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Author Topic: Batman: The Animated Series  (Read 16890 times)

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Offline sarcasm_made_Easy

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Re: Batman: The Animated Series
« Reply #45 on: August 20, 2011, 10:08:04 AM »
ditto. 


Offline mattwnelson

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Re: Batman: The Animated Series
« Reply #46 on: August 20, 2011, 10:47:55 AM »
Just a note on those who didn't like the style of the revamped Bats... If I'm not totally mistaken, as well as the budgetary reasons, I could swear that I'd once read Timm saying that the sleeker style was closer to what he'd originally had in mind for the series. I am also one of those who preferred the later style, liking Bruce Wayne's design much more than the original, who to me always looked dumpy and disheveled. I also liked Gordon more, as he looked older and more stooped, and Penguin was a vast improvement. However, I will agree that several of the villains got short shrift. Joker's minty-green complexion and black eyes were never my favorite, and I missed the red smile of his mouth. I loathed the Riddler's redesign, turning him from the dapper character from the original series into some kind of Clockwork Orange/Jim Carrey Riddler mashup. Catwoman's costume I liked, but thought she looked anorexic. And I thought Croc looked flat-out horrible. On the other hand, the Scarecrow was a fantastic redesign, and I actually liked Poison Ivy's new look quite a bit. Also, Freeze blew my mind. I thought his new, more inhuman look was fantastic.

I gotta say, this is making me want to go back and rewatch this show as well... Mmmmmm, nostalgia.


Offline daltysmilth

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Re: Batman: The Animated Series
« Reply #47 on: August 20, 2011, 11:12:08 AM »
Just a note on those who didn't like the style of the revamped Bats... If I'm not totally mistaken, as well as the budgetary reasons, I could swear that I'd once read Timm saying that the sleeker style was closer to what he'd originally had in mind for the series. I am also one of those who preferred the later style, liking Bruce Wayne's design much more than the original, who to me always looked dumpy and disheveled. I also liked Gordon more, as he looked older and more stooped, and Penguin was a vast improvement. However, I will agree that several of the villains got short shrift. Joker's minty-green complexion and black eyes were never my favorite, and I missed the red smile of his mouth. I loathed the Riddler's redesign, turning him from the dapper character from the original series into some kind of Clockwork Orange/Jim Carrey Riddler mashup. Catwoman's costume I liked, but thought she looked anorexic. And I thought Croc looked flat-out horrible. On the other hand, the Scarecrow was a fantastic redesign, and I actually liked Poison Ivy's new look quite a bit. Also, Freeze blew my mind. I thought his new, more inhuman look was fantastic.

I gotta say, this is making me want to go back and rewatch this show as well... Mmmmmm, nostalgia.

I always preferred Gordon's original look.  It's like, yeah he's old, but he still works out and takes care of himself.  The redesign made him look emaciated and frail.  And why did they need to do a second redesign of Scarecrow?  He'd already been redesigned once.  I think the best design of the Joker in the Diniverse is probably the version from the flashback scenes in Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker.
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Offline RoninFox

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Re: Batman: The Animated Series
« Reply #48 on: August 20, 2011, 03:26:57 PM »
Yeah, X-Mas with the Joker is a definite change in tone from the first episode, but I always liked the animated series idea that the Joker isn't just a homicidal maniac, nor is he just a merry mischief maker, but something in between.  And I think the fact that he's willing to put a whole trainload of people in mortal danger just so he can shove a pie in Batman's face says a lot about his character.

Mark Hamil as the Joker does eventually become my favorite Joker thanks to this series, due to that balance of homicidal maniac and merry mischief maker you're talking about, I just don't think they'd found the right balance, in performance writing or animation, yet.  In the On Leather Wings commentary they talked a lot about the quest to find realism in the context of the show, and to keep things believable.  This episode I think faltered heavily on that.  Yes, it's funny to think that Joker masterminded this scheme just to be in the same room as Batman with a face full of pie.  I think that if the more unbelievable elements had been handled better though, that punchline would have hit a lot harder.  Later Joker episodes I remember finding the right edge, even if they did stretch realism more than some other episodes they didn't stretch them the same way or as far.  (And yes, you have to consider it realism in the context of a series featuring science that is basically magic and where everyone wants to wear their fancy pajamas in public all the time.)  I will say I love it when Joker bends and breaks the fourth wall, taking the opportunity to talk directly to the audience, and the random moments that come up in later episodes where he's just by himself and being goofy, imitating Curly just for the hell of it. 

