BATMAN: THE ANIMATED SERIES
Batman: The Animated Series wore its influences on its cape: the gangster-sharp film noir stylings of Tim Burton’s blockbuster movie; the shadow-drenched aesthetic of the ’40s Fleischer Studios Superman cartoons. And it transcended those influences – along with the traditional limits of kids’ animation – to create what may just be the screen’s definitive take on the Dark Knight.
Remastered for Blu-ray, these 109 episodes alchemise decades of Bat-mythology into something that feels equally fresh and classic, reverent and playful. The scripts are intelligent and unafraid to gun for genuine emotion – Emmywinning “Heart Of Ice” plays the origin of Mr Freeze as a human tragedy – while the moody, characterful animation proves you can bring darkness to Batman’s world without sinking into sub-Frank Miller grit ’n’ grimness.
Extras Enough to pack a Bat-Cave to the stalactites. New to this release are “The Heart Of Batman”, a 94-minute documentary split into three parts, and “Concepting Harley Quinn”, which sees Paul Dini discussing the creation of the show’s breakout character. It also includes full-length animated movies Batman: Mask Of The Phantasm and Batman & Mr Freeze: Subzero. Ported over from the DVD release are 11 audio commentaries and five episode introductions by co-creator Bruce Timm; “The Dark Knight’s First Night”, the original 1991 promo reel; plus 23 more featurettes, including various “Arkham Asylum Case Files”, in which creators discuss the show’s villains. Nick Setchfield
Mark Hamill has revealed that a key inspiration for his Joker was the Chief Blue Meanie in Yellow Submarine.
Lightning would just pass right through him.