ADVENTURES OF BATMAN (1977)
The New Adventures of Batman (1977)
Actors: Lou Scheimer, Melendy Britt, Burt Ward, Lennie Weinrib, Adam
Format: Animated, Closed-captioned, Color, DVD-Video, NTSC
Number of discs: 2
Studio: Warner Home Video
DVD Release Date: June 26, 2007
Run Time: 363 minutes
1977 Batman kiddies cartoon series boasts the voice talents of Adam
West and Burt Ward who of course played Batman and Robin in the popular camp
1960s Batman series.
Modern audiences are
however probably more likely to recognize Adam West’s voice as being the
same as the mayor’s in the Family Guy TV show, which gives watching
this cartoon series a rather serious disconnect.
The animation and story-telling in New Adventures of Batman is pretty
much on a par with any late-1970s Saturday morning television cartoon show
aimed at children of the era, in other words, it’s pretty lousy. Plots are
hackneyed and simplistic and the situations are aimed squarely at small boys. This is a show that adults watch with their progeny at their own risk.
Let’s face up to it: if you’re buying New Adventures of Batman out of
nostalgia because you watched it in your childhood years when it was
originally broadcast, then you’ve been pretty much short-changed as a kid
when it comes to the whole entertainment stakes thing. Later generations had
it better: the dark moody 1990s Batman
animated cartoon show inspired by the Tim Burton movies are much much
better. So is that whole Batman of the future thing (Batman
Beyond). But, hey, at least you got to see
Star Wars when it originally came out in the cinemas, right?
What is particularly bad in this series is a character called Batmite. Yup,
you read that right. According to the official notes Batmite is an
“other-dimensional imp who considers himself the biggest fan of Batman and
insists on helping him, regardless of whether Batman wants it or not.” If
you think Robin is an annoying sidekick, wait till you meet Batmite, no
doubt thrown into the series to appeal to very small children. Batmite is a
floating fluff ball of a character that seems to have been designed as an
afterthought by a different set of animators. He literally magically
teleports into the series, appearing in a puff of smoke, as if sent there by
the God of Lousy TV Kids Shows himself . . . (Luckily, as far as I know, Batmite has never made an appearance anywhere else in the so-called DC
universe other than this cartoon show. * See note below.)
THE DISCS: Sound and image quality is quite good, especially for a
thirty-year-old cartoon show. The DVD is of the outstanding quality one
would expect of a DVD released by a major outfit such as Warners.
RECOMMENDATION: Very small boys might like this
adults hard-up for a nostalgia trip would be interested. However, they might
find that this TV series is a bit like Disneyland rides: they're a lot more
impressive when you’re six years old!
* NOTE: No-one
wants to be wrong, but in this case, I really didn't want to be wrong. A
site visitor sent me the following e-mail: "Would that it were, my friend.
Oh, would that it were . . . See:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bat-Mite At least you can console yourself
with the knowledge that this has its true origins in the same
what-were-they-taking-and-where-can-I-get-some era that produced such
sterling concepts as Streaky the Supercat."