BATMAN - THE ANIMATED SERIES - TALES OF THE DARK
Batman - The Animated Series - Tales of the Dark Knight
Director: Eric Radomski, Kent Butterworth
Edition Details: Region 2 encoding (Europe, Middle East & Japan
PAL, Animated, Colour,
in spirit to the original comics than
either the big screen live-action
Batman Forever and the dreadful
Batman & Robin, this 1992 (has it already
been more than 10 years?) TV series proved to be unexpectedly good and
led the way to some other similar spin-offs such as the 2001
Justice League TV series for instance.
With a simplistic yet hyper-stylized animation style reminiscent of a
darker version of Fritz Lang's Metropolis
mixed with the original 1940s comics and Frank Miller's definitive Dark
Knight Returns, this animated series went some way towards dispelling
memories of the campy 1960s Batman TV series. Add some great voice talent
(Mark Hammill - Luke Skywalker!
- as an excellent Joker) and a symphonic score that borrowed heavily from
Danny Elfman's dark music for the two Tim Burton Batman movies ? and
voila! You have one of the best animated TV shows in quite a while.
Unfortunately you wouldn't think it from the four episodes packaged here.
I'm sure there are better episodes than these
to lavish DVD attention onto,
but instead we get:
A villain called the sewer king is "raising" kids . . .
where else? . . . in
the sewer. and forcing them to commit crimes for him. Too many kids in
this episode to make it work.
Three gangsters escapes with cash after an overweight cop bungles a raid
at an old warehouse - afterwards the three cops involved are questioned on
what had happened. Probably the best episode in the bunch, which
unfortunately isn't saying much . . .
A disguised Bruce Wayne goes undercover, is mugged and hit on the head,
and wakes up in a desert with amnesia, and is forced to work in a mine.
BE A CLOWN
The boy of Gotham city's mayor's runs away, and accidentally ends up being
kidnapped by the Joker. Another episode with a kid that just doesn't work.
DISC: Luckily they have stopped distributed Warner Bros. DVDs in those
dumb carton snapper boxes locally (in
South Africa) ?
as far as I can make
out however they are still being
way in the States. These boxes wear and tear easily and just aren't as
resilient as plain old-fashioned plastic jewel cases.
There are preciously few extras on this Region 2 disc ?
a situation pretty
much repeated on the Region 1 discs. Also, while the sound is decent, but
the image colours look washed out and dull.
WORTH IT? Aimed at the kiddie market (why? adults dig this stuff
too . . .), ironically this disc might not be suited for very young
This was a dark series, and despite the onscreen
presence of kids,
you might end up
having to explain concepts such as street children, child abuse and
not to mention homelessness and poverty to inquisitive younger
viewers . . .
RECOMMENDATION: Mediocre episodes, mediocre disc. Pick another disc
in the series instead . . .