Batman: The Animated Series is an American animated television series based on the DC Comics superhero, Batman. It was produced by Warner Bros. Animation and originally aired on the Fox Network from September 5, 1992 to September 15, 1995. Noted for its thematic complexity, dark tone, and high artistic quality, the series has been praised by critics and fans alike as arguably the greatest, most faithful adaptation of Batman, as well as one of the greatest animated TV series. The series also won four Emmy Award and was nominated for six others.
The visual style of the series, dubbed "Dark Deco," was based on the artwork of producer and artist Bruce Timm. When the first season of the series aired on weekday afternoons, it lacked an on-screen title, but when its timeslot was moved to weekends during its second season, it was given the on-screen title The Adventures of Batman & Robin. The series was the first in the continuity of the shared DC animated universe, and spawned the theatrical film Batman: Mask of the Phantasm (1993). Re-runs of Batman: The Animated Series currently air on The Hub.
The series was largely inspired by Tim Burton's 1989 film Batman, as well as the 1992 sequel Batman Returns and the acclaimed Superman theatrical cartoons produced by Fleischer Studios in the early 1940s. Bruce Timm and Eric Radomski designed the series by closely emulating the Burton films' "otherworldly timelessness," incorporating period features such as black-and-white title card, police blimp (even though no such thing has existed, Timm has stated he found it to fit the period they were going for), 1940s influenced look and a "vintage" color scheme in a largely film noir-influenced style. It was also Radomski who came up with the idea which resulted in the "look" of the series, by issuing a standing order to the animation department that all backgrounds be painted by using light colors on black paper, instead of dark colors on white paper as is the industry standard.
The series initially took a variation of music written by Danny Elfman for the Burton films as its theme; later episodes of the series used a new theme with a similar style by Shirley Walker (who was occasionally Elfman's conductor on the films they worked on). The score of the series was influenced by Elfman and Walker's work on the Burton films, as well as the music of 1940s film noir.
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