Sunday, July 6

75 of Batman: History of Animated Series

Even though Batman first appeared animated in Super Friends, and also appeared in Justice League, I am only covering the series that were solely about Batman (or in the case of "Gotham Girls" was set in same world as the original 1992 series).
Batman: The Animated Series/The Adventures of Batman and Robin (1992-1995)
Originally ran from 1992 to 1995 on the Fox Kids Network, it is considered one of the best. It spearheaded the Fox Kids craze, being the popular and brought on classics like Tiny Toons, Bobby's World, Power Rangers, Animaniacs and so on. This cartoon was sort of based on Batman (1989) and Batman Returns (1992) and spawned the theatrical release "Batman: Mask of the Phantom" in 1993. It also gave the world Harley Quinn. Dick Grayson's Robin had a similar costume to Tim Drake's from the comics at the time and he was romantically linked to Barbara Gordon's Batgirl. For season two, it was changed to "The Adventures of Batman and Robin." This also spun-off to "The New Batman Adventures" and web series "Gotham Girls."
The New Batman Adventures (1997-1999)
Three years after the second season of Batman: The Animated Series ended production, the show was moved (as The New Batman Adventures) from Fox to The WB channel, which was airing and producing Superman: The Animated Series. According to the reference book Batman Animated, series writer Paul Dini originally wanted the new show to be titled Batman: Gotham Knights, but this idea was rejected by the other producers. This series introduced Tim Drake as Robin and Dick Grayson as Nightwing.
Batman Beyond (1999-2001)
Batman Beyond depicting teenager Terry McGinnis as a new Batman in a futuristic Gotham City under the tutelage of an elderly Bruce Wayne that aired on Kids WB. Will Friedle (Boy Meets World) played Terry. Among the live-action films proposed between the critical failure of Batman & Robin and the reboot of the Batman franchise was a live-action Batman Beyond feature, to be written by Paul Dini but it was let go. In April 2014, a Batman Beyond short by Darqyn Cooke that airs on Cartoon Network, which saw Conroy and Friedle reprise their roles from the show.

Gotham Girls (2002)
Gotham Girls is an American Flash animation series about the females of Gotham City in 2002. Episodes starred Harley Quinn, Poison Ivy, Batgirl, Catwoman and Zatanna in short stories. The series lasted for three seasons (10 episodes each), with each episode released month-by-month. Third Season dropped the Zatanna from its lineup and adding Detective Renee Montoya, each episode from this series tied into the next, forming a collective thirty-minute whodunit. The storyline also dealt with issues not seen since Batman: The Animated Series, such as the corruption of the Gotham City Police Department, Poison Ivy's environmental crusade, Commissioner Gordon's wavering faith in costumed superheroes and Det. Selma Reesedale, a character revealed early on to be a male-to-female transsexual.

The Batman (2004-2008)
The Batman ran from September 11, 2004 to March 22, 2008, on Kids' WB. Although the series borrows many elements from previous Batman storylines, it does not follow the continuity set by the comic books, the film series, nor that of Batman: The Animated Series and its spin-offs. The character designs were provided by Jackie Chan Adventures artist Jeff Matsuda; he also directed the ending. Barbara tries to be The Batman's sidekick, but he refuses to accept the need for a partner until the end of the season. This differed from the comics, in which Robin was The Batman's first sidekick; this was due to the Teen Titans animated series using the character, limiting his ability to appear in other shows. Robin later premiered in Season 4 after Teen Titans was cancelled.
Batman: The Brave and the Bold (2008-2011)
Batman: The Brave and the Bold is based in part on the DC Comics series The Brave and the Bold which features two or more super heroes coming together to solve a crime or foil a super villain. As the title suggests, the cartoon focuses on Batman's regular "team-ups" with various heroes similar to the most well-known version of the original comic book series. The series premiered on November 14, 2008 on Cartoon Network and ended on November 18, 2011.

Beware the Batman (2013-2014)
Beware the Batman was computer-animated and premiered on Cartoon Network on July 13, 2013, as part of their DC Nation block. It is the replacement for Batman: The Brave and the Bold. Beware the Batman was pulled from the Cartoon Network schedule and put on hiatus on October 23, 2013 without explanation. The series returned to Cartoon Network via Adult Swim's Toonami block on Saturday, May 10, 2014 at 3:00am; Toonami plans to air all 26 episodes starting from the beginning.