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Batman - The Animated Series - The Legend Begins (1992)

Kevin Conroy , Loren Lester  |  NR |  DVD
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (36 customer reviews)

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DVD 1-Disc Version $8.51  
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Batman - The Animated Series - The Legend Begins + Batman - The Animated Series - Tales of the Dark Knight + Batman: The Animated Series - Secrets of the Caped Crusader
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Product Details

  • Actors: Kevin Conroy, Loren Lester, Efrem Zimbalist Jr., Bob Hastings, Mari Devon
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Animated, Color, Full Screen, NTSC
  • Language: Portuguese (Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo), English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo), French (Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo), Spanish (Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish, French, Portuguese
  • Dubbed: Portuguese, Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Warner Home Video
  • DVD Release Date: April 23, 2002
  • Run Time: 23 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (36 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00005Y71J
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #119,294 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Batman - The Animated Series - The Legend Begins" on IMDb

Special Features

  • How to draw Batman
  • "Life on the Edge" game
  • Animation tests
  • Conversations by director Bruce Timm

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

In the original five episodes of the Emmy-winning Batman The Animated Series, Batman must battle The Joker, The Scarecrow, Poison Ivy and more to protect Gotham City.

Taking a cue from the caped crusader's comic book rebirth in Frank Miller's The Dark Knight Returns and Batman: Year One, this 1992 animated series saved the TV Batman from a fate worse than camp and drew an unexpected audience for an afternoon cartoon: adults. The initial five episodes gathered here feature such supervillains as Man-bat, the Scarecrow, and Poison Ivy, but the deliciously demented Joker (voiced by Mark Hamill) steals the show in his two appearances, especially in the twisted "Christmas with the Joke." Escaping Arkham Asylum in a rocket-powered Christmas tree, the clown prince of crime preempts a TV showing of It's a Wonderful Life with his own homicidal holiday treat. It's a solid start to a sleek, stylized, smartly written series that only improved with time. Ages 7 and up. --Sean Axmaker

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
169 of 176 people found the following review helpful
It's about time that Warner Brothers finally responded to the years of demand by the fans to release the amazing "Batman: The Animated Series" on DVD. What we've finally gotten is a mixed bag, however. I'm happy to see this first disc of episodes in chronological order (rather than the ridiculous themed releases like what we got on VHS), and hopefully Warner will continue to release the entire series in order and complete; but more episodes on the disc would have been nice! What we get here on this release called "Batman: The Legend Begins" is the first five episodes of the animated series -- based on production order, not airdate order -- (1) "On Leather Wings", (2) "Christmas with the Joker", (3) "Nothing to Fear", (4) "The Last Laugh", and (5) "Pretty Poison". Respectively, these episodes are the spectacular pilot with Man-Bat, a lighthearted Joker story, a pretty good Scarecrow story, another (slightly better) Joker story and the origin story of Poison Ivy. A pretty good introduction to the series, but the best was yet to come! As far as extras go, there isn't much. An introduction by Bruce Timm, a few webgames and CD-ROM links, and a brief documentary. (Where are the commentaries, pre-production drawings, artwork slideshows, and extended documentaries?) ... ... Now, if you've never seen the series you are in for a treat! "Batman: The Animated Series" premiered on television way back on Sep. 5th, 1992 with the episode "The Cat & The Claw, part 1" (not included on this first disc), about three months after the live-action "Batman Returns" had come out. The animated series (unlike the mediocre movies) met with almost universal acclaim. Read more ›
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 5 stars for the show, not the DVD. June 23, 2005
By Raj
Batman - The Animated Series is one of the best animation shows that aired during the 90s. This DVD provides the first 5 episodes of the First Season. I have listed my reviews for the episodes separately, followed by my review of the DVD.

Review of the Episodes:

1. On Leather Wings: A winged bat-like creature is spotted flying above Gotham, stealing chemicals from various pharmaceuticals (recently from Phoenix Pharmaceuticals, where it also injured a night watchman). The Police suspect that it is Batman. To clear his name, Batman goes to the scene of the crime and finds a tape along with a strand of the creature's hair. Having his suspicions, he goes to Dr. March and Dr. Langstrom to ask their opinion on the evidence. However, since the Doctors give him a faulty explanation, Batman is convinced that one of them is the cause for the crimes. Can Batman find out who Man-Bat is and get him in time?

