Blu-ray and DVD Reviews

Batman - The Animated Series - Volume Three

Reviewed by: Scott Chitwood
Movie Rating:
10 out of 10
Extras Rating:
7 out of 10
Movie Details:
View here

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Rating: Not Rated

Starring:
Kevin Conroy as Bruce Wayne/Batman (voice)
Loren Lester as Richard 'Dick' Grayson/Robin (voice)
Efrem Zimbalist Jr. as Alfred Pennyworth (voice)
Bob Hastings as Commissioner James 'Jim' Gordon (voice)
Robert Costanzo as Detective Harvey Bullock (voice)
Michael Ansara as Dr. Victor Fries/Mr. Freeze (voice)
Adrienne Barbeau as Selina Kyle/Catwoman (voice)
Lloyd Bochner as Mayor Hamilton Hill (voice)
John Glover as Edward Nygma/The Riddler (voice)
Mark Hamill as Jack Napier/The Joker (voice)
Aron Kincaid as Waylon Jones/Killer Croc (voice)
Roddy McDowall as Dr. Jervis Tetch/The Mad Hatter (voice)
Richard Moll as District Attorney Harvey Dent/Two-Face, Batcave Computer, Additional Voices (voice)
Ron Perlman as Matthew Hagen/Clayface (voice)
Diane Pershing as Dr. Pamela Lillian Isley/Poison Ivy (voice)
Brock Peters as Wayne Enterprises CFO Lucius Fox (voice)
Henry Polic II as Professor Jonathan Crane/The Scarecrow (voice)
Arleen Sorkin as Dr. Harleen Quinzel/Harley Quinn (voice)
Paul Williams as Oswald Chesterfield Cobblepot/The Penguin (voice)

Special Features:
28 episodes

Commentary on "Read my Lips" by Producer, Bruce Timm; Writer, Paul Dini; Director, Boyd Kirkland; Writer, Michael Reaves; and Composer, Shirley Walker

Video Commentary on "House and Garden" by Producer, Bruce Timm; Writer, Paul Dini; Director, Boyd Kirkland; and Moderator, Jason Hillhouse

"Commentary on Harlequinade" by Producer Bruce Timm; Writer, Paul Dini; and Composer, Shirley Walker

Featurette: "Gotham's New Knight"- Featurette on Batgirl as Batman's Newest Ally

Other Info:
Fullscreen
Dolby Digital Surround Sound
English, French, and Spanish Languages

Synopsis:
The following is from the DVD cover:

"Gotham City crime czars Scarface and Rupert Thorne battle evil masterminds like the Joker and the Penguin for money, power and respect. Kidnappings rise as foe-versus-foe attacks become more vindictive. And just when you thought you knew the good guys from the bad, the craziest villains try to go straight, triggering one dangerous blowout after another. Amidst all the terror one man walks the fine line between vengeance and justice as often as he balances his crimefighting persona and his billionaire playboy public life. This is the Batman series that introduced a new kind of super hero cool, composed, uncompromising. Your Batman collection won't be complete without this compilation!"

The following episodes are on this set:

- Shadow of the Bat Pt1
- Shadow of the Bat Pt2
- Blind as a Bat
- The Demon's Quest Pt1
- The Demon's Quest Pt 2
- His Silicon Soul
- Fire From Olympus
- Read My Lips
- The Worry Men
- Sideshow
- A Bullet for Bullock
- The Trial
- Avatar
- House & Garden
- The Terrible Trio
- Harlequinade
- Time out of Joint
- Catwalk
- Bane
- Baby-Doll
- The Lion and The Unicorn
- Showdown
- Riddlers Reform
- Second Chance
- Harleys's Holiday
- Lock-up
- Make'em Laugh
- Deep Freeze
- Batgirl Returns

Batman - The Animated Series - Volume 3 is not rated.

The Series:
A lot of what I said in my review of Volume One of this DVD series applies again on Volume 3. (You can read that review here.)

There are several notable things about this third season, though. First of all, it switched over to "The Adventures of Batman & Robin" this time around. The other characters got a lot more screentime and the cast was expanded. This season was also the last incarnation of the initial Batman: The Animated Series design. The show got a major revamp and character design change after this season. (For example, Batman lost the yellow logo, Catwoman looked different, Robin was younger, etc.)

The other notable thing about this particular season is that it features the debut of Batgirl. She could have easily been the cheesiest of the additions to the series, but they not only made her entrance into the show believable, they made her character likable. She ends up being a great addition to the cast as she kicks butt and adds a lighthearted spirit to the series.

Listen for some great guest appearance voices in these episodes. You'll hear William Katt as Zowie, Robert Pastorelli as Manny, Marilu Henner as Veronica Vreeland, Hector Elizondo as Sheldon Fallbrook, Bill Mumy as Warren Lawford/The Fox, Peter Scolari as Gunther Hardwicke/The Shark, Malcolm McDowell as Arkady Duvall, Jeffery Jones as Nivens, Adam Ant as Bert, and Kate Mulgrew as Red Claw.

The Batman Animated Series continues to be a fantastic show and one well worth adding to your DVD collection. It will please action fans, children, animation fans, and of course Batman fans.

The Extras:
There are a few bonus features included in this 4 disc set:

Commentary There are several commentaries on this DVD. You'll find audio ones on the episodes "Read my Lips" and "Harlequinade". Providing their voices are Producer, Bruce Timm; Writer, Paul Dini; Director, Boyd Kirkland; Writer, Michael Reaves; and Composer, Shirley Walker. These audio commentaries are interesting for getting new insight on the particular episodes as well as the series as a whole. There is also a Video Commentary on "House and Garden" by Producer, Bruce Timm; Writer, Paul Dini; Director, Boyd Kirkland; and Moderator, Jason Hillhouse. Hillhouse is apparently just a big Batman fan who does his best to guide the commentary on the episode. You can see video of the commentators sitting at a desk wearing headphones talking about the show. I can't say the video commentary does anything special, but it helps put a face along with the creators' names.

Featurette: "Gotham's New Knight"- Featurette on Batgirl as Batman's Newest Ally This is the only real video feature on the DVD extras. It's an interesting look at Batgirl, her character design, her introduction into the show, etc. This video helps you to understand the ideas behind the decisions they made with the character. It also helps you appreciate the effort they put into trying to make her a legitimate addition to the show.

The Bottom Line:
Batman - The Animated Series - Volume Three, like its predecessors, is a required addition to the DVD collections of comic fans, animation fans, and action/adventure fans.

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