10 Behind-The-Scenes Facts About Batman: The Animated Series Fans Need To Know
Batman: The Animated Series’s production was fascinating. Here are 10 behind-the-scenes facts about the DC show that fans should know.
Batman: The Animated Series is one of the most iconic, loved, and influential Batman adaptations of all time. The creators managed to find a perfect timeless balance between the lighthearted side of Batman and the hero’s dark side, allowing the stories to be compelling for both young and old viewers.
Due to the fact that this is such a well-loved and influential series, there are some very interesting stories surrounding the production of the series that any fan of Batman: The Animated Series should be aware of.
10 Kevin Conroy Initially Wanted To Voice Harvey Bullock
Despite being considered the most iconic Batman of all time, with the actor voicing the Dark Knight in several Batman animated adaptations and the Arkham series of games, Kevin Conroy initially wanted to voice Harvey Bullock.
It took some persuasion before Conroy could be convinced into auditioning for the part of Batman, get the role, and ultimately become a legend in the process.
9 Harley Quinn’s Inspiration
Famously, Harley Quinn was an original creation of this series (along with Renee Montoya and Mr. Freeze’s tragic origin), with the character initially only set to appear in one episode. However, due to the work of voice actor Arleen Sorkin, Harley would appear in more episodes and, ultimately, in the wider DC Universe.
Paul Dini has said that the Harley Quinn character was partly inspired by an episode of Days of Our Lives in which Arleen Sorkin wore a harlequin costume.
8 The Riddler’s Few Appearances
Despite being one of the most iconic Batman villains of all time, The Riddler only made a handful of appearances in the seminal Batman: The Animated Series. The reason for this was explained in Batman Animated, as the creators behind the series found it too difficult and time-consuming to write the riddles associate with the character.
This certainly makes sense as coming up with enjoyable riddles would be difficult to do. Having to deal with the Riddler less frequently must have improved Batman’s mood too, as it must be incredibly irritating having to answer his riddles.
7 Dark Paper
One of the most compelling elements of Batman: The Animated Series was the dark, atmospheric tone that the series could maintain. One of the most iconic elements of this dark tone was the red sky that would cover Gotham City.
One of the main reasons as to why this worked so well was that the animators used black paper rather than white paper, allowing for a more natural, gothic tone.
6 Ensemble Voice Work
One of the main advantages of voice acting is that it allows performers to work on their own. This means that it can often be fairly easy to fit into an actor’s schedule as they don’t need to find a space in which they’re both free to work.
However, Batman: The Animated Series is one of the few animated properties to require their actors to work together, meaning that the present characters acted opposite each other in real life.
5 The Intro Is A Recut Version Of The Pilot
The intro sequence to Batman: The Animated Series is one of the most iconic intros of all time. Not only does it perfectly capture the tone of the series, but it also has one of the best intro soundtracks of all time.
This intro was a recut version of the short pilot that was shown to studio executives. The pilot saw Batman take down some jewel thieves and was released on the Blu-ray version of the series.
4 Made Possible By Tim Burton’s Batman
The impact from Tim Burton’s Batman was felt far and wide. Not only did the film lead to a successful franchise and reinvigorate the Batman character, but it also helped to give Batman: The Animated Series the greenlight.
The influences of the series can be seen clearly. The Joker’s alter ego is Jack Napier, the Penguin looks like the version in Batman Returns, Selena Kyle is blonde, and the Danny Elfman score is present throughout the intro sequence.
3 Scarecrow’s Bad Throat
The Scarecrow is one of the most terrifying Batman villains, with the character specializing in scaring his enemies with his trademarked fear toxin. However, despite being set to appear in several episodes, the Scarecrow didn’t have many speaking roles in the first season.
The reason for this is that the voice actor behind the Scarecrow, Henry Polic II, had issues with his throat during filming and had to have surgery to fix them. As a result, many of Scarecrow’s subsequence appearances were reduced to silent appearances, such as in Trial.
2 Dick Grayson & The Censors
Fan of Batman: The Animated Series may be aware that Dick Grayson is of college age during the initial series run. This helped make the character more believable, as a child beating up villains is a little bit hard to accept.
However, the character’s creation was also influenced by the censors. The creators had to make Robin older as there were several censorship rules concerning child endangerment at the time. This also influenced the episode “Robin’s Reckoning,” as the team had to present Grayson’s tragic backstory without getting too graphic.
1 Tim Curry Was Initially The Joker
Perhaps one of the most legendary stories from the making of Batman: The Animated Series, Tim Curry was initially set to portray the Clown Prince of Crime and even recorded several episodes before he left the series.
While some believe that his performance was simply too scary for the target audience, Curry has confirmed that he had to quit the role due to bronchitis.