SDCC 2013 Celebrates 21st Anniversary of Batman: The Animated Series

by Adam Poncharoen​sub
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San Diego Comic-Con celebrated the 21st anniversary panel of Batman: The Animated Series. Click the jump to read some details.

robin's reckoningAs I said in my bio, I didn’t grow up with Batman: The Animated Series, so I’m a bit of a late bloomer when it comes to my Batman love. I think I was too busy watching Power Rangers or something, I was a weird kid. But in the end, I don’t entirely regret not growing up with the series because I saw most of it for the first time as a adult and I was really able to appreciate what made this series so wonderful. My only gripe is the fact that I’ve been so accustomed to some of the violence in comic book cartoons nowadays that watching how tame Batman: TAS is really bugs me because I know of what the animators and the Bats are capable. I loved the show, but I don’t think I truly understood the magic until the end of “Robin’s Reckoning” Part 1, when Dick asks Bruce if the  hurt ever goes away. Through tears, it finally hit me why people loved this show so much.

With that being said, fans of the show gathered to help celebrate the 21st anniversary of Batman: The Animated Series with producer Eric Radomski and Alan Burnett, producer and artist Bruce Timm, and writer Paul Dini.

This is a photo tweeted by @DCComics, showing the crowd gathering for the panel:


Here are some of the questions asked:

Q: Did they know if the show would work?

A: They weren’t 100% sure the show would work at first, but were confident it would in the end.

Q: What was the most difficult part of production?

A: They started out getting to work on the show, but when it became a series there was a lot of pressure on whether they could pull it off or not. It was difficult to get people to trust them and what they could do.  Apparently their first story editor didn’t see quite eye-to-eye with them and that made the first 6 months of the show really difficult to produce. That is until Alan Burnett came in as a story editor. 

Q: Was there anything they didn’t get to do on the show that they weren’t able too.

A: There was a vampire story they wanted to do and a Christmas silent night episode that they weren’t able to get to for a variety of reasons. 

Q: Can they watch the show and now and enjoy it?

A: Bruce Timm says it was really hard to watch it in the past because all he could see was the flaws, but he hasn’t actually seen one in a long time. Paul Dini recently watched The Mask of the Phantasm with his wife and they both loved it. 

Q: What was your favorite episode and why?

A: Dini thinks it was ‘Heart of Ice’ because as he said, “It works. It was just right.” Timm agreed with ‘Heart of Ice’, but added ‘The Laughing Fish’ and ‘On Leather Wings’ since it was the first episode. Said he just has a soft spot for the episode since it was their first. Radomski agreed with ‘On Leather Wings,’ because it was the first episode. He also loved ‘Robin’s Reckoning, Part 1’ due to the level of story telling and the dramatic impact of the episode. Burnett took it a different direction by stating his favorites were: the first episode with The Ventriloquist, ‘Feat of Clay, Part 2’, and the Mad Hatter episode ‘Perchance to Dream.’

Q: Besides Batman what was your favorite character?

A: Dini loved the Joker, and Radomski agreed. Though he also threw Harley Quinn into the mix, which received huge applause.  He elaborated by saying it was about the pull of the psychotic relationship she had with the Joker that made her so great.  Timm gives a short, but well received answer… “Alfred.”

Q: Was there anyone particular that was a casting surprise?

A: Radomski is the first to respond with Kevin Conroy, and how they were looking for just the right voice for Batman. Timm added to that by sharing that originally when Mark Hamill came in he really wanted to play one of the big villains on the show. At the time there wasn’t one really open but not too long after that they actually needed someone new to voice the Joker. So Hamill came in and auditioned and was the exact Joker they were looking for. Timm also agreed that Loren Lester was amazing as Robin, and that they weren’t originally planning on adding Robin at all. They wanted to make him more of a standalone character rather than making him a sidekick of Batman. Eventually, they did bring him into the show, reluctantly, but chose to make him a little bit older and a more mature team mate for Batman. 

Apparently, after they mentioned Loran Lester, he appeared from the crowd and began to speak a little on his experience on the show. For the most part, as creators of the show, they seem to share several of the same opinions as fans, what with some of their favorite episodes being my favorites, like the aforementioned “Robin’s Reckoning” Part 1 as well as “Perchance to Dream.” That show featured some of the finest storytelling around.


What were your favorite episodes from the show? Favorite characters? Any fond memories? Let me know.

Source – Transcribed by

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