Batman: The Animated Series: Volume 1 (1992)

Genre(s): Action / Adventure / Animation
Warner Brothers || NR - 625 minutes - $44.95 || July 6, 2004
Reviewer: Kushmeer Farakhan || Posted On: 2004-07-15

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.:: F I L M ::.
The Film

.: F E A T U R E S :.

Special Features

A U D I O &
.:: V I D E O ::.

Audio and Video

.:: O V E R A L L ::.
Director: NA
Writer(s): Bob Kane (characters)
Cast: Kevin Conroy, Loren Lester, Efrem Zimbalist Jr., Bob Hastings, Robert Constanzo, Michael Ansara, Adrienne Barbeau, John Glover, Mark Hamill

Supplemental Material:
  • Producers' Commentary
  • Batman: The Legacy Continues - Featurette
  • The Dark Knight's First Night - Pilot Promo
  • Tour of the Batcave

Technical Information:
  • Number of Discs: 4
  • Full Screen (1.33)
  • English (Stereo Surround)
  • Subtitles: English, French, Spanish

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.::THE FILM::.

Disc 1 - On Leather Wings is an instant classic as it establishes the tone for the entire series. Nothing to Fear and Pretty Poison are good episodes but not outstanding, P.O.V. and The last Laugh are average, Christmas with the Joker is fun but not the best and The Underdwellers is the single worst episode in the show's history. If you find an guy who lives in the sewer and kidnaps children incredibly fascinating by all means check that one out though. Don't say I didn't warn ya.

Disc 2 - A much better disc than part1, this disc contains the excellant two parter Two-Face and the emmy winning, critically acclaimed masterpiece (and my favorite of all time) Heart of Ice. Those episodes really symbolize Batman at it's best. The introductions of Freeze and Two-face were heartwrenching and kept the viewer entranced. The rest of the episodes on the disc are pretty good but nothing mindblowing. The only real clunker is Be a clown and it's mostly because the producers still hadn't used the Joker to the best of their abilities yet.

Disc 3 - Again, a pretty good mix of episodes. There are 2 two parters on here (one featuring Clayface, the other Catwoman). The Clayface episodes are great but the Catwoman ones a mixed bag. Beware of the Gray Ghost is an really great episode. If nothing else, it's got Adam West as the Gray Ghost guest starring! GEEKASM! LOL. See No Evil is an underated treat as well.

Disc 4 - My personal favorite disc contains the Paul Dini written classics (the few few of many including the previously mentioned Heart of Ice) Joker's Favor(the first episode to really use the Joker correctly, and Mad as a hatter). The entire disc really is a gem. It also includes a couple of really good Scarecrow episodes(one of which includes Robin, who only appears 3x total in this collection), The Clock King(whose origin is a pretty comical affair), and Appointment in Crime Alley, the weakest episode of the disc but an decent episode nonetheless.


"The Dark Knight's First Knight" - This is the pilot created specifically by the producers to sell the series to WB and the Fox network. It's a very dramatic little piece and it was fun to watch. I was kinda bummed that they lost the original music to it and although it was crude compared to the regular episodes it was still cool.

"Batman the Legacy Continues" - A behind the scenes look at how the show came to be as well as interviews with the producers, a few of the voice actors(Kevin Conroy/Batman and Mark Hamill/The Joker) and some famous comic writers/editors. Simply Great. The featurette is but an all too brief 18 minutes long but what they give you is great. The casting process as well as inspirations for the show's revolutionary look were discussed.

"Tour of the Batcave" - more or less just clips from the show of Batman using his various gadgets in action. If you're a kid, you might get a kick out of it, but the more sophisticated viewer might want to skip it.

Superhero trailers-just WB p.r. trying to sell their Superfriends boxset and Batman: Mystery of the Batwoman trailers. Worth a peak but nothing to get excited about.

Episode Commentaries-. Both really fun and informative. In "On Leather Wings" the producers spend great lenghts of time talking about what they had trouble getting past the sensors as well as funny anecdotes. For example, Radomski had a huge crush on the actress who voiced Man-bat's wife lol. In "Heart of Ice" we learn about not only the creators' ideas about Mr. Freeze but we learn their thoughts processes about how to bring the lesser known bat-villains into greater prominence. Both tracks are outstanding listens. They're never slow and the producers always find something to say.


The picture quality for this set wasn't too bad. Some of the episodes look kind of rough considering they were pretty early in the shows run and since the series was done on all black backgrounds, there' some artifacing in the print here and there but it's still much better quality than TV. The sound was great for the musical score but was somewhat lacking whenver the characters spoke. The mix on the dialogue wasn't great but satisfactory. If you have a good soundsystem, your speakers will get quite a workout during any explosions.


Batman: TAS is one of the greatest animated series ever made(second only to The Simpsons) and it's top notch voice acting, excellant writing that appealed to older audiences, and trailblazing animation make this a great buy for any Batman fan, young or old. The features could've been more extensive but the ones you do get are more than worth it. Besides, this set is so good, it could've been featureless and still been a knockout. Can't wait for Volume II.