Batman: The Animated Series

Small Screen Specials, Series and Direct-To-Video
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New version of Batman: Mask of the Phantasm in October?

Post by GeorgeC » August 15th, 2005, 12:23 am

Found a double listing for the movie.

Here's an interesting listing of a supposedly new printing http://www.digitaleyes.net/Details.cfm?info=WBD071727


Makes me wonder if the re-release IS indeed an anamorphic transfer.

Mystery of the Batwoman also gets a new release the same day but I'm guessing it's just a new print run of the same disc left in remainder already.

Mask of the Phantasm and Sub-Zero were the only two animated Batman films produced in widescreen format. The others were fullscreen INCLUDING Return of the Joker which was cropped to widescreen for the unedited release. If you compare both versions of Return of the Joker, clearly the film was produced for fullscreen same as Season 1 of Justice League.

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Found a "lost" Batman episode at Wikipedia...

Post by GeorgeC » October 7th, 2005, 12:27 am

I was just looking at Wikipedia's entry on Batman: The Animated Series today and found an interesting like to http://www.toonamiarsenal.com/features/lostbatman/

This site has the cut-scene animation created for the Sega CD Batman animated game in the early 1990s. This hand-drawn animation was written by and planned by the staff responsible for the actual TV series! Most people never owned this CD or have seen this animation, but somebody who owns the CD digitized the cut-scenes and compressed them into DivX format.

Anybody can download the 7 cut-scenes from this site. Be aware that the download IS over 50 MB(!). That said, only download if you have a fast connection (broadband DSL or cable; University computer T1 is even better) and have a big enough disc to copy the video files to.

The files have abrupt gaps where the players would drive the Batmobile. (The CD game was a driving game, not a sidescroller like the animated Batman games released on cartridge for the SNES and Sega Genesis.)

Otherwise, it's another 16-20 minute Batman: TAS episode!

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Post by Ben » October 7th, 2005, 6:41 am

Not so big - I downloaded all the clips in around three-five minutes.

Saved 'em for later, when I can sit and watch. Quite excited, as I've heard about this game, but never saw it.

Thanks George!

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Post by GeorgeC » October 7th, 2005, 4:55 pm

I sat down and watched these clips late last night, Ben.

It does run about 16-20 minutes and at the end of it, I felt kind of "meh." I'm still keeping my downloaded videofiles because A) there's almost next-no-chance this will EVER be released as an extra on a future WB DVD and B) this is my favorite animated version of Batman. Heck, it's my favorite version of Batman, PERIOD.

The animation quality is slightly better than average for Batman: TAS BUT I miss having a plot that synches together better than this one did AND I miss the orchestral music used in the TV show. I don't like the synth/videogame music used for the game. The voice-acting and animation are both silky smooth and fluid. Everybody did a great acting job for the game!

As for the video quality --
Everybody has to remember this episode was created for a Sega CD game. Sega CD was an early generation CD-ROM add-on for the Sega Genesis (aka Sega Megadrive in Europe and Asia) and the limitations of that format were 15 frames-per-second, 256 colors MAX. Still, it's a better-than-average conversion for that format. Most Sega CD full-motion videogames look far worse than this one does.

I almost hope that this animation could be released as an extra on a future WB DCU animation DVD from the original 16mm stock it was shot-on. It would be better yet, if linking scenes could be created for the footage that exists so that it would feel more like a FULL episode instead of slightly plotless cut-scenes from a videogame. Still, having the footage digitized from the Sega CD was better than nothing.

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Post by Ben » October 7th, 2005, 8:44 pm

I thought the quality, for how and what it was, is pretty good.

Certainly more than just watchable. Great stuff, and I'll likely keep it around for the same reasons, George.

