The Adventures of Batman
The Complete Collection Blu-ray
In celebration of Warner Brothers' 100th anniversary, Warner Home Entertainment has done a high definition remaster of the late 1960s Filmation animated series "The Adventures of Batman" in a Blu-Ray 2 disc set. All 34 episodes are included and the Blu-ray releases on February 28, 2023 with a $29.99 MSRP. Starring Olan Soule as Batman, Casey Kasem as Robin and Ted Knight as the Narrator and Commissioner Gordon, Larry Storch as Joker, and Jane Webb as Barbara Gordon/Batgirl, "The Adventures of Batman" is revered by DC fans of many generations and oft cited as the reason many fell in love with DC Comics in the first place. Soule and Kasem would reign as the go-to voices of the Dynamic Duo for several years after. And while they faced Batman's classic rogues gallery, "The Adventures of Batman" was also the beginnings of a new villain created for the show like Simon the Pieman: essentially Filmation's answer to Batman 66's King Tut. Not to mention John Garth's super kinetic 60s intro. "The Adventures of Batman" carried the baton after Batman '66 came to an end and kept Batmania going for little while more until the 70s and lighting a fire in new fans alike with its embrace of camp sensibility, charm, and pursuit of light-hearted fun fun.
While "The Adventures of Batman" released on DVD back in 2014, the Blu-ray remaster differs in leaps and bounds in terms of quality and is well worth it to a long time fan or collector to make the upgrade. And yes, from the lens of an adult, the show is clearly written down to kids but some unintentional leaps in logic in the writing are worth a couple chuckles. Or "Hizzoner the Joker," clearly has some subversive political commentary that adults will pick up on but will fly over the heads of children. Even "How Many Herring in a Wheelbarrow?" feels different upon rewatch with the sequence of Batman and Robin falling prey to Joker's trap and sliding to their doom towards a Satanic furnace all with Garth's score heightening the sequence. "The Adventures of Batman" also had the honor of debuting the classic rogue Scarecrow, a feat that was denied to Batman '66. However, Scarecrow's fear M.O. is replaced with an obsession with... farming and using to attack Gotham's produce market. Yeah. Then there was "Beware of Living Dolls" and you have to wonder what was Bob Haney thinking? Dollman never really stood a chance of topping the other original creation of the series Simon the Pieman who transformed Gotham City's water supply into chocolate syrup. However, the less said about Bat-Mite the better. And sure production quality overall may not be up to par with modern animation but it's balanced out with the voice acting, sound effects, music, and camp. Unfortunately this is a bare bones release with no special features but having the whole series remastered in high-definition is too good to pass up on.
The Adventures of Batman: The Complete Collection is a recommend purchase.