Batman vs Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Has a Weird Villain Problem

WARNING: The following contains major spoilers for Batman vs. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.

Ra's al Ghul's name has been a point of contention in the DC Universe for some time now, whether it be in live-action adaptations, animated movies or cartoons. Just how should his first name be pronounced? In Christoper Nolan's movies and the Arrowverse, it was pronounced "Ras," but in the animated world created by Bruce Timm, as seen with this correction here in Batman Beyond, it should be pronounced "Raysh."

Seeing as the latter is in-canon, this makes the mispronunciation of his name in Batman vs. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles all the weirder, giving the impression the DC Animated Universe doesn't understand uniformity.

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This is a project produced by Warner Bros. Animation and DC Entertainment in association with Nickelodeon, and while it isn't the Timm-Verse, and it doesn't have key voice actors often linked to that narrative universe like Kevin Conroy (here, Troy Baker portrays Batman), continuity shouldn't be thrown by the wayside. When we're first introduced to the Demon's Head in this film, he emerges from the shadows, revealing himself to his business partner, Shredder.

The latter's charged with gathering the relevant technology from Gotham so they can start spreading clouds of altered Joker Venom across the world, but when he steps out from the darkness, Shredder calls him "Ras." It gets confusing later on when Damian Wayne, the Robin in this flick, calls him "Raysh," leaving us wondering if anyone overseeing voiceovers was looking at consistency. What exacerbates the situation is Batgirl, the Turtles and, sadly, even Bruce himself, pronouncing it like Shredder, which comes off as annoying.

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Damian shouldn't be the only one pronouncing it correctly just because he's Ra's' grandson. If anything, from years of fighting the villain, Bruce should know by now how his name is to be said, and it's something the entire Bat-family ought to know, too. It's a matter of etiquette and respect, which we'd have liked to see passed down to the Turtles as well. Honestly, this issue doesn't exist with other Batman rogues or supervillains across the DCU, so it's jarring to see this rearing its head again.

It's been addressed in the past, and hearing Terry McGinnis being corrected by Talia al Ghul says it all. Having one character doing the right thing -- or in this case, saying it -- makes the conversations throughout the movie regarding Ra's feel disjointed and, when you look at how big a villain he has been in the Batman lore for years, such an intimidating despot deserves better. After all, Venom fans railed when the trailers pronounced "symbiote" wrong, and that was corrected for the movie, so it just goes to show that, as minute as these things might seem, it really is a big deal for folks who've been invested in these characters for decades.

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For 90 minutes, Damian alone shouldn't be calling the villain by the right name, so, hopefully, next time we see Ra's across any medium, this mistake is rectified. If the Timm-Verse established what's correct, we really should be taking that as gospel, especially in the animated arena.

Batman vs. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles is now available on Digital HD and arrives on Blu-ray and 4K UHD June 4. The film is voiced by Troy Baker as Batman and the Joker, Darren Criss as Raphael, Kyle Mooney as Michelangelo, Baron Vaughn as Donatello, Eric Bauza as Leonardo and Rachel Bloom as Batgirl.

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