1. The Amazing Warmth of Hand-Drawn Animation
Not to throw off on CG animation which is amazing all in its own right but Batman had a style that remains timeless to this day and was massively influential. On top of that, it’s just warm and easy to look at while being beautiful. Take a look.
Stunning stuff and a joy to watch. You’ll love remembering just how cool you thought it was the first time you saw your first episode.
2. Mark Hamill as the Joker
The day I found out Luke Skywalker was also the Clown Prince was a day I thought I might overload from child-nerd joy. For me and for lots of other people, Hamill’s Joker is the standard by which all others are measured. Mad, mad, mad but with a true and quirky penchant for making terrible jokes, Hamill’s Joker was playful while still being deadly, clever, sassy, and intelligent. Everything you want from your Joker and nothing you don’t.
Plus, Star Wars is coming out in December. Prep yourself for Mark Hamill’s return by revisiting some of his best (Emmy nominated) stuff.
3. You Get A Full Story In A Half Hour
I can’t stress this one enough. While I love long and epic storylines that last for weeks and weeks there’s really something to be said for being able to see an entire story in just under a half hour. It makes the episodes snackable and, if you think about it, condensing an entertaining tale down while still making it feel complete really takes storytelling chops.
You’ll be through four of these before you know it.
4. The Adam West Cameo
The episode is “Beware the Gray Ghost” and it’s a good one, a kind of passing of the torch/nod to what came before without being cheeseball or silly.
5. You’ll Remember Why It Was On Primetime
Mainly because it’s one of the greatest animated shows in the history of American television. Just three months after it’s debut, Fox moved Batman to a Sunday night Primetime slot. Rewatching it now, it was a bold move but the show appealed to both kids and adults alike and was classic escapism, just what we all want the night before we have to go back to work. The show ended up winning an Emmy in this time slot.
6. You’ll Love Seeing the Weird World of Gotham Again
The series is set in a Gotham City that’s perpetually an Art Deco version of the 1920s and 1930s but that also somehow feels completely modern. With an endless number of towering skyscrapers, amazing futuristicly stylized vehicles, blimps, and bizarre props (giant pennies come to mind), the entire city feels and looks like a gorgeously dark wonderland.
7. It’s Not Too Heavy
With all respect to the more recent versions of Batman we’ve seen in film, the Animated Series is a far less conflicted, anxiety-inducing affair. There are moral conflicts and they’re entertaining but you’ll come out of each episode feeling like things are wrapped up and make sense and you’ll be eager for another one, not in need of a break or a consoling hug.
There’s no mass murder or sadistic displays of depravity here to wear you out. Just pure, A+ entertainment.
8. It Takes Female Characters Seriously
Harley Quinn was created just for this show and she’s now one of the most popular Batman characters. Poison Ivy and Catwoman are presented as fully developed individual characters who get their own episodes and they’re some of the best ones. The show was progressive and showed that any character is interesting if you’re willing to write them well.
The episode “Harley & Ivy” showcases two of the show’s best characters right up front.
9. It’s Binge-Worthy
Clocking in at 85 episodes, roughly 2000 minutes or 35 hours, you can full on binge this series without the well running dry in a couple of days. Oh, and it’s on Amazing streaming for Prime members right now.
10. The Explosions, Oh The Explosions!
As I said, the animation in this series is amazing and a style all its own that influenced tons of animated series that came after it. Every explosion is a dramatic feast.
11. The Music And Intro
Danny Elfman composed the opening theme and the episodes scores were capably handled by others including Shirley Walker, Lolita Ritmanis, and Michael McCuistion. The score is deeply dramatic and works perfectly with the action.