Another note, Tim Curry was originally cast as the Joker in TAS, but after he'd recorded a couple of episodes, they decided to recast and of course ended up with the legendary Mark Hamill.  Not only did Hamill's Joker become one of the most iconic portrayals of the character, but it also led to Hamill having a second career as a voice-actor.  Still, I think it would be interesting to hear some of Tim Curry's recordings for the character.

I'm pretty curious about this as well, and it'd be interesting to see this episode with his voice to see how it might have changed things.  Tim Curry has done some awesome voicework in the past, and while he probably never would have been my first choice for Joker, I know he can be a great villain.  To me though, one evil clown in a career is probably enough.



And I don't understand why they put the episodes in the order they did on the animated sets.  I guess it's in production order rather than broadcast order?  I dunno.

I'm going to go ahead and assume that's the case unless someone corrects me.  On Leather Wings wasn't the first episode aired, but it is clearly identified as the pilot, and it makes sense to sit on Christmas with the Joker until Christmas actually rolls around.  Also, assuming this was one of the Curry episodes that Hamil had to re-record it might have started production early while being finished much later.

I think the best design of the Joker in the Diniverse is probably the version from the flashback scenes in Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker.



Agreed.
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Offline Rainbow Dash

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Re: Batman: The Animated Series
« Reply #49 on: August 20, 2011, 04:25:04 PM »
Nothing against Hamill, but I can't imagine Curry's Joker being bad.  Guy does evil so well, especially crazy evil.


Offline Sideswipe

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Re: Batman: The Animated Series
« Reply #50 on: August 20, 2011, 04:34:16 PM »
Yeah, he would probably be good at it.  I just can't see him having the range Hamil's Joker has though.

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Re: Batman: The Animated Series
« Reply #51 on: August 20, 2011, 04:40:08 PM »
Yeah, X-Mas with the Joker is a definite change in tone from the first episode, but I always liked the animated series idea that the Joker isn't just a homicidal maniac, nor is he just a merry mischief maker, but something in between.  And I think the fact that he's willing to put a whole trainload of people in mortal danger just so he can shove a pie in Batman's face says a lot about his character.

Mark Hamil as the Joker does eventually become my favorite Joker thanks to this series, due to that balance of homicidal maniac and merry mischief maker you're talking about, I just don't think they'd found the right balance, in performance writing or animation, yet.  In the On Leather Wings commentary they talked a lot about the quest to find realism in the context of the show, and to keep things believable.  This episode I think faltered heavily on that.  Yes, it's funny to think that Joker masterminded this scheme just to be in the same room as Batman with a face full of pie.  I think that if the more unbelievable elements had been handled better though, that punchline would have hit a lot harder.  Later Joker episodes I remember finding the right edge, even if they did stretch realism more than some other episodes they didn't stretch them the same way or as far.  (And yes, you have to consider it realism in the context of a series featuring science that is basically magic and where everyone wants to wear their fancy pajamas in public all the time.)  I will say I love it when Joker bends and breaks the fourth wall, taking the opportunity to talk directly to the audience, and the random moments that come up in later episodes where he's just by himself and being goofy, imitating Curly just for the hell of it. 

Another note, Tim Curry was originally cast as the Joker in TAS, but after he'd recorded a couple of episodes, they decided to recast and of course ended up with the legendary Mark Hamill.  Not only did Hamill's Joker become one of the most iconic portrayals of the character, but it also led to Hamill having a second career as a voice-actor.  Still, I think it would be interesting to hear some of Tim Curry's recordings for the character.