A good start to the series, we get to see how Batman clears his name by going after the Man-Bat. (4/5).

2. Christmas with the Joker - The Joker has escaped from Gotham Asylum during Christmas time. Meanwhile, Dick convinces Bruce to watch "It's a Wonderful Life" to let Bruce get into the holiday spirit. However, the Joker makes all the channels broadcast to his show called "Christmas with the Joker", where he intends to share his Christmas `joy' with the citizens of Gotham. It is up to Batman and Robin to save the people of Gotham while Joker holds Commissioner Gordon, Detective Bullock, and reporter Summer Gleeson hostage.

This is a little different, but still a good episode where we get to see Batman and Robin in action.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Bigger and Batter Than Ever! June 1, 2002
The only thing not to love about the animated Batman series is the choppy animation, itself. Everything else is stellar. Bruce Timm's artwork deliberately hearkens back to the 1940's Max Fleischer Superman shorts, and the clever stories appeal to the kids but are sophisticated enough to hold the attention of adults.
The best thing about the entire series is the "kinder, gentler" approach to the caped superhero. As opposed to Tim Burton's dark just-this-side-of-a-psycho interpretation, the animated Batman develops something of a rapport with his adversaries. He comes to understand them before even attempting to bring them in, and he tries the easy approach first - granted, it generally fails, but at least he tries. His defeat of Gotham's various criminals is invariably brought about by Batman's psychological understanding of them.
The next best thing is the new interpretation of old villains, and the introduction of several Bob Kane originals who never saw screen time anywhere. In the latter category, the Scarecrow and Poison Ivy are magnificent. The Scarecrow story on this DVD introduced Scarecrow as Kane did - as an inadequate little man who uses his advanced knowledge of chemistry to incapacitate his opponents with fear, making himself feel bigger by comparison. Beginning as a mere bankrobber, later stories saw him evolve into a more psychotic extortionist. Poison Ivy, who Kane introduced but rarely used (if I'm not mistaken, he actually only had her in a single story) - and who didn't appear often in post-Kane comics, either - is given a complete makeover and a credible psychosis of her own. Her introductory story is one of the best in the animated series, and is present in this collection.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Good comic
Grandson approved
Published 1 month ago by Thomas J.
4.0 out of 5 stars Good Cartoon
I watched this cartoon in my 20's, it was pretty good, was cool hearing big stars voices on temporary characters. Mark Hamill was the Joker, yes, Luke Skywalker as the Joker!
Published on December 19, 2010 by Mr. Suede
3.0 out of 5 stars Attention! this not a kids cartoon!
this dvd includes five episodes from Batman the animated series. the villains are man-bat, joker, scarecrow, and poison ivy.
the 1st episode introduces man-bat. really bad. Read more
Published on September 8, 2010
5.0 out of 5 stars If you can only afford to buy one dvd of the batman series, then I...
But the fact that you can get 85 episodes for around 80-90 dollars, this disc is ONLY for people who are JUST getting this one.

So you can get this for 2. Read more
Published on March 20, 2006 by morgoth
4.0 out of 5 stars The saturday morning cartoon of dreams!
I started watching this on saturday mornings ages ago and i loved it, when i heard that it was coming to dvd i was exstatic! Read more
Published on December 21, 2004
5.0 out of 5 stars the dark knight forever
well let me put it like this batman has always been a favorite of mine even when bob kane started batman in 1939 we had and insight to what it was all about i think that we all... Read more
Published on July 9, 2004
5.0 out of 5 stars The Dark Knight begins here...
Batman: The Animated Series came out while I was in college, which gave me lots of time to watch it. Read more
Published on March 27, 2004 by Michael Valdivielso
5.0 out of 5 stars The best animated T.V show ever made by warner bros
Batman is the greatest animated show still running out there with other great classics like batman beyond or batman and robin. Read more
Published on March 8, 2004 by hadi jones
5.0 out of 5 stars Great episodes but great dissapointment...
I have loved BTAS for ages, and I was so excited that it was being released on DVD. Eventhough, these five episodes were all classics, I really wished Warner Bros. Read more
Published on November 16, 2003
5.0 out of 5 stars The Start of a Golden era
The only complaint is I just wish Warner would release each season in box sets. The best animated series ever. If you want to see quality acting and great visuals BUY THIS
Published on July 27, 2003 by Heath
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