What show isn't improved upon by a good musical number? Otherwise tonal adventures such as Xena and Buffy have featured impromptu chorus numbers and dance routines not only to break from the traditional script but also as a way to gently lampoon themselves.
Batman has often proven ample fodder for other sorts of parodies, perhaps because the Dark Knight takes himself so seriously. In the October 23rd episode of his latest televised incarnation, The Brave and the Bold on Cartoon Network, the villanious Music Meister, played by Neil Patrick Harris, uses his own symphonic satire to bring down Gotham's defender. Courtesy Entertainment Weekly, here's a sneak peek at one such scene:
Hat tip to Dr. Horrible himself!
3 thoughts on “Drives Us Bats”
Batman and the Brave and the Bold is noteworthy not because it parodies Batman but because it examines the lighter-hearted heroics of the Golden and Silver Ages of comic books rather than the post-Dark Knight Returns and Batman Begins sensibility of the past 25 years. It's fun, suitable for children, and merely one interpretation (granted, with tongue in cheek and numerous nods to the Finger/Sprang/Adam West versions).
@GeneD – How would you say this incarnation compares with the Fox series of the mid-Nineties?
As I've noted on my own blog, Batman: The Animated Series launched Paul Dini and Bruce Timm's excellent rendition of the DC universe, leading to The New Adventures of Batman and Robin, Superman: The Animated Series, and Justice League Unlimited (plus Static Shock, Batman Beyond, the Zeta Project, and to some extent, Teen Titans and Legion of Superheroes). It's also my favorite cartoon of all time, so I'm biased.
In addition, B:TAS led to a TV animation Renaissance in the 1990s, with better writing and artwork in cartoons such as Gargoyles and The Real Adventures of Jonny Quest, as well as WB/DC's current run of direct-to-video releases, including Gotham Knight, Justice League: New Frontier, Wonder Woman, Green Lantern: First Flight, and Superman/Batman: Public Enemies. Timm and voice casting maven Andrea Romano are responsible for these.
Batman and the Brave and Bold is part of another wave of animated superheroes on television — more kid-friendly, but still self-aware and well-written. Examples include Spectacular Spider-Man and Marvel's Super Hero Squad.
I don't think that The Brave and the Bold reaches the operatic heights of B:TAS or will be as influential, but it's still a fun romp (with lots of guest voice actors, including Mark Hamill, Adam West, and Kevin Conroy) for any true Bat-fan.
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