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When Batman: the animated series came around, it didn't take people long to see that it was something different. Here was a "cartoon" that was written for adults. It could be viewed by older kids, but it had great depths for the adults who took any time with it. Each episode (or couple of episodes) acts as its own mini-movie. The structuring of the story in each one is just so well executed. As well, the animation (for its time) was quite good, and still holds up well enough today. Another difference from other animation, is that the color palette is quite dark- which, again, only makes it more interesting. All of the great villains are here (and others you may not have heard of), but they get a very serious and, at times, philosophical explication. One of my favorite things about the series, is that every episode has its own orchestral score- meaning, the music that you hear is tailored to fit the exact moment you are watching. Shirley Walker manages to come up with so many sub-themes and variations on the main theme- and works them in so well with the happenings on screen. For those of you that have seen the series and remember it fondly, you might be interested to know that a box-set of the first 28 episodes was recently released- you can get it just about anywhere.
It has been a long hard journey to mainstream media for comic book characters, but finally Batman made it with time to spare in Batman: The Animated Series (later renamed The Adventures of Batman & Robin). Groundbreaking animation, superior voice-over work, and top-notch stories have made this series into a creation too stupendous to call a "cartoon." Each episode was a wondrous, albeit dark, trip through Batman's world, and how he faces each and every obstacle Gotham City gives him. Much like an amalgam of all of Batman's two-dimensional incarnations, this series' Dark Knight is tortured and driven, but not requite enough to give his enemies pithy comebacks and display romantic charms. Definitely, this is the way the Batman should and always be depicted.
We longtime (read "old") fans of Batman have been waiting for a cinematic
Batman that reflects the greatness of the comic books. Unfortunately, we
have had to put up with the worst attempts to realize this great character.
The movie serials were atrocious, the Adam West show, although entertaining,
treated the character as a joke. The Filmation cartoons and the
Superfriends were watered down. The more recent movies are a mixed bag.
Then, along came BTAS, and we were finally satisfied.
Everything, from the look and tone of the animation, to the stories and voicework was first-rate. Batman is the Dark knight Detective. He's not a guy in a rubber suit. He is skilled, intelligent, obsessed, tortured, and dedicated. The villains are evil, psychotic, and just plain loopy. We have Paul Dini's wonderful creation of Harley Quinn, the first inspired and interesting character, since Denny O'Neil created Ra's al Ghul.
The creators took their cue from the legendary Flesicher Bros. version of Superman, with it's Art Deco stylings and darker color palette. It took its story concepts from the work of Bill Finger, Denny O'Neil, Frank Miller, and Steve Engelhart. The music was inspired by the wonderful Danny Elfman music from the Tim Burton film. The voicework featured outstanding actors, with mature direction from Andrea Romano.
The only criticism I can level at the show is that they avoided doing a complete episode revolving around Batman's origin. Granted, the broadcast standards and practices limited how much they could show, but they found a way to present Robin's origin, without sacrificing story. They did present elements, but I would have liked to have seen a complete episode, with his training and "year one" adventures. The Superfriends episode, "The Fear" presented more of the origin than BTAS ever depicted. Still, it didn't detract from the overall effectiveness of the series.
The series even improved on some of the elements of the comics. Personally, I never thought much of Bane, but I enjoyed the BTAS version, complete with the Lucha Libre stylings; Bane as luchador hitman, classic! The Joker was far more interesting here than he had been for some time in the comics. The Riddler came across as deadly, rather than a joke. Alfred provided more than window dressing.
This is the series that set the standard for all other cinematic Batman efforts. Thankfully, it removed the bitter taste of Joel Schumacher.
Perhaps the best animated series ever. It provides great accuracy in the stories and characters, while allows innovation and imagination. They "pull no punches" and didn't try to make this a kiddy show. It became the trend setter for "Superman" and "Batman: Beyond", even though neither can compare.
This program thanks to people like Alan Burnett, Paul Dini, and Bruce W. Timm made this show the most faithful adaption of the Dark Knight ever. This show was brilliant!!!! It had terrific animation, story line, character development, and action sequences. Regardless of weather you're a Batman fan or not this is a show not to be missed.
Forget the camp & cheese of the previous Batman cartoons...this is a
masterpiece! The depiction of Batman fighting both the psychos of Gotham
City and his inner demons spawned from the murder of his parents years ago
is superb. For years Anime had proved that animation need not be just for
kids. Batman: The Animated Series solidifies that conclusion.
Kevin Conroy has the perfect voice for both Batman and Bruce Wayne (there is a very obvious distinction). Mark Hamill gives the Joker sadism, sarcasm, and lunacy without resorting to goofiness. Efram Zimblast Jr. makes an excellent Alfred by being loyal, yet openly concerned about his employer's choice of career.
This series is coming to DVD soon - I'm getting in line!
Grew up with B:TAS, unlike the Mike Keaton, and Val Kilmer movies. Kevin Conroy is excellent and will always be the real Bruce Wayne/Batman. B:TAS is the classic stuff you gotta love, and it beats the heck out of the comics and Adam West any day! Can't wait for DC Classic Collections: Volume 2 of Batman: The Animated Series. If you don't already have it, Volume 1 is outstanding, complete with audio commentary and extras. Plus, now you don't have to get up at 2am to watch it on Cartoon Network(if it's on anymore)!! Batman: The Animated Series, The Adventures of Batman and Robin, and Batman: Gotham Knights best series ever!
When this series first came out, I was at least eight years old; so of
course I wouldn't really understand most of it with this being a drama
and all... now I realize that this is the most accurate retelling of
the Batman legacy EVER! Starting off, compare this to the horrid series
they have created now: "The Batman," where they treat Batman like
Superman by wondering who he is... it just doesn't measure up... allow
me to explain the differences: one of which being the presence of Ethan
Bennet. Who you ask? I rest my case... there is none that I can
Secondly, this one is perfectly parallel to the comics. There's no such thing as the bat-wave in the original, but there will always be the bat signal! Finally, the animation looks as it should. Joker is not in a straight jacket, The Riddler doesn't look like Bono from U2, and every voice actor sounds just like they should.
To sum it all up, this series was everything that "The batman" isn't... and that's a good thing.
This is every thing an adventure show should be. It has action, drama, comedy, tragedy and a truly Gothic feel (fitting that it takes place in Gotham). The interesting thing about the Batman character is that the only reason he becomes Bruce Wayne is to make enough money to fund his Batman work and to help the less fortunate. He's such a tragic character as he's given up a personal life for his parents dream. The stories are wonderfully intelligent and fun at the same time. There are very few poor episodes in this series (but note that their are some). Even lame villains like the Clock King and Mr. Freeze are made engaging and exciting. Ignore the movies and watch the series. Heck, at times it can even be much more realistic than the movies (like in "I am the Night") Some recommended episodes are: "Almost Got 'Im" (a poker game where Bat-Villain recount how they almost killed him), "His Silicon Soul" (a robot clone of Batman is a little too much like Batman too do a computers evil bidding) and "the Man who killed Batman" (in which a small time crook has seemingly killed Batman... by accident)
This and Its decendents "The New Batman Adventures" and "Batman Beyond" as well at the Movies have made an Impact on the way I look at Batman - Silly as it my sound - but I love this Show. Anyone who saw this show - and followed it knows why ! Thanks to Paul Dini and Bruce Timm and everyone else who was involved - You guys rock !
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