Did you know, the first Batman cartoon aired in 1968? You didn’t?
Yep, while the Caped Crusader had been appearing in comics since 1939, it took almost 30 years to transfer Batman to animation.
His first run of animated tales were in The Adventures of Batman (part of The Batman/Superman Hour), with later ‘toons including The New Adventures of Batman (1977), Super Friends (1973), the incredibly popular Batman: The Animated Series (1992) and the short-lived Beware the Batman (2013).
But what are all of the Batman cartoons? Well, if this is a hot topic for you then fear not, you have come to the right place!
In this post, I am taking a look at all the Batman cartoons, starting with The Adventures of Batman and running through to the most recent ‘toon to feature the Dark Knight. This post will highlight all of the animated shows, which have featured Batman as a lead character.
As noted above, the first Batman cartoon series was The Adventures of Batman, which starred Olan Soule as Batman, and Casey Kasem as Robin. The show included 34 stories and featured foes such as the Riddler, the Joker, and the villainous pastry chef known as Simon the Pieman.
Five years later, in 1973, Batman starred in the first season of Super Friends. The show – an animated take on the Justice League – saw the Dark Knight team-up with the likes of Superman and Wonder Woman.
While the Caped Crusader was busy with his Super Friends, the next Batman animated show was The New Adventures of Batman, which saw the Dynamic Duo joined by Batgirl and Bat-Mite. Adam West and Burt Ward reprised the roles of Batman and Robin from the live-action ’60s show and the series ran for 16 episodes.
Back to Super Friends now, and due to the popularity of the first season Batman appeared in a succession of Super Friends follow-ups including: Super Friends/Challenge of the Super Friends (1978), The World’s Greatest Super Friends (1979), Super Friends (1980), Super Friends: The Legendary Super Powers Show (1984) and The Super Powers Team: Galactic Guardians (1985). These cartoons kept Batman in animation from the early ’70s through to the mid ’80s.
Moving into the 1990s and following the huge success of the live-action Batman movies starring Michael Keaton, Batman returned to TV screens in the ground-breaking show, Batman: The Animated Series. The first season aired between 1992 and 1993 and lasted 65 episodes, while the second season – re-titled The Adventures of Batman and Robin – lasted 20 episodes and aired between 1994 and 1995.
Kevin Conroy took on the role of Batman for Batman: The Animated Series, and became an instant hit with fans. How much of a hit? Well, he has continued to voice the character on and off for computer games and animated movies ever since. He also reprised the role of Bruce Wayne/Batman for The New Batman Adventures (1997), Batman Beyond (1999), Justice League (2001) and Justice League Unlimited (2004).
After two very successful eras of Batman stories – The Super Friends era and the Batman: The Animated Series era – the Caped Crusader was given a makeover with a new show called The Batman. The series featured Rino Romano as Bruce Wayne/Batman, and ran for 65 episodes.
If you have never watched The Batman, give it a go. While not as good as Batman: The Animated Series, it is a highly underrated show and certainly worth your time.
In 2008, Batman returned to cartoons with the Silver Age-inspired show, Batman: The Brave and the Bold. Diedrich Bader played Batman across the course of three seasons (totalling 65 episodes), for what was another excellent series!
Another Batman cartoon hit TV screens in 2013, this time via a computer generated series called Beware the Batman. And in 2016, team-up show Justice League Action saw Batman reunite with the League for some more animated action.
If you wish to watch all of the Batman cartoons, and as you can see, there is quite a lot, then work your way through the following list:
- The Adventures of Batman (1968)
- Super Friends (1973)
- The All-New Super Friends Hour (1977)
- The New Adventures of Batman (1977)
- Super Friends/Challenge of the Super Friends (1978)
- The World’s Greatest Super Friends (1979)
- Super Friends (1980)
- Super Friends: The Legendary Super Powers Show (1984)
- The Super Powers Team: Galactic Guardians (1985)
- Batman: The Animated Series (1992)
- The Adventures of Batman and Robin (1997)
- The New Batman Adventures (1997)
- Batman Beyond (1999)
- Justice League (2001)
- Justice League Unlimited (2004)
- The Batman (2004)
- Batman: The Brave and the Bold (2008)
- Beware the Batman (2013)
- Justice League Action (2016)
In addition to the shows listed above, Batman has also guest-starred in episodes of The New Scooby-Doo Movies (1972), Superman: The Animated Series (1996), and Static Shock (2000). The character also fronted the Batman: Black and White (2008) and Batman: Mad Love (2008) motion comics… which are sort of (but not quite) comics-cum-cartoons.
With all of these, plus the various animated Batman movies, you will have plenty of cartoon capers to keep you occupied.
Thank you for taking the time to read this post on Ill Get Drive-Thru. For more Batman cartoon content, be sure to check out the recommended reads below.