The New Batman Adventures

The New Batman Adventures (often shortened as TNBA) is an American superhero animated television series based on the DC Comics superhero Batman, a continuation of the 1990s Batman: The Animated Series and the third series in the DC Animated Universe. The series was produced by Warner Bros. Animation and aired on Kids' WB from September 13, 1997 to January 16, 1999.

The New Batman Adventures
TheNewBatmanAdventuresLogo.png
Genre
Created by
Based onBatman
by Bob Kane (credited) and
Bill Finger (uncredited)
Written by
Voices of
Composers
Country of originUnited States
No. of episodes24 (list of episodes)
Production
Executive producerJean MacCurdy
Producers
Running time22 minutes
Production companiesDC Comics
Warner Bros. Animation
DistributorWarner Bros. Television Distribution
Release
Original networkKids' WB
Picture formatNTSC
Audio formatStereo
Original releaseSeptember 13, 1997 (1997-09-13) –
January 16, 1999 (1999-01-16)
Chronology
Preceded byBatman: The Animated Series
Followed byBatman Beyond
Related showsDC Animated Universe

Stories in this series tend to give more focus to Batman's supporting cast, which include fellow crimefighters Robin, Nightwing and Batgirl, among others. The show also features guest stars such as Supergirl, Etrigan the Demon and The Creeper, characters who would later appear with Batman in Justice League and Justice League Unlimited. The 2001 video game Batman: Vengeance and its follow-up Batman: Rise of Sin Tzu are based on this series.

OverviewEdit

The New Batman Adventures premiered on Kids' WB just two years after Batman: The Animated Series ended its original run on Fox Kids. The animation style was changed significantly from BTAS (to match that of Superman: The Animated Series) and the show had a significant change in focus from the original series, with episodes focusing less on Batman and more on the many characters that inhabited Gotham City.[1] The art became more streamlined and darker with simpler color schemes, while the Art Deco and film noir imagery from the original series were replaced with a more modern look.[2]

Batman was given a sleeker, brawnier appearance with an overall darker costume: the yellow ellipse surrounding the bat emblem on his chest and the blue highlights of his cape and cowl were both removed and his utility belt has pouches instead of capsules and is now light brown instead of yellow, which resembles his appearance in Batman: Year One.[1] His gadgets and vehicles were given a sleeker, redesigned look with a more black color scheme. Bruce Wayne's appearance was also changed from the previous series: his hair was brushed back to highlight his face, with blue eyes instead of black, and his regular business suit was changed from brown to black. Kevin Conroy's voice for Batman became more stern, as well as less distinguishable from his voice for Bruce than in the original series. The writers made an effort to keep Batman's dialogue as terse and grim as possible, in order to heighten the contrast between him and the lighthearted supporting cast.[1]

Batgirl's costume was changed to a look similar to her original outfit from her comic debut in Detective Comics #359 and in her appearance in the Silver Age of comics, which is now a black bodysuit with yellow gloves and boots, but keeps her blue cape and cowl and yellow bat-symbol and utility belt. Her father Commissioner Gordon's appearance was also altered, with a more slender build and a flat-top hairstyle. Producer Paul Dini said that Batgirl would appear in every episode of the new series because "Kenner wants to do a line of toys, we're taking advantage of the publicity from her being in Batman & Robin, and we just love Batgirl".[1] Melissa Gilbert was replaced by Tara Strong (credited under her maiden name Tara Charendoff) as the voice of Batgirl. While Batgirl did not actually appear in every episode, she did appear more often than Batman's other partners in the series. She also was Batman's main partner in the series rather than Robin, which differs the series from most Batman television series and in the comics (as Robin is usually Batman's main partner). Strong would reprise her role over a decade later in another Batman animated television series, Beware the Batman, and also on the DC Nation short Super Best Friends Forever, Teen Titans Go! and in the animated feature Batman: The Killing Joke, which reunited her with Conroy and Mark Hamill.[3]

