Batman: The Animated Series has just got its first Blu-Ray release, so there’s a renewed interest in the beloved DC TV show. But what is it about the cartoon that’s been entertaining and enthralling Bat-fans of all ages since 1992 – a whopping 26 years – now? For star Kevin Conroy, for whom BTAS launched a career as the go-to Batman voice actor, it’s because of the show’s strong scripts.
Conroy spoke at a panel at Fan Expo Vancouver over the weekend and explained: “I was really serviced so well by the scripts they wrote.” He then went on to point out that producers Bruce Timm, Eric Radomski and Paul Dini’s aim was “never to do a kid’s show.”
“They never condescended to the audience. And they never condescended to the material. They respected the audience, and they respected the material.”
That’s why Conroy thinks fans can still watch them back now and don’t need to be clouded by nostalgia to enjoy them. In his words, the series works on “many different levels.”
“And that’s why when you look at it now as an adult, I look back at these shows and I think, ‘This still looks so new, this still looks so fresh.’ Because it was always created to appeal to people on many different levels. There is something there for kids of 10, but there’s also something there for people of 60. It’s just lots of different levels.”
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The actor also wanted to credit the work of casting and voice director Andrea Romano for pushing him towards giving a layered performance himself as Bruce Wayne and his pointy-eared alter ego.
“I was encouraged — in fact I was pushed, by Andrea — to be as genuine and as sincere, to go to the depths of my emotions, to really pull something up.”
Finally, Conroy added that, under Romano’s guidance, the voice cast went all out in the recording studio when performing their parts. Of course, the one who gave it the most was Conroy’s long-time co-star Mark Hamill, who debuted as the Joker on BTAS.
“People were giving really full-out performances in there. And I watched Mark go crazy, crazy, and you think, ‘No one can see these performances! But they can hear them.’ And it’s why the show resonates with people, because we were really giving full-out performances in there.”
Conroy’s given us a lot of insights into his thoughts on BTAS recently, as he’s revealed his favorite episode of the show (“Perchance to Dream”) as well as his his favorite movie spinoff (the superlative Mask of the Phantasm, obviously). But what are your own personal thoughts about Batman: The Animated Series? Do you still find yourself revisiting it from time to time? Let us know by dropping a comment below.