SERIES SYNOPSIS BATMAN: THE ANIMATED SERIES was the first “serious” animated Batman television series. Along with the live-action film BATMAN BEGINS, B: TAS is widely regarded by fans as the most iconic depiction of the Batman character and mythos; as well as the best animated series based on a comic book.
While many people were responsible for this series, the two names most commonly associated with it are Bruce Timm and Paul Dini.
Debuting the same year as Tim Burton's second Batman movie, B: TAS capitalized on the public's fervor for a darker, more serious Batman -- one far removed from the comedic and campy Batman portrayed by Adam West. And on the animated side, the non-threatening Batman of SUPERFRIENDS. This was a Batman that harkened back to his dark, gothic beginnings.
The original episodes were produced by Bruce Timm and Eric Radomski and first aired from 1992 to 1995. They broadcast weekday afternoons on the FOX television network. After a strong and successful 85-episode run, new episodes were created for The WB network’s “The Kid’s WB” and was known as THE NEW BATMAN ADVENTURES. This series ran from 1997-1999 and produced 24 episodes.
While there is a bit of a different “look” between B: TAS and THE NEW BATMAN ADVENTURES, most of the people behind both series say that the latter is indeed a continuation of the former; just a few years down the line.
The series was the first of the modern "DC Animated Continuity,” which would go on to include the animated SUPERMAN series, BATMAN BEYOND, and THE JUSTICE LEAGUE.
The original series was influenced by the first two live-action BATMAN films directed by Tim Burton (especially the first one - 1989’s BATMAN). The Burton Bat-films influence is most evident in the series "otherworldy timelessness.” It was also influenced by the 1940s SUPERMAN animated shorts produced by Fleischer Studios.
The Batman of both animated series is based on DC COMICS’ “Batman” character, although the continuities are different and The animated Batman possesses a different personal history to his comic book equivalent.
As in the BATMAN comic books, “The Batman” is the alternate identity of billionaire Bruce Wayne, who adopted the persona in response to the brutal murder of his parents when he was a child. In this series (as well as other series in the “DC Animated Universe“), Batman/Bruce Wayne is voiced by Kevin Conroy.
In B: TAS, The Batman wears his traditional black/blue on gray costume with a yellow oval surrounding the Bat logo on his chest. In the latter series, the costume is completely black on gray with no yellow oval surrounding the Bat-emblem.
The Batman’s major supporting characters in this series include: Alfred Pennyworth; Richard/Robin (and later Nightwing); Police Commissioner James Gordon; Police Detective Harvey Bullock; Police Detective Rene Montoya; District Attorney Harvey Dent; Barbara Gordon/Batgirl; and Tim Drake/Robin.
Batman villains making appearances included The Joker (voiced by Mark Hamill); The Penguin; Man-Bat; Mr. Freeze; Catwoman; The Riddler; Two Face; and Ra’s Al Ghul among many others.
It should be noted that the look of many of the villains such as The Joker and The Penguin, changed a bit as depicted in the original series as compared to THE NEW ADVENTURES.
There have been several animated films based on B: TAS. 1992’s BATMAN: MASK OF THE PHANTASM got a limited theatrical release followed by home video. 1997‘s SUBZERO (featuring Mr. Freeze), 2000‘s BATMAN BEYOND: RETURN OF THE JOKER (based on that TV series), and 2003‘s BATMAN: MYSTERY OF THE BATWOMAN all were direct to video movies released by Warner Home Video. All are held in high-esteem among fans.
SEASON 1 (1992-1993) The Cat and the Claw, Parts 1 & 2 by Jett (Airdate: September 5 & 12, 1992)
On Leather Wings by Ricky Church (Airdate: September 6, 1992)
Heart of Ice by Chris Clow (Airdate: September 7, 1992)
Feat of Clay, Parts 1 & 2 by Justin Kowalski (Airdate: September 8 & 9, 1992)
It's Never Too Late by Ryan Hoss (Airdate: September 10, 1992)
Joker's Favor by Rick Shew (Airdate: September 11, 1992)
Pretty Poison by Jett (Airdate: September 14, 1992)
Nothing to Fear by Jett (Airdate: September 15, 1992)
Be a Clown by Ricky Church (Airdate: September 16, 1992)
Appointment in Crime Alley by Ryan Hoss (Airdate: September 17, 1992)
P.O.V. by Peter Verra (Airdate: September 18, 1992)
The Clock King by Justin Kowalski (Airdate: September 21, 1992)
The Last Laugh
Two-Face, Parts 1 & 2
Fear of Victory
I've Got Batman in My Basement
Prophecy of Doom
Mad as a Hatter
The Cape and Cowl Conspiracy
Perchance to Dream
Night of the Ninja
The Strange Secret of Bruce Wayne
Dreams in Darkness
Beware the Gray Ghost
Cat Scratch Fever
I Am the Night
Almost Got 'Im
Moon of the Wolf
Terror in the Sky
Christmas with the Joker
Heart of Steel, Parts 1 & 2
If You're So Smart, Why Aren't You Rich?
His Silicon Soul
What is Reality?
The Laughing Fish
Harley and Ivy
The Man Who Killed Batman
Robin's Reckoning, Parts 1 & 2
Birds of a Feather
Blind as a Bat
Day of the Samurai
See No Evil
The Demon's Quest, Parts 1 & 2
Read My Lips
Fire from Olympus
SEASON 2 (1993)
Shadow of the Bat, Parts 1 & 2
The Worry Men
Paging the Crime Doctor
House & Garden
SEASON 3 (1994)
Time Out of Joint
Make 'Em Laugh
SEASON 4 (1995)
The Terrible Trio
A Bullet for Bullock
The Lion and the Unicorn