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View Poll Results: What is Batman: The Animated Series to You?
The greatest animated series of all time 30 38.96%
ONE of the greatest animated series of all time 46 59.74%
It's okay. (Run if you choose this option) 1 1.30%
Voters: 77. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 02-20-2016, 09:21 PM   #1
TheLaughingMann TheLaughingMann is offline
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Default FOX's "Batman: The Animated Series" Discussion (1992-1995)

**Note: Unless a thread does exist for it and it's well buried, here we go.**

In the Year of Our Lord, 2016, we look back and remember a show that helped to bring an animated renaissance of comic-based adaptations to a level of great storytelling and acting that would be continued on over the years.

Once upon a time, Bruce Timm collaborated with his Tiny Toon Adventures associate Eric Radomski to produce the first of many DC-based animations to come. Having garnered much of his time at Filmation working on the likes of Flash Gordon, He-Man and the Masters of the Universe, She-Ra: Princess of Power, G.I. Joe, and others, Timm migrated to Warner Bros in 1989. This came after a brief stint on The Real Ghostbusters and work on The Tiny Toon Adventures. From here, the groundwork would be laid for Batman: The Animated Series.

Many writers would have contributed to create singular, episodic tellings (similar to the Simpsons) of Batman's adventures in Gotham and how he coped with all manner of themes. The most significant contributor was Paul Dini. Dini had experience in working with George Lucas during the 80s on his Star Wars: Ewoks series, as well as writing many noteworthy episodes on He-Man. After joining Warner Bros and his work on Tiny Toon Adventures, he joined Timm and Radomski as a significant contributor to the structure of Batman. He would go on to further future DC projects and return to work on Star Wars in writing for Star Wars: The Clone Wars in 2007 onward.

Using influence from Tim Burton's Batman and Batman Returns, as well as the classical Superman animations of the 40s, the visual groundwork was laid out to depict a world with a mixture of vintage and noir presences, establishing very unique elements of a world that existed in itself as only a comic could oblige. The music was also influenced by both Burton films (especially the opening title song) and classic film noir. In terms of severity, Batman: The Animated Series had gone to a level of maturity rarely explored before then. It is by the presence of the level of violence in the show that nearly kept it from being aired in proper fashion before "On Leather Wings," the pilot episode, had established the basic groundwork of the show's approach.

The vocal work in the show was also the first of many to oblige utilizing actors of various establishment for various characters. Andrea Romano, who had worked at Hanna-Barbera (most notably on the Smurfs, Jonny Quest, and the Jetsons) and Disney (Ducktales), would continue on at Warner Bros (also a Tiny Toon Adventures alum) in casting and voice directing for Batman and further DC and non-DC projects.

The acting talent was also expansive at the time. Kevin Conroy (having done singular appearances on the likes of Cheers, Matlock, Murphy Brown and Dynasty) would immortalize himself as the absolute animated voice of Batman. Mark Hamill, having established himself in his most major physical acting role as Luke Skywalker in the Star Wars saga, immortalized himself in voicing Joker. Both men were marked as being so true to form with their characters with great writing and direction that they would go on to voice said characters in further DC projects in animation and video games (most notably Superman: The Animated Series, Justice League and Unlimited, and the Batman: Arkham series). Another turnout was the creation of Harley "Doctor Harleen Quinzel" Quinn, a supporting antagonist of the Joker who would find her own life and presence unto this day, and the voice work provided by Arleen Sorkin (a regular on Days of Our Lives from 1984 to 2010).

Further contribution would come from various talent, such as Richard Moll, John Vernon, Ron Perlman, David Warner, Kate Mulgrew, Michael Ansara, Treat Williams, Tim Matheson, Helen Slater, John de Lancie, Thomas F Wilson, Tim Curry, Michael York, John Rhys-Davies, and many other alums of science fiction and fantasy then and yet to come. This work would also continue further into other DC projects, including Superman: The Animated Series, Batman Beyond, Justice League and Justice League Unlimited (with many actors reprising their roles in said future installments).

