Batmanimé - Batman gets the anime treatment
February 15, 2008 3:33 PM   Subscribe

The New Adventures of Batman was the first animated show dedicated specifically to Batman, and since has been followed by more recent adaptations like Batman: The Animated Series, Batman Beyond, and the presently on going The Batman. Now Bruce Wayne receives the Animatrix treatment this year as a lead up to The Dark Knight with Batman: Gotham Knight. (Ten minute video about the project)

And non-video information on Gotham Knight here and here.

Episodes of the New Adventures of Batman here.

The intro to Batman: The Animated Series here.

The intro to Batman Beyond here.

The intros to The Batman here and here.
posted by Atreides (38 comments total) 8 users marked this as a favorite

holy hyperlinks!

some of us have to work, you know.
posted by Busithoth at 3:38 PM on February 15, 2008

B:GK video has been taken down.
posted by mkultra at 3:38 PM on February 15, 2008

I loves me some HARDAC cartoons.
posted by cowbellemoo at 3:41 PM on February 15, 2008

Golly. Warner Bros. sure is quick. Try this link for the Gotham Knight preview.
posted by Atreides at 3:42 PM on February 15, 2008

Holy God I must have this.

Man, that New Adventures of Batman was really something special. Especially the first few seasons, before the animation got farmed out the sloppiest bidder. Most cartoons you loved as a kid don't stand up well at all when viewed as an adult. The Transformers I remember is much better than the Transformers I actually watched at five years old.

But when it comes to Batman, it's not just nostalgia. There's some truly beautiful art in those first few years, and the stories are really quite good. There's long, quiet sequences without much dialog or action that build suspense and interest in a way today's trading-card cartoons will never attempt. And they picked all the right visual cues to make Gotham City a timeless backdrop - everyone has a computer, but everyone drives big galumphing cars from fifty years ago and watches black and white TV.

Man. Now I wonder where my copy of Mask of the Phantasm went?
posted by EatTheWeak at 3:59 PM on February 15, 2008 [1 favorite]

The intro to Batman: The Animated Series = soundtrack of my youth.
posted by pwally at 4:01 PM on February 15, 2008 [1 favorite]

I liked the one with the hoppity-hop.
posted by kuujjuarapik at 4:09 PM on February 15, 2008

"Superheroes are brands."
posted by humannaire at 4:14 PM on February 15, 2008

And I love myself some comic book franchise.

Incidentally, the first word I spoke? Legendary in my family since I paid for my first year of college with a trunk of comic books?

posted by humannaire at 4:16 PM on February 15, 2008 [1 favorite]

Batman: TAS is easily one of the best cartoons ever.

I'm not crazy about Bruce Wayne with semi-emo hair.
posted by middleclasstool at 4:18 PM on February 15, 2008

Batman: The Animated Series is one of the best animated series in history, IMHO.

The backgrounds were painted onto black backgrounds instead of white. This has an amazing effect on the visuals and imbues even sunny days in Gotham with a sense of darkness.
posted by infinitewindow at 4:21 PM on February 15, 2008 [2 favorites]

Thirding the pile-on for B:TAS. So dark for saturday morning... and awesome. Not a fan of the skinny boyish Batman of Beyond.
posted by anthill at 4:36 PM on February 15, 2008

By happy coincidence, I'm working on the online marketing for Gotham Knight. Thanks for doing my job for me, Atreides! Your check is in the mail.

(No, I haven't seen the movie yet, but I have seen a crapload of stills and read the script. I think it'll turn out well.)
posted by RakDaddy at 4:39 PM on February 15, 2008

I'm a huge Batman fan, but I couldn't get into Batman Begins... it just didn't strike the right tone for me. Obviously, I have trepidations about the sequel. For me Batman will always be The Animated Series (Mark Hamill as the Joker is especially amazing), Year One and Dark Knight Returns. That said, some of these anime takes on Batman look interesting, even if others look... less so. I do doubt, however, that they'll capture the noir asthetic that I loved so much in the cartoons of my youth (currently re-watching).
posted by Muttoneer at 4:46 PM on February 15, 2008

Looks awesome, but no anime Catwoman or Poison Ivy? Weak.
posted by ELF Radio at 4:58 PM on February 15, 2008

Batman TAS restored my faith in modern cartoons. that didn't hold, but I was as surprised by my enjoying it enough to keep from dismissing out of hand any new efforts in animation.

That rotating executive producer credit on The New Adventures of Batman were the mark of death. I hated those. Then and now. Bat-mite is a pejorative name I called my French Bulldog when I was mad at her. Insultingly bad. But the franchise went up from there, mostly.
posted by Busithoth at 4:58 PM on February 15, 2008

Nthing everyone. I Loved that show when it was on, I think I was in middle school and it was on afternoons after school. It was really good. I didn't notice an overall decline in quality, though. Why is it that children's cartoons turn over so quickly? I mean, in theory every couple of years new kids are going to come into the viewership and so it's not like they'll be tired of the "same 'ole thing"
posted by delmoi at 5:16 PM on February 15, 2008

Whereas "Batamite" would be Robin.
posted by Pope Guilty at 5:18 PM on February 15, 2008

oh no ... i've committed nerd sin and said "new adventures of batman" when I meant "the animated series." three demerits.

