On this day, September 5th, the classic Batman: The Animated Series premiered on Fox in 1992. While I’m a HUGE Batman fan, all who know me personally understand that I hate the Tim Burton movies except for one thing, it paved the way for what is the quintessential version of the Caped Crusader outside of the comics that he’s featured in.
The cartoon show, created by Bruce Timm and Eric Radomski, mixed the right amount of aspects from the character’s rich history to produce its own iconic take. It even introduced us to a character, Harley Quinn, that proved to be so popular she made the transition from TV to comics and, most recently, movies. Of course, it solidified actors Kevin Conroy as one of the best, if not THE BEST screen Batman and Mark Hamill (who actually replaced Tim Curry) as The Joker. Hamill’s voice talent and portrayal of The Clown Prince Of Crime is second to none.
While I can go on and on about all of the great things this series has accomplished for not just Batman but animation as well, I’d rather offer you a couple of treats. Two videos; the first is the pencil test used in the pitch to Fox to get the animated series made and the second is what most fans dubbed the “lost episode” which is actually made up of the cut scenes from the B:TAS Sega CD videogame.
Batman: The Animated Series ran from 1992 – 1995 on Fox then evolved into The New Batman Adventures which aired on the WB from 1997 – 1999. It also spawned the best Dark Knight movie ever, Batman: Mask Of The Phantasm. If there are any of you out there who have not seen this film, it surpasses any of the gothic dumps director Tim Burton took on the characters, the camp escapades of Schumacher, and yes – even the Nolan movies.