During the 1990’s Tim Burton helped to revitalise the Batman series. He created two live action movies that had a dark and gothic tone. Unfortunately soon afterwards, a new director took the helm and changed the tone to a more childish and campy one.
This is the main failure of Batman and Robin. Director Joel Schumacher revised the look of Gotham city. Instead of foreboding architecture there was a high level of neon and distracting sculptures of the human form. The new costumes were also negatively criticised by viewers.
This tonal shift can also be seen in the way that the characters interact with each other. Arnold Schwarzenegger plays the villain Mr Freeze. Throughout the film he talks to Batman and Robin through ice themed puns. This lessens his intimidating effect even as he kills innocent people.
There was also a backlash due to the change in audience appeal. The makers were clearly aiming this movie at younger viewers. Because of this much of the more disturbing elements of the series were toned down. It has been speculated that this was in order to market Batman themed toys.