29 August 2015

TV DVD Review: "Batman: The Animated Series": Volume One

Rated: TV-PG (US) / PG (Canada)
Starring: Kevin Conroy, Efrem Zimbalist Jr., and Mark Hamill
Released: 1992 (original TV premieres) / 2004 (DVD)
Synopsis: Bruce Wayne may be your average billionaire by day, but, by night, he is Batman, defender of Gotham City.  With villains such as the Joker, the Scarecrow, and Poison Ivy coming out of the woodwork, it's going to take everything Bruce has got to save innocent people from harm...but, will that be enough?

The Good: This series has been regarded as a classic by many superhero fans for quite a while, and with good reason; the production values and storylines are great.  Despite its age, the animation looked great on every device I watched it on, and the voice work was spot-on.  Batman may be strong, but he often uses more than just brute strength to save the day.  He is a likable hero, and the villains are appropriately despicable.

The Bad: As good as this is, I did have one problem: I'm not sure why Robin appears in only a select few episodes; as a fan of sidekicks, I would have liked to have seen more of him.

Content Concerns:
  • Sex: Kissing and flirting. 4/5
  • Nudity: Batman is seen shirtless and in his underwear; various women are seen in low-cut outfits.  However, the animation style makes it less sultry. 3/5
  • Language: Name-calling, which isn't surprising; two misuses of God's name, which were. 3/5
  • Violence: As usual for this kind of series, action violence abounds.  Batman, Robin, and the various villains hit, kick, shoot, punch, throw, wrestle, etc., each other countless times.  Some attacks leave Batman with a nasty scratch on his suit. 1/5
  • Drugs: Gases and other substances that cause hallucinations are present in a few episodes; drinking is also seen. 3/5
  • Frightening/Intense Scenes: This may be a cartoon, but it definitely isn't as happy or sprightly as the 60's Adam West Batman.  Some of the villains could be rather frightening, and the mood is rather dark, with most scenes taking place at night.  Parents of young children should be wary. 1/5
Conclusion: A few years ago, I bought a DVD of the 2003 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles cartoon at a garage sale, which served as my official introduction to the world of superhero cartoons.  Since then, I've watched everything from X-Men to Superman: The Animated Series to The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes.  Fans of series like Batman: The Animated Series know what to expect, and that's what they'll get here.  While not for young kids because of the violence and intensity, older fans will definitely enjoy this.

Score: 4.5/5

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