Batman: The Animated Series
Synopsis of Saturday Morning Show
Gotham’s resident Dark Knight returned to the small screen in this groundbreaking 1992 animated series. Batman had starred in a variety of animated and live-action programs since his 1939 comic book debut, but Frank Miller’s 1986 graphic novel The Dark Knight Returns marked the beginning of a moody, atmospheric Batman renaissance. With the extraordinary success of two feature films, 1989’s Batman and 1992’s Batman Returns (both of which drew inspiration from Miller’s work), Warner Bros. decided the time was right for a new animated series.
The cartoon stuck with the film noir look of the two films, animating angular, shadowy backgrounds and characters in a style dubbed “Dark Deco.” The original Batman origin was retained: young Bruce Wayne, heir to a massive fortune, saw his parents gunned down in the streets, inspiring him to dedicate his life to fighting crime. The grown Bruce donned a cowl, cape, and dark suit, armed himself with an arsenal of bat-themed gadgets and the sleek Batmobile, and set out to guard the Gotham City night.
Police Commissioner Gordon and butler Alfred came over from the comics and films, as did a rogue’s gallery of outlandish villains: The Joker, The Riddler, Two-Face, Catwoman, The Scarecrow, The Ventriloquist, The Penguin, Poison Ivy, The Mad Hatter, Mr. Freeze, Clay Face, Clock King, Man-Bat, Count Vertigo, and many others. Bruce Wayne’s athletic ward Dick Grayson came on board in the second season as Batman’s sidekick Robin. Commissioner Gordon’s daughter Barbara also began making appearances as Batgirl.
Kids and adults alike rejoiced at the spectacular artwork and involving stories, making the show an instant hit. In 1994 the series changed its title to The Adventures of Batman & Robin for the remainder of its 85-episode run. Repeats of the show aired along with episodes of The New Batman Adventures as part of Warner Brothers’ The New Batman/Superman Adventures, while new Batman features continued to score at the multiplexes well into the 90's.
Release History9/6/92 - 9/2/94 Fox
TV Sub Categoriesanimated
TV StudioWarner Bros.
Television CastBatman / Bruce Wayne Kevin Conway
Robin / Dick Grayson Loren Lester
Batgirl / Barbara Gordon Melissa Gilbert-Brinkman
Alfred Clive Revill
Alfred Efrem Zimbalist Jr.
Commissioner Gordon Bob Hastings
Mayor Hamilton Hill Lloyd Bochner
The Joker Mark Hamill
Catwoman / Selena Kyle Adrienne Barbeau
The Penguin Paul Williams
The Mad Hatter Roddy McDowall
Mr. Freeze Michael Ansara
The Riddler John Glover
Two-Face Richard Moll
Poison Ivy Diane Pershing
Clock King Alan Rachins
Clay Face Ron Perlman
Count Vertigo Michael York
Man-Bat Marc Singer
Harley Quinn Arlene Sorkin