I'm pretty curious about this as well, and it'd be interesting to see this episode with his voice to see how it might have changed things.  Tim Curry has done some awesome voicework in the past, and while he probably never would have been my first choice for Joker, I know he can be a great villain.  To me though, one evil clown in a career is probably enough.



And I don't understand why they put the episodes in the order they did on the animated sets.  I guess it's in production order rather than broadcast order?  I dunno.

I'm going to go ahead and assume that's the case unless someone corrects me.  On Leather Wings wasn't the first episode aired, but it is clearly identified as the pilot, and it makes sense to sit on Christmas with the Joker until Christmas actually rolls around.  Also, assuming this was one of the Curry episodes that Hamil had to re-record it might have started production early while being finished much later.

I think the best design of the Joker in the Diniverse is probably the version from the flashback scenes in Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker.



Agreed.

I think another reason for the production order being what they used in the boxset is that the show aired on Saturdays and weekdays so if they used the order it aired in some two parts would have parts one at the start of the disc then you would have to watch five other episodes to get to part two. For instance The Red Claw episodes was the first one aird but part two did not air until the following saturday so there were five episodes between parts one and two.  That is kind of a strange way to put episodes on a DvD boxset.  It's just easier to place them in production order.


Offline Rattrap007

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Re: Batman: The Animated Series
« Reply #52 on: August 20, 2011, 06:40:14 PM »
easily one of my fav episodes was The Creeper episode. God that guy was hilarious. He even scares the Joker. Now THAT is insane..




Offline daltysmilth

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Re: Batman: The Animated Series
« Reply #53 on: August 20, 2011, 09:05:32 PM »
easily one of my fav episodes was The Creeper episode. God that guy was hilarious. He even scares the Joker. Now THAT is insane..

I believe the Creeper was based on Bruce Timm's original concept for Freakazoid.
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Offline mattwnelson

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Re: Batman: The Animated Series
« Reply #54 on: August 21, 2011, 12:56:07 AM »
easily one of my fav episodes was The Creeper episode. God that guy was hilarious. He even scares the Joker. Now THAT is insane..

I believe the Creeper was based on Bruce Timm's original concept for Freakazoid.

Creeper's been around since the 60s.


Offline sarcasm_made_Easy

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Re: Batman: The Animated Series
« Reply #55 on: August 21, 2011, 01:18:47 AM »
just bought the first volume.  will be here tuesday and will post my thoughts on episodes then.  Im sure your all SO excited to hear that.


Offline Rainbow Dash

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Re: Batman: The Animated Series
« Reply #56 on: August 21, 2011, 06:27:09 AM »
Well, I'm going through my box sets, haven't done so in years.  Great stuff, just finished disk 1.


Offline RoninFox

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Re: Batman: The Animated Series
« Reply #57 on: August 21, 2011, 07:09:37 AM »
Episode 3:  Nothing to Fear



...except for zombie Roosevelt.

Synopsis:  During a charity event to raise money for the troubled Gotham University, Bruce Wayne is confronted by a troubled professor, Dr Long.  Troubled by a series of crimes that have rocked the University, the professor lashes out by telling Bruce that his father would be ashamed of what Bruce has done to the family name.  Before leaving the event, Bruce notices a strange helicopter landing on the roof of the University's bank.  Inside the bank, The Scarecrow breaks in with his henchmen, using his fear gas to subdue the guard.  While his henchmen grab what money they can, Scarecrow is only interesting in burning the bank down, pouring gasoline around the room and claiming "this isn't about money, it's about revenge."  Batman arrives wearing a gas mask, preventing Scarecrow from using his fear gas, but after a fight he is able to shoot Batman with a dart loaded with fear toxin while starting a fire.  As Scarecrow and his men escape, Batman is haunted by a vision of his father calling him a failure and a disappointment.  Batman retreats to the cave to analyze a scrap of fabric from the Scarecrow's costume for traces of the chemicals in the gas, all the while still suffering the effects of the toxin.  After Scarecrow reveals his identity to his men (Dr. Jonathan Crane, former professor of psychology at the University, dismissed for his radical fear-based experiments) he stages another attack, this time flooding a charity event with fear gas and kidnapping Dr. Long.  When Batman arrives again, the crowd turns against him, the toxin making them see him as a monster.  Scarecrow escapes in a blimp, but Batman pursues him, fighting a henchman on top of the blimp, leading to the vehicle to be damaged by machine gun fire.  As the blimp goes out of control Batman has another vision of his father, this time overcoming it by force of will.  He pulls himself together in time save Dr. Long, but not to capture Crane.  Analysis of the chemicals and some detective work on who would have access to them and has a history with the University leads Batman to Crane's identity.  When Crane arrives in his lab, he finds canisters of his own toxin are open and leaking into the room.  Breathing in the gas, he has visions of demonic bats, and Batman is able to subdue him easily.

