Batman: The Animated Series

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Batman: The Animated Series
The Adventures of Batman & Robin
Batman the Animated Series logo.jpg
Also known as The Adventures of Batman & Robin (1994–1995)
Genre Superhero
Action/Adventure
Mystery
Suspense
Drama
Crime
Science fiction
Fantasy
Neo-noir
Created by
Developed by
Written by Paul Dini
Michael Reaves
Randy Rogel
Steve Perry
Brynne Stephens
Sean Catherine Derek
Alan Burnett
Laren Bright
Voices of Kevin Conroy[1]
Efrem Zimbalist, Jr.
Bob Hastings
Robert Costanzo
Loren Lester
Mark Hamill
Arleen Sorkin
Theme music composer Danny Elfman
Composer(s) Shirley Walker
Harvey Cohen
Lolita Ritmanis
Michael McCuistion
Stuart Balcomb
Richard Bronskill
Carl Johnson
Kristopher Carter
Carlos Rodriguez
Wayne Coster
Country of origin United States
No. of seasons 2 (by production order)
4 (by original airdates)
No. of episodes 85 (list of episodes)
Production
Executive producer(s) Jean MacCurdy
Tom Ruegger
Producer(s) Alan Burnett
Paul Dini
Eric Radomski
Bruce Timm
Running time 22 minutes
Production company(s) Warner Bros. Animation
Distributor Warner Bros. Television Distribution
Release
Original channel Fox
Original release September 5, 1992 (1992-09-05) – September 15, 1995 (1995-09-15)[2]
Chronology
Followed by Superman: The Animated Series
The New Batman Adventures
External links
Website

Batman: The Animated Series is an American animated television series based on the DC Comics superhero Batman. It was developed by Bruce Timm and Eric Radomski. Produced by Warner Bros. Animation, it originally aired on the Fox Network from September 5, 1992 to September 15, 1995; with a total of 85 episodes.[2][3] During its second season, the series was given the on-screen title The Adventures of Batman & Robin.

The series was widely praised for its thematic complexity, darker tone, artistic quality and modernization of its title character's crime-fighting origins. IGN listed The Animated Series as the best adaptation of Batman anywhere outside of comics, the best comic book cartoon of all time[4] and the second best animated series of all time (after The Simpsons).[5][6] Wizard magazine also ranked it #2 of the greatest animated television shows of all time (again after The Simpsons). TV Guide ranked it the seventh Greatest Cartoon of All Time (out of 60).[7] The universal acclaim led the series to win four Emmy Awards, including Outstanding Animated Program.

The series was also the first in the continuity of the shared DC animated universe; spawning further animated TV series, comic books and video games with most of the same creative talent. Its ratings success and critical acclaim led the series to spawn two feature films - Batman: Mask of the Phantasm (released to theaters in 1993) and Batman & Mr. Freeze: SubZero (a direct-to-video release in 1998).

Overview[edit]

The series took influence from Tim Burton's live-action films Batman (1989) and Batman Returns (1992), and the acclaimed Superman theatrical cartoons produced by Fleischer Studios in the early 1940s.[8] In designing the series, creators Bruce Timm and Eric Radomski emulated the Burton films' "otherworldly timelessness", incorporating period features such as black-and-white title cards, police blimps (though no such thing existed, Timm has stated that he found it to fit the show's style) and a "vintage" color scheme with film noir flourishes.[9]

The visual style of the series was based on the artwork of Radomski, although Timm is often mistakenly given credit for this due to the fact that the characters were based on his designs. However, the gothic backgrounds, look and feel of Gotham City were based on the initial designs laid out by Radomski.[10] In addition, Radomski issued a standing order to the animation department that all backgrounds be painted using light colors on black paper (as opposed to the industry standard of dark colors on white paper).[9] The distinctive visual combination of "noir" imagery and Art Deco design was dubbed "Dark Deco" by the producers.[11]

The series initially took a variation of music written by Danny Elfman for the Burton films as its theme; later episodes of the series used a new theme with a similar style by Shirley Walker (Walker was occasionally Elfman's conductor for films on which they collaborated). The score of the series was influenced by Elfman and Walker's work on the Burton films, as well as music of 1940s film noir.

