Batman: The Animated Series Was A Success Before A Single Episode Made It To Air

Source: SlashFilm
Published and curated from SlashFilm Read More

“Batman: The Animated Series” is undoubtedly the founding father of DC Comics animation. Its success is exemplified by the cultural impact the series has had on the titular character and the genre itself. The show jumpstarted an interconnected animated universe, introduced Kevin Conroy as the definitive voice of the Dark Knight, and served as the entryway for many into the vast world of superheroes. 30 years after its initial release, the imprint left by “Batman: The Animated Series” is palpable to this day. But as it turns out, there were whispers of the show becoming a runaway success well before it even landed on television.

Created by Eric Radomski and Bruce Timm, “Batman: The Animated Series” coupled a neo-noir animation aesthetic with darker, thematically-rich writing that separated itself from other animated superhero projects. The Caped Crusader became a brooding figure that reveled in the shadows, synonymous with vengeance itself. Even during the earliest days of development, there was an intention to bring Batman to life in ways that would disrupt any preconceived notions. And sure enough, it did not take long for that to happen. Several influential industry folks had already been convinced the series would be as awesome as it turned out to be, long before we got to see it for ourselves.

‘That Show Looked Awesome’

In an interview with 13th Dimension to commemorate the 25-year anniversary of “Batman: The Animated Series” in 2017, Bruce Timm detailed the process of getting the show on the air, which included putting together a two-minute animated sequence from the pilot to convince network executives to pick it up. By the time it was finished, the series was green-lit. However, that didn’t stop the sequence from floating around the industry, and eventually finding itself on the lap of several influential figures in Batman’s tenured history.

On the animation side of things, director and storyboard artist Dan Riba, who eventually worked on the show and its spin-offs, got an early peek at “Batman: The Animated Series” and revealed his initial reaction: “I have to work on this! I’ve got to work on this thing!” Meanwhile, writer and story editor Sean Catherine Derek concurred: “Let’s face it, that show looked awesome. It was awesome!”

The scene made its way to the comic book industry, too. Legendary “Batman” comic writer Dennis O’Neil was impressed, to say the least:

I was sitting in my office one day and these two guys from California came in and asked if they could show me something. And they put a tape on the machine, and what was on the tape was what became the opening of the TV show, the first minute or so of animated action. And I was impressed. I am not a big fan of animation and especially not of TV animation, but it looked to me like they were solving the problems I perceived.

The Perfect Opening Sequence

The sizzle reel in question turned out to be the intro for “Batman: The Animated Series.” A perfect slice of superhero goodness, the sequence is a mishmash of now-iconic imagery and a stellar musical score that shares DNA with the 1989 “Batman” film. The montage encapsulates everything you would now expect from an adaptation of the Dark Knight, animated or live-action. The vibes are simply immaculate, to put it plainly. It’s no shock that the intro immediately won over everyone who watched it.

The sequence has lived on well past its expiration date and continues to exist rent-free in the minds of the biggest Batman fans. I would even wager that if someone has yet to see the series, showing them the intro is the best way to go about convincing them to do just that. “Batman: The Animated Series” is the benchmark for the titular character for a reason, so experience it while you still can.

All three seasons of “Batman: The Animated Series” are available to stream on HBO Max.

Read this next: Joker’s Wild: Ranking The Cinematic Versions Of The Clown Prince Of Crime

The post Batman: The Animated Series Was A Success Before A Single Episode Made It To Air appeared first on /Film.

How Interesting Was This Content?

Click on a star to rate it!

Average rating 0 / 5. Vote count: 0

No votes so far! Be the first to rate this content.

Leave a Comment