Batman: The Animated Series

 
(i)

 

A dark, violent comic book comes to life.

What parents need to know

Positive messages

In a lot of ways, Batman behaves similarly to his enemies. The Caped Crusader has always been a dark superhero, willing to bend morality and the law to accomplish his goals (though he refrains from killing the baddies he deals with).

Violence & scariness

Frequent cartoon violence as Batman takes on the bad guys -- guns, knives, fist fights, and more.

Sexy stuff

Bruce talks about bringing a girl home. Some female characters wear tight clothes.

Language
Not applicable
Consumerism

There are plenty of Batman products out there for young fans to covet.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this animated incarnation of Batman -- like all shows and movies centering on the Caped Crusader -- is dark and violent. Batman is a deeply conflicted hero who doesn't hesitate to use his fists to settle a disagreement (though he never kills his targets). Although the content is of high quality overall, the complicated messages and frequent fights mean this series isn't for the littlest viewers.

What's the story?

BATMAN: THE ANIMATED SERIES follows the adventures of Bruce Wayne and his alter ego, Batman. This cartoon version, which originally ran from 1992-1995 (it still airs in syndication and is available on DVD), closely mirrors most other takes on the Dark Knight: Bruce comes from one of the most affluent and generous families in Gotham City. As a child, he witnessed his parents' murder -- an event that ultimately leads him to become Batman. As an adult, Bruce (voiced by Kevin Conroy) is left carrying the responsibility of the family mansion and the family business, Wayne Enterprises; but most of all, he's left carrying guilt, since he blames himself for his parents' deaths. With the help of servant-turned-father figure Alfred (Efrem Zimbalist Jr.), Bruce creates Batman to get his revenge on all the criminals in Gotham. Later on, he's joined by sidekick Robin (Loren Lester).

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

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. Overall, this complex, well-made series is further proof (if anyone still needs it) that animation isn't always automatically kid friendly.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the responsibilities of being a hero. What is a hero? Is Batman a hero, a martyr, or both? Why is Batman so grim? Why does he feel responsible for the citizens of Gotham? How does this series compare with other Batman TV shows and movies?

TV details

This review of Batman: The Animated Series was written by

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Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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Teen, 14 years old Written bykeyboardkid November 16, 2014
 

Best TV show for teens ever created!

Dark,gritty,mature and a 1930's kind of setting.It's a brilliant show for teens that should not be missed.The episodes are brilliant with most characters having their own origin story episode and every character is looked into deeply.Best voice cast ever known,great animation style.But the reason is that I do NOT recommend this for little kids is because of the complicated story.It's not just action,alot of the show is talking and not just fighting.This is show enters the story very deeply.But if you are a teen or an adult get this of Amazon or Ebay,it's actually an adult themed show so do get it.It's brilliant and can not be missed get it now!
Kid, 11 years old July 16, 2012
 

Dark, Violent, And Awesome!

This is one of the coolest shows I've ever watched. Though the animation isn't as engaging as cartoons like, say, Pokemon, the plot, action, and voices are great, and much more interesting than the other cartoon mentioned above. But this show is not for your 6 year old Batman fan. Some parts may bore them, as this is not just an action show, but a mystery/drama as well. Other parts are too violent and creepy for them. This is a great show that has mystery and drama along with kick-but superhero action.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Adult Written bychicomarx July 23, 2010
 

Best of the 90's

One of the best cartoons ever made. Loved it as a kid, and I had loads of fun re-watching a few seasons after seeing 'The Dark Knight'. It's certainly much darker than most children's programming today, but rules have changed since the 90's. For example, in BTAS characters both held guns and used them, and this was ok as long as nobody was shot on-screen. In a recent Batman cartoon ('The Batman') guns were not allowed, and so the animators compensated by giving police and villains futuristic-looking "stun-guns". Although I watched and enjoyed this show when I was as young as 6, I would recommend it for ages 8+, simply because it portrays more violence and morally complicated situations than you'd see in a cartoons today. That being said, it is more than just mindless entertainment for children; it has well-written stories, excellent animation, and a sense of creativity and fun that shows just how much the creators enjoyed making this show.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Great role models

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