Just as Harley Quinn was a creation within the realm of the show, many others were created and changed for the show. The most notable changes happened to the Penguin (a blend of Burgess Meredith and Danny Devito's takes), Two-Face (who was given his dual persona before his transformation within the show's scope), Clayface and Mr Freeze (two of which were given significant story writings in the scope of the show). The presentations of many of these characters were so well received that the comics succeeding the series made similar changes to follow upon the established writings and visual layout of such characters. Mr Freeze, in particular, had garnered such positive reception with his episode "Heart of Ice" by writing and voicework (gravitated by the last Michael Ansara, aka Kang from Star Trek: The Original Series) that it is among the highest rated episodes in Batman and general animation history.

The show premiered in September, 1992 during the Fox Kids block of broadcasting on Fox Network. The initial run consisted of 65 episodes, followed by a further 20 in the form of The Adventures of Batman & Robin in 1994-1995 and another 24 in the form of The New Batman Adventures in 1997 (alongside the newly formed Superman: The Animated Series) on Kids' WB following the 5 year exclusivity contract for broadcasting Fox had maintained. Three feature length films would also be produced from the series' inception: Mask of the Phantasm (also regarded as one of the greatest stories in the series' inception), Mr Freeze: SubZero, and Mystery of the Batwoman.

The show would later be succeeded by Superman: The Animated Series, Static Shock, Batman Beyond, and both Justice League and Justice League: Unlimited in the creation of the DCAU (DC Animated Universe), establishing an overall chronology of stories focused around various characters that see return of their actors to reprise voicework. It would also carry over into the Batman: Arkham series of video games, with Asylum followed by City and Origins and Knight.

To this day, Batman: The Animated Series has received many awards and reviews from all over, even to the point of being called one of the greatest animated series of all time.

And after a very long and drawn out summary of the creation of this series, we come to the culmination of this thread. Here, state everything you wish about the show. What you like, what you don't (god forbid if there is anything), all that good stuff.

TL;DR Summary: Batman: The Animated Series is great, if not the greatest. Here's a new thread for it. Discuss. Share. Respect.

Last edited by TheLaughingMann; 02-21-2016 at 08:44 AM.
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Old 02-20-2016, 09:49 PM   #2
JackKnightStarman JackKnightStarman is offline
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I remember the positive hype this received we it premiered. It made people care about Batman again after what many considered a disappointing Batman Returns. This show was incredible. And has one of my favorite Bat movies of all time...Mask of the Phantasm.
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Old 02-20-2016, 10:24 PM   #3
TheLaughingMann TheLaughingMann is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JackKnightStarman View Post
I remember the positive hype this received we it premiered. It made people care about Batman again after what many considered a disappointing Batman Returns. This show was incredible. And has one of my favorite Bat movies of all time...Mask of the Phantasm.
First post. Welcome Jack. What I found surprising was Mask of the Phantasm was such a darned good tale that the Phantasm character (and the person they are) was reused once more to establish darned good continuity among both Batman Beyond's story and Justice League/Unlimited's. When I saw that episode in JL/U, my jaw dropped at how brilliant they worked in the continuity of many of the DCAU's stories into a single episode. I don't think it was the best episode of JL/U, but it was one of them.

Mask of the Phantasm is definitely great...it's seen best as a prequel/current tale to Batman: TAS, for any who have yet to see.

Last edited by TheLaughingMann; 01-01-2017 at 04:21 PM.
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Old 02-20-2016, 10:52 PM   #4
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I loved this series and watched it religiously in the 90's along with some other great shows like the X-Men animated series. It was just so well done and it gave birth to my favourite heroine of all time Harley Quinn! It's a show which had everything and one you can easily watch over and over and never get tired of it...in fact I was only just watching it the other day lol.
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Old 02-20-2016, 10:55 PM   #5
TheLaughingMann TheLaughingMann is offline
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Originally Posted by Nightopian View Post
I loved this series and watched it religiously in the 90's along with some other great shows like the X-Men animated series. It was just so well done and it gave birth to my favourite heroine of all time Harley Quinn! It's a show which had everything and one you can easily watch over and over and never get tired of it...in fact I was only just watching it the other day lol.
I just went on an epic buying spree of DC animation recently. Young Justice and Invasion on Blu, Justice League and Unlimited on Blu, Batman: TAS, Superman: TAS and Batman Beyond: TAS on DVD. The only movies I got were Phantasm, SubZero, Mystery of the Batwoman, and Return of the Joker. Trying to do any others doesn't feel right because their quality is all over the place.