The series was more adult-oriented than previous superhero cartoons. It was the first such cartoon in years to depict outright physical violence against antagonists (though only one character was depicted as having been shot — Commissioner Gordon, in the episode "I Am the Night", is shown lying unconscious due to a gunshot wound he received offscreen) and one of the first animated shows in years to depict realistic firearms. First-time producers Timm and Radomski reportedly encountered resistance from studio executives, but the success of Burton's first film allowed the embryonic series to survive long enough to produce a pilot episode, "On Leather Wings", which according to Timm "got a lot of people off our backs".[9]

The series was also notable for its supporting cast — a number of well-known actors provided voices for various classic villains, most notably Mark Hamill (previously famous for his role as Luke Skywalker in the original Star Wars trilogy), who later found success in voice acting thanks to his "cheerfully deranged" portrayal of the Joker.[12] The recording sessions (under the supervision of voice director Andrea Romano) were recorded with the actors together in one studio (as opposed to industry standard of voice actors recording dialogue separately). This method would later be employed for all subsequent series in the DC animated universe.

One of the series' best-known inventions was the Joker's assistant, Harley Quinn, who became so popular that DC Comics later added her to mainstream Batman comic book continuity. The Penguin underwent change for the series; his appearance was remodeled after the version seen in Batman Returns (though still incorporating classic elements of the character), which was in production simultaneously with the series' first season. New life was also given to lesser-known characters for the series such as the Clock King. In addition, dramatic changes were made to villains such as Clayface and Mr. Freeze — the latter character, for example, was changed from a gimmicky mad scientist to a tragic figure whose "frigid exterior [hid] a doomed love and vindictive fury".

Characters[edit]

From left to right: Mr. Freeze, Poison Ivy, the Penguin, the Joker, Harley Quinn, the Mad Hatter, the Riddler, Catwoman (and Isis) and Two-Face.

New villains such as Red Claw, Baby-Doll, Kyodai Ken, Tygrus and the Sewer King were invented for the series, but to little acclaim. On the other hand, the Joker's accomplice Harley Quinn, Gotham City police detective Renee Montoya and the vigilante Lock-Up achieved such popularity that they became characters in the comics. Older villains that were lesser known from the comics, such as Count Vertigo, the Mirror Man and the Clock King, were modified for the series in both appearance and personality. The series was also the first to suggest that Harvey Dent had a pre-existing dual personality before becoming Two-Face. This idea came from Alan Burnett, one of the series' producers and head writers.[13]

Aside from creating characters that crossed over into the main line of DC Comics, several of the series' reinterpretations were carried over as well. Mr. Freeze was revised in the comics to emulate the series' tragic story, the success of which actually compelled DC to bring the character back after "killing" him off some years earlier; Clayface was revised to be much more similar in appearance to his animated counterpart; and Two-Face's double-sided, black-and-white suit has become a common appearance for the character.

Bruce Wayne[edit]

One of the most noteworthy changes made in The Animated Series was the treatment of Batman's alter ego, Bruce Wayne. In nearly all other media, including the comics, television shows and films, Bruce deliberately plays up his image as a vacuous, self-absorbed and not-too-bright billionaire playboy.[14] In The Animated Series, his character is instead treated more seriously; he is assertive, extremely intelligent, and actively involved in the management of Wayne Enterprises, without jeopardizing his secret identity. For example: in the episode "Eternal Youth", Bruce is shown angrily ordering one of his directors to cancel a secret deal with a timber company in the Amazon rainforest. In addition, during the episode "Night of the Ninja", he revealed to reporter Summer Gleeson that he has some martial arts training, as the reporter previously researched that he once lived in Japan.

Kevin Conroy is notable for being the first person in animation to use two distinct voices to portray Bruce Wayne and Batman, a tactic used previously by Michael Keaton in Tim Burton's live-action films.[15]

Dick Grayson[edit]

Another noteworthy change in the series was the redefining of the original Robin, Dick Grayson. While much of Dick's past remained the same, his Robin costume was updated to a more modern look of the 1990s (with short sleeves and long tights), exactly like Tim Drake's original Robin outfit, but with a non-italicized "R" symbol. In addition, Dick was given a more serious personality to match the tone of the series. The episode "Batgirl Returns" establishes that Dick and Barbara Gordon attend the same college and that they have a mutual romantic attraction to each other, but neither one knows that the other is secretly Robin and/or Batgirl, respectively. Their relationship is one of the plot elements of the film Batman & Mr. Freeze: SubZero.