Tim Drake was introduced as the new Robin in the episode "Sins of the Father".[2] However, Dini remarked that "the Tim Drake origin in the comics as written now didn't work for us with him having a father and living so close to Wayne Manor. It seemed to work fine in the comics, but we needed our own little family unit of Batman, Robin, Batgirl and occasionally Nightwing – and Alfred of course". For these reasons, the production team came up with their own origin for Tim Drake, though they later realized this new origin was extremely similar to Jason Todd's.[1] Dini and Timm later revealed that the new Robin was always intended to have Jason's origin story and characteristics of both Jason and Tim.[4] Batman made a new suit which is similar to the first one worn by Dick Grayson and identical to Tim Drake's original Robin costume from the comics, but the color scheme was simplified to red, black and yellow, eliminating green entirely.[2] The costume retained the familiar red short-sleeved shirt, as well as the black cape with yellow inner lining. New elements included black sleeves, gloves, trunks and boots with red leggings. The familiar domino mask had also changed, giving the new Robin a more wide-eyed, innocent look. The color scheme would later appear as Tim Drake's Robin costume in the post-Infinite Crisis comics, while the original costume worn by Dick Grayson was seen in the flashback sequence of "Old Wounds" and in Barbara's nightmare sequence of "Over the Edge" where it is seen in the costume display before it gets destroyed by the Gotham Police.

Dick Grayson, having abandoned his Robin persona as a result of a falling out with Batman, adopted the identity of Nightwing. Grayson's build became sleeker, with broader shoulders, showcasing his emergence as a mature hero in his own right. The short spiky hair that Grayson wore as Robin had grown longer, styled to flow down the back of the neck. In his civilian guise, he wore it in a ponytail. As Nightwing, he wore a V-shaped mask and an all-black unitard with light blue hawk emblem that borrowed some elements of the comics version from the 1990s. The costume also featured collapsible wings under the arms that allowed Nightwing to glide for short distances.

The designs of most of the villains from Batman's rogues' gallery were also changed considerably, generally developing darker color schemes. The most controversial of the redesigns was that of the Joker, whose white skin now had a bluish-gray tinge, while the eyes had their scleras removed and were replaced by cavernous black spaces with white pupils. The ruby-red lips were gone, focusing more attention on the teeth, and the green-tinged hair was almost completely black. His flower pin color lighter orange was replaced with lime-green. His primary suit colors were changed from purple and orange (similar to his appearance from the 1989 Batman movie) to purple and green (similar to his appearance from the Golden Age and Silver Age comics).[5] Catwoman also received a major redesign, as she now sports an all-black bodysuit (similar to her appearance from Batman Returns) and her hair is changed from blonde and shoulder-length to short and black. The Penguin's appearance has also changed, now resembling his appearance from the Golden Age and Silver Age comics instead of having the animal-like appearance from Batman Returns. The Riddler's appearance is also redesigned, now sporting a green bodysuit with a question mark in the center and his domino mask and red hair are removed, while his bowler hat is retained. The Scarecrow receives a big change, as he now has long black hair, black hat and dark gray trenchcoat and his face becomes dead-like. Mr. Freeze's appearance also received a drastic change, his suit is now black with metallic blue accents and his goggles have disappeared with his head now attached to a spider-like robot. Poison Ivy's appearance also changed, her skin tone is chalk white and her costume is now black with leaf-green highlights. Bane also gains a major change, his outfit is completely black with silver accents and his mask no longer has red lenses. Killer Croc received a major redesign, his skin is now reptilian green and his pants are now a blue-gray color.[2]

Harley Quinn, Two-Face, Clayface, Alfred Pennyworth, and Harvey Bullock were among the few characters who did not receive any drastic change in appearance or color alterations. Harley Quinn is also the only villain aside from the Joker who appeared in six or more episodes. Ra's al Ghul and his daughter Talia also did not receive any drastic re-designs, although their only appearance during this time was in the episode "The Demon Reborn" from Superman: The Animated Series.

Koko Enterprise Co., LTD., TMS-Kyokuchi Corporation, and Dong Yang Animation Co., LTD contributed some of the animation for this series.

During the series, Bruce Timm and his crew began using TMS-Kyokuchi Corporation as an outsourced pre-production unit as well as an animation unit, and TMS storyboarded and directed episodes themselves.[6]

The Kids' WB censors were much more flexible with episode content than the Fox Kids censors were with Batman: The Animated Series. Producer Bruce Timm recounted that "when we were at Fox, after every single storyboard, we would get five single-spaced pages of notes on things we couldn't do. On the WB, we usually get maybe two paragraphs of stuff we can't do. At Fox, they were really picky, not just about things you couldn't do, but just in terms of content and story. They had a million opinions about what we should be doing. Nobody bothers us like that at the WB".[1]

Rather than the series being canceled, the writers of the series chose to end it and move on to another series in the universe.[7]