Last edited by TheLaughingMann; 02-20-2016 at 11:18 PM.
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Old 02-21-2016, 12:16 AM   #6
Clark Kent Clark Kent is offline
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I don't think Timm and Dini would have gotten away with their sophisticated neo-noir take on Batman in today's corporate environment. It was such a leap in quality and storytelling from prior animated superhero shows that it cannot be understated. No one had ever seen anything like it outside the actual comic books.

I love most of the voice actors on B:TAS. When I think of Barbara Gordon or Alfred, it is the voices from this show I hear.
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Old 02-21-2016, 03:57 AM   #7
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Correction: Arleen Sorkin is not married to actor Christopher Lloyd. Her husband is a TV writer by the same name, who contributed heavily to "Frasier", among other projects.

On a related note, I actually got to meet both Mrs. Sorkin and Mr. Conroy, several years ago at a Dallas convention. They told stories about the show and their careers; Mr. Conroy also told about his helping feed police and firemen as a cafe' assistant, shortly after 9/11. Here's the autograph I still have, signed by them both...

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Old 02-21-2016, 04:17 AM   #8
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This is hands down the greatest cartoon ever made. Not only does it have its own sense of style, especially with the negative effect animation, but the series was clearly based on the 70s era of Batman. So many of the stories not only resemble them from that time period, but a lot of the are even direct adaptations from the period.

The Laughing Fish is a combination of both Joker's Five Way Revenge and The Laughing Fish.

Off-Balance is pretty much a recreation of "Into the Den of the Death Dealers," but with Vertigo as the villain instead of a nobody.

The Demon's Head two parter is also a direct adaptation of Ra's first appearance in the comics, so much so that they even had Denny O'Neil write the two episodes.

The two episodes with Man-Bat are also taken from the comics.

Moon of the Wolf is a direct adaptation.

Oh, and the story where Killer Croc meets a group of circus freaks is taken from a story that had the Strong Man as the villain.
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Old 02-21-2016, 08:46 AM   #9
TheLaughingMann TheLaughingMann is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Moviefan2k4 View Post
Correction: Arleen Sorkin is not married to actor Christopher Lloyd. Her husband is a TV writer by the same name, who contributed heavily to "Frasier", among other projects.

On a related note, I actually got to meet both Mrs. Sorkin and Mr. Conroy, several years ago at a Dallas convention. They told stories about the show and their careers; Mr. Conroy also told about his helping feed police and firemen as a cafe' assistant, shortly after 9/11. Here's the autograph I still have, signed by them both...

Updated. I had taken her own biography from IMDb and had seen that "married to Christopher Lloyd since 1995" was a significant add-in to her summary, so I had figured it had meant the actor. And I gotta love those old style cel's.
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Old 02-21-2016, 08:52 AM   #10
TheLaughingMann TheLaughingMann is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vlad Draculi View Post
This is hands down the greatest cartoon ever made. Not only does it have its own sense of style, especially with the negative effect animation, but the series was clearly based on the 70s era of Batman. So many of the stories not only resemble them from that time period, but a lot of the are even direct adaptations from the period.

The Laughing Fish is a combination of both Joker's Five Way Revenge and The Laughing Fish.

Off-Balance is pretty much a recreation of "Into the Den of the Death Dealers," but with Vertigo as the villain instead of a nobody.

The Demon's Head two parter is also a direct adaptation of Ra's first appearance in the comics, so much so that they even had Denny O'Neil write the two episodes.

The two episodes with Man-Bat are also taken from the comics.

Moon of the Wolf is a direct adaptation.