This is a step back up in quality.  While I don't love the design these early episodes used for Scarecrow, he is a great character for a Batman story.  Things are a little simplistic here, and Scarecrow spends a good chunk of his screen time in a somewhat awkwardly expository mood, but the real story here is Batman fighting the effects of the toxin.  This is the first time the series spends any time on Batman's past, and his visions of his father are a chilling addition to the plot.  We finally get a genuinely warm moment with Alfred.  While in the Batcave, looking haggard in the midst of his analysis of the scrap of Scarecrow's costume he tells Alfred about the toxin, and his fear of his father's disappointment.  Alfred, until now a smug smartass for two and a half episodes straight, assures Bruce, "I know your father would be proud of you, because I'm so proud of you."

The absolute highlight of this episode is when Batman is hanging onto the blimp and he has a vision of his father again, this time as a giant that morphs into a demonic skeleton.  When Batman summons his will to fight his fear, it's with a line that went on to become truly iconic.  "You are not my father, I am not a disgrace!  I am vengeance!  I am the night!  I am Batman!"

There's a couple pretty good scenes with Detective Bullock again too.  He confronts Batman after the attempted bank arson, seeing the scrap that Batman's carrying and accusing him of trying to steal evidence.  At the end of the episode he tries to convince the Commissioner that Batman and Scarecrow are in cahoots, even betting his badge on it.  Gordon then reveals Scarecrow tied up with what looks like a note featuring a bat logo on his chest.  This is pretty much the comic relief of the whole episode, with the exception of a couple zingers from Alfred.  I love how the keep the police visible in an episode like this, even though they really don't figure into the completion of the case at all.  It might not do a lot for this particular episode, but in the overall series it's helping to keep Bullock established in the audience's mind.

The last shot of the episode really sticks with you.  Bruce stands in front of the grave of his parents, wordlessly laying a pair of roses in front of the headstone.  As he walks away, his shadow takes the form of Batman.  Other than maybe the visions of Thomas Wayne, its the best bit of animation this episode.

I'm starting to notice a few cool inside jokes and references here and there.  The guard at the bank is reading a Tiny Toons comic book before he's attacked, this show and Tiny Toons shared a lot of the same team.  At one point Bullock mocks Batman by calling him Zorro, and Zorro was one of Bob Kane's major inspirations for creating Batman.  The list of possible sources for the chemicals Batman found include Axis Engineering, referencing Axis Chemicals from the 1989 Batman flim, and Star Labs, a Superman reference.
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Offline daltysmilth

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Re: Batman: The Animated Series
« Reply #58 on: August 21, 2011, 12:12:54 PM »
This is one of those episodes I remember being much better when I was a kid.  I also remember the "I am vengeance... etc." line being used in a lot of the network promos for the series in general and this episode in particular.

By the way, are you going to include Mask of the Phantasm in this series of reviews?  If not, I could tackle it myself when it comes up.
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Offline sarcasm_made_Easy

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Re: Batman: The Animated Series
« Reply #59 on: August 21, 2011, 02:15:52 PM »
star labs is DC