‘Batman: The Animated Series’ is among the most successful American animated television series. The comic superhero series was originally aired by Fox Television and produced by Warner Bros. Animation (Solomon, 262). The series has a total of eighty-five episodes. Unlike most animated films, the animated episodes in this series brought out the character of Batman to life, and made him seem to be more realistic. The animated characters in the film such as Scarface, Scarecrow, Batman Returns, the Penguin, and The Joker have successfully brought the character of Batman to life, made possible by making him appear more realistic through cumulative approaches to events and actions.
In the episode titled ‘Batman Returns,’ Batman is faced with a corrupt businessperson, Catwoman and a Penguin, who plans to take charge of the Gotham city. One of the security men who are attacked by Catwoman cries to her, “don't hurt us lady, our take-home is less than three-hundred” (Foundas, 2). While addressing the Penguin, the Catwoman states, “you poor guys; always confusing your pistols with your privates” (Foundas, 2). The texturing and the layering that the viewers got from this episode made the action of Penguin and Catwoman feel exciting and real. They inculcate the theme of fear in the film. Nevertheless, Batman is as dangerous and intense in destroying those who are unjust in the city. Just like the Catwoman and the Penguin, Batman’s role is to take charge of the city by ensuring that the evil people are destroyed.
In the episode titled ‘The Joker,’ the Joker states that “now comes the part where I relieve you, the little people, of the burden of your failed and useless lives, but, as my plastic surgeon always said: if you gotta go, go with a smile” (Serafino, 118). The Joker, unlike Batman, has no great purpose than to create fear, panic and chaos among the other characters in the film. Nevertheless, the notion that is depicted here is that the Batman himself is just as terrorizing as the Joker clearly depicted when he threatens The Joker, “I’m going to kill you!”(Serafino, 118).
In the episode titled ‘The Penguin,’ Batman finds himself in trouble as he is incapacitated by Penguin using a poisonous gas. The Penguin states that: “my dear penguins, we stand on a significant threshold! It's okay to be scared; many of you won't be coming back. Thanks to Batman, the time has come to punish all God's children! 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th-born” (Williams, 2). The Penguin helps brings out the realism of Batman as a character as he is scary but in no way terrifying to him. He has created a problem that Batman needs to solve. The penguin at one point confronts Batman claiming he is jealous, Batman admits to the accusation stating, “You might be right” (William, 2).
In the episode titled ‘The Scarecrow,’ Batman states that “Some thought I had gone mad, others thought I always had been until they put me where they thought I belonged” (Polic, 2).One of the unique issues about this episode is that Batman himself is narrating his story. It brought out the concept of realism in this animation series as the audience gets to obtain more perspective about Batman from his narration. In the same episode, the viewers see the scarecrow making fun of Batman. The scarecrow states, “The great Batman, scared out of his mind! How does it feel?” (Polic, 2). On a technical level, the viewers get an idea regarding the tactile schemes of Batman through the Scarecrow character making him real as a character. The viewers get to experience how things would be if Batman gets scared or when he is emotionally crushed.
In the episode titled ‘Scarface,’ the Scarface character is fighting with Batman. Scarface states that “excuse me? Who are you calling dummy? Do I look stupid to you? Am I moron?”(Serafino, 218). The conversation between Scarface and Batman are banal enough to appear as realistic in the film. In this case, the viewers find Batman to be offensive to Scarface. Nevertheless, at one point or another, the audience have seen protagonist using offensive words especially to those they consider as a threat. Scarface has helped bring out the realism of Batman by portraying that he is a character who is not without mistakes. Scarface claims that unlike Batman, “I always tell the truth, even when I lie” (Serafino, 218).
The animated episodes in this series have brought out Batman’s character to life by making it seem as realistic as possible. The episodes use different events to exhibit Batman as a real personality characterized by the decisions and actions he takes when exposed to difficult situations that he is forced to tackle with.
Foundas, Scott. “Cinematic Faith.” Filmcomment. Web 1 Nov. 2014.
Polic, Henry. “Scarecrow.” Web 01 June 1994.
Serafino, Jason. "The 25 Best Animated Comic Book TV Shows of All Time". Complex. 13 Jan. 2012. Retrieved Web. 10 Feb. 2012.
Solomon, Charles. The History of Animation: Enchanted Drawings. New York: Wings Books, 1994. Print.
Williams, Paul. The Penguin: The Animated Series. Web 19 Sep. 1994.