The Single Best Sequence of FILMATION BATMAN

An exciting scene worthy of any Batman movie, show or comic…

UPDATED 7/20/19: John S. Drew and I have wrapped up our episode-by-episode look at Filmation’s 1968 The Adventures of Batman cartoon series with a special overview on The Batcave Podcast. Click here to check it out. I think you’ll dig it. Meanwhile, it’s the perfect time to re-present some fave Filmation columns — including this piece from 2017. Enjoy. — Dan

I’ve been having a blast over at The Batcave Podcast discussing every episode of the 1968 Filmation Batman series. (Click here and here for more on that.)

This week, host John S. Drew and I check out How Many Herring in a Wheelbarrow?, a Joker corker by Bill Keenen, and the weak sauce In Again, Out Again Penguin, also by Keenen. (Click here or here to listen, or download it on iTunes — you’ll dig it.)

While I still haven’t picked an overall favorite episode yet — though Herring is definitely a strong contender — there’s no question in my mind that the series hit its pinnacle with a single sequence in this entry: When Batman and Robin slide toward their doom, zipping toward a fiery furnace bearing the ebony carved face of the Joker.

It’s fantastic and for decades has remained the most memorable aspect of the entire series for me.

The set-up is simple: Batman and Robin get lured into a dark room and the Joker taunts them by flashing on full-size wall panels bearing his image.

Next thing? A trap door drops the Dynamic Duo onto a slide, as the Joker watches them on CCTV, heckling them all the way:

They round a curve and …

Awesome.

It’s reminiscent of Catwoman’s trap from the live-action episode The Purr-fect Crime. But it’s edited so smartly, with exciting music and quick cuts, that it stands on its own as a 1-minute, 14-second masterpiece until the screen fades as the cliffhanger reaches its climax before the commercial break. (SPOILER ALERT: They escape at the beginning of Part 2.)

Anyway, there’s a lot more to recommend the episode and John and I also have fun with the highly questionable logic of the Penguin one-parter that accompanies it.

So head on over to The Batcave Podcast here or here or download it on iTunes. You’ll be glad you did.

MORE

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

— MR. FREEZE: The Fifth Beatle of Batman Villains. Click here.

Author: Dan Greenfield

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3 Comments

  1. I agree How Many Herring in a Wheelbarrow? is a great episode! John Gart) background music delivers and the Joker’s face and sinister tone make the deathtrap seem even more deadly! The Batman/Superman Hour is smart, and well written and there is plenty of action. I talk about Filmation’s Batman and other Filmation Super heroes in my book – The Best Saturdays of our Lives. Love this post!

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  2. When “THE BATMAN-SUPERMAN HOUR” made its CBS debut in Fall 1968, this, and other super hero cartoon shows would soon run smack dab into that bottomless pit created by the concerned and complaining parents who objected to all the cartoon violence in 1967-1968, which caused Filmation Associates and other studios to take out all the violence, and Hanna-Barbera took that lead when they did “SUPER FRIENDS” in Fall 1973 for ABC. but overall, “THE BATMAN-SUPERMAN HOUR” was the last of the late 60s superhero shows on Saturday Mornings after “SPACE GHOST”, “BIRDMAN & THE GALAXY TRIO”, “SUPER PRESIDENT”, and “SPIDER MAN”, along with Hanna-Barbera’s version of “THE FANTASTIC FOUR” all dominated the ratings before the crackdown that resulted in zero superhero cartoons in Fall 1969 that paved the way for “THE ARCHIE COMEDY HOUR”, “SCOOBY-DOO, WHERE ARE YOU?”, and “THE PERILS OF PENELOPE PITSTOP”, while CBS reran the 1968 “BATMAN” cartoons on their Sunday Morning schedule before Warner Bros.Television released “BATMAN/SUPERMAN/AQUAMAN” into general syndication in Fall 1970. arguably, Filmation/Ducovny’s 1968 version of “BATMAN” was both true and bold to the Silver Age comics that National Periodical Publications published before and after the ABC/20th Century Fox series. the violence in the cartoon series was simple and not terribly complicated, but parents in 1968 still objected, and that eventually resulted in Saturday Morning cartoons being totally devoid of such content-until Fall 1992 when Warner Bros.Animation and FOX created “BATMAN, The ANIMATED SERIES”. while there are still many who loathed the Filmation version, their 1968 version was still the first cartoon series to show Batman & Robin in their true and honest form!

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    • “Honest form”? Batgirl was still written as a gal who got captured to easily. Overall, though, I enjoyed the series.

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