Batman: The Complete Animated Series
Batman fans rejoice! The mother load for Batman fans has arrived in one mega box set of DVDs with the entire 1990s Bruce Timm-produced animated series. All 109 episodes are contained on 17 DVDs (over 35 hours of sheer viewing pleasure) with a boatload of bonus features. This Emmy-award winning fan favorite series has only been available in truncated mini-sets previous to this so this is ultimate Batman fan gift and it’s out in stores now just in time for the holidays.
This series totally redefined Batman as an animated character and, based on the dark brooding 1980s Tim Burton film version and Frank Miller’s comic versions, presented Batman in a whole new light, or should I say dark. The series took much of it’s art direction and look from the amazing art deco 1930s animated Superman cartoons that were done by Max and Dave Fleisher and updated it with highly stylized film noir visuals that suited Timm’s vision of Batman perfectly. The series’ stunning visual settings and backgrounds are a perfect counterpart to the darker story lines and new takes on Batman’s familiar bevy of evil villains. Besides giving Mark Hammill (Luke Skywalker) a new career as the voice of the Joker the series introduced a new female villain Harlequin who has become a popular addition to the D. C. Comics universe.
This series is actually very close to the original tone and image that Batman creator Bob Kane had in mind when he introduced the character in the 1930s. Like Kane’s original vision of Batman the series’ vivid storytelling and images tell the tale of the Dark Knight as a complex man and edgy hero struggling for revenge and redemption each time he dons the cape and cowl. The series is currently being shown nightly on the Cartoon Network and any fan of the recent Batman films should check it out because this animated series is not just for kids only. This is about as far away from the hideous 1960s and 1970s Super Friends series as you could get. Bruce Timms and his crew reinvented Batman for a new generation and has continued producing animated series based on Batman including "Batman Beyond" and the cape crusader has not been the same since... which is a good thing.
In addition to the many bonus featurettes the set comes with a nice 40-page collector book which includes disc by disc listings of all the episodes and a lot of previously unseen production artwork from the series.
New Bonus Disc Documentary "Shades of the Bat: Batman’s Animated Evolution" which takes a look at the long and colorful history of Batman
Audion commentaries on 12 of the more interesting episodes by Bruce Timm and the series creators: "On Leather Wings", "Heart of Ice", "Robin’s Reckoning", "Heart of Steel", "Almost Got ’im", "Harley and Ivy", "Read My Lips", "House and Garden", "Harlequinade", "Over the Edge", "Critters" and "Legends of the Dark Knight".
8 Behind-the-scenes Featurettes:
- "Batman: The Legacy Continues" retrospective
- "The Dark Knight’s First Night" pilot promo (hosted by Bruce Timm)
- Tour of the Batcave
- "Robin Rising"
- "Gotham’s Guardians" (with the supporting cast actors)
- "Voices of the Knight"
- "Gotham’s New Knight: Batgirl"
- "Arkham’s Finest" (Inside Batman’s Villain Gallery)