Cast[edit]

Protagonists[edit]

Voice Actor Role
Kevin Conroy Bruce Wayne / Batman
Loren Lester Richard "Dick" Grayson / Robin
Clive Revill Alfred Thaddeus Crane Pennyworth (first three episodes in production order)
Efrem Zimbalist, Jr. Alfred Thaddeus Crane Pennyworth (rest of the series)
Bob Hastings Commissioner James "Jim" Worthington Gordon, Senior
Robert Costanzo Detective Harvey Bullock
Melissa Gilbert Barbara Gordon / Batgirl

Supporting protagonists[edit]

Voice Actor Role
Ingrid Oliu Officer Renee Montoya (season one)
Liane Schirmer Officer Renee Montoya (season two)
Brock Peters Lucius Fox
Mari Devon Summer Gleeson
Diana Muldaur Dr. Leslie Maurin Thompkins
Lloyd Bochner Mayor Hamilton Hill
Marilu Henner Veronica Vreeland
William Sanderson Karl Rossum
Bill McKinney Jonah Hex
Julie Brown Zatanna Zatara
Adam West Simon Trent / The Gray Ghost

Antagonists[edit]

Voice Actor Role
Mark Hamill The Joker
Arleen Sorkin Dr. Harleen Frances Quinzel / Harley Quinn
Paul Williams Oswald Chesterfield Cobblepot / The Penguin
Adrienne Barbeau Selina Kyle / Catwoman
Richard Moll Harvey Dent / Two-Face
John Glover Edward E. Nygma / The Riddler
Michael Ansara Dr. Victor Fries / Mr. Freeze
Diane Pershing Dr. Pamela Lillian Isley / Poison Ivy
Henry Silva Bane
David Warner Ra's al Ghul
Henry Polic II Dr. Jonathan Crane / The Scarecrow
Aron Kincaid Waylon Jones / Killer Croc
Ron Perlman Matthew "Matt" Hagan / Clayface
Roddy McDowall Jervis Tetch / The Mad Hatter
Marc Singer Dr. Robert Kirkland "Kirk" Langstrom / Man-Bat
George Dzundza Arnold Wesker / The Ventriloquist / Scarface

Supporting antagonists[edit]

Voice Actor Role
Ed Asner Roland Daggett
Jeff Bennett HARDAC
Ray Buktenica Hugo Strange
Michael Gross Lloyd Ventrix
Robert Ito Kyodai Ken / The Ninja
Alison LaPlaca Mary Dahl / Baby Doll
Joseph Maher Dr. Emile Dorian
Kate Mulgrew Red Claw
George Murdock Boss Biggis
Michael Pataki Sewer King
Alan Rachins Temple Fugate / The Clock King
Helen Slater Talia
Steve Susskind Maximillian "Maxie" Zeus
John Vernon Rupert Thorne
Bruce Weitz Lyle Bolton / Lock-Up
Treat Williams Professor Achilles Milo
Michael York Count Werner Vertigo

Episodes[edit]

Sixteen minutes of animated segments in the video game The Adventures of Batman & Robin for the Sega CD are sometimes referred to as a "lost episode" of the series.[16]

Animation[edit]

In order to complete the first season's 65 episodes, Warner Bros. outsourced the series to several different overseas animation houses. These studios included Spectrum Animation, Dong Yang Animation, Sunrise, Studio Junio, Blue Pencil, AKOM and TMS Entertainment.[17] TMS also animated the first season's opening theme sequence. AKOM was eventually fired due to its inconsistent animation in episodes such as "Cat Scratch Fever" and "Moon of the Wolf".

The 20 episodes of the second season were animated largely by Dong Yang, with the exception of three done by Studio Junio ("A Bullet for Bullock", "Avatar" and "Baby-Doll") and one done by Jade Animation ("The Terrible Trio").[17]

Adaptations[edit]

The show also featured numerous adaptations of various Batman comics stories. The following episodes were adaptations:

