LTTP: Batman The Animated Series.

Jan 27, 2019
519
Confession time ERA, I never saw Batman: The Animated Series during my childhood, I can’t really remember what the deal was for broadcasting or distribution here in the UK during it’s original run to be fair.

In fact I only started to become aware of the series in a serious way when I played Batman Arkham Asylum as the game draws a lot on the original series particularly the voice cast. I looked up some DVD release and found out that largely the region 2 DVD releases were incomplete. After a while Amazon UK added the series to prime and I watched a few well regarded episodes like “A Heart Of Ice.”

That said last year the entire series was released on Blu Ray and I patiently held out until I could snag the box set for a reasonable price, grabbing a used set.

So I am now working my way through the series and I have some thoughts.

The vibe/aesthetic is very unique, being set in what appears to be the 40’s or 50’s going by the clothing, cars and weaponry used by the villains, this is contrasted with more modern technology such as computers which are fairly common. This series owes its existence to Tim Burton’s 1989 film so I am not surprised that they adopted a lot of the stylistic elements from that film.

One thing I am finding fascinating is the quality of the animation which is high overall but some episodes stand out by virtue of having much higher quality animation than others, I understand that this is a product of animation duties being outsourced to three different studios. So far I am up to Night of the Ninja (episode 35) and I am noticing that the animation in sone episodes was of much higher quality than what I hsve seen so far, particularly the facial work. Standouts include Two Face: Part One and Feat of Clay Part 2. Which blow away some of the other episodes by a big margin.

I am so glad this series got made, I am a fan of 90’s marvel products from the time period, but comparing this directly to the Spider-Man series which released in 1994, it is quite clear that DC and Warner Bros really through their full weight behind this series. By contrast Spider-Man while still good is a little comical (pun totally intended) Spider-Man throws two punches in the entire series and all of the weapons are swapped out for sci if alternatives. Where as Batman is confronted by enemies using real world weapons and is free to use his fists in the manner which we expect. Also the themes in general are very mature for an animated series.

Just going to wrap up by saying I wished I had seen this sooner, but now I plan to make up for lost time as I binge my way through the series.

I had a long gap between my last binge watching session and where I am now, but soon I plan to dive back in and see if I can finish if this epic piece of TV making in the next week.
 
Last edited:

Tizoc

Member
Oct 25, 2017
19,528
Oman
The series is great and is one of the greatest animated series of all time. While it has a few stinkers, even its most normal episodes are fun and great.
 
OP
OP
Lightning Count
Jan 27, 2019
519
The series is great and is one of the greatest animated series of all time. While it has a few stinkers, even its most normal episodes are fun and great.
Yes the episode “I’ve got Batman in my basement” is just pure cringe, I watched it once, I don’t think I will be watching that one ever again. But overall I love the series.
 

Solar Puffin

Member
Oct 8, 2018
2,595
Sydney
I like that all the Villains have their own musical theme that reflects their personality.
I bought the Blu-ray last week, and I'm literally watching it right now.
 

Disgraced

Avenger
Oct 25, 2017
4,348
Crystal Cove
If you're not burnt out when you're done consider checking the DCAU that follows (Superman TAS, B: Beyond, Static Shock, Justice League) as well. It's all good.
 
OP
OP
Lightning Count
Jan 27, 2019
519
If you're not burnt out when you're done consider checking the DCAU that follows (Superman TAS, B: Beyond, Static Shock, Justice League) as well. It's all good.
I loved Batman Beyond (They called it Batman Of The Future here in the UK) used to watch it in Toonami, i never did finish every episode though sadly.
 

Retro

Member
Oct 25, 2017
1,713
Make sure as you’re watching to also listen. Shirley Walker did an AMAZING job with the musical score and there’s a lot of episodes where she does the heavy lifting. “P.O.V.” is a great example of an “okay” episode kicked up a notch by having the episode’s theme change based on which member of the Gotham PD is telling the story.
 

Disgraced

Avenger
Oct 25, 2017
4,348
Crystal Cove
I loved Batman Beyond (They called it Batman Of The Future here in the UK) used to watch it in Toonami, i never did finish every episode though sadly.
Huh, interesting. (: Usually folks have seen TAS if they've seen Beyond. It's probably worth a re-watch to see every episode and the film, Return of the Joker. It would be remiss to forget recommending TAS film, Mask of Phantasm too.
 

LewieP

Banned
Oct 26, 2017
8,223
Huh, interesting. (: Usually folks have seen TAS if they've seen Beyond. It's probably worth a re-watch to see every episode and the film, Return of the Joker. It would be remiss to forget recommending TAS film, Mask of Phantasm too.
Yeah imo you should just watch all of DCAU in release order, but Batman Beyond specifically is a great continuation of arcs from BTAS.
 
