Thursday, April 24, 2008

Batman: The Animated Version

Ebert: "Adults are realizing that animation is not limited to an entertainment form for children."

Hear hear.

Ebert: "The sets of the city in this movie...".
Siskel, with awe and wonder in his voice: "Oh!".

Watch how Siskel lights up when he talks about this movie, how his eyes sparkle and how genuinely passionate he is about this movie and indeed the whole Batman animated franchise.

Batman, the animated series (shortened to Batman TAS in geekdom world) and its various movie offshoots are the most beautiful examples of film art ever produced in America.

Yes, I am serious.

Bonus Material:
Don't take my word for it: read the reviews of everybody on Amazon, for Batman TAS part 1, part 2, part 3 and part 4.

If you choose to look, for part 1, on Amazon, there are 118 five star comments, 19 four star comments, and 1 one star comment, which leads me to consider the possibility that Amazon reviewer L. Vassallo "Zen Pilot", he of the 1 star review fame, is a douchebag.

This animated series is no longer run on American TV, and is a forgotten classic - a part of Americana, masquerading as a "cartoon for kids", while in reality the plot devices, the scripts used, the intelligence and innate humanity of the animated films were in a class above the usual Hollywood dreck and muck put out these days.

Yes, you read that right - this series has innate humanity, unlike Hollywood "action" dreck with overpaid actors.

Siskel rates this animated movie just below the first Batman movie, the Jack Nicholson as the Joker one.

I respectfully disagree.

If you are into art, if you are into intelligent plots, complex moral dilemmas, film noir, art deco style drawings, in short, heck... just buy this whole series, and the offshoot movies, or start slow with volume 1 (it is about $20 off Amazon, for, get this, run time of 625 minutes!).

An American Classic.

Note that I am talking, praising and almost worshiping Batman the animated series from the 1990's. More recently, Batman the animated franchise was dumbed down for modern kids, drawn much more crudely, and the plots became more in line with standard Hollywood big budget "action" movies.

If you are unfortunate to make a mistake and watch the more modern offshoot of Batman an animated feature, and were lucky enough to see the 1990's version, you will immediately spot the difference.

After all, you do not compare Kurosawa's 7 samurai to Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, do you now?

Extra special animated feature bonus:
Batman - Mystery of the Batwoman is the more recent addition to the collection, a full feature animated film from 2003 from the same team that brought us the 1990's Batman TAS series.

Yet another thing to consider buying for yourself, and then lying to the rest of the family that this is a present for your kids...

Extra sweet bonus of the bonus:
Since you have read this far, I think that you deserve a reward.
Watch the first half of a Batman TAS episode, "Joker's Favor", here in
Part 1.

Watch the first half of Batman TAS - Sins of the Father.

Not hooked yet?

Are you human?

Fine, watch one complete episode: THE CAT AND THE CLAW, in:
Part 1
Part 2.

That's it - no more freebies, go support American (and Korean) artists and buy this series!

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