Batman: The Animated Series (TV Series 1992–1995) Poster


All voice acting was, unlike most voice-over work, performed ensemble. This means that all the voice actors performed their lines in a room together, rather than at separate times in different locations. Mark Hamill was the only cast member allowed to perform his Joker voice while standing, to make it easier to infuse the character with the manic energy the role required. All the other actors did their voices sitting down.
Kevin Conroy is the first person in animation to use two distinct voices to portray Bruce Wayne and Batman. It was his own idea.
Tim Curry was initially cast as the voice of the Joker. After he recorded four episodes, his take on the role was deemed to be too scary, so the decision was made to recast and eventually the role went to Mark Hamill.
When establishing Two-Face, the writers took the time to show his alter-ego first, Harvey Dent, in a number of episodes so the audience could get to know him better. That way, they were more shocked at his transformation from the upstanding Dent to the monstrous Two-Face. The writers believed this made him into one of the show's best characters, and his origin one of the show's best episodes.
Robin/Dick Grayson had to be older, because of censorship rules against showing endangerment of children.
The characters of Gotham City Police Officer Renee Montoya and Joker's girlfriend/henchwoman Dr. Harleen Frances Quinzel/Harley Quinn were created for the animated series and later incorporated into the comic books.
To create the eerie nighttime feeling, the background painters used dark paper instead of the traditional white. This also allowed them to save time from painting large portions of black color as most of the scenes are set at night. The animators coined the term "Dark Deco" for this art style.
Since the debut of this series, various elements have been adapted into the regular continuity of the Batman comics. These include the series' most popular original character, Harley Quinn, and the show's origin for Mr. Freeze.
The title of the show is never seen. The producers decided that since Batman was an instantly recognizable character that anyone in any language would be able to tell what the show was about.
The animators auditioned over 150 actors before they settled on Kevin Conroy for the voice of Batman.
Harley Quinn's relationship with The Joker was intended as a Punch & Judy coupling, but with the roles reversed. She was initially a one-shot character but audiences took to her. She was brought back for more, and the writers even took the time to sketch a comic-book origin for Harley, to make her seem more real.
Harley Quinn was initially created for one episode, and was added to it almost at the last minute. In "Batman: The Animated Series: Joker's Favor (1992)," Joker was initially to disguise himself as a female model to serve as bait for a trap he was setting. Writers determined that posing as a woman would be below the Joker's ego, so they created Harley Quinn as his Henchwoman for the episode to keep the disguise.
The Scarecrow's voice actor Henry Polic II had problems with throat while playing Scarecrow in Batman: The Animated Series: Dreams in Darkness (1992). That is why his voice in Batman: The Animated Series: Dreams in Darkness (1992) is different from his voice in Batman: The Animated Series: Fear of Victory (1992) and Batman: The Animated Series: Nothing to Fear (1992). After Batman: The Animated Series: Dreams in Darkness (1992), the appearances of Scarecrow was reduced. Although Scarecrow appears in Episode Batman: The Animated Series: Trial (1994), still Scarecrow has no dialogue in this episode. This was because Henry Polic II was recuperating from throat surgery during this episode's production.
Has the most spin-offs of any animated TV show ever. They include: - Batman: Mask of the Phantasm (1993) - Superman (1996) - The New Batman Adventures (1997) - Batman & Mr. Freeze: SubZero (1998) - Batman Beyond (1999) - Static Shock (2000) - Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker (2000) - Justice League (2001) - The Zeta Project (2001) - Batman: Mystery of the Batwoman (2003).The Justice League & The Justice League Unlimited.
The show's first opening sequence is essentially a remake of the pilot used to sell the show to Warner Bros. In the pilot, Batman foils a jewelry heist on a rooftop and leaves the robbers tied up for the police. The pilot can be seen as a special feature on Vol. 1 of the DVD collection.
When it came time to bring The Penguin into the show, Batman Returns (1992) had just gone into production. Warner Brothers insisted the animated version should reflect the one in the film, but they weren't allowed to release any pictures. Bruce Timm had to draw sketches on the set of the film and then adjust him accordingly for the cartoon. When the show did new episodes for Kids WB, it allowed the producers to go back to the original source material design which allowed the character to operate under the guise of a respectable businessman.
After every single storyboard, FOX would send the producers a long single spaced list of restrictions about five pages in length, on things they could not do for example; no child endangerment, no open wounds, no blood, no heavy gun violence, no strangling or neck grabs, no alcohol references, and no smoking. The FOX network was really picky, not just about the censorship, but just in terms of content and story. The network had many opinions on what the producers should and shouldn't be doing. Nobody bothered them like that on WB where they usually got about two paragraphs of stuff they couldn't do.
