Batman: The Animated Series – A Guide to the Classic Show – Batman Factor
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Batman: The Animated Series – A Guide to the Classic Show

Batman: The Animated Series

Batman: The Animated Series is one of the best cartoons ever made, but how did it come to be? American animation went through a shift in the late 1980s and very early 1990s.

Don Bluth Studios was on the brink of bankruptcy, steadily declining. Hanna-Barbera productions weren’t spared, as they also were faced with financial difficulties. The Simpsons, though, had just premiered on Fox. And The Little Mermaid pioneered the “Disney Renaissance” in 1989.

With the assistance of Steven Spielberg, Warner Bros too was onto something with Tiny Toon Adventures. Even at that, light and silly animations were met with heavy bias in the States. We were well on the way to a breakthrough with Batman: The Animated Series, though.

Tiny Toon Adventures turned out to be successful. And that gave Warner Bros the push they needed to venture into new territories. Under the leadership of Jean MacCurdy, that was. An opportunity came in 1990 when the Fox Kids afternoon programming block was developed. 

Fox, inspired by The Simpsons’ success, became inspired to try something new with TV animation. It turns out Bruce Timm, Eric Radomski, Alan Burnett at Warner were thinking in that line too. The result was Batman: The Animated Series. It debuted on September 5th, 1992, on Kids. 

Kids and Adults Instantly Love Batman: The Animated Series

Batman: The Animated Series became an instant and legendary classic.  The artistic style of the series was simple. It used a light and shadow design prevalent to film noir. Backgrounds were painted in color on black paper, distinct from the conventional white.  For the first time, guns were allowed in Kids Animation. Some fistfights and stylized violence as well. 

Batman: The Animation Series so iconic was how many things-new to TV animation-were introduced in the series. Morally controversial stories, emotionally complicated characters, upsetting and disastrous endings. Plus amazing voice casts, outstanding character actors, and fully orchestrated music. Nothing short of legendary. 

Batman: The Animated Series is regarded widely as the best version of the Batman story. With the best characters ever captured on film. That’s Because they stayed true to the comic book roots. Batman: the animated series was the cartoon that sealed a generation of comic book fans.

Batman: The Animated Series
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Every single fan of Batman: The Animated Series probably had the complete series on DVD. So why did Warner Bros release the complete series on Blu-ray? Was it really worth it to buy them? You bet. Because Warner Bros didn’t just change the whole series into another format for the money.

Rather, every episode of the show, all 109, was digitally remastered in a high-definition format. And it was a sight no Batman fan wanted to miss. The colors in the episodes now popped with more life. And the cleaned-up picture was now much sharper and less grainy. 

The enhancement of Batman: The animated series was a massive feat. However, the show was great in its DVD format and any other format previously released. Batman: the animated Blu-ray series had never looked so terrific. The blurry and lifeless color had to go. The series finally got the treatment that it deserved a hundred percent. 

Not only was Batman: the animated series remastered into High Definition, brand new special features were also included; Batman: Mask of The Phantasm and Batman & Mr. Freeze: SubZero

The high-definition Blu-ray release included 25 featurettes. Taking the lead was the make of Batman: animated series 60+ minutes documentary, The Heart of Batman. Followed by producer Bruce Timm’s introductions to five episodes. And commentary from various people in the production team- Bruce Timm,  Paul Dini, Eric Radomski, Kelvin Altieri, Boyd Kirkland, Michael Reaves, Shirley Walker, Dan Riba, Glen Murakami, and James Tucker- on 12 episodes. 

For fans who love physical special features, some goodies and collectibles come included in the set. Seven lenticular cards are featuring Batman’s moments: The Animated Series, three exclusive mini Funko Pocket POPS-Batman, The Joker, and Harley Quinn. 

Batman: The Complete Animated Series (Blu-ray)
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On Leather Wings (Man-Bat)

  • Christmas with the Joker (The Joker, Robin)
  • Nothing to Fear (The Scarecrow)
  • The Last Laugh (The Joker)
  •  Pretty Poison (Poison Ivy)
  •  The Underdwellers (Sewer King)
  •  P.O.V. (The Drug Lord)
  •  The Forgotten (Boss Biggis)
  • Be a Clown (The Joker)
  • Two-Face Part One (Rupert Thorne)
  • Two-Face Part Two (Rupert Thorne, Two-Face)
  • It’s Never Too Late (Rupert Thorn, Arnold Stormwell)
  • I’ve Got Batman in My Basement (The Penguin)
  • The Dark Knight’s First Night Pilot Promo: Hosted by Bruce Timm


