Sunday, March 25, 2007

TV: Batman - The Animated Series

While I do still believe Tim Burton's "Batman" movies were the start of the current renaissance in pop culture, the "Batman" animated series that aired on FOX in the early 90s was arguably just as important. This was a breakthrough cartoon in an age when American television cartoons were largely comedic and lighthearted. The series was adept at blending film noir, art deco, and sometimes disturbing storylines while making sure to keep the overall product from being too dark and melancholy, especially considering the target audience.

Just look at the superb opening sequence:

Later superhero cartoons on FOX, like "Spider-Man" and "X-Men," would use similar, serious approaches and had equal success. But while the Marvel series were simply transporting the nuanced characters of the comics onto the screen, the "Batman" series was literally creating its own mythology - never had "Mr. Freeze," for example, been drawn so tragically (the award-winning episode, "Heart of Ice").


At 12:27 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

One of the innovations of the Batman cartoon was the use of a black background screen instead of a white or clear one. That is what gave it such a dark look.



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