FIRST LOOK: Behold the Colorful Beauty of the Remastered FILMATION BATMAN

13 IMAGES from the new Adventures of Batman Blu-ray — on Olan Soule’s birthday, no less…

The remastered 1968 The Adventures of Batman Blu-ray is out Tuesday — the late Olan Soule’s birthday, as it happens — and my lord, was it worth the wait.

Quick background, if you’re just joining us: These Filmation shorts, featuring the voices of Soule (born Feb. 28, 1909) as Batman and Casey Kasem as Robin, are among the most popular superhero cartoons of all time. A staple of Saturday mornings in the ’60s and after-school syndication in the ’70s, they’ve long been available but in muddy, muted standard definition.

Now, however, much like the gorgeous Filmation Aquaman, you can now see these animated bits of Bat-gold in 1080p high definition. And man, is there a huge difference.

Originally, I thought of posting actual frame grabs but then decided the best way to convey just how great these cartoons look is by putting them through the Ultimate Test: How do they look from your living room couch?

So, dig this comparison, from the classic How Many Herring in a Wheelbarrow?



Note how bright and fiery the red of the cavern looks in the newer version, let alone the substantially tighter linework on the Dynamic Duo.

But this is just an appetizer. Dig these 13 IMAGES that were merely taken on my iPhone, sitting on the couch (which explains why the framing is slighty off-kilter):

Man. Man, oh man.

OK, a few things you need to know:

— They’re only available in a 2-disc Blu-ray set, which is a great thing if you like to own your media but a little frustrating if you prefer to stream or download. That said, I have to imagine that these will pop up elsewhere at some point. In any event, the set, including all 34 Bat-adventures, lists for $24.99.

— The packaging makes no mention of the cartoons being remastered. And weirdly, Amazon doesn’t make it easy to find in its search function. So when you’re purchasing, make sure it’s the Blu-ray you’re getting. (It says 1080p high definition in tiny letters on the bottom of the back.) Here’s the Amazon link if you’d like it, but you can search other retailers if you prefer.

— The original press release listed Larry Storch as the Joker. I noted at the time that was incorrect (it’s a myth that refuses to die), so I’m glad the packaging makes no mention of it. It was Ted Knight who played the Joker — and the Penguin and the Riddler and most, if not all, the male villains on the show, as well as Alfred and Commissioner Gordon. Jane Webb played Batgirl and Catwoman.

— Now, we just need Warner Bros. Discovery to clean up The New Adventures of Superman — along with the Superboy segments!


— The TOP 13 FILMATION BATMAN Episodes — RANKED. Click here.

— 13 QUICK THOUGHTS: The Kitschy Kick of FILMATION BATMAN. Click here.

Author: Dan Greenfield

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  1. These screencaps definitely do justice to the Filmation “Batman” cartoons. And happy birthday to the late Olan Soule.

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  2. I’m sure some intrepid designer out there could easily whip up a more cartoon centric cover with all the pertinent details to replace the stock Garcia-Lopez art version.

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  3. Thank you Dan! I now have 13 glorious-looking desktop wallpapers thanks to you!

    (And extra points for including the off-model Bats with no chest logo!)

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    • Enjoy them with my regards, Brian! And I made sure to include that — and the Robin pic with the emblem on the wrong side.

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    • And Robin’s “R” seems to occasionally switch sides!

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  4. I wasn’t going to buy it, but, there I go! Done

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  5. WOW!! I have the long awaited DVD release from 2014 but I will definitely upgrade. I’m hoping our local Walmart will have it, but when it comes to vintage shows like this one, I learned the hard way that you just can’t count on retail anymore, so I hope it’s available on Amazon.
    I also hope that Warner Bros will do the same with the New Adventures of Superman and release the entire three seasons in one set instead of making us wait seven years in between. And I also wish they’d release the Adventures of Superboy as well. I’m also hoping for Warner Bros to remaster and rerelease Aquaman and the DC Super Heroes from 1967. And finally, this might be a bit of a stretch, but I would like to see Warner Bros remaster and release a Blu-ray of the New Adventures of Batman from 1977. Please WB. Make this happen!!

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    • Aquaman has been remastered but it’s only available at HBO Max, at least for now.

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  6. Thanks for the reminder. I plan to purchase my copy! I love the Filmation 1968 Batman episodes. The DC writing staff (Bob Haney and George Kashdan) along with some of the Filmation writers Dennis Marks and especially Bill Keenen who provided some snobby and snarky dialogue for the Penguin makes this Blu-ray a must have for Batman fans!

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  7. Never watch this Batman cartoon. But have order the Blu-Ray.

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  8. That looks fantastic in HD. Sometimes they do these things and the difference isn’t hugely noticeable, but it certainly is here. Wait until they get to the 1977 version, can you just imagine Batmite annoying you in full HD? Ugh. Sorry Joe Stuber!

    There are so many of these old cartoons that it would be great to see remastered. Perhaps a 13 animated shows you’d love to see given the remastered/HD treatment Dan? 🙂

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  9. I have these on DVD, I was not going to get this release, but that’s drastically improved. And the price is affordable for the release so as a BATMAN fan I think these screenshots made the decision for me.

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  10. Just got to view my copy. Very reflective of Warners’ recent animated titles, a very “scrubbed clean” image, but wow do those colors pop. I can’t believe how nice it looks. And I hated the DVD version, thought the image was very interlaced and jagged looking, but this looks great. And Thank You Dan, I’ve been saying for years that it was only Ted Knight voicing the villains, not Larry Storch. Glad to see someone else point that out!

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  11. I am so happy that John S Drew cross-posted his chat about the Blu-Ray release with Dan Greenfield on The Batcave Podcast or I might not have heard about it. I ordered it as soon as I got home. It arrived yesterday and it is, indeed, beautiful. I have devoured disc 1 already, on a Saturday morning, with bowl Cocoa Pebbles in my lap, and I am back in my childhood. Thanks, guys!

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  12. I think the 14th screenshot of Robin, fists clenched and ready for action was drawn over for the Filmation Star Trek years later. (One animated Trek episode used redrawn footage from an Aquaman cartoon, so it’s possible.) Thanks so much for this! I was about nine when these aired and loved them! Haven’t seen the in over fifty years, our local stations never showed them again.

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