  • Heart of Ice (Mr. Freeze, Ferris Boyle)
  • The Cat and the Claw Part One (Catwoman, Red Claw)
  • The Cat and the Claw Part Two (Catwoman, Red Claw)
  • See No Evil (Lloyd Ventrix)
  • Beware the Gray Ghost (The Mad Bomber, The Grey Ghost)
  • Prophecy of Doom (Nostromos, Lucus)
  • Feat of Clay Part One (Roland Daggett, Clayface)
  •  Feat of Clay Part Two (Roland Daggett, Clayface)
  • Joker’s Favor (The Joker, Harley Quinn)
  • Vendetta (Killer Croc)
  • Fear of Victory (Robin, The Scarecrow)
  • The Clock King (The Clock King)
  • Appointment in Crime Alley (Roland Daggett)
  • Audio Commentary for Heart of Ice (Paul Dini, Bruce Timm, and Eric Radomski)
  • Batman: The Legacy Continues Retrospective
  • Tour of The Batcave


  • Mad as a Hatter (The Mad Hater)
  • Dreams in Darkness (The Scarecrow)
  • Eternal Youth (Poison Ivy)
  • Perchance to Dream (Robin, Catwoman, The Mad Hatter)
  • The Cape and Cowl Conspiracy (Josiah Wormwood)
  • Robin’s Reckoning Part One (Robin, Tony Zucco, Arnold Stormwell)
  • Robin’s Reckoning Part Two (Robin, Tony Zucco)
  • The Laughing Fish (The Joker, Harley Quinn)
  • Night of the Ninja (Kyodai Ken)
  • Cat Scratch Fever (Catwoman, Roland Daggett, Professor Milo)
  • The Strange Secret of Bruce Wayne (Hugo Strange, The Joker, Two-Face, The Penguin)
  • Heart of Steel Part One (HARDAC)
  • Heart of Steel Part Two (HARDAC)
  • Audio Commentary for Robin’s Reckoning Part One (Bruce Timm and Eric Radomski)
  • Audio Commentary for Heart of Steel Part Two (Bruce Timm, Eric Radomski, and Kevin Altieri)
  • Robin Rising: How the Boy Wonder’s Character Evolved
  • Gotham’s Guardians: The Stalwart Supporting Characters


  • If You’re So Smart, Why Aren’t You Rich? (Riddler, Robin)
  • Joker’s Wild (The Joker, Cameron Kaiser)
  • Tyger, Tyger (Emile Dorian)
  • Moon of the Wolf (The Werewolf, Professor Milo)
  • Day of the Samurai (Kyodai Ken)
  • Terror in the Sky (Man-Bat, She-Bat)
  • Almost Got ‘Im (The Joker, Harley Quinn, Two-Face, Poison Ivy, Killer Croc, The Penguin)
  • Birds of a Feather (The Penguin)
  •   What Is Reality? (The Riddler)
  • I Am the Night (The Jazzman)
  • Off Balance (Count Vertigo, Talia al Ghul)
  • The Man Who Killed Batman (The Joker, Harley Quinn, Rupert Thorne)
  • Mudslide (Clayface)
  • Audio Commentary for Almost Got ‘Im (Bruce Timm, Eric Radomski, and Paul Dini)
  • Voices of the Knight
Batman: The Animated Series: The Complete First Volume
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  • Paging the Crime Doctor (Rupert Thorne)
  • Zatanna (Montague Kane)
  • The Mechanic (The Penguin)
  • Harley and Ivy (The Joker, Harley Quinn, Poison Ivy)
  • Shadow of the Bat Part One (Batgirl, Two-Face, Rupert Thorne, Gil Mason)
  • Shadow of the Bat Part Two (Batgirl, Two-Face, Gil Mason)
  • Blind As a Bat (The Penguin)
  • The Demon’s Quest Part One (Robin, Ra’s al Ghul, Talia al Ghul)
  • The Demon’s Quest Part Two (Robin, Ra’s al Ghul, Talia al Ghul)
  • His Silicon Soul (HARDAC, Duplicate Batman)
  • Fire from Olympus (Maxie Zeus)
  • Read My Lips (The Ventriloquist)
  • The Worry Men (The Mad Hatter)
  • Audio Commentary on Harley and Ivy (Bruce Timm, Paul Dini, Eric Radomski, and Boyd Kirkland)
  • Audio Commentary on Read My Lips (Bruce Timm, Michael Reaves, Boyd Kirkland, and Shirley Walker)
  • Gotham’s New Knight 

SEASON TWO – DISC ONE (aired under the title The Adventures of Batman & Robin)

  • Sideshow (Killer Croc)
  • A Bullet for Bullock (Vinnie the Shark)
  • Trial (The Joker, Harley Quinn, Killer Croc, The Mad Hatter, Poison Ivy, The Riddler, The Scarecrow, Two-Face, The Ventriloquist)
  • Avatar (Ra’s al Ghul, Talia al Ghul)
  • House & Garden (Robin, Poison Ivy)
  • The Terrible Trio (Robin, The Terrible Trio)
  • Harlequinade (Robin, The Joker, Harley Quinn, Boxy Bennett)
  • Time Out of Joint (Robin, The Clock King)
  • Catwalk (Catwoman, The Ventriloquist)
  • Bane (Robin, Killer Croc, Candice, Rupert Thorne)
  • Audio Commentary on Harlequinade (Bruce Timm, Paul Dini, Shirley Walker, and Eric Radomski)