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Post by ShyViolet » October 19th, 2005, 6:49 pm

You can now get a free episode of The Batman if you buy the
Batman Begins double-pack at Wal-Mart. :roll: :roll: :roll:
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Post by Meg » October 19th, 2005, 8:05 pm

ShyViolet wrote:You can now get a free episode of The Batman if you buy the
Batman Begins double-pack at Wal-Mart. :roll: :roll: :roll:
Obviously, you've recently been in Wal-Mart. :P

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Post by ShyViolet » October 19th, 2005, 9:42 pm

Yup. 8)
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Post by ShyViolet » November 7th, 2005, 9:09 pm

Yeah with ROTJ, it sure didn't LOOK like they intended it to be widescreen. :roll:
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Post by GeorgeC » November 8th, 2005, 10:27 am

I've finally seen reprints of "Batwoman" and "Return of the Joker."

They're the EXACT SAME DISCS released several years ago BUT in keepcases as opposed to those awful snap-cases that only Warner Bros. seemed to like for their DVDs.

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory was also among several Warners titles re-released in keepcase that's IDENTICAL to the earlier snappy case releases, too.

Unfortunately, the only version of "Joker" I've seen in keepcase has been the edited, G-rated version.

I'm just going to scan in the old keepcase covers some day, reprint in hi-res on glossy paper, and repack the DVDs in keepcases.

Not worth it buying the same thing again for keepcases!


The only ways to be sure widescreen-formatted films are anamorphic are if the DVD packaging says A) widescreen format enhanced for playback on widescreen TVs OR B) enhanced for 16:9 TV playback or words to that effect.

A lot of pre-1999 DVD releases are widescreen but NOT anamorphic...

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Post by Ben » November 8th, 2005, 12:36 pm

GeorgeC wrote:Charlie and the Chocolate Factory was also among several Warners titles re-released in keepcase that's IDENTICAL to the earlier snappy case releases, too.

A lot of pre-1999 DVD releases are widescreen but NOT anamorphic...
You mean "Willy Wonka and...", right? Don't get me confused George!!

The pre-99 discs often used composite LD transfers as opposed to anamorphic component or digital copies. That's why we're seeing so many re-issues now, and why I am up for most of them.

WB is going through its catalog, basically authroing new versions of their initial title offerings, but the worst is Universal who seem to simply be re-packaging their anamorphic discs with little or no/pointless content.

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Batman: The Animated Series

Post by ShyViolet » November 17th, 2005, 4:27 pm

I never watched the New Adventures. I heard they're even darker and more gritty, and the characters all have a different look. It's coming out in early December!

:) :)
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Post by Randall » November 17th, 2005, 8:40 pm

Some consider this an inferior part of the Timm run, because they do not care for the re-designs, or maybe because they remember "Critters" (awful episode). However, there are a few great ones here ("Over the Edge" especially), and quite a few good ones.

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Post by GeorgeC » November 18th, 2005, 1:57 am

There are good episodes to be sure... (My favorite is "Old Wounds.")

BUT, why did Timm let Shane Glines and Glenn Murakami do a bunch of the designs? If anything, their stuff is (pardon the phrase) a bit generic looking and not as good as the style Timm uses in comics and the previous Batman series.

Timm's stuff generally comes off much better than his understudies!

My other major complaints about the designs were the total lack of color -- everything's shades of grey and black -- and the redesigns of The Joker and Mr. Freeze were particularly awful. The only thing less colorful I've seen recently is "The Corpse Bride."

Depending on my mood, I'll like the classic Golden Age or "Modern Detective" ("yellow oval") Batman costume better one day or the other, but frankly Batman's design really didn't need to be tinkered with. Poor Dick Grayson/Nightwing fared worse.

My nitpicks about the stories themselves were that they were a bit too much of the "freak of the week" variety (way too much Joker and Harley honestly) and not enough of the film noir/underworld variety that made the previous Batman series stand out.

So yeah, I officially DIDN'T like Gotham Knights/The New Batman Adventures/whatever-you-want-to-call-it as much as the '92-'95 Batman series. To be sure, it wasn't as bad as Batman Beyond and certainly The Batman animated series (the current in-production Batman series) is 100 times worse than the average episode of even Batman Beyond.

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Post by ShyViolet » November 20th, 2005, 8:28 pm

(My favorite is "Old Wounds.")
Oh right that's the one where you supposadly find out why Robin I left and become NightWing instead. :P
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