Batman: The Animated Series (Batman: TAS for short) is considered by most to be the best animated TV series of All-Time, although Star Wars: The Clone Wars is my personal favorite, Batman is a fantastic series. It is my second favorite animated series and one of my favorite TV series period. I did not like this series when I was a kid because I thought the animation style was too "dated" so I never cared for it, therefore this is not nostalgic rant. Until earlier this year I had not watched more than 10 full episodes. So far I have not seen every episode, therefore my opinion is changing but I seriously doubt a few subpar episodes will make me dislike the series.
Batman: The Animated Series was revolutionary for its time because of the darker and complex stories and characters. Also this was the first time that an animated series used real firearms and not laser guns like series before. This was also the first real animated drama; nearly everything in the series was played seriously. There were some great crime drama and mystery during many episodes; thus far I have only seen one or two truly terrible episode and many fantastic episodes. Many of the episodes rang from suspense thrillers, to hardboiled detective stories to Alfred Hitchcock like mysteries. Also the series added one of the best Batman characters ever, Harley Quinn. Most might think that Harley is an original comic book character but she was created specificity to be Joker's girlfriend and the episode "Mad Love" is one of the best in the series. Additionally, you can see the influence of the series on the Chris Nolan Batman movies with the Joker’s past and a other characters in the movie.
There were 104 episodes in 3 seasons of the series. The first two seasons are probably the best of the series and have the best art direction with darker stories, although season 3 did have some of the best episodes of the series as well.
The series also spawned several movies and TV series, which I will be talking more about in a future post.
Plot: The series does not start at the beginning of Batman's origin, it actually starts 10 years after Bruce Wayne became Batman and that is because most people know what his origin is. However if you do not know watch the video below.
Critical Reception: The following is copied from Wikipedi
Batman has been consistently ranked as one of the greatest animated series ever made. It has been highly praised for its sophistication, mature writing, 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.
Writer Les Daniels described the show as coming "as close as any artistic statement has to defining the look of Batman for the 1990s." Deirdre Sheppard, a reviewer for Common Sense Media who posted her review on Go.com, described the series as a "fairly violent cartoon" with an "overall grim quality."
IGN listed the 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).
Plot: 9.4/10- Most of the episodes have fantastic plots and mysteries. Overall this is the best adaptation of Batman from the comics in keeping with Batman being more of a detective and crime solver. Also many of the episodes are surprisingly compelling.
Action: 8.3/10- Batman: The Animated Series has less action than you might expect from a comic book TV series but that actually makes the show better because there is more time for the plot.
Acting: 9.4/10- The voice cast is superb and includes many of the best on screen adaptations of the characters. Kevin Conroy is fantastic as Batman/Bruce Wayne and Mark Hamil (Luke Skywalker) as the Joker also is excellent. More on the cast and characters in the next post.
Art Style: 9.0/10- Although I disliked the animation at first, I have begun to really like the style in the first 2 seasons, however in season 3 the animation style changed to a less dark style but it was still good.
Soundtrack: 9.0/10- For a TV series the score is fantastic. Including some of Danny Elfman's tracks from the Tim Burton movies were used as well as some great original music.
Comedy: 7.2/10- The Joker can be very humorous sometimes in a dark comedy kind of way and there are a few jokes in some episodes but the series is mostly serious.
Overall: 9.3/10- Overall Batman: The Animated Series is one of my favorite TV series of all-time and I doubt many who have seen it will disagree.
Closing Comments: If you have any interest in animation, comic books or Batman, I highly recommend watching this series.
Recommended for: Mystery fans, Batman fans, Comic Book movies fans,
Here is a link to a good quality video of the episode "Heart of Ice".
Unfortunately, you have to watch some adds but it definitely worth checking out. There are a few more episodes on that website that I highly recommend checking out. If you do not want watch the episode on that wedsite, below is a YouTube video of the episode but it is low quality.
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