Oh, and the story where Killer Croc meets a group of circus freaks is taken from a story that had the Strong Man as the villain.
I had thought a couple of those were great. Demon's Head was a darned good setup. Ra's was played by David Warner, who you know as Sark from Tron, Bob Cratchit from the George C Scott iteration of A Christmas Carol, and was also Lovejoy in Titanic (Billy Zane's character's attendant/bodyguard/whatever). The Killer Croc story was also pretty good. Laughing Fish, too. I just love the stories where we get to see a villain have some attempt at being immersed into non-villainy, too. It shows us that they are still human in some form. And those are the villains that people can agree and like.
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Old 02-21-2016, 09:03 AM   #11
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One of the more overlooked aspects of the series is, it's comforting in its familiarity the way many cartoons are (and I suspect why so many enjoy the medium), but vibrant in its originality and each episode is clever in and of itself. The characters are so well-defined and the villains have such distinct personalities that it's a genuine pleasure to watch half-hour hand-drawn dramas in a sea of action shows and comedy silliness.

I enjoyed the show very much as a child and it's always been a great comfort to me in harder times. This is THE Batman for me.
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Old 02-21-2016, 01:34 PM   #12
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I still remember watching this for the first time. I was so pumped to come home from school and check it out. If memory serves me correct the fist episode was clayface. Good times.
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Old 02-21-2016, 01:45 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blurayfriend View Post
One of the more overlooked aspects of the series is, it's comforting in its familiarity the way many cartoons are (and I suspect why so many enjoy the medium), but vibrant in its originality and each episode is clever in and of itself. The characters are so well-defined and the villains have such distinct personalities that it's a genuine pleasure to watch half-hour hand-drawn dramas in a sea of action shows and comedy silliness.

I enjoyed the show very much as a child and it's always been a great comfort to me in harder times. This is THE Batman for me.
Just to add the score too by Danny Elfman.
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Old 02-21-2016, 02:54 PM   #14
Vlad Draculi Vlad Draculi is offline
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I just love the stories where we get to see a villain have some attempt at being immersed into non-villainy, too. It shows us that they are still human in some form. And those are the villains that people can agree and like.
Yeah, which is why I think "Almost Got'Im" is the best episode of the series.

I also forgot to mention I love how they were able to get an episode that featured Jonah Hex into the show and the music was so damn good. "The Forgotten" contains one of my favorite scores of the series.
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Old 02-21-2016, 02:58 PM   #15
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One of the greatest performed moments in Batman History ever

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Old 02-21-2016, 03:02 PM   #16
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I've been tempted to buy this series on DVD recently. I should do so and make it an absolute certainty that the blu-ray boxset will be announced. Thus is my curse.
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Old 02-21-2016, 03:26 PM   #17
TheLaughingMann TheLaughingMann is offline
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I've been tempted to buy this series on DVD recently. I should do so and make it an absolute certainty that the blu-ray boxset will be announced. Thus is my curse.
I just bought the box set on eBay new for $55. Picture looked legit. Everything inside was right. The first disc looked and played right. In my pc it read as a 4.35gb DVD. If it was a counterfeit then it is the best looking one I have seen. Many tv shows I bought on eBay were either the real deal or very high quality counterfeit work. But only an entity like Amazon can tell.
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Old 02-21-2016, 03:29 PM   #18
TheLaughingMann TheLaughingMann is offline
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I still remember watching this for the first time. I was so pumped to come home from school and check it out. If memory serves me correct the fist episode was clayface. Good times.
Voiced by Ron perlman himself.
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Old 02-21-2016, 04:12 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bfett9 View Post
One of the greatest performed moments in Batman History ever

Joker's Eulogy - YouTube
Which season and ep name of this?
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Old 02-21-2016, 04:18 PM   #20
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Quote:
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Which season and ep name of this?
The episode is "The Man Who Killed Batman."

That scene always makes me laugh. I say "Well, that was fun! Who's for Chinese?" A LOT when something frustrating happens and it passes.

Last edited by DarkEco910; 02-21-2016 at 04:23 PM.
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