Rewatching Batman the Animated Series

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Postby Merciel » Mon Oct 09, 2017 2:28 am

Amazon keeps insisting on showing me these horrible commercials for horrible kids' cartoons before every episode of Batman and it's just driving home how much better Batman is than any of this candy-colored squeaky-voiced CGI shit they're trying to pass off as kids' entertainment these days.
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Postby traced out » Mon Oct 09, 2017 3:11 am

pantsoclock wrote:love this show and realized recently that watching it as a kid is why I had always thought "batman is the only super hero I like" when really it's more that Batman the Animated Series is the only superhero media I like.

yeah it's the same for me, the animated series and burton batman 1 were basically the only super hero stuff i saw until the first x-men movie

i love these impressions, next time i get amazon prime im going to rip into this
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Postby mites » Mon Oct 09, 2017 3:16 am

yea it is super annoying and tonally v funny
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Postby mites » Mon Oct 09, 2017 3:18 am

is harvey dent black in this? as a kid I always thought he was black I hope this is not a shel silverstein post
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Postby pantsoclock » Mon Oct 09, 2017 5:10 am

Merciel wrote:SEASON ONE EPISODE EIGHT: "Forgotten"

aw yeah, old-timey Depression title card

This is a fun episode. I feel like they went to the amnesia well a little early (or else it's right next door to the Rashomon well), but whatever. It's a solid ep with some neat stuff. The Batplane being a smartass at Alfred was a lol; the amount of character work that went into these two one-off secondary prisoners was good; the black-and-white sequence when the mine overseers douse their lanterns had a lot of really nice stylization.

It's funny to think that Bruce Wayne is like three times the breadth of a normal dude and is this ultrafit ninja fighting machine, but rub some stage makeup on his cheeks and put some foam grayer in his hair and yeah sure totally, he looks like a homeless dude. uh-huh.

During that whole sequence I was thinking about The Wire and how Bubbles knows the undercover cops can give themselves away by not having enough glass embedded in the soles of their shitty shoes. Well, different show, different level of realism. BUT STILL.

I wonder what kind of a gold mine is more profitable with untrained homeless dudes randomly breaking rocks and constantly getting cave-ins than with trained personnel operating mechanized dig equipment. I'm going to guess that this, along with "wild thorny roses" that synthesize lethal poisons, is a phenomenon unique to Gotham and its environs.


Watching this one I couldn't quite figure out what to make of it because this kind of work camp slavery exists in America, it's just that rather than kidnapping people off the street, it's the Louisiana prison system. So on the one hand, good on the show for exhibiting some humanism toward homeless folks and portraying a very real exploitation that happens to discriminated against underclasses, on the other hand, not so great to substitute fanciful cartoon villainy for the tacit system of government legitimized modern slavery.
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Postby ripersnifle » Mon Oct 09, 2017 10:14 am

mites wrote:Love how the Zoo is constantly a critical locus of Crime
lol
steakspoon wrote:sorry if sounds corny fellas but i'll always remember where i was when i heard my first big star song..the internet
ripersnifle wrote:that aesthetic was tight
worrywort wrote:it's called the temple grandin
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Postby iambic » Mon Oct 09, 2017 11:56 am

Merciel wrote:SEASON ONE EPISODES TEN & ELEVEN: "Two-Face"

does episode ten end with two-face in a hospital corridor? for some reason I have a strong memory of that one shot
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Postby mystery meat » Mon Oct 09, 2017 11:59 am

yeah he looks in the mirror and agonizingly shrieks and runs out and his fiance shows up and lightning strikes to illuminate his faces it's so great
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Postby Spoilt Victorian Child » Mon Oct 09, 2017 12:03 pm

Yeah "Two-Face" was the first episode I had a strong memory of. I think they showed that one a lot.
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Postby pantsoclock » Tue Oct 10, 2017 2:43 am

this show bible is linked in that oral history article and gives some good insight into the intention behind some of the side characters like Bullock:
http://www.worldsfinestonline.com/WF/batman/btas/backstage/wbible/writersguide.pdf
I pay tax to help pay for things like police..fire..parks..but it goes to Ferguson like people and foreigners who are scamming our stupid government that is full of pasta thieves like this guy
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Postby Spoilt Victorian Child » Tue Oct 10, 2017 3:46 am

