Final episode date
15 September 1995
Theme music composer
FOX, Fox Kids
Also known as
'The Adventures of Batman & Robin (1994–1995)
Characters:Bob KaneBill Finger (uncredited)Series:Bruce TimmEric Radomski
Paul DiniMichael ReavesRandy RogelSteve PerryBrynne StephensSean Catherine DerekAlan BurnettLaren Bright
Kevin ConroyEfrem Zimbalist, Jr.Bob HastingsRobert CostanzoLoren LesterMark HamillArleen Sorkin
Batman: The Animated Series Theme Song
Top 10 batman the animated series episodes
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 Fox Kids from September 5, 1992, to September 15, 1995, with a total of 85 episodes. During its second season, the series was given the on-screen title The Adventures of Batman & Robin.
- Top 10 batman the animated series episodes
- Top 10 batman the animated series moments
- Bruce Wayne
- Dick Grayson
- Feature films
- Comic adaptation and novelization
- Critical reception
- Video games
- Proposed spin off
The series was praised for its thematic complexity, darker tone, artistic quality, film noir aesthetics, 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 and the second best animated series of all time (after The Simpsons). 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. The widespread 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).
Top 10 batman the animated series moments
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. 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 airships (although 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.
The visual style of the series was based on the artwork of Radomski, although Timm is often mistakenly given credit because the characters were based on his designs. However, the gothic backgrounds and look and feel of Gotham City were based on the initial designs laid out by Radomski. 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). The distinctive visual combination of "noir" imagery and Art Deco design was dubbed "Dark Deco" by the producers.
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 is more adult-oriented than previous superhero cartoons. It depicts outright physical violence against antagonists, including realistic firearms (though only one character, Commissioner Gordon, was ever depicted as having been shot, in the episode "I Am the Night"). 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." During the series' production, producer Alan Burnett wrote a silent episode (without dialogue) entitled "Silent Night" to explore more Batman's sexual life, but this was never produced. Burnett also intended to make an episode featuring a female vampire that would bite Batman to suck his blood, but plans never materialized.
The series is 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. The role was originally given to Tim Curry, but at the final, Curry's performance was too scary. The recording sessions, under the supervision of voice director Andrea Romano, were recorded with the actors together in one studio instead of taking separate recordings, as is typical. This method would later be employed for all subsequent series in the DC animated universe. Al Pacino was considered to voice Two-Face in the series, but he declined the offer.
One of the series' best-known inventions is 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, 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 other villains such as Clayface and Mr. Freeze, who was changed from a gimmicky mad scientist to a tragic figure whose "frigid exterior [hid] a doomed love and vindictive fury."
New villains such as Red Claw, Mary Louise Dahl ("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 is 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.
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.
One of the most noteworthy changes made in The Animated Series is 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. In The Animated Series, his character 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 deal with a timber company in the Amazon rainforest that had been made behind his back, threatening with termination upon failure to comply.
The series also redefined the original Robin, Dick Grayson. While much of Dick's past remains the same, his Robin costume is modernized with short sleeves and long tights, exactly like Tim Drake's original Robin outfit but with a non-italicized "R" symbol. In addition, Dick is 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. Their relationship is one of the plot elements of the film Batman & Mr. Freeze: SubZero.
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.
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. 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").
The show also featured numerous adaptations of various Batman comics stories. The following episodes were adaptations:
Comic adaptation and novelization
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. The character of Harley Quinn first official comic appearance occurred in issue twelve of the series. It has become highly sought after by collectors and fans of the character.
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:
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; 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 reruns 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.
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.
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.
Batman: The Animated Series has been consistently ranked as one of the greatest animated television series ever created. It has been highly praised for its sophistication, mature writing, voice acting, orchestrated soundtrack, artistic ambition, and faithfulness to its source material. In the 1992 year end issue, Entertainment Weekly ranked the series as one of the top television series of the year.
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." 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."
IGN listed The Animated Series as the best adaptation of Batman anywhere outside of comics, the best comic book cartoon of all time, and the second best animated series of all time (after The Simpsons). Wizard magazine also ranked it #2 of the greatest animated television shows of all time (again after The Simpsons). TV Guide ranked Batman: The Animated Series the seventh Greatest Cartoon of All Time (out of 60).
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. 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. More precisely, the Joker, Two-Face, Poison Ivy, 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. 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. There are also Animated-inspired alternate skins for Catwoman, Nightwing and Robin.
Primetime Emmy Awards
Daytime Emmy Awards
Young Artist Awards
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.
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.
Although at least twenty-four different composers worked on the series, 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.
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. 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." The soundtrack received outstanding reviews.
On March 24, 2009, La La Land Records released the complete score for the animated film Batman: Mask of the Phantasm. It was a limited edition of 3000 units and has since sold out.
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). The re-release is a limited edition of 5000 units by La La Land Records.
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. Volume 2 is a limited edition release of 3500 units by La La Land Records.
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. Volume 3 is a limited edition release of 3000 units by La La Land Records.
On March 29, 2016, La La Land Records released the complete soundtrack for the animated film Batman: Mystery of the Batwoman. It is a limited edition of 2000 units.
On July 26, 2016, La La Land Records released Batman: The Animated Series – Original Soundtrack from the Warner Bros. Television Series, Volume Four, which contains the remaining material from the first 65 episodes. The final 9 episode scores from the first season are featured (including those of "Fear of Victory", "His Silicon Soul" and "Joker's Wild"), as well as never-before-released cues from scores featured on earlier Volumes. Volume 4 is a limited edition release of 3000 units by La La Land Records.
La La Land Records is also planning to cover the later incarnations of the series (The Adventures of Batman & Robin and The New Batman Adventures) in the future, provided that sales of existing volumes are strong enough and that there is strong fan encouragement. A Superman: The Animated Series soundtrack has also been released as of January 2014, and a Justice League volume was released on July 26, 2016.
On July 22, 2014, WaterTower Music released six digital albums on download and streaming platforms (covering La La Land's first and second volumes, including "Gotham City Overture" and "Music of the Bat 101") for the series in honor of the 75th anniversary of Batman.
Asterisked tracks contain thematic material by Shirley Walker; double-asterisked tracks contain Danny Elfman's Batman theme.
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. The DVD was originally on sale for a limited time only and went out of print in January 2009. Warner Home Video released a second printing of the DVD in May 2009, but then withdrew it three months later.
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. Volume 2 was released in the same way on March 3, 2009. 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.
In Hong Kong, 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.
In Australia, Volume 1 was released on October 19, 2005. Volumes and the box set are available at websites like eBay.com, Amazon.com and Quicksales.com. All four volumes are available on the Australian iTunes Store, and were released individually on DVD on November 9, 2016 by Reel DVD, a subsidiary of Village Roadshow.
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. The CD version has over 20 minutes of original animated footage comparable to the most well-crafted episodes, 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 of the series, Batman: Arkham Asylum. Many of the character's costumes from the series also appear as downloadable skins in the games.
Due the success of the show, Fox approached to Bruce Timm to make an spin-off centered in Catwoman, but the project never materialized in favor of Superman: The Animated Series.