EpisodesEdit

CastEdit

ProtagonistsEdit

Actor Role
Kevin Conroy Bruce Wayne / Batman
Mathew Valencia Tim Drake / Robin
Tara Strong Barbara Gordon / Batgirl
Loren Lester Dick Grayson / Nightwing / Robin
Efrem Zimbalist Jr. Alfred Pennyworth
Bob Hastings Commissioner James Gordon
Robert Costanzo Detective Harvey Bullock

Supporting protagonistsEdit

Actor Role
Jeff Bennett Jack Ryder / The Creeper
Liane Schirmer Renee Montoya
Mel Winkler Lucius Fox
Lloyd Bochner Mayor Hamilton Hill
Marilu Henner Veronica Vreeland
Suzanne Stone Joan Leland
Billy Zane Jason Blood / Etrigan the Demon
Nicholle Tom Kara Kent / Supergirl

AntagonistsEdit

Actor Role
Mark Hamill The Joker
Richard Moll Harvey Dent / Two-Face
Arleen Sorkin Dr. Harleen Quinzel / Harley Quinn
Adrienne Barbeau Selina Kyle / Catwoman
Paul Williams Oswald Chesterfield Cobblepot / The Penguin
John Glover Edward Nygma / The Riddler
Michael Ansara Dr. Victor Fries / Mr. Freeze
Jeffrey Combs Dr. Jonathan Crane / The Scarecrow
Diane Pershing Dr. Pamela Isley / Poison Ivy
Brooks Gardner Waylon Jones / Killer Croc
Roddy McDowall Dr. Jervis Tetch / The Mad Hatter
Ron Perlman Matt Hagen / Clayface
George Dzundza Arnold Wesker / The Ventriloquist
Henry Silva Bane

Supporting antagonistsEdit

Actor Role
Peter Breck Farmer Brown
Charity James Roxanne Sutton / Roxy Rocket
Laraine Newman Mary Dahl / Baby Doll
Lori Petty Leslie Willis / Livewire
Mark Rolston Garfield Lynns / Firefly
Stephen Wolfe Smith Klarion the Witch Boy
Sela Ward Page Monroe / Calendar Girl

Home mediaEdit

 
DVD box set of The New Batman Adventures

On December 6, 2005, The New Batman Adventures was released onto DVD by Warner Home Video (via DC Entertainment and Warner Bros. Family Entertainment) under the title of Batman: The Animated Series - Volume Four (from The New Batman Adventures) to coincide with the previous three-volume DVD sets of Batman: The Animated Series.[8] The series was released a second time on November 4, 2008, as part of a DVD release entitled Batman: The Complete Animated Series, which contained the episodes of all four volumes that were released in 2004/2005. The series has also been released for online media distribution services such as iTunes and Google Play specifically as "Season/Volume 4" of the complete animated series when the original two-season animated series was broken out differently into three seasons.[9][10] The series was released on Blu-Ray as part of Batman: The Complete Series in the fall of 2018.[11]

It is subsumed as Season 3 of the original series when it debuted on HBO Max on January 1, 2021.

Feature filmsEdit

  • Batman: Mystery of the Batwoman (2003), a direct-to-video release
  • Batman and Harley Quinn (2017), not a true sequel to The New Batman Adventures, but features the same visual style and features Kevin Conroy and Loren Lester reprising their roles as Batman and Nightwing.

Video gamesEdit

BooksEdit

Capstone publishes children's chapter books containing illustrations with character designs from TNBA.[12]