I like how they consolidated Rupert Thorne and Carmine Falcone, so now the main crime bosses in Gotham are a couple of swarthy Catholics named "Arnold Stromwell" and "Rupert Thorne."
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Postby all day breakfast » Wed Oct 11, 2017 2:35 pm

pantsoclock wrote:this show bible is linked in that oral history article and gives some good insight into the intention behind some of the side characters like Bullock:
http://www.worldsfinestonline.com/WF/batman/btas/backstage/wbible/writersguide.pdf


this is great

i feel like a lot of things need to learn from this paragraph:

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Postby Rainbow Battle Kid » Wed Oct 11, 2017 2:37 pm

supposedly this is coming to blu ray next year (sorry if already posted)
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Postby Merciel » Thu Oct 12, 2017 1:58 am

SEASON ONE EPISODE THIRTEEN: "I've got batman in my basement"

We have to skip ep. 12 because I didn't post about it at the time and now I totally forgot whatever I was going to say about that one. So: on to ep. 13!

These child voice actors are distractingly bad. Sherman's okay but the rest of them, oof.

I like that Batman's suit just gets shredded by a giant vulture that isn't even hitting him with that much momentum apart from the first strike.

I also like that the Penguin apparently leaves a birdseed trail wherever he goes and/or feeds birdseed to this giant vulture (along with one slice of extremely stale-looking lunch meat, I guess). When did the Penguin get an affinity for non-penguin birds, btw? I always thought he was more specialized than that.

All the Home Alone gimmicks failing completely was a nice touch. I still don't really love this being a kiddie wish fulfillment episode, but maybe I'd feel differently about that if I were 8. Because I am a joyless cranky adult, this one feels pretty flimsy and superficial, although I do appreciate that they go out of their way to tell you what happened to the vulture (and that the vulture goes to BIRD JAIL).

I wonder why Faberge eggs glow in this universe.
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Postby mites » Thu Oct 12, 2017 2:24 am

Is that the first one featuring the ZOO or do that start that in episode #1 w the MAN BAT
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Postby Merciel » Thu Oct 12, 2017 2:46 am

The zoo isn't really a setting in that one so I don't think it counts. It's just a name-drop, we don't actually get to see any of it.
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Postby Spoilt Victorian Child » Thu Oct 12, 2017 2:47 am

"A rash of bizarre cold-related crimes."
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Postby Spoilt Victorian Child » Thu Oct 12, 2017 2:48 am

He does go to the zoo in the first one, to talk to Bat Expert.
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Postby all day breakfast » Thu Oct 12, 2017 2:53 am

Merciel wrote:SEASON ONE EPISODE EIGHT: "Forgotten"

aw yeah, old-timey Depression title card

This is a fun episode. I feel like they went to the amnesia well a little early (or else it's right next door to the Rashomon well), but whatever. It's a solid ep with some neat stuff. The Batplane being a smartass at Alfred was a lol; the amount of character work that went into these two one-off secondary prisoners was good; the black-and-white sequence when the mine overseers douse their lanterns had a lot of really nice stylization.

It's funny to think that Bruce Wayne is like three times the breadth of a normal dude and is this ultrafit ninja fighting machine, but rub some stage makeup on his cheeks and put some foam grayer in his hair and yeah sure totally, he looks like a homeless dude. uh-huh.

During that whole sequence I was thinking about The Wire and how Bubbles knows the undercover cops can give themselves away by not having enough glass embedded in the soles of their shitty shoes. Well, different show, different level of realism. BUT STILL.

I wonder what kind of a gold mine is more profitable with untrained homeless dudes randomly breaking rocks and constantly getting cave-ins than with trained personnel operating mechanized dig equipment. I'm going to guess that this, along with "wild thorny roses" that synthesize lethal poisons, is a phenomenon unique to Gotham and its environs.


i love the way batman beats up the two guys with his hands in his pockets before he gets coshed in this one, because he's still bruce
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Postby mites » Thu Oct 12, 2017 2:54 am

i loved the zoo so much as a child [still zoo]
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Postby Merciel » Thu Oct 12, 2017 2:58 am

SEASON ONE EPISODE FOURTEEN: "Heart of Ice"

This has to be one of the best episodes of a kids' cartoon ever made, right? It's all there: the corrupting effect of bitterness and loss, justice vs. vengeance, the importance of compassion to heroism (not only Batman saving the one guy's frostbitten legs, but that the climactic blow that cracks Mr. Freeze's invulnerable machinery is that simple little thermos of chicken soup that Alfred made so Batman could get over his cold), etc. etc. Also some pretty good action scenes and that surprisingly touching coda of Mr. Freeze alone in his cell, no more armor, just him and his snowglobe with the wife fuzzing out of view in his grasp.

