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Cartoon Review: "Batman: The Animated Series" Season 1 (1992)

Natalie is a writer who works at her local library. She enjoys writing reviews, watching anime and TV shows, and playing video games.

"Batman: The Animated Series" Season 1 DVD cover art.

"Batman: The Animated Series" Season 1 DVD cover art.

Quick Info

Director: Various
Distributor: Warner Brothers Animation
Released: July 6, 2004
Runtime: 625 minutes
Availability: On DVD and blu-ray, available for digital purchase on Amazon, iTunes, and other stores, streaming on HBOMax

Story Summary

Batman: The Animated Series follows the adventures of Bruce Wayne, a rich billionaire that masquerades as the vigilante Batman to fight crime in Gotham City.

He goes against various villains like the Joker, Harley Quinn, Killer, Croc, Two-Face, Poison Ivy, and the Mad Hatter.

“Batman: The Animated Series" Is a Classic

Batman: The Animated Series is considered a classic by many Batman fans and has often been called one of the greatest cartoons of all time. That is a big reputation to talk about when it comes to this series.

I will do my best to not try to ride the hype of this series and judge it as each season by itself.

I will not be reviewing the series based on my nostalgia for the series because I did not watch this cartoon in the 90s and I don’t watch the series that often either.

It is a classic, but does it hold up? I will discuss that in this article.

The Joker, pulling off one of his many crime sprees.

The Joker, pulling off one of his many crime sprees.

The Animation Looks Good, but Dated

The animation looks pretty good, but it does look dated. And while I do love the art design and artwork for the backgrounds. The animation is fluid but the fights aren’t the most amazing choreography, everything looks pretty good overall, especially on the amazing episodes.

What’s really interesting about Batman: The Animated Series is how they don’t set the story in a particular year but they mishmash time periods and technology.

But interestingly enough, the cartoon itself became an unintentional time capsule for the 1990s because of the use of VHS and cassette tapes, and the lack of cell phones in the story.

Overall, the series looks good and the animation various from episode to episode but as a whole, the series is very unique and memorable for the character design, and even though the animation is very dated, I still enjoyed watching the series.

Batman the Animated Series Volume 1 DVD Trailer

The Voice Cast Is Great!

The voice cast for Batman: The Animated Series has become the voices of these characters, but I’m judging them by the performances they gave in this season, and it was good. This was when everyone was finding their footing for the characters so they’re not going to give those iconic performances in the first season in the earlier episodes but as the series goes on, you do see the performances improve, especially at about the halfway point.

Kevin Conroy gave a good performance as Bruce Wayne/Batman. Some of his early performances are a little shaky but as the series goes he continues to improve voicing Batman’s character.

Mark Hamill gave a great performance as the Joker, but not all his episodes had amazing writing. Some of them were great, others were just okay, but he did give an excellent vocal performance and he became a staple of many viewers’ childhoods but his episodes were few and far between so you didn’t get sick of hearing him. He did a great job in his role.

Alfred Pennyworth was voiced by two different voice actors, Clive Revill and Efrem Zimbalist Jr. for the rest of the series. While Clive Revill was okay, he did sound a little hokey but Efrem Zimballist Jr. did an amazing job as Alfred, and his voice is probably the one you think of when you read the comics.

Loren Lester did a good job as Robin, his early appearances were given a hokey performance but his later voice acting in season one was very good. I liked his voice acting and I think he did a great job, he just had to grow into it.

Overall, the voice cast did get their footing during this season, some of the early voice acting wasn’t the best, but once they got into character the voice acting improved.

Batman: The Animated Series | Remastered Opening Titles | Warner Bros. Entertainment

The Music Is Amazing

The late Shirley Walker did an amazing job composing the soundtrack for Batman: The Animated Series. The music was very unique and I enjoyed the soundtrack throughout the first season, and it’s nice to not hear the electric guitar every single episode like in The Batman.

I liked the music because it didn’t become repetitive and I felt that every episode had a unique soundtrack and she didn’t reuse too much of her music.

Overall, the music for this season is one of the highlights of Batman: The Animated Series.

The Iconic "Heart Of Ice" episode that redefined Mister Fries in both cartoons and comics.

The Iconic "Heart Of Ice" episode that redefined Mister Fries in both cartoons and comics.