In most episodes, there is a character reading a Tiny Toons Adventures Magazine.
For a long time, the producers wanted to use Firefly, a character that uses fire as a weapon, but Fox said no completely because they did not allow any character to be threatened or harmed by fire. It wasn't until Batman moved to the WB that Firefly was able to be used.
Alex Toth's Space Ghost design for the 1960's Space Ghost (1966) TV series had a big influence on Bruce W. Timm's final design for Batman.
The producers admitted that this series wouldn't be possible if it wasn't for Tim Burton's Batman (1989) movie.
One of the reasons why Tim Curry was replaced by Mark Hamill for the role of Joker was because Executives of the show felt that Curry's voice for Joker sounded similar to his voice for Captain Hook in Peter Pan and the Pirates (1990) and his voice for Konk in The Pirates of Dark Water (1991).
A potential story involving a Catwoman / Black Canary team-up was interrupted in mid-pitch to the FOX network by their demand, 'Where's Robin?' When the writers asked if they could omit Robin from just this one episode, FOX obliged by omitting the entire story.
Al Pacino was initially offered the role of Two-Face.
Adam West, Roddy McDowall, Robert Hastings, Barry Dennen, Steve Franken, Michael Pataki and Judy Strangis are the only actors to appear in both this series and Batman (1966).
The episodes Batman: The Animated Series: Heart of Steel: Part I (1992) and Batman: The Animated Series: His Silicon Soul (1992) feature a character named Dr. Carl Rossum, a robotics engineer who creates a series of human-like robots. The character's name is taken from the 1920s science fiction play "R.U.R. (Rossum's Universal Robots)" by Karel Capek, which introduced the word "robot" into the English language. In both episodes, Dr. Carl Rossum is voiced by William Sanderson, who played the Replicant creator J.F. Sebastian in Blade Runner (1982). As a reference to this, Randa Dwayne's car has "RUR" on its license plate.
Commissioner James Gordon & Alfred Pennyworth, two of the most important characters in the Batman Mythos, never exchange a word with each other throughout the entire series, even if they do appear next to each other in the same scene.
Robin's costume was modeled after Neal Adams redesigned Robin costume that Tim Drake wore in the comics, though the Robin symbol was changed to a regular non-italicized "R" to make sure people would know he's Dick Grayson. However, when Tim Drake was used his costume was redesigned with a Red, Yellow, and Black color scheme.
After 14 years, "The Dark Knight's First Night", the rarely seen pilot promo reel developed for Warner Brothers by Bruce Timm and Eric Radomski, was included on the first DVD boxed set. Versions of the promo had surfaced in degraded bootleg form at comic conventions over the years, but was never intended for public viewing. Unfortunately, the actual Warner Brothers reel was not kept in the best condition either, appearing at around 105 seconds in length and having been converted from VHS. The original Audio track was lost over time and replaced with the show's main theme for the DVD.
The FOX network, on the assumption that kids won't watch a kid's show unless kids are in it, soon began insisting that Robin be prominently featured in every episode. When FOX changed to title to "The Adventures of Batman and Robin" for Season 3, they laid down the law - no story premise was to be considered unless it was either a Robin story or one in which the Boy Wonder played a key role.
Clive Revill played Alfred in the first three episodes in production. Efrem Zimbalist Jr. was cast in the role for the remainder of the series.
Roddy McDowall, who voiced The Mad Hatter, had earlier played the villain Bookworm on Batman (1966). McDowell also read the Book on Tape adaption of Batman (1989).
Kevin Conroy auditioned for the voice of G.C.P.D. Detective Harvey Bullock.
Although "Batman: The Animated Series: On Leather Wings (1992)" is considered as the first episode, still the first episode that was aired on television and received the attention of the audience was "Batman: The Animated Series: The Cat and the Claw Part I (1992)".
Anthony Hopkins was offered the role of Mr. Freeze.
Original scripts of episodes Batman: The Animated Series: Christmas with the Joker (1992), Batman: The Animated Series: The Underdwellers (1992), and Batman: The Animated Series: P.O.V. (1992) were changed due to Broadcast Standards & Practice's demands.
This series debuted only three months after the release of "Batman Returns." It borrowed several elements from the Tim Burton films, including:
  • Jack Napier as the name of the Joker's alter ego
  • the look of the Penguin
  • the Penguin's duck vehicle
  • Batman using a cable gun
  • Danny Elfman theme
  • the design of Gotham City as a clash of styles and trends (i.e. modern technology, but retro clothing)
When the series moved to Sunday evenings on WB, it marked one of the first time an animated series created specifically as a Saturday morning cartoon had aired on Primetime.
