If you have recently started watching Batman: The Animated Series, or you have dipped in and out of the show over the years, you might have noticed something significant – during the course of the show, the animation style changes. The series begins with one particular style, but before the end of its run, it switches to a different style entirely.
So, what gives, why does the animation in Batman: The Animated Series change?
In this post, I provide the answer.
The change in animation styles in Batman: The Animated Series
To understand the reason behind the change in animation style, it is best to understand the different series that form Batman: The Animated Series. Whilst the show is available to purchase as one complete boxset on Blu-ray and DVD, with all 109 episodes collected together, in essence Batman: The Animated Series is effectively three separate shows:
- Batman: The Animated Series (1992 – 1993)
- The Adventures of Batman & Robin (1994 – 1995)
- The New Batman Adventures (1997 – 1999)
Batman: The Animated Series hit television screens in September 1992. The show ran for 65 episodes, ending in September 1993, with most stories focusing largely on Batman and his assorted villains.
The show was continued in May 1994, with a further 20 episodes. This collection of episodes ran under the title of The Adventures of Batman & Robin, put a focus on the Dynamic Duo, and concluded in September 1995.
After 85 episodes, Batman: The Animated Series/The Adventures of Batman & Robin was effectively done and dusted as a series. Warner Bros. Animation was keen to focus on another hero, and from September 1996 sister show, Superman: The Animated Series hit television screens.
Superman: The Animated Series proved popular with audiences, and was aired alongside re-runs of Batman: The Animated Series. And while this pairing was a hit with audiences, Warner Bros. wanted to increase ratings.
So, after a two-year hiatus, Batman: The Animated Series was revived. The show was given a 24-episode order, with the aim of airing new episodes alongside new episodes of Superman.
But rather than just continue Batman: The Animated Series from where the show left off, the production team opted to update the series. The character designs were streamlined, to help keep the animation consistent when being animated overseas, and the new episodes were given the title, The New Batman Adventures.
This new look not only added a certain freshness to the episodes, it also helped to ‘age up’ the characters. While the show had been off the air, the Bat-family had continued to fight the good fight, and this was now reflected on screen.
Watching the show through on DVD, Blu-ray, or via streaming, it can be a little jarring when the episodes change animation styles, but this is merely seen as a time jump within the show. The time jump enriches the world these characters inhabit, and demonstrates that both the heroes and villains age as the series progresses.
Thanks for stopping by I’ll Get Drive-Thru to read this post about Batman: The Animated Series. I hope this explanation provides you with the information you seek.
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