I wanted to start my first post here off with a bang and write about a show everyone watched no matter what race, gender, or sexual orientation. It wasn’t until I realized through other means I have already pretty much excluded everyone from my life other than straight white males so I figured I should write about a guy’s show, Batman: The Animated Series.
(Batman appears very shy in this photo)
Batman: The Animated Series, not to be confused with Batman: The Live Action Series or Batman: The Marionette Puppet Series, was a big part in shaping me into the person I am today. I was raised on television as everyone from a broken home born after 1980 was and in a way Batman was like a father to me. The only time Batman ever disappeared was after telling his plan to Commissioner Gordon. My biological father would disappear on Two For Tuesdays and Thirsty Thursdays.
My first recollection of watching Batman was when I was in kindergarten. After school I was waiting for the bus when my teacher told us my bus had broken down. Kids began to talk about the different things they were missing by their delay in getting home. We were like WWII soldiers reminiscing about our past lives when really the bus was only 10 minutes late. I said how upset I would be about missing Batman. Fortunately for me this was on a half-day thanks to our Jewish friends and Batman didn’t come on until 4 which was the normal time I would get home. Things worked out and I got my fix.
This Batman series was wonderful because I have always said a comic book hero is only as good as their villains. Batman always had the best villains and this cartoon version was no exception. Guys like The Joker (who in one episode while paying his rent was called Joe Kerr which my mom thought was genius), The Penguin, Two-Face, The Riddler, Scarecrow, Mr. Freeze, whatever the Clay dude’s name was*, and many other incredibly evil men helped push this show over the edge.
At times the show was really dark and I even remember a few scary images. I remember Mr. Freeze leaving one of his minions behind after accidentally getting his legs frozen. I would have done the same. The man needs to learn his lesson not to shoot your own legs with the freezy guns. I also remember Scarecrow hypnotizing people, a football player in particular, and him having the scariest images appear before him. My scariest image involving Scarecrow was at Lucas McGuire’s 8th birthday party. We were at a bowling alley opening up presents and Michael Barbera got him the same exact Scarecrow action figure I got him. Lucas opened up Michael’s first so I was asked to leave the party for my faux pas in not being able to have an original gift idea. Revenge came later on when Michael Barbera got me the board game Battleship when I already owned it. It felt good to get back at him.
(Many Batman villains. I totally forgot Jeff Dunham got his start on this show. Can you guess which one he is?)
The most notable voice on the show was Mark Hamill, you know, Luke Skywalker, who voiced The Joker. After reading the International Mark Hamill Fan Club page I have learned he still does The Joker’s voice for video games and a few other things. I’m lying, I already knew that but I wanted to let you know Mark Hamill was internationally known.
(Mark Hamill, internationally known, probably colorblind based on his hair choice)
From 1992-1995 Batman had 85 episodes air. I didn’t actually know that off-hand and thought it would be appropriate to at least give you some fact you can dish out to your nerd friends. This is an all-time kid’s show and with the fact Batman has been around as long as he has already been it would be wise to buy stock in Batman: The Animated Series.
*I looked it up, his name was Clayface and Ron “I Always Play Monsters, Even In Real Life” Perlman did the voice.
My younger brother always watched the Batman cartoon. I only joined him when it was a Poison Ivy episode, since the darkest show I watched with and regularity was Darkwing Duck.
You’re younger brother is probably around my age I’m guessing. This show is still pretty popular, Batman never goes away. I think someone told me it’s real hard to find on DVD too. I don’t know, it might be a little sad to go out of your way trying to find kid’s shows on DVDs.
Yeah, I think he’s about your and Lily’s age. We have an embarrassing amount of kids stuff on DVD, and we acquired them all waaaay before we had C. I don’t really trust people who say that they don’t enjoy revisiting their childhood favorites.
Revisiting our childhood favorites is what this blog is all about. I had off from work two weeks ago because of that stupid storm. I watched The Mighty Ducks and Last Action Hero. I kept productive.
I watched this a little bit, but I was on the cusp of growing out of it slash being a girl. So I might’ve been watching it because it was the only cartoon on when I got home.
At least you watched it a little bit despite being a girl. I’m proud.
I realized I have a traumatic event involving this show. I’ll save it for another time.
I like the part where you talked about being late going home and comparing it to being in WWII. I actually didn’t watch Batman so I was able to learn a lot. Ughgh Jeff Dunham is so gross. I’m assuming you’re talking about the ventriloquist villain. Not that I know how that is or what his name is.
Yep I’m talking about the ventriloquist. There was also a bad guy The Mad Hatter. I really hope someone sued over that.
Mark Hamill’s got a real face for radio.
The talent for it too and by that I mean nobody under 70 listens to the radio anymore.
It’s super that shows come alive that way for people. A little scary/dark is good for kids…helps to prepare them for the Big Scary/Dark in life. Now you’ve got me wondering about this Batman version. Maybe I’ll find it somewhere online and take a look.
The one that was on TV in the 1960’s was sooooo campy and smitten with itself that it missed the mark with a lot of people. I watched it but never quite connected with it. Maybe really little kids did, but I have a suspicion that a lot of went over their heads into oblivion. Maybe I’m wrong.
Hey…thank you for posting this!
Do you mean the Adam West Batman? Wow was that campy. I remember in the movie based off it how they piece together who the bad guys are. It might be one of the most hilarious things ever.
“The whole incident took place at sea. C as in Catwoman!” – someone wrote this
““The whole incident took place at sea. C as in Catwoman!”
Yep, the Adam West one. I was going to leave a link but wasn’t sure if it was OK. Some blogs aren’t link-friendly.
That show was just too…too…too…you know? The acting was campy, too. One or the other wouldn’t’ve been so bad, but schlocky lines AND acting is tooooo much (imho).
And yet, I watched it.
In the cartoon world there’s only one real Joker and that’s Hamill, the fact that he does the voice of Joker in the Arkham games is the reason I bought them in the first place.
If he wasn’t so old I would love him to be in a live action movie, I think he could pull it off. Maybe they could have put enough makeup on him and only shot his face so we wouldn’t see his gut? Or make up a story about how he got real fat after Batman caught him.
They do remarkable things with CGI these days, they can make him have the body of what he once was! Lets not forget all those people in 300 were really fat bastards.
I remember coming back home from school to watch this show on weekday afternoons…hoping for a Joker episode. I watched and episode recently and although it was pretty good, it really wasn’t as dark/scary as I once thought. And the Joker would talk to the camera a la Zach Morris from Saved By the Bell. Apparently I was frightened easily back then.
I’ve always wondered how well the show holds up. I too thought it was really dark and scary. Maybe we thought compared to Batman Forever it was really dark. Dinner with my grandma could seem frightening compared to Batman Forever. Seriously? That’s the best they could do?
Thanks for stopping by and throwing in a Saved by the Bell reference.
If it weren’t for this show, we wouldn’t have Harly Quinn or Mr.Freeze or Baby doll. It was a tragedy when “Ahnold” Shwartzinagger played him. They took a really good and tragically poetic character like Mr.Freeze who had the most heart wrenching reason for his deeds, and reduced him to last action hero one liner jokes. It was a train wreck.
Baby doll especially stands out, you can see where she’d go completely nuts being rejected by her tv family and having nothing else to fall back on and you got Harley Quinn who is insane but she either got that way by counseling the joker or it was exacerbated by him and went Patty Herst.
Any one who has not see this series before really should the villains look so human and psychotic.
Completely agree. This show was a big reason behind why I always enjoyed the bad guys more than the good ones. All of the characters had deep back stories unlike other shows like X-Men where the villains sometimes seemed a little flat.
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