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Author Topic: Batman: The Animated Series Timeline  (Read 3644 times)

Offline thecolorsblend

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Re: Batman: The Animated Series Timeline
« Reply #10 on: Sun, 14 May 2017, 06:32 »
The impact of BTAS can't be overstated.
It really can't.

And the thing about BTAS that people seem to forget a lot is that it was a real sleeper hit. I mean, for me, I was expecting (and would've been happy with) something along the lines of The Adventures of Batman. Maybe the animation would've been better, I imagined, but the writing of it was basically going to be typical Saturday morning stuff, circa the late 80's/early 90's.

Obviously BTAS was a lot more than that.

But it took people a while to recognize that. About six or twelve months is my recollection. But once it settled in, BTAS became a real juggernaut. All at once Kevin Conroy became a hero to fans, Paul Dini was practically red carpet royalty, Bruce Timm was considered every bit as influential art-wise as a Neal Adams or a Norm Breyfogle.

And BTAS launched comics that I don't think will ever get their full due. The Batman Adventures vol. 1 is arguably its own thing... but it took the BTAS concept in some amazingly well-written directions. The Batman & Robin Adventures is underrated. Not great. But very good and definitely underrated. The Batman Adventures vol. 2 is another home run but for different reasons than vol. 1.

And obviously BTAS led to the creation of the DCAU/Dini-verse/whatever and that's a masterpiece all on its own.

It's an incredible show and there truly are very few out-and-out clunkers. But even the clunkers still have a mostly solid array of voice talent and music backing them up so they're not total losses.

To me, any good adaptation of Batman needs to translate the comics and then enhance the mythos. BTAS did both admirably. So even when the occasional clunker episode comes along... oh well, this is still the show that gave us Harley Quinn as a character. It's still the show that made Poison Ivy an awesome villain. It's still the show that gave us Conroy as Batman.

I've never been willing to call BTAS "definitive"... but it's damned close. And really, it's only one or two relatively minor issues that keep it from being definitive.

So good!

Online The Dark Knight

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Re: Batman: The Animated Series Timeline
« Reply #11 on: Sun, 14 May 2017, 07:03 »
And BTAS launched comics that I don't think will ever get their full due. The Batman Adventures vol. 1 is arguably its own thing... but it took the BTAS concept in some amazingly well-written directions. The Batman & Robin Adventures is underrated. Not great. But very good and definitely underrated. The Batman Adventures vol. 2 is another home run but for different reasons than vol. 1.
They have re-issued those comics into new collected volumes and I snapped them up ASAP. They're good stories in their own right, but they're absolutely an extension of the TV show. Much more than the 66 comics.

This is partly due to the animation style. The artwork in the BTAS comics is like freeze framing an episode. The same spirit is there, and it helped a great deal these comics were done while the show was still running.

The show is 22 years old and it continues to have a timeless quality. The Art Deco look and the Elfman/Walker soundtrack just screams definitive to me, even if the violence levels aren't high or the GCPD isn't exactly an incompetent mess. It's the gold standard when it comes to Batman animation and there's a very good chance it will never be topped.

Offline thecolorsblend

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Re: Batman: The Animated Series Timeline
« Reply #12 on: Mon, 15 May 2017, 01:43 »
It's the gold standard when it comes to Batman animation and there's a very good chance it will never be topped.
That shadow looms very large indeed. The Batman from 2004 was burned in effigy for either getting too close to or diverging too much from BTAS. The ultimate no-win situation.

I can't help thinking that's one reason silly ideas like that Gotham High animated series get floated or why The Brave & The Bold, Beware the Batman and other things go so far out of their way to be different from BTAS. Nobody in his right mind wants to compete with BTAS.

The lack of direct competition is a hell of a compliment to BTAS all by itself.

Online The Dark Knight

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Re: Batman: The Animated Series Timeline
« Reply #13 on: Tue, 16 May 2017, 00:52 »
That shadow looms very large indeed.
I'm curious to see how you rank Superman: TAS.

Beware The Batman is the only Batman cartoon I would consider to be a disappointment, and honestly, it wasn't that bad. It was just average.

Offline thecolorsblend

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Re: Batman: The Animated Series Timeline
« Reply #14 on: Tue, 16 May 2017, 02:32 »
I'm curious to see how you rank Superman: TAS.
I don't think Superman has ever really had a BTAS-level show. Not even STAS, oddly enough.

Fleischer was good but the animation really is that thing's saving grace. If the animation wasn't as awesome as it is, I seriously doubt those shorts would even be remembered. Minimal character, minimal plot, lots of action, amazing animation.

The Filmmation stuff... eh, it's a decent encapsulation of the Silver Age, I guess. That's about the most you can say for it.

Ruby-Spears might've been great if it had been given a second season. And even what we got was a major upgrade over Filmmation. But ultimately, most people don't even know the Ruby-Spears show ever existed because it ended before it could achieve much of anything.

STAS... honestly, I've never been able to shake the kind of patronizing attitude Dini, Timm and the rest all had about Superman. "I mean, Superman's COSTUME... you know? Obviously Batman is intrinsically cooler than Superman. Nobody who isn't retarded questions that. And if someone questions it... well, obviously they're retarded. Because Batman is automatically cooler than Superman. I mean, who wouldn't rather watch even Lewis Wilson's Batman serials than Christopher Reeve's Superman movie, right? So just by doing a Superman show, you're automatically behind the 8-ball because of what a loser Superman is and how awesome Batman is. Batman's butt hairs are cooler than Superman's heat vision, you know? This whole thing is stupid. Only retards like Superman. But they paid us so we're doing a Superman show... but in the least retarded way we can think of. Even though Batman is cooler, did we mention that?"

