There may be some minor spoilers for the two or three of you who didn’t already see this weeks before I got my copy.

§ November 7th, 2016 § Filed under adam west, cartoons § 2 Comments


So I watched the new direct-to-home-video Batman: The Return of the Caped Crusaders animated movie, starring those stalwarts of superhero snazziness Adam (Batman) West and Burt (Robin) Ward, with special guest villainess Julie (Catwoman) Newmar. And…yeah, that was pretty fun. My very mild apprehension re: West’s voice work from the trailer was thankfully not the problem I feared…no, not about the aging of his voice, but rather the way he seemed to play up the humor as opposed to essentially being the straight (Bat)man of the TV show. It wasn’t quite so bad when the entire project was taken as a whole, and it was nice to hear him Batting it up once again. I’ll have to say that Burt Ward’s voice didn’t sound like it aged a day, which was pretty amazing.

Nearly all the stuff you remember from the show is here, and more besides: you kinda/sorta see what happens as Bruce and Dick slide down what appear to be miles-long Bat-poles as their costumes are donned, and the Batmobile’s exit from the Batcave is now long and winding with an array of sliding doors. The ever-present dinosaur from the Batcave of the comics is here as well! The replacement voices for the other featured fiendish foes (Joker, Riddler and Penguin) do well enough, though I imagined briefly what it would have been like to get John Astin, who filled in as the Riddler for Gorshin on the TV show (and is still with us!) to reprise that role. Many of the other ’66 series villains put in brief appearances as well…even Shame is in there, somewhere.

The animation is serviceable, capturing the 1960s look-and-feel, the plot is silly but when were they not, and overall it was a good ol’ time returning to this classic iteration of the Batman. Interestingly, they didn’t go with the TV show’s narration, though someone is doing their best William Dozier impression for the sequences featuring the announcer on a TV show Bruce and Dick are watching. One voice acting moment that was particularly affecting was West’s portrayal of a Batman under the influence of a drug designed to make him…well, evil. Yes, it’s been noted here and there the humor of ’60s Batman quoting Frank Miller’s The Dark Knight Returns in one scene, but overall it was a little uncomfortable hearing Best Batman just being so mean. Kudos to West and the producers for making that bit of business work as well as it did.

I said in that last post that I figured this would be the one-and-only return of West ‘n’ Ward in animated form, but I was wrong. Boy, was I ever wrong. William Shatner as Two-Face is the classic TV crossover I never expected, but now can’t wait to experience. Alas, that we waited too long to get Ricardo Montalbán as animated Batman ’66 Bane.

2 Responses to “There may be some minor spoilers for the two or three of you who didn’t already see this weeks before I got my copy.”

  • Argh!Sims says:

    Oh man, imagine a Two Face/Bane team-up where Bane double-crosses Captain Kirk, who yells “BAAAAAAAANE!”

  • Old Bull Lee says:

    So you’re saying I have to do my own narration? No problem.

    I recall a Comics Scene interview where Adam West stated he would love to play a Dark Knight Returns style Batman.