The New Adventures of Batman

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Rating: Unrated

Starring:
Adam West as Batman (Bruce Wayne) (voice)
Burt Ward as Robin (Dick Grayson) (voice)
Lou Scheimer as Bat-Mite/Bat-Computer/Clayface (voice)
Melendy Britt as Batgirl (Barbara Gordon)/Catwoman (voice)
Lennie Weinrib as Commissioner Gordon/The Joker/The Penguin/Mr. Freeze/Miscellaneous Voices (voice)

Special Features:
Retrospective Featurette: The Dark Knight Revisited

Other Info:
Fullscreen (1.33:1)
Dolby Digital Mono Sound
Running Time: 363 Minutes

Synopsis:
The following is from the DVD cover:

“Holy Flashbacks!

Featuring the voices of Adam West as Batman and Burt Ward as Robin (reprising their roles from the hit live-action TV series), this animated version of the Caped Crusader and Boy Wonder originally produced by Filmation Associates is revered by generations of cartoon fans! With heroine Batgirl and zany sidekick Bat-Mite, these brave heroes match wits with clever criminals like Joker, Penguin, Catwoman, Mr. Freeze and the cosmic villain Zarbor. Using high-tech gadgets plus well-honed detective skills, the two teach their foes the same valuable lesson in every action-packed episode: crime doesn’t pay in Gotham City! Swoop down upon this blast from the past!”

“The New Adventures of Batman” is not rated.

Mini-Review:
I actually used to watch these Batman cartoons on TV when I was a kid. Oddly enough, I was about 5 or 6 years old when they originally aired on Saturday mornings. That’s the same age as my son now. He actually found the DVD before I did and popped it in the player and watched it well before I reviewed it. I asked him if it was any good and he enthusiastically said it was. I asked him what he liked about it and his answer was Bat-Mite. “Bat-Mite? Bat-Mite’s in it?” I had completely forgotten that. In fact, I had forgotten a lot of things about the cartoon like the fact that it was voiced by Adam West and Burt Ward.

Going back and watching it now is a bit tough. The stories were campy, the animation was done on the cheap, and it almost constantly bordered on the absurd (see Bat-Mite for a perfect example). I could barely stand to get through an episode. But somehow it managed to entertain kids in the ’70s as well as today, and that’s probably the real value of this DVD set. It’s something for Batman fans to re-experience and something for new fans to re-discover.

There is only one bonus feature on this DVD. It’s “The Dark Knight Revisited”. Adam West and Burt Ward are glaringly absent from the interviews, but the featurette makes up for it with information and analysis from other fronts. They discuss bringing West and Ward on board, the re-use of animation, the creation of Bat-Mite, and more. They also discuss the interesting character rights issues involving the Joker and Riddler with Hanna-Barbera and the Superfriends TV series. This is definitely required viewing for Bat-Fans.

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