  • "The Cape and Cowl Conspiracy" was an adaptation of "The Cape and Cowl Death Trap!" from Detective Comics #450 August 1975, written by Elliot S. Maggin.
  • "The Strange Secret of Bruce Wayne" was based on the comic stories "The Dead Yet Live" and "I Am the Batman!" from Detective Comics #471 and #472, of August/September 1977 by Steve Englehart.
  • "Moon of the Wolf" is based on the comic story of the same name by writer Len Wein with art by Neal Adams, from Batman #255, April 1974.
  • "Off Balance" is a direct adaptation of "Batman: Into the Den of the Death-Dealers" of Detective Comics #411, May 1971 by Dennis O'Neil famous for the first appearance of the character Talia.
  • Also a direct adaptation is the two-part episode "The Demon's Quest", based on "Daughter of the Demon" from Batman #232, June 1971, and "The Demon Lives Again" Batman #244, September 1972, also by Dennis O'Neil and Neal Adams. Famous for introducing one of Batman's deadlier foes; Ra's al Ghul, father of Talia.
  • The episode "The Laughing Fish" was based on three Batman comics, blended together; "The Joker's Five-Way Revenge" from Batman #251 September 1973 by Dennis O'Neil with art by Neal Adams, followed by "The Laughing Fish" and "Sign of the Joker!" from Detective Comics #475 and #476, of February/March 1978, both by writer Steve Englehart with art by Marshall Rogers. During a spotlight podcast from Comic-Con 2007, Paul Dini explained that the reason why the episode combined those stories was because the show's creators could not adapt them separately, because their content and thematic elements would not have been cleared by the censors.
  • Part 1 of "Robin's Reckoning" takes its cues from Detective Comics #38 June 1940.
  • The episode "Terror in the Sky" is loosely based on "Man-Bat Over Vegas", originally presented in Detective Comics #429, by Frank Robbins. The setting has been shifted from Las Vegas to Gotham Harbor, and in keeping with the family-friendly rating of the television show, She-Bat is not a vampire in the adaptation. The final line of the episode, "the nightmare's finally over", is similar to one of the final lines from the original comic, "Now Fran's vampire nightmare is about over".
  • "A Bullet for Bullock" is based on the comic of the same name from Detective Comics #651, October 1992, by Chuck Dixon.
  • The feature film Mask of the Phantasm is also an adaptation. The film's flashbacks were inspired by "Batman: Year One", whereas the character of Andrea Beaumont and the storyline itself were modified from Mike Barr's story "Batman: Year Two", which ran in Detective Comics #575-578 in the late 1980s; the villain in the comics was named The Reaper.[18]
  • The episode "Almost Got 'Im" appears to be influenced by a four-issue story arc in Batman (1977) #291-294, entitled "Where Were You on the Night Batman Was Killed?". In each of the four issues, one of Catwoman, Lex Luthor, Riddler, and Joker all recount their claims to have killed the Batman. However, the plot for "Almost Got 'Im" is quite different (six stories in the show, and four completely different ones in the comic book), with only the Joker as an overlapping antagonist.
  • Two-Face's strategy in "Almost Got 'Im" (strapping down Batman to a giant coin and flipping the coin in the air) was taken from the comic; World's Finest Comics #30, September 1947. In a back up tale both Batman and Robin were tied to a giant penny that was catapulted onto spikes by a lesser known villain the Penny Plunderer.
  • The episode "Appointment in Crime Alley" is based on "There Is No Hope in Crime Alley" from Detective Comics #457 (March 1976) by Dennis O'Neil and Dick Giordano.
  • The episode "Sideshow" is loosely based on "A Vow From the Grave" by Dennis O'Neil. This episode adapted the comic book story with the inclusion of a separate Killer Croc story.
  • The episode "Dreams in Darkness" is loosely based on "Batman: The Last Arkham" of Batman: Shadow of the Bat #1-4 by Alan Grant. This episode adapted the comic book story with the inclusion of the Scarecrow instead of Victor Zsasz and Dr. Bartholomew instead of Jeremiah Arkham.
  • The episode "Legends of the Dark Knight" contains a direct adaptation of part of the comic "The Dark Knight Returns".

Feature films[edit]

  • Batman: Mask of the Phantasm (1993) – based on The Animated Series; the film started production as a direct-to-video release, but was ultimately changed into a theatrical release.[19] Although the film was not a financial success upon its initial release, it earned widespread acclaim and has since become a commercial success through its various home video releases.[20]
  • Batman & Mr. Freeze: SubZero (1998) – a direct-to-video release, which was produced as a tie-in to the 1997 film Batman & Robin, but due to the poor reception of the live-action movie, SubZero's release was delayed until the following year.[21]
  • Batman: Mystery of the Batwoman (2003)  – another direct-to-video release, featuring the character re-designs from the series' follow-up The New Batman Adventures.

Comic adaption and novelization[edit]

Main article: Batman Adventures

The Animated Series was accompanied by a tie-in comic book, The Batman Adventures, which followed the art style and continuity of The Animated Series instead of other Batman comic books. The Batman Adventures, through several format changes to reflect the changing world of the series and its spin-offs, outlasted the series itself by nearly a decade, finally being cancelled in 2004 to make way for the tie-in comic of the then-new, unrelated Batman animated series, The Batman.

