Batman The Animated Series, even after 30 years, is still regarded as the best animated show to have ever hit the small screens. Here are some extremely interesting behind the scenes details about the show we bet none of you ever knew.
Changes to the Title
As the series gained more and more popularity, FOX wanted the show to be targeted more at younger audiences. After the First Season, the title was changed to The Adventures of Batman & Robin. FOX theorized that having Robin in each and every episode of the show will be enough to guarantee a loyal children’s fan base. As foolhardy as it sounded, the idea stuck so hard that it influenced the names and titles of other spin-off shows. The New Batman Adventures, a Batman spin-off series, was named so because it was the board that decided the title, not the creators. That was some serious breach of the writers and artists’ creative leg space. It is said that the reason Dick Grayson was pushed out and Tim Drake joined the Bat Family as Robin was because of this same lame idea.
A US Senator Has Lent His Voice For the Show
Batman has fans all over the world. Starting from baseball and soccer players to astronauts and scientists, everyone loves the Dark Knight. Even politicians are super fans of the Batman. A particular US Senator named Patrick Leahy is the biggest fan of them all. Patrick Leahy is so obsessed with Batman that in the 1990’s, he actually voiced the role of a territorial governor in the episode “Showdown”. This episode involved Jonah Hex and Batman trying to stop Ra’s Al Ghul from destroying the Transcontinental Railroad. Leahy has even gone on to appear in 5 live action Batman movies – The Dark Knight, The Dark Knight Returns, Batman & Robin, Batman Forever, and Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice.
Kevin Conroy Did Not Want to Play Batman
Back in those days, acting was a line reserved for the elite. If you are an actor and you are cursed to be stuck in the lid tier level of the movie making industry, you are more or less doomed. Kevin Conroy, the man who immortalized Batman in the DCAU, was a soap opera actor and had predominantly worked in the Theater Business. He was new to voice overs. When DC wanted him to lend his voice for the Dark Knight, Conroy was hesitant because this was supposed to be only a side gig and not full time. The voice over jobs was just to keep the lights on in his house. He only knew Batman from the classic Adam West Series. He tried to change the casting decision and pleaded the producers to allow him to lend his voice or the corrupt cop Harvey Bullock instead. Thankfully, fate had a better hand that day.
Has Won Multiple Emmy Wards
The Emmy Awards are basically Oscars for the Small Screen. There is no better felicitation for a show than winning an Emmy. Batman The Animated Series started out as an attempt to entice children with the superhero genre. In eventually evolved and showed a very grim and unique perspective of Gotham City. The characterizations were complex. The stories were dark. The entire plot was extremely unnerving but engaging at the same time. As a result of the BTAS team’s outstanding work, Batman The Animated Series won the 1993 Primetime Emmy Award for the Episode “Robin’s Reckoning”. The Series also went on to win several Daytime Emmy Awards in the Category of Outstanding Sound Editing, Outstanding Music Direction, and Outstanding Writing in an Animated Program.
Joker Was Supposed to be Tim Curry, Not Mark Hamill
Like Kevin Conroy was destined to be the Batman, Mark Hamill was fated to play his arch-nemesis as the Joker. IN Batman The Animated Series and many other DCAU ventures that came after it, it was Mark Hamill’s voice that brought the clown prince of crime to life. Mark Hamill, contrary to popular belief, was not the first choice to play the role of the Joker. In fact, there was another well-known actor who had already voiced Joker for many episodes of the Batman The Animated Series when he had to abruptly leave the show. Hamill was brought in as a replacement for Tim Curry. The reason why Tim Curry was dropped was cited to be that his voice was “too scary” and it was supposed to be a children’s show. Now they have our absolute undivided attention!! Can Tim Curry come back for a final rodeo as the Joker please??
Owes a Lot to The Transformers
Batman: The Animated Series was the king of animation in the 1990’s. It has amazing ratings, won numerous awards and accolades, and was way ahead of its time. It is still considered an absolute stunner of a cult-classic that is revered even today. The man that can be credited for the series’ success is Paul Dini. Bruce Timm is generally given credit for the entirety of the success but it was Paul Dini, one of the writers of the series who spent months on the drawing board, coming up with most of BTAS’ brilliant story arcs who fails to get our attention. Paul Dini’s story lines were the bed-rock that led to BTAS’ success. He had previously worked on the 80’s Classic Transformers animated series. The 90’s Batman show actually borrows a hell of a lot of elements that Paul Dini had invented and refined in the 80’s classic show.
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The Tiny Toons Connection
Like we said, Bruce Tim is credited with the success of Batman The Animated Series. It was his imagination and creativity that led to the birth of the DC Animated Universe as we know it. Like Paul Dini had a history with another popular cartoon franchise before he joined the DC Animation Department, most of Bruce Timm’s early career involved being one of the animators of the popular cartoon series Tiny Toons. Timm found out through the grapevine that Warner Brothers was interested in creating a Batman animated series and convinced his superiors to switch to this new project with the promise that he would make the show larger than life enough for it to spawn a movie universe. With Timm as the one calling the shots, Batman The Animated Series was born.