"The New Adventures of Batman" Two-Disc DVD Review
June 26, 2007 by James Harvey
Warner Home Video is digging through their vaults, hoping to make animation fans very happy this year. And with the release of The New Adventures of Batman, itís quite possible Warner Home Video will succeed. Harking from the 1970ís, The New Adventures of Batman shows us a lighter side of the Dark Knight and the Boy Wonder. A side thatís somewhat reminiscent of the classic 1960ís television series. Add in the usual Filmation animation and the annoying-as-hell Bat-mite, and you have yourselves a pretty hardcore nostalgia trip. Below is the synopsis.
Warner Home Video is bringing you The New Adventures of Batman, the CBS animated series produced by Filmation. The show featured the voices of Adam West and Burt Ward, who starred in the live-action show Batman. Voicing the animated versions of Batman and Robin was the first time the two had reprised their famous roles since the live-action show was canceled in 1968. In The New Adventures of Batman, Batman, Robin and Batgirl battle various villains in Gotham City and gain fandom for their heroic actions. One fan of the Dynamic Duo is Bat-mite, a dimensional imp who insists on helping Batman & Robin, regardless of their wishes. The 2-Disc Collector set features 16 action-packed episodes with the dynamic-duo and great bonus features.
I remember watching these cartoons as a kid and having an absolute blast watching them. They were quick, sometimes funny, and had plenty of action. However, as I grew up, I lost my taste for them. Now that Iím revisiting them, they donít retain any of that ďnostalgiaĒ factor that allows some of the worst cartoons to seem good in the eyes of oneís childhood memories.
Does that mean the show is bad? Heavenís no! In its own way, itís a purely fun and entertaining piece of fluff. However, after watching episode after episode in repeated fashion, it does wear on you. While the biggest fan may have no problem sitting through the entire two-disc set in one sitting, which is possible given the six hour running time, the formula of the show does wear thing after a couple of hours. There is a charm to it, though, that I will admit. However, I grew up in a different generation, and this doesnít speak to me. For fans that grew up in this era, this purchase is a no-brainer. However, fans of the recent DC cartoons and comics may want to express some caution before plunking down the money.
The DVD itself comes in a nice package. It comes in a slimcase similar to the recent Batman Beyond DVD releases. The artwork is colorful, both inside and outside. The only extra feature, outside of the standard trailers, is on Side B of Disc Two. Oddly enough, thatís the only thing on that side of the disc. For the life of me, I have no idea why they couldnít fit both a twenty minute (roughly) featurette and a selection of trailers on the second disc with the rest of the episodes. The featurette, by the way, is a fun look back at the comics and cartoons of a different generation and is worth checking out. I can only assume the wealth of episodes and data just filled those discs to the brim.
Both the video and audio look great for this type of release. No interlacing, ghosting or aliasing is present on the video transfer, something that I am just blown away by. The Dolby Mono track is clear throughout, naturally.
This set, despite being packed with episodes, isnít quite a home run for me. I appreciate and applaud Warner Home Video for presenting this set for a new generation of fans, but itís hard to say if this set will appeal to anyone outside those who grew up on it. Iím not sure if even hardcore Batman fans would pick this up. However, for fans of this cartoon series, I definitely Recommend this set. For those who have never seen The New Batman Adventures, Iíd recommend a Rental before deciding whether or not to purchase.
The New Adventures of Batman is now available on DVD.