Join Us Behind the Scenes of Prime Video's Holiday Special "Merry Little Batman" (Exclusive Interview)

The new animated film "Merry Little Batman" premieres this Friday on Prime Video, and producer Warner Bros. Animation has gone behind the scenes of the design work that went into creating a whole new aesthetic for the holiday special. The film was released to Cartoon Brew.

Merry Little Batman focuses on young Damien Wayne, who finds himself alone at Wayne Manor on Christmas Eve. Instead of relaxing with hot cocoa and freshly baked cookies, the boy is forced to transform into "Little Batman" to protect his home and Gotham City from the villains and supervillains who want to destroy Christmas.

The film stars Morgan Evans ("Teen Titans Go!") ) and Jace Rich ("Batman: The Fate of Gotham Revealed") from a screenplay by Mike Ross ("Regular Show"). It is one of three Batman titles headed to Prime Video, along with The Bat-Family and Batman: The Caped Crusader.

In anticipation of Merry Little Batman's release, we spoke with the film's art director, Guillaume Fesquet, and character designer, Ben Tong, about the inspiration behind Batman's adventures and the character design process.

Regarding the film's overall aesthetic, Fesquet and Tong explained:

Guillaume Fesquet: Guillaume Fesquet: We drew inspiration from Ronald Searle's artistic style to create a Batman film with a unique aesthetic that pays homage to Searle's world. Our goal was to create a Batman movie with a unique aesthetic that would be a tribute to Searle's world. For the overall look and feel, we were visually driven by a very illustrative and "sketchy" approach and wanted to preserve this rustic illustration of Batman's world that reflected the identity of the main character, Batman's 8-year-old child Damian.

Here is what they had to say about the design of the main characters in this unique adaptation of the Batman universe.

Feske: I reimagined Damian, Batman's child, in a lighter, more endearing way for a Christmas-themed film. He is an adorable 8 year old while maintaining his crime fighting edge and desire to fight crime. Through his point of view, viewers experience his journey as a small young hero in a big bad world. The character design was inspired by Bill Watterson's innocent and playful style as seen in Calvin & Hobbes.

Feske Our beloved Batman, Bruce, is almost retired, but not quite! He still retains his superhero instincts, but he has taken on the greater responsibility of becoming a father, being there for his son, and protecting him. We wanted to inject some humor into his character, but without compromising his charisma.

Ben Tong: It's a fun character to design! Our director, Mike (Ross), put a lot of work into this one. We wanted the design to be very playful, so we took a lot of liberties. I think he represents well how far we wanted to go with the silliness of the film. His sculpting represents a character that is older and slower than Damian's sculpting.

Tong I felt incredibly privileged to have been given the opportunity to put my own spin on such a vibrant and engaging character! In designing the Joker, I drew inspiration from the work of Christophe Blanc. Blanc is a talented French comic artist known for his distinctive style, which features characters with simple yet visually compelling personalities. I also wanted to give them a primitive, animal-like appearance, so I exaggerated their facial expressions to make them look exceptionally dramatic.