Reader Poll

The Series Is Too Episodic

Batman: The Animated Series is a very episodic cartoon, so there is no overarching plot or storyline that connects the episodes. This series was made when network TV had weekly cartoons so they didn’t feel the need to make a long story arc for the series.

That’s fine for daytime TV but when you watch it on physical disc or streaming and you can binge-watch the cartoon, it feels weird watching an episodic series when you’ve become used to plotlines and story arcs in cartoons and anime.

I don’t mind episodic anime and cartoons, but some people may not like episodic cartoons.

This cartoon is fun and enjoyable but if you don’t like episodic shows then you might not like this one.

The Average Episodes Are Forgettable

While the first season of Batman: The Animated Series does have many amazing episodes, it does have its share of average episodes as well. The memorable episodes that won awards or stay in your memory are well-written and still hold up animation-wise, but they are either well-written original content for the series or adaptations of comic book stories.

The other episodes that aren’t are just average episodes that, while they are good, are just not memorable episodes.

This season does also contain the “worst” episode, as stated by the creators, “I’ve Got Batman in my Basement”, an episode that is just so silly that you forget about it after a while.

This season does have its share of good and bad episodes, but the average ones are forgettable and I wish there were fewer forgettable episodes in this first season.

This Season Is Solid, but Don’t Go in Overhyped

Batman: The Animated Series is considered a classic, so there is a lot of hype behind it going in from longtime fans of the series. I too am a longtime fan, but I’m not a diehard fan. I haven’t watched the series in years so I decided to go back and rewatch it to review it. I do not have nostalgia goggles for the cartoon, even though I’ve enjoyed rewatching the series again.

As someone who rewatched the series after a very long time, I enjoyed it a lot, but if you go into it overhyped expecting the “best cartoon ever made” you might be disappointed by the writing of some of the episodes or that the series is very episodic and there’s no overarching plotline throughout the series.

There is a lot of hype because of the series as a whole but please don’t go into Batman: The Animated Series expecting to see the greatest cartoon of all time because you might be disappointed. If you go in expecting to enjoy a Batman cartoon you will enjoy the series more than if you go in overhyping the series for yourself.

Harvey Dent before he became "Two-Face".

Harvey Dent before he became "Two-Face".

Quick Summary

What Works:What Doesn't Work:

Good stories, characters, and world-building

The animation looks dated

The animation looks really good for most episodes

The series may be too episodic for some viewers

Great voice acting, but it takes time for it to become great

Some episodes are forgettable

Great soundtrack

My Grade: B

I enjoyed rewatching Batman: The Animated Series Season 1. I didn’t go in expecting too much, mainly because I hadn’t rewatched the series in years and I wanted to rewatch and review it to see if it was just as good as I remembered.

I enjoyed the series a lot, while it does have its share of good and bad episodes, the excellent episodes are extremely memorable and had an impact on the comics, while the forgettable episodes just disappeared from my memory.

The animation still held up, even if it does feel old by today’s standards. The artwork is nice to look at and unique. The animation for the fights is okay, but it did improve over time, but is not near as good as the animation for Batman is today.

While the writing is great overall, the series does have its share of average and bad episodes so don’t go in expecting every episode to be a masterpiece.

I highly recommend Batman: The Animated Series season 1 even if it doesn’t have a perfect start because it is a lot of fun. While I can recommend a blind buy of the series, you can watch it without paying a lot if you have an HBOMax subscription because it is on their website in HD.

If you’ve always been curious about Batman: The Animated Series but you don’t want to buy it, I’d recommend streaming it on HBOMax because it is worth your time and money to watch it, but how much money you want to spend depends on you.

The complete blu-ray series isn’t too expensive to purchase but it is worth checking out on HBOMax. I own the series in my collection from when it was originally released on DVD and I’m very happy to own the classic cartoon.

You can also check your local library system to see if they have DVD or blu-ray copies of Batman: The Animated Series season one to borrow it to watch at home.

It is worth your time and money, but if you’re unsure, check it out on HBOMax to see if you like it. I loved it when I was younger, so I recommend every Batman fan give Batman: The Animated Series season 1 a chance and you’ll see why people call it a classic, even if it is overhyped by fans of the cartoon.

It is something that I was happy to buy, and I’m enjoying rewatching the series, and I hope you’ll enjoy it too.

My Rating

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