OP
OP
Lightning Count
Jan 27, 2019
519
Make sure as you’re watching to also listen. Shirley Walker did an AMAZING job with the musical score and there’s a lot of episodes where she does the heavy lifting. “P.O.V.” is a great example of an “okay” episode kicked up a notch by having the episode’s theme change based on which member of the Gotham PD is telling the story.
Yes, I really enjoyed that episode, especially how each character had a different take on the events. I wish more series would attempt this.
 
Oct 25, 2017
1,088
Much of the voice cast that did NOT stay with the series or the characters themselves were also noteworthy.

Many of the episodes were pure masterclasses in the voice acting trade at the time.

Andrea Romano is an absolute legend. She was voice director on the show, pay attention to the acting as much as the words coming out of these cartoon characters, they really do sell the scene/setting/batarang to the face.
 
Oct 30, 2017
1,187
Make sure as you’re watching to also listen. Shirley Walker did an AMAZING job with the musical score and there’s a lot of episodes where she does the heavy lifting. “P.O.V.” is a great example of an “okay” episode kicked up a notch by having the episode’s theme change based on which member of the Gotham PD is telling the story.
Score is incredible.

Been watching on blu Ray, and the show looks and sounds amazing.
 

sir_crocodile

Member
Oct 25, 2017
9,797
Make sure as you’re watching to also listen. Shirley Walker did an AMAZING job with the musical score and there’s a lot of episodes where she does the heavy lifting. “P.O.V.” is a great example of an “okay” episode kicked up a notch by having the episode’s theme change based on which member of the Gotham PD is telling the story.
Yup, Shirley Walker was awesome. Her Fourth World stuff for Superman : The Animated Series was even better.
 

Alexem

Member
Oct 27, 2017
519
Essex, UK
Confession time ERA, I never saw Batman: The Animated Series during my childhood, I can’t really remember what the deal was for broadcasting or distribution here in the UK during it’s original run to be fair.
If memory serves, CITV showed it back when it was first on. I have some very vague memories of it being on weekday afternoons, but I think most of it was probably shown on their Saturday morning show - it might have been What's Up Doc? at the time, not sure. Sky One then showed it in the mornings for a few years in the 200s, but I don't think it's been on TV since then.

I was pretty late to seeing BTAS myself - not until I was a student, as a matter of fact! - but I'm glad that I came across it eventually, as the work that went in to it really shows. If you're interested in learning more about how the show got made, there's a really good - and surprisingly long - feature on the bonus disc at the end of the blu-ray set that you might want to watch.
 

grandmastashi

Member
Nov 6, 2017
76
If memory serves, CITV showed it back when it was first on. I have some very vague memories of it being on weekday afternoons, but I think most of it was probably shown on their Saturday morning show - it might have been What's Up Doc? at the time, not sure. Sky One then showed it in the mornings for a few years in the 200s, but I don't think it's been on TV since then.

I was pretty late to seeing BTAS myself - not until I was a student, as a matter of fact! - but I'm glad that I came across it eventually, as the work that went in to it really shows. If you're interested in learning more about how the show got made, there's a really good - and surprisingly long - feature on the bonus disc at the end of the blu-ray set that you might want to watch.
Your memory serves you correctly Alexem, it was first shown on 'What's Up Doc?', which had a Warner Brothers theme throughout and was the first place Batman: TAS, Animaniacs and Taz-Mania were shown in the UK.
 

Anth0ny

Member
Oct 25, 2017
16,533
It's considered one of the greatest animated shows of all time for a reason.

It hasn't aged a day. In fact, they don't make em like this anymore at all.
 

Dalek

Member
Oct 25, 2017
13,138
In my opinion it's one of the greatest television shows to ever exist. It's quality was basically an accident-the studio just wanted an animated series to capitalize on the Tim Burton film's popularity-but getting Paul Dini and Bruce Timm on it was fortuitous because they treated the characters and world with love and reverence.

Do yourself a favor and get a subscription to Stitcher and listen to the first episodes of Kevin Smith's Fatman on Batman podcast. He interviews the creators and voice actors of the show and it's magnificent. He even sits with Paul Dini and they watch a few episodes and provide commentary.
 

Rygar 8Bit

Member
Oct 25, 2017
5,341
Site-15
Early DCAU is all amazing. Should get around to it if you have time after BTAS. Some of the somewhat later stuff like Teen Titans and Young Justice are also really good as well.
 

Tizoc

Member
Oct 25, 2017
19,528
Oman
Yes the episode “I’ve got Batman in my basement” is just pure cringe, I watched it once, I don’t think I will be watching that one ever again. But overall I love the series.
Seems even Bruce Timm and co. didn't like it, but they tried their best :V
It'd make for an interesting story if the show wasn't aimed at a younger audience IMO.
 

Bor Gullet

Member
Oct 27, 2017
6,064
Much of the voice cast that did NOT stay with the series or the characters themselves were also noteworthy.

