There was a time when my roommate and I would forgo a night at the bar to sit in the living room, eat pizza, have a few beers and watch Batman: The Animated Series. This was about thirteen years after the show aired and we would watch hours of episodes we saved on our DVR. My girlfriend at the time was amazed that two grown men would sit at home on a Friday night to watch cartoons. This was about three years ago and even though I’m almost thirty, I have to stop to watch when Batman is on.
The show might have been aimed for kids, but it never felt like it. It was a dark cartoon, mostly scenes taking place at night and indeed, animators drew on black paper rather than white. There was very little comedy and even the pilot was titled, “The Dark Knight’s First Night.” It was one of those fantastic, rare occasions when a product for children so seamlessly worked for adults. The series was deeply rooted in
The animated series (which never referred to itself as the animated series, simply, Batman.), even made smaller characters such as Renee Montoya and Harley Quinn part of the Batman canon. Mark Hamill played the Joker to perfection, better than Nicholson, but presumably not as amazing as Ledger. The fact that the show continues to air and that a major box set is being planned for it, speaks to the enduring legacy of the show. I love the films, but the animated series will always be close to my heart.