  • Baby Doll (Robin, Baby Doll)
  • The Lion and the Unicorn (Robin, Red Claw)
  • Showdown (Robin, Ra’s al Ghul, Arcady Duvall)
  • Riddler’s Reform (Robin, The Riddler)
  • Second Chance (Robin, Two-Face, The Penguin, Rupert Thorne)
  • Harley’s Holiday (Robin, Harley Quinn, Boxy Bennett)
  • Lock-Up (Robin, Lock-Up, The Ventriloquist, Scarface, Scarecrow, Harley Quinn)
  • Make ‘Em Laugh (Robin, The Joker, Condiment King, The Pack Rat, Mighty Mom, The Mad Hatter)
  • Deep Freeze (Robin, Mr. Freeze, Grant Walker)
  • Batgirl Returns (Robin, Batgirl, Catwoman, Roland Daggett)

SEASON THREE – DISC ONE ( Aired under the title The New Batman Adventures)

  • Holiday Knights (Robin, Batgirl, The Joker, Harley Quinn, Clayface, Poison Ivy)
  • Sins of the Father (Robin, Batgirl, Two-Face)
  • Cold Comfort (Batgirl, Mr. Freeze)
  • Double Talk (Batgirl, The Ventriloquist, Scarface)
  • You Scratch My Back (Batgirl, Nightwing, Catwoman)
  • Never Fear (Robin, The Scarecrow)
  • Joker’s Millions (Robin, Nightwing, The Joker, Harley Quinn, The Penguin, Poison Ivy, Edward “King” Barlow)
  • Growing Pains (Robin, Clayface)
  • Love Is a Croc (Batgirl, Killer Croc, Baby Doll)
  • Torch Song (Batgirl, Firefly)
  • The Ultimate Thrill (The Penguin, Roxy Rocket)
  • Over the Edge (Robin, Nightwing, Batgirl, The Scarecrow, Bane, The Mad Hatter, Harley Quinn)
  • Audio Commentary on Over the Edge (Bruce Timm, Paul Dini, Glen Murakami, and James Ticker)
  • Arkham Asylum: Examine the Top-Secret Case Files of the Dark Knight’s Many Foes (12 parts in all)


  • Mean Seasons (Batgirl, Calendar Girl)
  • Critters (Robin, Batgirl, Farmer Brown)
  •  Cult of the Cat (Catwoman, Thomas Blake)
  • Animal Act (Robin, Nightwing, The Mad Hatter)
  • Old Wounds (Robin, Batgirl, Nightwing, The Joker)
  • The Demon Within (Robin, Klarion the Witch Boy)
  • Legends of the Dark Knight (Robin, The Joker, The Mutants, Firefly)
  • Girls’ Night Out (Batgirl, Supergirl, Poison Ivy, Harley Quinn, Livewire, The Penguin)
  • Mad Love (The Joker, Harley Quinn)
  • Chemistry (Batgirl, Robin, Poison Ivy)
  • Beware the Creeper (Robin, The Creeper, The Joker, Harley Quinn)
  • Judgment Day (Two-Face, The Judge, Killer Croc, The Riddler, The Penguin)
  • Audio Commentary on Critters (Bruce Timm, Paul Dini, Dan Riba, Glen Murakami, and James Ticker)
  • Audio Commentary on Legends of the Dark Knight( Bruce Timm, Paul Dini, Dan Riba, Glen Murakami, and James Tucker)

BONUS Movies Based on The Series

Batman the Animated Series was so popular that it ended up having movies that were based on it. The version of Batman and the Villains from the show were showcased in movies that turned out to be amazing. These movies from the series were easily some of the best Batman movies ever made.

BATMAN: MASK OF THE PHANTASM (Andrea Beaumont, The Joker)

The Mask of The Phantasm has some of the best music you could ask for from a Batman Movie. The movie was a Christmas movie but it got all of the elements right from the characters to keep it as close to the traditional show as possible. The movie is a must see for any Batman fan.

Batman: Mask of The Phantasm
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BATMAN & MR. FREEZE: SUBZERO (Robin, Batgirl, Mr. Freeze)

Subzero was a great movie simply because Mr. Freeze is a fan favorite from the series. Where the Joker is just crazy, you feel for Mr. Freeze because he has some of the best Character development for a villain. The movies turns Gotham into an icy wonderland and it puts Batman far outside of his comfort zone.

Batman & Mr. Freeze: Subzero
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Final Thoughts On Batman The Animated Series

Anyone who was a kid in the 90s knows that this is one of the best cartoons ever made. It’s up there with Avatar the Last Airbender, Dragon Ball Z, and Samurai Jack. It was that good, and the show really developed how people see most of the villains. Before the show, people only knew of the Joker from the 1989 Batman.

Characters like Two-Face, The Riddler, and so many other villains had not had much screen time since the show from the 60s. When most people think of Harley Quinn, they would think of the version from the movie. The show will always be nostalgic and is worth watching through, for good time’s sake.