ELF radio - Seconded. Talk about a missed opportunity.
posted by EatTheWeak at 5:24 PM on February 15, 2008

I love Bat-Mite. I want him back in the Bat-books.
posted by Alexandra Kitty at 5:24 PM on February 15, 2008

2nding Mark Hamil's Joker. TAS's Two Face was also done right. That show even made Killer Croc interesting.

Batman Beyond was a good cartoon. The later seasons were better than the first, I think.

Don't get me going on the Justice League/JLU cartoons. I once made everyone at a house party I was only partly the host of sit thru an episode of JLU. It was the Suicide Squad one. They mocked me at first, but even the least geeky at the shindig were somewhat impressed.

And Martian Manhunter beats Iron Man. Pffffffffttttttt!
posted by vrakatar at 5:51 PM on February 15, 2008

His parents are DEEEAAD!
posted by ooga_booga at 6:18 PM on February 15, 2008

I miss my mom and dad
posted by dismas at 6:36 PM on February 15, 2008 [1 favorite]

I LOVE Calamity Jon's Little Batmans! Here's alla 'em.

I always loved BTAS, and even Batman Beyond, but I cannot get behind The Batman, which I think is ugly as sin. Oi, those character designs. Ecccch. And, man, not Kevin Conroy doing the voice? He IS Batman!
posted by Rev. Syung Myung Me at 6:56 PM on February 15, 2008

Batman: The Animated Series is one of the best animated series in history, IMHO.

Hell yeah. I loved it when I was a kid, and I love it now.
posted by spiderskull at 7:55 PM on February 15, 2008

I love Bat-Mite. I want him back in the Bat-books.

He makes an appearance (of sorts) in the latest Grant Morrison Batman issue.
posted by beaucoupkevin at 8:29 PM on February 15, 2008

Bah. Sadly not Peter Chung. And let's face it, nothings going to beat BM:TAS, except maybe the odd exceptionally cool bit with Batman in the JLA series in the same style. Still, if Bruce Timm is involved I'll give it a shot, even though I've never really liked anything of his not in the BM:TAS style.

He makes an appearance (of sorts) in the latest Grant Morrison Batman issue.

I'm a massive Morrison fanboy, but I'd have to say that the current Morrison Batman is incredibly weak, and should probably be avoided.
posted by Artw at 8:37 PM on February 15, 2008 [1 favorite]

I wasn't much of a Batman fan, but BTAS was on either before or after Animaniacs, so I usually ended up watching it too. Good stuff.

I've forgotten just about everything I learned in middle school, but the Joker Fish jingle is permanently seared in my brain. They're finny and funny and oh-so-delish...
posted by Metroid Baby at 8:40 PM on February 15, 2008

BM:TAS doing a brief segment in the style of Dark Knight Returns. More of that please!
posted by Artw at 8:47 PM on February 15, 2008 [1 favorite]

Okay, that's just goddamn awesome and I didn't know they did that.

Holy fuck, that makes me happy.
posted by middleclasstool at 9:18 PM on February 15, 2008

I was never a fan of the Batman cartoons, for whatever reason, until Batman Beyond. Loved Batman Returns and Batman Begins, though. I hope the anime-styled entries in the series are good, but they don't look enough like Texhnolyze to me. Or Monster.
posted by sonic meat machine at 9:21 PM on February 15, 2008

Not to mention one of the hottest scenes on daytime animated TV... (Check about 9:30 and the beginning of part 2)

(The other one is here at 12 minutes in. WARNING: Gilbert Gottfried! Despite that, a most amusing Superman animated episode.)

So, I'm a freak. So what.
posted by Samizdata at 10:04 PM on February 15, 2008

Pudding Harley!

I'd forgotten about that.
posted by ELF Radio at 11:09 PM on February 15, 2008

"Want to try some of my pie?"... oh dear god.

Ahhhh, Harley... well I wouldn't go as far as naming my kid after her, but you know...
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 4:27 AM on February 16, 2008

That episode of TAS with the DKR segment was actually a whole episode of stories from 3 different parts of Batman's comic-book life, drawn in the style of the originals. I believe it was called "Legends of the Dark Knight". They did a Bill Finger/Bob Kane story with Michael McKean as the joker in that one, which was fun.

Bruce Timm can draw pretty, but what really made TAS good was Paul Dini.
posted by zerolives at 5:20 AM on February 16, 2008

Another awesome thing from TAS, and I'll stop: Lein Wein, Denny O'Neil and Marv Wolfman are all credited as writers on at least one episode. If those names mean anything to you, you'll agree with me that it's totally awesome. Len wrote quite a few. I found out via Neil Gaiman last week that he's even got a blog, which is neat. Denny has an official message board, and Marv also has a blog.
posted by zerolives at 5:26 AM on February 16, 2008

Hell, TAS even did a great job with the Creeper, I recall.
posted by vrakatar at 10:39 AM on February 16, 2008

When I was rewatching B:TAS on DVD, this was one of the sites I had up the entire time. Reviews of every episode (some more nuanced and interesting than others, like the episodes, I suppose) and some fantastic essays too.

And since one of the best things about that show was the music, there's a page for that as well, with all of the great old-style title cards to accompany.
posted by maqsarian at 8:35 AM on February 17, 2008 [2 favorites]

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