money's worth one way or another!"|
Take, for instance, this scene. Who is this child? Young Bruce Wayne? The child from the tenement scene? Robin? A random child? A beardless dwarf? Anything is possible.
|This is a very exciting page to color.|
Additionally, the activity pages leave much to the imagination.
|"Draw Batman Looking Sad."|
And the few action scenes it can translate to the page lack a little artistic oomph:
|"Plate A-15: Batman Startles A Pirate"|
In the following page, you're asked to draw what's in Batman's Batcave. Well, if I remember that movie, it was "Nothing much, except mostly bats." So, have fun drawing your bats.
|"Batman looks cold. Draw a space heater for Batman."|
Then there's the simply incomprehensible. Finish the picture below: Is it a picture of Bruce Wayne? Alfred? Commissioner Gordon? You? Me? God? It could be anyone, just finish it, because the artist was distracted by a fresh banana and left it undone.
|Is it ... my real father??!|
|Batman slips on a batmanana peel.|