Many of the episodes were pure masterclasses in the voice acting trade at the time.

Andrea Romano is an absolute legend. She was voice director on the show, pay attention to the acting as much as the words coming out of these cartoon characters, they really do sell the scene/setting/batarang to the face.
Truth. Conroy and Hamill get all the attention, but their were plenty of VA's just as good on that show, with some characters being the definitive portrayal for me.
 
Last edited:

Skunk

Member
Oct 28, 2017
790
If you're not burnt out when you're done consider checking the DCAU that follows (Superman TAS, B: Beyond, Static Shock, Justice League) as well. It's all good.
This SO much, I grew up with BTAS, but I didn't catch up with the other stuff until 10-15 years later. I daresay I enjoyed Justice League/Justice League Unlimited even more than BTAS, it was truly fantastic. Young Justice was also quite good, although it took me some time to warm up to it.

Also important, several of the modern DC Animated Movies are spectacular as well; Wonder Woman, Batman: Under The Red Hood, and Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox especially.
 
OP
OP
Lightning Count
Jan 27, 2019
519
This SO much, I grew up with BTAS, but I didn't catch up with the other stuff until 10-15 years later. I daresay I enjoyed Justice League/Justice League Unlimited even more than BTAS, it was truly fantastic. Young Justice was also quite good, although it took me some time to warm up to it.

Also important, several of the modern DC Animated Movies are spectacular as well; Wonder Woman, Batman: Under The Red Hood, and Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox especially.
I have seen the end scene of Under The Rood, it was amazing, I plan to watch the whole thing one day after I finish TAS.
 

Concelhaut

Member
Jun 10, 2019
914
I don't know anything about this show, but I just ordered the Blu Ray collection because I felt I needed to watch this.
 

Retro

Member
Oct 25, 2017
1,713
Hell of a necro bump, but you're really in for a treat. Batman: TAS holds up amazingly well, everything from the "dark deco" aesthetic and fantastic animation to the amazing voice cast and Shirley Walker's music... and I can only think of one episode that's a total dud (y'all know exactly which one it is too).

If this thread doesn't get locked, be sure to post some impressions. Also don't sleep on Mask of the Phantasm, it's my #1 Batman flick (yes, beating out the live action ones).
 
Oct 28, 2017
521
I got the Blu-Ray collection too off the Amazon Global UK Store (Was cheaper for me in the US and just had to wait like 2 weeks for the delivery); and man this show really is as good as I remember and the general internet hype. It feels very consistently good and occasionally it's amazing. Like some of the best entertainment aimed at children, it occasionally deals with really dark and real themes. The two-part Two-Face and Clayface episode arcs stood out to me.

Finished Episode 30: Perchance to Dream and was kicking myself that I didn't figure out what was going on earlier.
 

HueyFreeman

Member
Oct 27, 2017
3,333
Congrats OP - it is fully the greatest animated series of all time and the greatest interpretation of Batman in movies or film.

Helps that the Blu-rays are absolutely gorgeous too.
 

jviggy43

Member
Oct 28, 2017
14,549
Rewatched it a few years ago and yeah its incredible and still holds up, even as an adult watching a show made for kids. And mask of the phantasm is just perfection.
 

misho8723

Member
Jan 7, 2018
1,384
Slovakia
I got the Blu-Ray collection too off the Amazon Global UK Store (Was cheaper for me in the US and just had to wait like 2 weeks for the delivery); and man this show really is as good as I remember and the general internet hype. It feels very consistently good and occasionally it's amazing. Like some of the best entertainment aimed at children, it occasionally deals with really dark and real themes. The two-part Two-Face and Clayface episode arcs stood out to me.

Finished Episode 30: Perchance to Dream and was kicking myself that I didn't figure out what was going on earlier.
Maybe made for kids - even though wasn't this show the first one that was for kids but characters were using real weapons and even showing blood ? - but many, many episodes are very adult orientated.. as you mentioned the episodes about Two-Face and Clayface, then those episodes about Mr. Freeze, the "Perchance to Dream" episode which is just briliant and is the most liked episode by Kevin Conroy, then episode where children are forced to do labor work, of course all the episodes with mafia and gangs, death of Batgirl (doesn't matter that it was a dream), episodes with Mad Hatter and his obsession with "Alice", the relantionship between Joker and Harley, Scarecrow's episodes, what Joker did to Robin, Clayface killing a young girl, many sexual innuendos, etc.. there are just so many episodes with deep, mature themes in the series..
Maybe it was targeted to children but the writers and producers were obviously going after older demographics between the viewers
 
Nov 13, 2017
4,959
Considering how badly they want that DC Universe streaming service to succeed, it blows my mind that they aren’t willing to continue this series. There are so many new villains and storylines they could cover.