There was also a short-lived series of tie-in novels, adapted from episodes of the series by science fiction author Geary Gravel. To achieve novel-length, Gravel combined several related episodes into a single storyline in each novel. The novels included:

  • Shadows of the Past ("Appointment in Crime Alley", "Robin's Reckoning" two-parter)
  • Dual to the Death ("Two-Face" two-parter, "Shadow of the Bat" two-parter)
  • The Dragon and the Bat ("Night of the Ninja", "Day of the Samurai")
  • Mask of the Phantasm (Batman: Mask of the Phantasm movie)

Broadcasting[edit]

The Adventures of Batman & Robin, the on-screen title slide for season two.

Batman: The Animated Series premiered on the Fox Network's children's block Fox Kids on September 5, 1992 and aired in that block during weekday afternoons at 4:30pm. In December, just three months after its debut, Fox also began airing episodes of the series on prime-time Sunday evenings, however, the TV ratings fell short (as the show aired opposite the perennial favorite 60 Minutes), and the series was removed from this time slot in March 1993.

After the series produced its 65th episode (the minimum number necessary for a TV series to be successfully syndicated), Fox Network executives ordered a second season of 20 more episodes that was later reduced to airing weekly on Saturday mornings. The second season featured Robin more prominently and, as a result, was retitled The Adventures of Batman & Robin in the title credits;[22] this run of episodes had two new opening sequences and ending credits. In total, the series reached 85 episodes before finishing its original run on September 15, 1995.

In 1997, following the end of Fox Kids' five-year exclusive broadcast contract, the series began airing in re-runs on The WB Network's children's block Kids' WB. Later that year, The New Batman Adventures premiered on Kids' WB, airing alongside Superman: The Animated Series as part of an hour-long program titled The New Batman/Superman Adventures.

Cartoon Network began airing re-runs of Batman: The Animated Series on March 2, 1998. On July 3, 2000, the series began airing on Cartoon Network's Toonami line-up.

The series later began airing on Toon Disney's Jetix line-up on September 30, 2007, again alongside Superman: The Animated Series (despite Warner Bros. being one of Disney's biggest competitors).

The show aired on Teletoon Retro (a Canadian broadcasting channel), debuting on January 8, 2010. The first 65 episodes were confirmed, with the first being "The Cat and Claw, Part 1". The show was scheduled to air on a weekly basis, airing at 7:00 AM, 6:00 PM, and midnight. All times are Eastern.[23]

The Hub started broadcasting the series on September 6, 2011. The channel aired a 10-episode marathon of the series on July 20, 2012 to coincide with the theatrical release of The Dark Knight Rises and even created an animated version of one of the film's trailers, featuring Kevin Conroy and Adrienne Barbeau re-dubbing Batman and Catwoman's dialogue from the trailer.[24]

Critical reception[edit]

Batman: The Animated Series received universal critical acclaim and has been consistently ranked as one of the greatest animated television series ever made.[25][26][27] It has been highly praised for its sophistication, mature writing, voice acting, orchestrated soundtrack, artistic ambition, and faithfulness to its source material. Praise also went to its thematic complexity, darker tone, artistic quality and modernization of its title character's crime-fighting origins.[28][29] In the 1992 year end issue, Entertainment Weekly ranked the series as one of the top television series of the year.[30] The universal acclaim led the series to win four Emmy Awards, including Outstanding Animated Program.[31][32]

In his reference book, Batman: The Complete History, Les Daniels described The Animated Series as coming "as close as any artistic statement has to defining the look of Batman for the 1990s."[33] Animation historian Charles Solomon gave the series a somewhat mixed assessment, commenting that "the dark, Art Deco-influenced backgrounds tended to eclipse the stiff animation and pedestrian storytelling" and concluding that the series "looked better in stills than it did on the screen."[34]

IGN listed The Animated Series as the best adaptation of Batman anywhere outside of comics,[1] the best comic book cartoon of all time,[29] and the second best animated series of all time (after The Simpsons).[35] Wizard magazine also ranked it #2 of the greatest animated television shows of all time (again after The Simpsons).[36] TV Guide ranked Batman: The Animated Series the seventh Greatest Cartoon of All Time (out of 60).[37]

Influence[edit]

Due to the success of Batman: The Animated Series, many crew members went on to design and produce Superman: The Animated Series for The WB Network. During this time they created The New Batman Adventures, which featured the same streamlined animation style as Superman: The Animated Series, as well as numerous character re-designs from the original series despite taking place in the same continuity.

