Batman: The Animated Series, Volume 1
DVD | Box Set
Frequently bought together
Customers who bought this item also bought
Customers who viewed this item also viewed
Batman: The Animated Series Vol. 1]]>
Warner Brothers' Batman: The Animated Series (1992-1995) remains a striking, stylized program that helped to revitalize the familiar comic book hero. Drawing on such diverse influences as Frank Miller's graphic novel The Dark Knight Returns, the Fleischers' Superman cartoons of the early '40s, and contemporary Japanese animation, the filmmakers stress interesting designs and cinematography. The Caped Crusader prowls a sinister, Art Deco-styled world of tall verticals, sharp angles, silhouettes, searchlights, and grid-like shadows cast by window frames. Its visual pizzazz eclipses Filmation's pallid kidvid, The Batman/Superman Hour (CBS, 1968), which ran off and on in various incarnations through 1981. Many of the same artists worked on the Batman animated features (e.g., Mask of the Phantasm (1993), Batman Beyond--The Movie (1999)), which display similar strengths and weaknesses.
Ironically, Batman: The Animated Series looks better in stills than it does in motion. The artists fail to stylize the movements of the characters to match the dramatic settings, as Genndy Tartakovsky and his crew did in Samurai Jack. Batman uses sophisticated computers to combat the well-known villains--the Joker, the Penguin, Mr. Freeze, Catwoman--as well as some less celebrated baddies: Manbat, Clayface, The Mad Hatter. The bad guys cram a lot of plotting and scheming into each 22-minute episode, but the violence is kept to a broadcast standards minimum.
The Dark Knight's First Knight easily ranks as the most interesting of the extras. Producers Bruce Timm and Eric Radomski recount the genesis of the series, and show their mini-pilot, which is more violent and more fully animated. If the complete episodes had matched the pilot, the series would have been much more exciting. (Unrated, suitable for ages 8 and older: violence, mild grotesque imagery) --Charles Solomon
Would you like to tell us about a lower price?
If you are a seller for this product, would you like to suggest updates through seller support?
Top customer reviews
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
DISC 1: Contains episodes "On Leather Wings," "Christmas with the Joker," "Nothing to Fear," "The Last Laugh," "Pretty Poison," "The Underdwellers," and "P.O.V." The first episode is the best on this disc, with Batman facing the fearsome Man-Bat. The show really hit the ground running, but the immediate follow-ups are a bit weak. "P.O.V." has moments of interest because of its unusual structure, and "Nothing to Fear" has a great finale, but the two Joker episodes are particularly poor; the show hadn't quite figured out its style yet. Also on this disc is commentary by Bruce Timm and Eric Radomski for "On Leather Wings," and a two-minute demo they did to sell the look of the series.
DISC 2: Contains episodes "The Forgotten," "Be a Clown," "Two Face (Parts 1&2)," "It's Never Too Late," "I've Got Batman in My Basement," and "Heart of Ice." The last is one of the most popular episode of the series, introducing the fantastic re-imagining of Mr. Freeze as a tragic figure. "Two-Face" is also a superb villain origin story. The other episodes are minor, with a poor Joker and Penguin episode, but "It's Never Too Late" is an interesting non-super-villain story. The bonus feature on this disc is a great 18-minute documentary about the series, with interviews with the producers, writers, and some of the actors. There's also audio commentary on "Heart of Ice" with Timm, Radomski, and writer Paul Dini.
DISC 3: Contains episodes "The Cat and the Claw (Parts 1&2)," "See No Evil," "Beware of the Gray Ghost," "Prophecy of Doom," and "Feat of Clay (Parts 1&2)." The show was clearly taking off at this point; only "Prophecy of Doom" is a poor episode. "Beware the Gray Ghost" brings back Adam West to the Batman series, and is one of the most inspirational of all the episodes. "Feat of Clay" contains stunning animation, and "Cat and Claw" gives us the wonderful relationship between Batman and Catwoman. The bonus feature is a Batcave tour, basically a few screens of text and some connected montages of images from the show.
DISC 4: Contains episodes "The Joker's Favor," "Vendetta," "Fear of Victory," "The Clock King," "Appointment in Crime Alley," "Mad as a Hatter," and "Dreams in Darkness." Two lesser villains, Clock King and Mad Hatter, become the focus of great episodes. "The Joker's Favor" is one of the best Joker episodes, and introduces Harley Quinn, who would become one of the show's most popular creations. The two Scarecrow episodes aren't much, however. The bonus feature is a plug for some of the other DC heroes.
The show has awards and nominations befitting the respect that it has earned from fans and critics alike.
Volume One of the series features some of the most memorable episodes, which include "Cat and the Claw," "Two-Face," and "Feat of Clay," the latter showcasing top-notch animation, and the brilliant "Heart of Ice."
One of the show's real pluses is the use of real actors, many familiar in name and voice, to add life the characters. Kevin Conroy is the definitive "Bat-voice" and it's no wonder that he has done the character for twenty years. Other regulars include Bob Hastings as Commissioner Gordon and Loren Lester, occasionally popping up as Robin.
Watching the first episodes, though the packaging doesn't have them in their original order, viewers will note a different "Alfred." Clive Revell assayed the role but was replaced by Efrem Zimbalist, Jr., a wise move on the part of the producers. Zimbalist took the role and "patented" it as Conroy did the Dark Knight.
Mark Hamill (The Joker), Michael Ansara (Mr. Freeze), the late John Vernon (Rupert Thorne), Ed Asner (Roland Daggett), Adrienne Barbeau (Catwoman/Selena Kyle), John Glover (The Riddler), Richard Moll (Two-Face/Harvey Dent), Ron Perlman (Clayface/Matt Hagen), the late Brock Peters (Lucius Fox), Paul Williams (The Penguin), Kate Mulgrew (Red Claw), Diane Pershing (Poison Ivy/Pamela Isley)and Arlene Sorkin (the wonderfully ditzy Harley Quinn) are just some of the actors that add class to the show.
A fitting homage to the 60's campy "Batman" series is the appearance of Adam West in "Beware of the Gray Ghost."
Kudos must also be given to the series chief composer, the late Shirley Walker. Her scoring, along with the work of others, mixes appropriate action cues and lighter ones.
Volume One is a good introduction to the series and for the uninitiated, it will make them savor for the remaining volumes in the collection.