The base Mr. Freeze story could so easily be bathos piled atop bathos (it's LITERALLY a woman in a refrigerator!) but the execution is so good. This is the only backstory I'm familiar with, since (quite sensibly) it's the one that the Arkham videogames stole wholesale, so even though I'm dimly aware that the guy used to have some other dumber jokier origin and presence, I'm only familiar with this one and I plan to keep it that way.

Well, apart from COOL PARTY gifs.

One thing I appreciated in this episode is how wide the emotional range of Batman villains is. Other than the mob guys, all the canonical supervillains are silly to one degree or another, but they don't all register as silly. Two-Face and Mr. Freeze have a hefty dose of tragedy, Joker is a big splash of madness, and Penguin is the guy you tap when you want to do a lightweight kid wish-fulfillment episode that lets you insult the mom's furniture but also have a certain degree of legitimate menace under the jokes.

When you think about it, given the costumes and gimmickry involved here, it's pretty damn impressive that they can give any of these guys gravitas. But they do, and different stripes of it, at that.

It is a real accomplishment.
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Postby Merciel » Thu Oct 12, 2017 3:00 am

Another thing I loved about "Heart of Ice" is that Batman has this whole elaborate security guard costume, like he even dyed his eyebrows blonde and everything, and two seconds later he's back in his Batman costume even though it would be way easier to snoop around Gothcorp dressed as a security guard, because dude just cannot stand not being in his own clothes.
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Postby Merciel » Thu Oct 12, 2017 3:03 am

Spoilt Victorian Child wrote:He does go to the zoo in the first one, to talk to Bat Expert.


No I meant we don't see the zoo when the vulture goes to bird jail.

We barely see the zoo in the MAN BAT!! episode but it is in that one.
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Postby mites » Thu Oct 12, 2017 3:05 am

there's a penguin episode later that delves into him a bit more that I thing brings him to the level of the other villains in his own unique tone and I think that section of your post really nailed a thing I love about the show exemplified in the emotional range and relative sophistication of the villains

also totally agree about heart of ice in general!!
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Postby mites » Thu Oct 12, 2017 3:06 am

Merciel wrote:
Spoilt Victorian Child wrote:He does go to the zoo in the first one, to talk to Bat Expert.


No I meant we don't see the zoo when the vulture goes to bird jail.

We barely see the zoo in the MAN BAT!! episode but it is in that one.

well look if that's you're requirement I'm going to look a fool for saying every episode happens in the zoo
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Postby all day breakfast » Thu Oct 12, 2017 5:47 pm

man

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Postby doublethink0 » Thu Oct 12, 2017 7:23 pm

Sobieski wrote:


Yeah this ep is something else, highly recommended
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Postby reversemigraine » Thu Oct 12, 2017 7:39 pm

That show bible is great.

My BTAS knowledge is scattershot enough that I never realized Dick was supposed to be 20 and working solo. That doesn't really jive with the idea of Bruce still being his early years, but it does explain Robin's absence from so many episodes, which always confused me.
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Postby doublethink0 » Thu Oct 12, 2017 8:13 pm

having a ball rewatching this

Currently on the Robin origin 2 parter, also so good
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Postby Merciel » Fri Oct 13, 2017 1:28 am

SEASON ONE EPISODES FIFTEEN AND SIXTEEN: "The Cat and the Claw, pts. 1 & 2"

The pacing on this two-parter is so good. It never drags. They put the perfect amount of time into everything.

The BAS version of Catwoman is far and away my favorite. She has such good dresses (the transparent longsleeved '80s one aside) and doesn't wear heels while she's working (female characters who wear heels in stupid situations is a major annoyance to me) and I heartily approve of her flipping Batman off a roof when he fails to be sufficiently nice to her.

I like that they set her up as a 1:1 parallel to Batman with the sidekick who knows her true identity and the lavish digs, but she doesn't have any secret traumas (at least not in these episodes), she does this just for giggles.

I also like that (a) Red Claw is a woman and they gave her a noticeably muscular build; (b) she kicks the shit out of Catwoman and it's not a stupid catfight because Catwoman isn't really a combatant; and (c) Red Claw gets taken out by a mountain lion and not Batman.

The gender commentary is a little overt -- I think that's the one time you can really tell they did not have a single woman on the writing team -- but it's a small blemish on an otherwise great sequence.

Batman is such a chump for locking up his one true love.
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