Awards and nominationsEdit

Year Award Category Nominee(s) Result Ref.
1998 Daytime Emmy Awards Outstanding Special Class Animated Program Jean MacCurdy, Alan Burnett, Paul Dini, Bruce Timm, Hilary Bader, Stan Berkowitz, Rich Fogel, Steve Gerber, Bob Goodman, Hiroyuki Aoyama, Curt Geda, Kenji Hachizaki, Butch Lukic, Toshihiko Masuda, Dan Riba, Andrea Romano and Yûichirô Yano (shared with Superman: The Animated Series) Won
Outstanding Music Direction and Composition Shirley Walker (shared with Superman: The Animated Series) Nominated
Outstanding Sound Editing – Special Class Robert Hargreaves, John Hegedes, George Brooks, Gregory Beaumont, Kelly Ann Foley and Diane Griffen (shared with Superman: The Animated Series) Nominated
Golden Reel Awards Best Sound Editing – Television Animated Series The New Batman Adventures Nominated
Best Sound Editing – Television Animated Specials Robert Hargreaves, Mark Keatts, Gregory Beaumont, George Brooks, John Hegedes and Kelly Ann Foley Won[a]
Young Artist Awards Best Performance in a Voice-Over in a Feature Film or TV – Young Actor Mathew Valencia Nominated
1999 Annie Awards Outstanding Achievement in an Animated Television Program The New Batman Adventures Nominated
Outstanding Individual Achievement for Production Design in an Animated Television Production Glen Murakami (for "Legends of the Dark Knight") Won
Daytime Emmy Awards Outstanding Special Class Animated Program Jean MacCurdy, Alan Burnett, Paul Dini, Glen Murakami, Bruce Timm, Hilary Bader, Stan Berkowitz, Rich Fogel, Bob Goodman, Hiroyuki Aoyama, Curt Geda, Kenji Hachizaki, Butch Lukic, Toshihiko Masuda, Dan Riba, Andrea Romano and Yûichirô Yano (shared with Superman: The Animated Series) Nominated
Outstanding Music Direction and Composition Michael McCuistion (for "Judgment Day") Nominated
Shirley Walker (for "Legends of the Dark Knight") Nominated
Outstanding Sound Mixing – Special Class Tom Maydeck, Robert Hargreaves, Patrick Rodman and John Hegedes (shared with Superman: The Animated Series) Won
2000 Annie Awards Outstanding Individual Achievement for Voice Acting by a Male Performer in an Animated Television Production David Warner Nominated
Daytime Emmy Awards Outstanding Children's Animated Program Jean MacCurdy, Alan Burnett, Paul Dini, Glen Murakami, Bruce Timm, Hilary Bader, Stan Berkowitz, Rich Fogel, Bob Goodman, Curt Geda, Butch Lukic, Dan Riba, Andrea Romano and Shin'ichi Tsuji (shared with Superman: The Animated Series) Nominated
Outstanding Sound Editing – Special Class Robert Hargreaves, George Brooks, Gregory Beaumont, Mark Keatts, John Hegedes, Linda Di Franco, Kelly Ann Foley and Diane Griffen (shared with Superman: The Animated Series) Nominated

See alsoEdit

  • Chase Me, a short silent film released as a bonus feature on the DVD of Batman: Mystery of the Batwoman
  • Gotham Girls, Warner Bros' official series of Flash animations using many of the characters from the television series

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b c d e f Allstetter, Rob (August 1997). "The Dark Knight Returns". Wizard (72). pp. 50–54.
  2. ^ a b c d "5 Best Character Redesigns In New Batman Adventures (And 5 Worst)". CBR. July 11, 2020. Retrieved July 11, 2020.
  3. ^ White, Brett (March 14, 2016). "EXCLUSIVE: Kevin Conroy & Mark Hamill Star In Animated "Batman: The Killing Joke"". Comic Book Resources. Retrieved July 22, 2016.
  4. ^ Batman: The Animated Series – Volume 2, Robin Rising Featurette. Commentary by Paul Dini and Bruce Timm.
  5. ^ "Why The Joker Was Redesigned for Batman: The Animated Series". CBR. February 25, 2018. Retrieved February 25, 2018.
  6. ^ "The New Batman Adventures". The World's Finest. Retrieved April 1, 2019.
  7. ^ Ching, Albert (March 31, 2020). "Batman: The Adventures Continue Offers a Return to the Animated World". DC Comics. Retrieved March 31, 2020.
  8. ^ "Batman: The Animated Series - Volume 4". DVD Talk. Retrieved August 16, 2010.
  9. ^ Batman: The Complete Animated Series, retrieved January 3, 2021
  10. ^ Batman: The Animated Series, Vol. 4, retrieved January 3, 2021
  11. ^ Fallon, Sean (August 28, 2018). "'Batman: The Complete Animated Series' Blu-ray Box Set Upgraded With Digital Copy". ComicBook.com. Retrieved August 28, 2018.
  12. ^ "DC Super Heroes". Capstone Publishing. Retrieved June 16, 2021.
  13. ^ "The New Batman Adventures – Awards". IMDb. Retrieved June 6, 2021.
  14. ^ "The 20th Annual Youth in Film Awards". Young Artist Awards. Archived from the original on November 28, 2016. Retrieved March 24, 2017.
  15. ^ "27th Annual Annie Awards". Annie Awards. Retrieved June 6, 2021.
  16. ^ "The New Batman Adventures – Awards". IMDb. Retrieved June 6, 2021.
  17. ^ "28th Annual Annie Awards". Annie Awards. Retrieved June 6, 2021.
  18. ^ "The New Batman Adventures – Awards". IMDb. Retrieved June 6, 2021.

External linksEdit