Parents' Guide to

Batman: The Animated Series

By Deirdre Sheppard, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 8+

A dark, violent comic book comes to life.

Batman: The Animated Series Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.

Community Reviews

age 10+

Based on 16 parent reviews

age 11+

Mature subject matter handled with sensitivity

I grew up on this show, and still enjoy it as an adult. I feel like common sense got some things wrong in their own review. Firstly, there is kissing in this show and some slight innuendo. I say slight because I don’t think that kids under the age of 16 will be able to get it but it is there. But more importantly, they claim that this show has no positive messages and I highly disagree. It is true that this show and Batman in general deals with some mature subject matter. However, I think that the way it handles these topics is very well done and is usually used to teach a positive message. One episode in particular involves a drug kingpin who turns over a new leaf after realizing the harm he does to his community. The show doesn’t glorify violence and crime and I would argue that it tackles it a lot better than some “mature” adult movies out there. You could say that kids should not be exposed to mature subject matter like this, but the reality is that some kids are. If you were an inner-city kid, you got the whole speech about not talking to strangers and avoiding certain areas. I grew up with crime in my neighborhood and Batman was a great role model for me. The bad guys in this show aren’t these larger than life villains, they are real people with real problems and those problems are handled with a great amount of sensitivity. Not every parent has the opportunity to shelter their kid from bad things in the world, and some kids are going to have to grow up a lot quicker. While I don’t think that exposing your kids to violence is necessarily a good idea, I think that watching this show with your kid and being involved as a parent can lead to some good conversations and can be an opportunity to teach things as a parent, instead of learning without any parental guidance. Obviously what you want to expose your kid to is up to your discretion, but I’d certainly rather have my kid learn this stuff from me as opposed to someone else.
age 13+

Not for little ones.

When I was about sixteen, I watched episodes of this with my six year old brother. Joker supposedly makes up a story that his father abused him as a child. Later you see Harley Quinn with hardly anything on. Joker doesn't treat her right at all. There was other stuff and to me it seems like you need to have more knowledge to watch it, kids really don't need to learn this stuff from an animated series.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (16 ):
Kids say (49 ):

Overall, this complex, well-made series is further proof (if anyone still needs it) that animation isn't always automatically kid friendly. Batman: The Animated Series is a fairly violent cartoon. Guns, knives, and other weapons make frequent appearances, and all of the characters -- including Batman himself -- handle conflicts with their fists rather than their conversational skills. Also, some episodes focus heavily on Bruce's would-be playboy image, which includes some tame womanizing.

Most concerning, though -- at least for parents of young children -- is the show's overall grim quality: Bruce's melancholy and anger are the driving force behind the entire series, and some of the show's dark, intellectual plot twists could easily scare some younger kids.

TV Details

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