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I guess I just like liking things

Red sun? Weird halo? Nobody knows for sure.

Red sun? Weird halo? Nobody knows for sure.

Batman: The Animated Series is on Amazon Prime these days. I don’t know how long it’s been there, but I just found out about it last week. I’m only a few episodes into it, but I’m already reminded of how many things the show does right. You could begin and end by simply stating “atmosphere,” really, but there are four main elements to the atmosphere: stories, voice acting, animation style, and music.

I’ve never watched all the way through the whole series before, but the bits and pieces I remember all point to some great storytelling. The most famous ones are related to Mr. Freeze, who is given an origin and some pathos, making him better than he was in the comics – enough so his story in this series became the official version. It even showed up in the Batman & Robin movie, but not very well.

Kevin Conroy as Batman and Mark Hamill as The Joker are two of the most perfectly suited voices ever cast for animation, you won’t hear much argument about that. The recent Arkham series of games went so far as to get them both back for the first two, even.

The animation style was a mix of art deco and gothic, very dark. It’s inspired by Tim Burton’s Gotham in the 1989 movie, definitely, and it gives the series a unique feel. I particularly enjoy the strange-looking vehicles, while at the same time wondering how in the world Batman can drive the crazy-long Batmobile anywhere.

Speaking of Tim Burton’s Batman, listen to the show’s theme here. It’s a modified version of Danny Elfman’s theme from that movie. I might be biased (since I’m a huge fan of both Tim Burton and Danny Elfman), but I’ve always felt this theme is now and forever the music people should associate with Batman. In fact, I wish very much it had made its way to the Nolan trilogy. I’m sure the music for those movies was fine, but I don’t remember it at all. This theme is serious enough that it would have fit, I think. It was also used in the Lego Batman games, and it still fits even though those are… a bit silly. It, like Conroy and Hamill, is a perfect match to its subject.

When I’m President, I’ll use Executive Orders to do two things right away:

  1. Abolish Daylight Saving Time.
  2. Forbid anyone from using anything but Danny Elfman’s theme for anything Batman-related.


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