In 1999, a futuristic spin-off series titled Batman Beyond premiered on The WB, featuring a teenager named Terry McGinnis taking on the duties of Batman under the guidance of an elderly Bruce Wayne.[38] Then in 2001, the Justice League animated series premiered on Cartoon Network, featuring Batman as one of the founding members of the League. This was continued in 2004 by Justice League Unlimited, featuring a greatly expanded League. Many DC cartoons unrelated to the larger DC animated universe, such as Teen Titans and The Batman, also featured character designs strongly influenced by those of Bruce Timm.

The dramatic writing and stylized art of Batman: The Animated Series sets it apart from traditional comic book-based cartoons. It can be considered the dramatic equivalent of more adult-oriented cartoon shows like The Simpsons. For this reason the show's popularity (along with that of its various spin-offs) endures among older audiences and comic book fans.

The Lego minifigures of various Batman characters are more strongly based on the designs from Batman: The Animated Series than any other form of Batman media.[39] More precisely, the Joker, Two-Face, Poison Ivy, Clayface, Mr. Freeze and Harley Quinn's minifigures seem to have identical costumes and faces to the characters from the series.

The dark atmosphere, mature themes, and even some of the voice cast from the series are heavily employed in the more recently popular Batman: Arkham video game series.[40] Furthermore, Batman's design and costume in The Animated Series are featured as an alternate skin in Batman: Arkham City. It is available as downloadable content or as an early unlock with a pre-order at GameStop and a valid membership to Power-Up Rewards.[41] There are also Animated-inspired alternate skins for Catwoman, Nightwing and Robin.

Accolades[edit]

Annie Awards

  • 1992 - Best Animated Television Program (nominated)
  • 1994 - Best Achievement for Voice Acting - Mark Hamill (nominated)
  • 1994 - Best Animated Television Program (nominated)
  • 1994 - Best Individual Achievement for Creative Supervision in the Field of Animation - Bruce W. Timm and Eric Radomski (nominated)
  • 1994 - Best Individual Achievement for Story Contribution in the Field of Animation - Paul Dini (nominated)
  • 1995 - Best Animated Television Program (nominated)
  • 1995 - Best Individual Achievement for Music in the Field of Animation - Shirley Walker (nominated)

Primetime Emmy Awards

Daytime Emmy Awards

  • 1993 - Outstanding Writing in an Animated Program - Michael Reaves, Sean Catherine Derek, Martin Pasko and Paul Dini for "Heart of Ice" (WON)[42]
  • 1993 - Outstanding Animated Program - Tom Ruegger, Eric Radomski, Frank Paur, Kevin Altieri, Alan Burnett, Jean MacCurdy, Bruce W. Timm and Boyd Kirkland (nominated)
  • 1993 - Outstanding Film Sound Editing - Russell Brower, Matt Thorne, Robert Hargreaves, Mark Keatts, Bob Lacivita, Jeff M. Sliney, Mike Dickeson, Thomas Milano and Aaron L. King (nominated)
  • 1993 - Outstanding Music Direction and Composition - Shirley Walker for "Feat of Clay Part, 2" (nominated)
  • 1993 - Outstanding Music Direction and Composition - Harvey Cohen for "Cat Scratch Fever" (nominated)
  • 1994 - Outstanding Animated Children's Program - Frank Paur, Jean MacCurdy, Tom Ruegger, Dan Riba, Eric Radomski, Bruce W. Timm and Alan Burnett (nominated)
  • 1994 - Outstanding Writing in an Animated Program - Brynne Stephens, Martin Pasko, Michael Reaves, Alan Burnett, Randy Rogel, Laren Bright and Paul Dini (nominated)
  • 1995 - Outstanding Film Sound Editing - Tom Maydeck, Robert Hargreaves, J.J. George, Mike Dickeson, Daryl B. Kell, Russell Brower, Matt Thorne, Mark Keatts and John Hegedes (nominated)
  • 1995 - Outstanding Music Direction and Composition - Shirley Walker (nominated)
  • 1996 - Outstanding Sound Mixing - Special Class - Harry Andronis, Matt Thorne and Tom Maydeck (nominated)
  • 1996 - Outstanding Music Direction and Composition - Shirley Walker and Harvey Cohen for "A Bullet For Bullock" (WON)[31]
  • 1996 - Outstanding Sound Editing - Special Class - Robert Hargreaves, Matt Thorne, Russell Brower, Mike Dickeson, Bob Lacivita, Tom Maydeck, Mark Keatts, John Hegedes, Pat Rodman and Kelly Ann Foley (WON)[31]

