The Adventures of Batman
Out this week is a new DC animation collection on Blu-ray. The Adventures of Batman collects up the Batman cartoons that originally ran as part of The Batman/Superman Hour from 1968-1969.
As you’ve likely envisioned, once I gave the timeframe, these are not outstanding examples of animation. They’re stiff, with minimal movement when they can get away with it, and even just watching one episode, I was already noticing repeated bits. The most memorable visual element for me was the strobing red/blue color background for the credits, which requires a warning notice for those sensitive to such effects.
The voices are notable. Batman was Olan Soule, whom I recognized from Super Friends. Robin was Casey Kasem, with Ted Knight as the Narrator, Commissioner Gordon, and the Penguin and Mr. Freeze as well.
The two-disc set contains 17 episodes, each of which has a longer (15 minutes or so) cartoon paired with a shorter to run about 22 minutes. Trying to figure out who the audience for this might be, I came up with a) the nostalgic, those who grew up with these and want to revisit their memories or b) completists. IMDb says this was the first appearance of Batman in animation, so perhaps it’s historically important that way. All I know is, it was a struggle for me to sit through one episode. (The studio provided a review copy.)
I remember liking these cartoons when I was a kid a lot. This one, Superboy, Superman and even Aquaman were fun.
When I saw name Ted Knight, I was like “Starman?” for a second. Though I am familiar with the actor as well.
Ha ha, I hadn’t made that name connection.
I think the audience for this is totally “people who liked them as kids”. And I’m glad, for them, that it’s available.