Batman: The Animated Series is one of the best television shows ever created. In 1992 The Dark Knight returned to the small screen after the success of Tim Burton’s hit film Batman. Creators Bruce Timm and Eric Radomsky created a noir world giving the series its own unique tone and setting. This was a children’s show that managed to keep the serious tone of the comics, while also remaining family friendly. Who knew this little gem would change DC forever? To celebrate their 25th anniversary, we’ll be taking a look back at Batman: The Animated Series!
The show hit all the right beats. It managed to tell engaging stories, that keep adults interested, while also still being accessible for kids. They got all they could out of their 22 minutes, in fact, most episodes feel longer, that’s how engaging it was. Episodes like Robin’s Reckoning, Two-Face or the Emmy-Winning Heart of Ice are just a few examples of how good this series is. Writer Paul Dini brought his A game when it came to Batman and all of the DC shows at the time. The series stayed true to what Batman is, but also played a little with the canon. Tim Drake has some of Jason Todd’s personality and backstory, Mr. Freeze has a completely different origin, and Harley Quinn is created giving the show another female character. The show wasn’t afraid to change things when they felt it was needed, and that helped the show feel different. At its core it’s still Batman, but with their own take.
The voices also played a big part in making the show what it was. Kevin Conroy (Batman) is the best in the business. He’s the voice I hear in my head whenever I read a Batman comic, The same goes for Mark Hamill who is also iconic as the Joker. They both defined these characters for a generation, and that goes to the rest of the cast. All of this is made possible thanks to the legendary voice casting director, Andrea Romano. Most of the people cast to play characters in the DC Animated Universe still voice the characters in other forms of media.
After the success of Batman: The Animated Series, a Superman series was being developed. Superman: The Animated Series debuted in 1996, and is the reason I fell in love with Man of Steel [that’s a story for another time]. Superman was the first DC character to crossover with Batman, and it was awesome! After The Batman-Superman Movie, The two shows crossed over a few times during their respective runs. The DC Animated Universe only got bigger from here, shows like Batman Beyond, Static Shock, Justice League, and Justice League Unlimited introduced viewers to the world of DC Comics like we’ve never seen before. All of these shows take place in the same continuity. It feels like a comic, a comic come to life.
Batman: The Animated Series and the rest of the DCAU let an impression on me It is the reason of love Batman, and why so many others got into DC Comics. It also gave us Batman: Mask of the Phantasm, one of the best superhero movies of all-time. 25 years and it’s still one of the best cartoons ever made. It’s Batman at his finest.