Batman (1943 Serial / Columbia Pictures)
Michael Keaton interviewed by David Letterman (1989 / NBC)
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TO BATMAN / BIG AND SMALL SCREENS
Jack Nicholson as the Joker (1989)
Granted, was Tim Burton’s Batman perfect. Not by a long shot. Some bits irritated the lot of us - the Joker shooting Bruce Wayne’s parents (WRONG - it was two-bit thug Joe Chill), letting Vicki Vale into the Batcave (insert eyeroll here - this would have been Alfred’s last day as trusted confidant), the Joker dying at the end of the movie (WRONG - the Joker always appears to die in some kind of extravagant way, but Batman would never actually let something like this happen to ANYONE - goes against the Batman code of NO KILLING), let alone Prince’s laughable soundtrack (WTF moment then and now). However, Anton Fursts designs for Gotham, the Batmobile, the Batsuit, and Batwing were second to none and ushered in the darkness that Batman had been missing from within the mainstream for so long (which now feels almost second nature - how far we’ve come!).
Batman Returns (Warner Bros. / 1992)
Tim Burton’s Batman and the equally well received Batman Returns (which had the BEST version of both Penguin and Catwoman on screen ever portrayed by Danny DeVito and Michelle Pfeiffer) was very important in Batman’s history. Just like Two-Face’s double headed coin, it left us with both a good and bad side of the Batman.
Let’s talk about the bad first, namely the infamous greedy hack Joel Schumacher and the train wreck’s that were Batman Forever and Batman and Robin, returning the franchise (and practically killing it) to it’s campy roots of the 1960’s. I for one still want my money back for both of these films and if I ever meet Schumacher - he’s getting a punch in the throat!
Batman: The Animated Series (Warner Bros. Animation / 1993-1995)
DC Animated Universe (Click to ENLARGE!)
Not only did we get great animation, stories, and style, we also had legendary actors to voice the characters we love: Paul Williams (The Penguin), Adrienne Barbeau (Catwoman), Richard Moll (Two-Face), David Warner (Ra’s al Ghul), Roddy McDowall (The Mad Hatter), Melissa Gilbert (Batgirl), and Efrem Zimbalist Jr. (Alfred Pennyworth).
Mark Hamill does Joker and Luke Skywalker
voice dialogue at Star Wars Weekends 2014
Harley Quinn Illustrated by co-creator, Bruce Timm
The Joker also nabbed a girlfriend, created especially for the series by Paul Dini and Bruce Timm in the beautifully crazy Harley Quinn (voiced by the ever amazing Arleen Sorkin) who has become part of the Batman cannon in the process. The best of the best came in the form of Batman himself, voiced by the one and only Kevin Conroy, or as most know him, the ONLY actor worthy of the role. Using two distinct voices to play both Bruce Wayne and The Batman, Conroy made it his own, playing the role longer than any actor in Batman’s history.
Batman: The Animated Series / Video Power Hour
(Warner Bros. Animation / editted by ryskmonger42)