Howdy ladies and gentlemen, time for another random blog instalment. Today, like when I did my mini review of Regular Show, I’m going to talk about another badass TV show that I love. Recently I took a trip back into my past to revisit one of my favourite TV shows as a kid, Batman: The Animated Series and now I’m obsessed all over again haha. So talking about on my blog was a given.
So Batman: The Animated Series, what can be said that hasn’t been said already? It not only was and still is one of the most well-known and highly regarded adaptations of Batman, but it is also one of the most well-known and highly regarded cartoons of all-time and for good reason. The show had some of the best creative staff to create these incredible stories, solid animation, a brilliant soundtrack and some of the best voice actors for their characters and it is insane to think that it still holds up so well after 22 years.
The art style, animation and that music, good god! Truly one of he best intros to anything ever.
As I said before this was one of my favourite TV shows when I was growing up, I always remembered the beautiful opening, the dark tone and in-depth stories involving the heroes and villains, and even as a child I recognized the show as being very grown-up which made it so much more interesting than a lot of other cartoons. I haven’t watched the show since it stopped airing in the UK well over a decade ago so imagine my surprise when I started watching it again yesterday it felt like time hadn’t passed at all. So many of these images were fresh in my memory, the music still sounded the same and things I couldn’t understand/pick up on as a kid were so much clearer to me now. I am now in love with this show all over again.
But what makes it so great? There are a ton of things to consider but I’ll try to abbreviate. Firstly there’s the stories. I’ve only seen 12 episodes so far and yet I’ve noticed how much drama and depth there is to the characters and how much material they can squeeze into 22 minute episodes. The show deals with subject matters relating to death, love, addiction, vengeance, guilt and the classic good versus evil. This is a superhero show but it is so much more than that, it feels like it takes a lot of cues from the thriller and horror genres and many episodes feel like crime or gangster stories. All of it is handled in a very mature manner and it is brilliant and just like Adventure Time and Regular Show, this show made references to even more adult material in a way that kept within the boundaries of children’s TV, but older audiences could see what was really going on.
And then there’s the presentation. Good gravy even though the show started in 1992 it still looks bloody amazing and it surprising to know that Warner Bros. Animation were doing such high quality work so early on in the 90’s. BTAS has a very distinctive look, its painted backgrounds, use of shadow and darken colour scheme give it a unique style. In addition to that I get a lot of 1920’s and 1940’s vibes from the show with the use of gangs and tommy guns, the character designs and car modelling too. Also the animation still looks really good, so fluid and well-crafted. Also the soundtrack is INCREDIBLE, I don’t think there’s been a finer soundtrack crafted for any cartoon show in existence. From the amazing opening theme (which was adapted from Danny Elfman’s 1989 Batman Theme) to the rest of the show, everything is orchestrated and it kicks ass. It is bombastic, heroic, sophisticated and knows the right kind of music to set the right kind of mood. Couple that with excellent storytelling and animation and you have a show that is in a league of its own.
I truly believe this to be one of the best cartoons ever in the history of life, it is pitch perfect with next to no flaws bar a few questionable aspects here and there. I’m pretty sure that this show is the reason why I’m a Batman fan in the first place it has done more for me in the last day then anything any of the live-action film will ever do. The voice acting alone gets me all giddy with veteran voice actors Kevin Conroy and Mark Hamill sounding great in their prime when they first started out as Batman and Joker. especially the Joker I swear is just the most devilishly hilarious psychopathic with the most incredible laughs ever, I love you Mark Hamill!
In conclusion Batman: The Animated Series is something I fell in love with as a kid and now I love it more than ever. This is the only adaptation of Batman you’ll ever need and I hope some live-action films in the future take note of it. After the 90’s children’s cartoons truly went to shit with a few notable exceptions, however this is one of the shows that is a representation of the quality that good cartoons had back then. This show is dark, mature and smarter than most shows airing these days and it is a shame that standards have fallen so far. If you haven’t seen this amazing show, leave this blog and watch it now. For who have seen it drop your thoughts on it in the comment section below.
And now I leave you this awesome quote from the man himself:
“I am vengeance. I am the night. I am Batman!”