Many of the episodes in this series are direct adaptations of Denny O'Neil and Neal Adams' comic books from the seventies.
Paul Dini has said that Harley Quinn was partly inspired by seeing Arleen Sorkin wearing a harlequin's costume in her role as Calliope Jones on an episode of the daytime drama Days of Our Lives (1965). As a result, Dini was subsequently inspired to cast Sorkin as the voice of Harlequin. In addition, Dini and Sorkin were college classmates together.
The character Max Shreck from Batman Returns (1992) was originally intended to appear in this series, but his inclusion was scrapped and the character of Roland Daggett was created instead.
Michael Ansara who voiced Mister Freeze in the iconic, Emmy winning episode Batman: The Animated Series: Heart of Ice (1992) once uttered the words during this performance, "Revenge is a dish best served cold." This line has been called an "Old Klingon proverb" in Star Trek (1966), where Ansara once portrayed Klingon Commander Kang. He even threatened the Enterprise crew with the line, "You will die in the icy cold of space."
1992-1995 Time Period of Batman is also known as "Radomski Era", because of Director/Producer Eric Radomski's involvement with this show and Batman: Mask of the Phantasm (1993). According to the Documentary HBO First Look - Mask of the Phantasm_, it was Radomski who started using Black Papers opposed to traditional white papers.
In Batman: The Animated Series: Prophecy of Doom (1992), as Batman fights in Nostromo's observatory, the music is based upon or a direct homage of Gustov Holst's symphonic piece "Mars," from "The Planets."
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John Glover, who voices the Riddler, later would play Dr. Jason Woodrue in Batman & Robin (1997) and then went on to play Lex Luthor's father Lionel Luthor in Smallville (2001) which stars other DC comics characters.
While the Tim Burton Batman movies influenced much of the show, an updated Batman animated series had been in development for almost a decade prior to the show's debut. One proposed pilot actually came to be adapted as a 1985 episode of The Super Powers Team: Galactic Guardians (1985). It was largely the success of the Tim Burton Batman (1989) which inspired the green lighting and subsequent launch of the series.
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Originally Shirley Walker Batman theme was going to be the theme music for the show because Danny Elfman didn't want his Batman theme used for a cartoon. However, Elfman changed his mind once he learned the show would debut in Primetime. Walker' s Batman theme became the DCAU Batman's music and was eventually used as the show's theme in the last 20 Fox show's when the title was changed to "The Adventures of Batman & Robin".
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Clayface in this series is Matt Hagen, but instead of being a treasure hunter he's an actor which is the occupational background of Basil Karlo, the original character to use the name Clayface in the comics.
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At no point in any of the episodes is the title, "Batman: The Animated Series" displayed. However, in all the Seasons 3, 4, and 5 episodes the title "The Adventures of Batman & Robin" was displayed.
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While working in this show, Bruce Timm and Story Editor Sean Catherine Derek strongly disagreed with each other. According to the Book "Batman Animated" Page 12, Derek felt that Directors and Storyboard artists of this show were taking too many liberties with the scripts. Jules Dennis, Richard Mueller, and Derek' wrote the original script of Batman: The Animated Series: The Forgotten (1992), but Timm made several changes to the script. According to 'Animato' Magazine Issue #26, Timm put in the dream sequence with Bruce Wayne in the barracks where the multitudes of people are looking to Bruce for a handout, and he doesn't have enough money for them all, and they're surrounding him and suffocating him. Timm also completely changed the villain in the script to a fat and revolting character who constantly eats.
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Debated was the inspiration for The Joker in the original comic book, 'The Joker' was almost identical in appearance to the main character in The Man Who Laughs (1928). Almost all episodes featuring The Joker are taken from the film.
Sean Catherine Derek was the first story editor hired by Producers Bruce Timm and Eric Radomski for this show. But many of the episodes Sean Catherine Derek worked on were rewritten against her wishes.
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Tim Curry was originally cast as the Joker before he was replaced by Mark Hamill. Both men would later go on to play villains on Criminal Minds (2005); Curry as Billy Flynn aka the Prince of Darkness, and Hamill as John Curtis aka the Replicator.
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In Stu Hamilton's World's finest interview with 'Alan Burnett' qv) (one of the producers of this show), he revealed that he is a big Alfred Hitchcock fan. He was able to get John Vernon to play Rupert Thorne in this show. Roscoe Lee Browne was also cast for the role of Dr. Wakati in Episode "Time out of Joint." In Topaz (1969), John Vernon played Rico Parra and Roscoe Lee Browne played Philippe Dubois.
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Cast members Efrem Zimbalist Jr. and Robert Hastings died less than 2 months apart from each other. Zimbalist passed on May 2, 2014 and Hastings passed on June 30, 2014.
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