This show stands as an iconic benchmark for superhero cartoons and many will describe it as a piece of art from the 90’s. It defined who batman is and what Gotham looks and feels like, but is it as good as people say and some of us remember?
This show came out in 1992, an era when cartoons were mostly aimed at kids like the Tiny Toons, and it broke with the norm by showing batman as the comic fans knew him, a dark and imposing character that protects Gotham from the shadows. Right from the start this is what we are shown in the opening, and even though there is no text what so ever every one knows it’s a batman cartoon.
The very feel of the world it takes place in also drives home the feel of Gotham and it makes it look like a place batman is perfect for…
Dark isn’t it? and that’s exactly what the designers and artists where going for, they even worked on black paper and drew, yes hand drew, with lighter colors to drive it home.
Even the bat mobile and bat wing have an iconic design that any one that has not seen the show will be able to tell you that it is batman.
But characters are nothing without a good story and the show shines in this department. Every episode feels like a movie with constant character and story development and ends with a sense of satisfaction similar to that of a good movie. The cinematography is also superb, helping you get immersed in the city of Gotham, even the opening of the show feels like a complete story . The link below will show you the storyboard for the opening and it shows that it had a lot of thought and care put into it, something that seems rare in todays tv shows.
So yes, Batman The Animated Series still stands as a milestone in animation quality, story telling, and character design. Everything in it helped tell a story about characters and the world they live in and stands as one of the pinnacles that all cartoons should aim for.