Saturn Awards

  • 1993 - Best Genre Television Series (nominated)

Young Artist Awards

Music [edit]

Batman: The Animated Series
BTAS Soundtrack.jpg
Soundtrack album by Shirley Walker, Lolita Ritmanis, Michael McCuistion, and Danny Elfman
Released December 16, 2008
Length 137 minutes
Label La La Land Records

Batman: The Animated Series featured a strong musical score written by several different composers throughout the course of the series. The main theme of the show, which was heard during the opening and ending credits of each episode, was composed by Danny Elfman. At first, Elfman turned down Bruce Timm's offer to compose the theme for the show and so Timm hired Shirley Walker to do so. However, Elfman later changed his mind and composed a variation of his 1989 Batman movie theme for the series. Walker's unused theme went on to become the main theme for the second season of the show, when the name was changed to The Adventures of Batman & Robin.[11]

In 1996, Walker won her first Daytime Emmy Award for her music direction of the episode "A Bullet for Bullock" (scored by Harvey R. Cohen). She would then go on to win another Daytime Emmy Award in the category of music-composition for Batman Beyond in 2001.[43]

Although at least twenty-four different composers worked on the series,[44] Walker, Lolita Ritmanis, and Michael McCuistion are regarded as the main contributors. After the series finished up in 1995, the three then went on to score Superman: The Animated Series (which also featured a theme by Walker) in 1996, The New Batman Adventures in 1997 and Batman Beyond in 1999. Television composer Kristopher Carter scored alongside Walker, Ritmanis, and McCuistion throughout the many DCAU series and later filled in for Walker after her death in 2006.

Soundtracks[edit]

On December 16, 2008, La La Land Records announced the release of a soundtrack companion to Batman: The Animated Series on a two-disc CD set, which featured 11 episode scores (including those of "On Leather Wings", the "Two-Face" two-parter, "Joker's Favor" and "Perchance to Dream"). The release was limited to a pressing of 3000 copies, which sold quickly.[45] About one month after its release, the soundtrack set had sold over 2,500 copies. According to a spokesperson of La-La Land Records, the sold out status of the soundtrack "can only help as the label hopes to convince Warner Bros. to release more Batman: The Animated Series soundtracks."[46] Upon its release, the soundtrack received outstanding reviews.[47][48]

The 2008 soundtrack was re-released in July 2012, minus "Gotham City Overture" (a suite featuring Walker's themes from the series, some of which do not appear elsewhere on the album) and "Music of the Bat 101" (a bonus track with Walker herself demonstrating the show's main music).[49] The re-release is a limited edition of 5000 units and can be purchased at the La La Land Records website.[50]

On July 19, 2012, La La Land Records also released a four-disc CD set with a further 21 episode scores (including those of "Heart of Ice", the "Feat of Clay" two-parter, "Almost Got 'Im" and "The Laughing Fish"), titled Batman: The Animated Series – Original Soundtrack from the Warner Bros. Television Series, Volume Two.[51] Volume 2 is a limited edition release of 3500 units and can be purchased at the La La Land Records website.[52]

On October 7, 2014, La La Land Records released a four-disc set with another 24 episode scores (including those of the "Robin's Reckoning" two-parter, "Mudslide", "I Am the Night" and "The Man Who Killed Batman"), titled Batman: The Animated Series – Original Soundtrack from the Warner Bros. Television Series, Volume Three.[53] La La Land have indicated that it may be the final volume to cover scores from the show's initial 65-episode production block, although strong sales and encouragement from the fans may lead to the release of a fourth volume.[54] Volume 3 is a limited edition release of 3000 units and can be purchased at the La La Land Records website.[55]

La La Land Records is planning to cover the later incarnations of the series (The Adventures of Batman & Robin and The New Batman Adventures), as well as Justice League, in the years to come.[56] A Superman: The Animated Series soundtrack has also been released as of January 2014. On July 22, 2014, WaterTower Music released six digital albums (covering La La Land's first and second volumes) for the series in honor of the 75th anniversary of Batman.[57]

Asterisked tracks contain thematic material by Shirley Walker; double-asterisked tracks contain Danny Elfman's Batman theme.

