16 September 2012

Batman the Animated series

When I was a kid I used to watch this show, it was one of the best cartoons of its time (along with Ducktales). So now having seen the Dark Knight Rises and while I was eagerly waiting for the Game of the Year edition of Batman: Arkham City to be released for PC I remembered this show and got all seasons of Batman the animated series.

The show has a lot more in common with the Tim Burton Batman movies than the Christopher Nolan one's when it comes to how the villains are represented, especially the Joker is more of a crazed lunatic prankster that is closer to Jack Nicholson than Heath Ledger's Joker. However, for a "kids show" it was quite dark and at times way more serious than anything usually depicted cartoons - and as such shares some qualities of Nolan's Batman movies. On the other hand, one thing that was missing a bit from Nolan's interpretation was the "detective" part of Batman's character. In this show he does a lot of collecting evidence and checking his database for clues in order to defeat his foes instead of relying heavily on brute force.

It's quite amazing how well the show has aged, and how well it still holds up today when watched through adult eyes. The dark look of the city and environments looks great, and having the stories take place in a pseudo 40's  world that has weird looking cars, helicopters, weapons and such is also great since it makes it a lot more timeless.

If you liked the Joker in Arkham Asylum, you will be happy to know that Mark Hamill provided his first Joker voiceover in this series and as such makes the Joker's voice in all episodes with that cackling laugh and theatrical overtones in delivery. The show included pretty much all known Batman villains, and had lots of fantastic episodes. The first episode with the Joker can be a bit off putting, since the show starts serious and then has this one extremely silly Joker episode. Later Joker episodes are a lot more serious and malignant.

It's great to see the stories behind many of the Batman villains, and the ironic tragedy of Batman/Bruce Wayne having a part in their birth as these mad and grudge stricken persons.

I really recommend the show for fans of Batman, it's surprisingly good and only have but a very few silly episodes.

2 comments:

  1. Actually, helicopters weren't around 'til the 50's so I'd almost dare say pseudo-50's. And also I'd recommend Batman Beyond/Justice League/JLU if you can accept other superheroes existing in the same universe and also animation which is a tad worse than the one in Batman TAS. Hands down though, this has got to be the best animated series I've seen so far...

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  2. I grew up with Batman TAS and it is still a solid watch, I think think I prefer Batman: The Brave and The Bold just for the insanity of it though.

    I did love me some Duck Tales, the game was good times as well. I often think it revitalized Disney's push for cartoon series but that could be nostalgia talking.

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