Matt Reviews Batman: The Animated Series

I decided to re-watch all of Batman The Animated Series. However, this time I am going to review each episode as I watch them. This will be an ongoing feature and I will review five episodes at a time. I’m going in order of production dates through seasons 1-4; the order on the DVDs.  BTAS always had an A-Team and B-Team for animation; normally they would give the better scripts to the A-Team, so when I mention it, keep that in mind.  It took them time to figure out the tone and great storytelling the show is known for so the first couple episodes were a tad rough.  Therefore the reviews for these first couple episodes will probably be low. Update: See Part 2

The rating scale will go like this:  5 Bats – Amazing; a must watch, 4 Bats – Great episode, 3 Bats – Fun, but flawed, 2 Bats – Some bad story telling; nostalgia may save it. 1 Bat – Skip this episode! Even nostalgia won’t save it. With that out of the way all I can say is “And here we go!”

Episode 1: On Leather Wings

This episode is a pretty stellar start. It set the tone for the series. Great animation, definitely a Team A episode, the scenes of Batman flying through the skies with Man-Bat are still amazing. The first episode does a great job of setting up the world and future characters like Harvey Dent, Gordon, Bullock and more. Great scene where Batman does his Bruce Wayne voice as Batman (showing Bruce is the mask) 5/5 Bats

Episode 2: Christmas With The Joker

Terrible episode, first appearance of Robin. But sadly one of the worst, cheesy plot, dialogue, cliche X-Mas Episode. This is when the show was still trying to figure out what it was. It seems some of the writers thought this was just another kids show and phoned this script in 1/5 Bats

Episode 3: Nothing To Fear

So-so episode, you can tell this is a Team B animation again. The first design of the Scarecrow was terrible, not menacing at all. It was so bad that by his second appearance they had to redesign him. Sadly, it wasn’t till season four, where they completely changed animation styles, did the Scarecrow finally look menacing. Just an ok origin for one of Batman’s greatest villains. 2/5 Bats

Episode 4: The Last Laugh

Love the music on this episode. A much better Joker episode than the first appearance, Christmas with the Joker. Even with just ok writing, Mark Hamill kills it.  The show still hasn’t found it’s stride and at this point feels more like a kids show than the award winning show we all know and love. But still gotta love Captain Clown! 3/5 Bats

Episode 5:  Pretty Poison

Besides the cheesy opening of Batman chasing a low level thug on a roof and having trouble with it, this is a pretty good episode. Great Poison Ivy design and introduction to the character. Again another episode that establishes Harvey Dent, setting up the future Two-Face and it also sets up Bruce Wayne’s friendship with him. Also seems like the first episode with pretty stellar writing. 4/5 Bats

Agree? Disagree?Let me know what you think in the comments below I’ll be back soon with another installment of Matt on The Bat 🙂