Volume 1 Track Listing[edit]

Volume 2 Track Listing[edit]

Volume 3 Track Listing[edit]

Home media releases[edit]

VHS[edit]

United Kingdom[edit]

United States[edit]

Chinese Subtitled[edit]

Spanish Dubbed[edit]

DVD [edit]

Region 1

Warner Home Video has released Batman: The Animated Series on DVD in Region 1 in three volume box sets. A fourth volume containing all 24 episodes of The New Batman Adventures was also released and these episodes now also begin with the original Season 1 opening sequence, and also end with the standard final credits. Warner Home Video later released Batman: The Complete Animated Series, which features all episodes from both the original series and The New Batman Adventures, on DVD in Region 1. The set includes all features from the four individual volumes plus a bonus 17th disc with a new special feature and a 40 page Collector's book containing artwork.[11] The DVD was originally on sale for a limited time only and went out of print in January 2009. Warner Home Video then released a second printing of the DVD in May 2009, but withdrew the DVD in August 2009.

DVD Name Episode # Release Date Additional Information
Batman: The Animated Series – Volume 1 28 July 6, 2004
  • S01E01-28
  • Commentary on "On Leather Wings" and "Heart of Ice"
  • "The Dark Knight's First Night" Featurette
  • "Batman: The Legacy Continues" Featurette
  • Tour of the Batcave
  • Trailers
Batman: The Animated Series – Volume 2 28 January 25, 2005
  • S01E29-56
  • Commentary Tracks
  • Robin Rising Featurette
  • Gotham's Guardians Featurette
  • Voices of the Knight Featurette
Batman: The Animated Series – Volume 3 29 May 24, 2005
  • S01E57-65
  • S02E01-20 (The Adventures of Batman & Robin)
  • Audio and Video Commentaries
  • Extra Animated Cell 4"x6" In Some Sets
  • Gotham's New Knight — Featurette on Batgirl as Batman's Newest Ally
Batman: The Animated Series - Volume 4 24 December 6, 2005
  • All 24 episodes of The New Batman Adventures
  • Audio and Video Commentaries
Batman: The Complete Animated Series 109 November 4, 2008
  • All 85 episodes of Batman: The Animated Series
  • All 24 episodes of The New Batman Adventures
  • 40-page collector book

Region 2

Volumes 1 and 2 were released on DVD in the UK on October 10, 2005 (Volume 1) and August 21, 2006 (Volume 2). These DVD volumes are exclusive to the retail chain HMV in the United Kingdom.
On June 14, 2008, Volume 1 was re-released in the UK as a non-HMV exclusive, though both the artwork and the extras remain the same as the original HMV exclusive release.[185] Volume 2 was released in the same way on March 3, 2009.[186] As of 2012, Volumes 3 and 4 are available to buy with Regions 1 / 2 / 3 and 4 compatibility.

In Bulgaria, Volumes 1 and 2 were released in early 2006. Each disc was sold separately in amaray case. They were Regions 2 and 5.

Region 3

In China, the show was packaged into four different DVD volume sets just as it was done in Region 1. Volumes 1 and 2 were both released on February 28, 2005, while Volume 3 was released July 7, 2005 and Volume 4 was released February 17, 2006.[187]

Region 4

In Australia, Volume 1 was released on October 19, 2005.[188] Volumes and the box set are available at websites like eBay.com, Amazon.com and Quicksales.com. All four seasons are also available on the Australian iTunes Store.

Video games[edit]

Several video games based on the animated continuity were released during the 16-bit game-machine era, using the The Adventures of Batman & Robin second season branding. Konami developed a game for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System (SNES), while Sega released versions of the game for the Sega Genesis/Mega Drive, Mega-CD and Game Gear. The SNES, Genesis/Mega Drive and Game Gear versions were side-scrolling action games, while the Mega-CD version featured a 3-D driving adventure. All of the games had art true to the series, while Sega's versions featured art elements directly from the show's creators.[189] The CD version has over 20 minutes of original animated footage comparable to the most well-crafted episodes,[190] with the principal voice actors reprising their roles.

There was also a game made for the Game Boy based on the series and created around the same time. Developed and published by Konami, this game was distinctive upon the fact that it still used the earlier Batman: The Animated Series moniker instead of the The Adventures of Batman & Robin second season title given to the other games.

Though not directly related, the Batman: Arkham video game series features some of the voice cast from The Animated Series returning to their roles, notably including Kevin Conroy as Batman and Mark Hamill as The Joker. Arleen Sorkin also reprised her role as Harley Quinn in the first game in the series, Batman: Arkham Asylum. Many of the character's costumes from the series also appear as downloadable skins in the games.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

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Bibliography [edit]

External links[edit]