The Animated Series
Volume Two
Region 1 Edition

Starring: Kevin Conroy, Bob Hastings and Efrem Zimbalist
Warner Home Video
RRP: $44.98
Certificate: Not Rated
Available 25 January 2005

Fight Crime day and night alongside The Dark Knight with this deluxe 4-disc set packed with 28 heroic adventures from the acclaimed series. Filled with gripping plots, multidimensional characters and superb voice talent, this Emmy-winning series brings fans encounters with Catwoman, duels with The Penguin, contests with The Riddler and battles of wit with The Joker. Grab your cape and swing into action with this quintessential Batman compilation...

Batman: The Animated Series - Volume Two contains 21 episodes of arguably the best animated series of modern times. Unlike many of the new wave of wacky cartoons, Batman is dark and moody. That's not to say this series is void of humour - far from it. But it is a winner with the very young, the very old, die-hard Batman fans and those that have never read a Batman comic in their lives.

There isn't a dull story here, but one of my favourites was Perchance to Dream. Bruce awakes to discover that his parents are alive and he never became Batman. Not only that, but he is to marry Selina Kyle. And, when he discovers there is still a Batman on the streets, Bruce starts to wonder whether he is going mad.

Any Joker episode is worth watching and The Laughing Fish is a cracker. In this episode the Joker creates a chemical that produces smiles on fish. This also effects any human that comes into contact with them.

There are plenty of famous names amongst the cast. These include Mark Hamill (Star War's Luke Skywalker) as The Joker, Diana Muldaur (Star Trek: The Next Generation's Dr. Katherine Pulaski) as Dr. Leslie Thompkins and Roddy McDowell as The Mad Hatter. Also appearing is John de Lancie (Star Trek's Q), Robert Picardo (Star Trek: Voyager's Doctor), Helen Slater (Supergirl) and Michael York.

The music is also worthy of note Shirley Walker's incidental music is easily as dramatic as Danny Elfman's theme. While Walker is not responsible for every episode, she does write the majority.

The only real complaint I had was that Warner has decided not to release this in broadcast order, and instead just seemed to have plucked episodes out at random. This is a shame as it would have been great to have all the episodes grouped together as they were originally shown. It also might prove problematic if Warner Brothers are planning to release all of the episodes over time.

Extras include a few interesting features on the background to Batman as well as audio commentaries on a few episodes.

This is a fantastic collection - certainly worth the asking price. Go and add this to your collection.

Darren Rea

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