Granted, much of that is hyperbole. But I've always suspected they'd all rather have been doing another season of BTAS than anything to do with Superman. And it shows in the final product. Yeah, some episodes are genuinely moving. But the whole enterprise has a sort of rote quality about it, as though basically nobody is all that invested in the show. Nobody was willing to pour the same level of creativity into Superman that they were Batman.

I really don't understand why everybody kisses Tim Daly's ass either. Half the time, he sounded like he was reading his lines for the first time off cue cards. Which he probably was. George Newbern at least pretended to give a damn.

Anyway. In the end, STAS is good. But it doesn't do for Superman what BTAS did for Batman, and I sincerely believe that's because its creators had such a chip on their shoulder about the character. I'd rather not have a show than have to put up with such a grating, patronizing attitude from its creators.

I wish I could talk about subsequent Superman animated shows but there haven't been any.

NB4 anybody can mention it, yes, I know I'm in a cranky mood tonight. But that doesn't mean the above isn't true. Because it is.

Online The Dark Knight

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Re: Batman: The Animated Series Timeline
« Reply #15 on: Tue, 16 May 2017, 05:15 »
B:TAS is always going to get all the praise. But I have a lot of time for S:TAS.

It explored Superman's roster of villains and did them justice.
It has one of the best Lois Lane's from any medium.
Superman was more prone to injury which increased the drama.
Tim Daly's voice was warm and stern. I liked him a lot.
The main theme isn't from John Williams and it works very well.
I dig that Superman had different suits - the space and anti-kryptonite suits.
It had consistency in tone and quality.

It's an underrated show which does Superman proud. It may be nostalgia, but I honestly can't see another animated Superman series topping it. It just feels right. It's the day to B:TAS's night.

Offline The Laughing Fish

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Re: Batman: The Animated Series Timeline
« Reply #16 on: Tue, 16 May 2017, 12:40 »
STAS... honestly, I've never been able to shake the kind of patronizing attitude Dini, Timm and the rest all had about Superman.

I love STAS and think it's a worthy adaptation for Superman. But I must admit, you could tell the showrunners made Batman run the center of the universe and Metropolis whenever they had the chance. Take the World's Finest crossover episodes for instance, where Bruce and Lois had a brief a romance together, or Batman easily throws Superman over to the other side of the club when they first meet. Or in another STAS episode where Superman agrees to disguise himself as Batman to prevent suspicion that he's missing in Gotham City, while they track him down and eventually they found him captured by Brainiac. While I don't think it ultimately made the show Batman-centric, I can see why you're a little put off. 

I guess it could be suggested that Dini and Timm were good at getting ideas behind psychologically disturbed villains than sci-fi villains like Superman's rogues gallery, and that's why you might feel Superman didn't go. For instance, the STAS Toyman could easily be mistaken for a Batman villain because of his creepy backstory and appearance. Same thing could be said about Metallo, I guess.

But despite their Batman allegiance, I still think Dini and Timm had some affection for Superman, judging by the show paid a lot of tribute to John Byrne's run and the episodes with Mr. Mxyzptlk were good old Silver Age fun.

I really don't understand why everybody kisses Tim Daly's ass either. Half the time, he sounded like he was reading his lines for the first time off cue cards. Which he probably was. George Newbern at least pretended to give a damn.

I never got that impression from Daly. I thought he was always commanding as Superman and as Clark Kent. When I first heard of Newbern's voice in JL, I thought he sounded meek, as oddly as that may sound.


Quote
Jonathan Nolan: He [Batman] has this one rule, as the Joker says in The Dark Knight. But he does wind up breaking it. Does he break it in the third film?

Christopher Nolan: He breaks it in...

Jonathan Nolan: ...the first two.

Source: http://books.google.com.au/books?id=uwV8rddtKRgC&pg=PR8&dq=But+he+does+wind+up+breaking+it.&hl=en&sa=X&ei

Online The Dark Knight

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Re: Batman: The Animated Series Timeline
« Reply #17 on: Tue, 16 May 2017, 13:28 »
I thought the World's Finest crossover was good fun.

Batman throws Superman with a judo move. I don't see the problem with that, because martial arts is Batman's thing. Superman instantly retaliates with a hard punch that sends Batman flying against the wall. I don't see the problem with that, because raw power is Superman's thing.

Superman uses x-ray vision to discover Batman's identity and Batman uses detective work to discover Superman's identity. Again, I think that matches each character. In Dawn of Justice, Clark hears Alfred's voice in Bruce's ear which helps tip him off. I liked that touch.

Batman is a cool character and that's just who he is. But instantly discovering someone's identity without breaking a sweat and having near unlimited power to instantly dispatch enemies is also pretty darn cool, right? In my opinion that is very cool.

Bruce is a playboy. That's his schtick. Clark is the well mannered farmboy. He isn't going to be chatting up supermodels. Is he annoyed with Bruce's flirting? Yes. But is he jealous? No. Deep down, he knows Lois is his. And by the end of the story, Lois remains his. And he still has his superpowers.

 

    
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