13 IMAGES from the new Adventures of Batman Blu-ray — on Olan Soule’s birthday, no less…
The remastered 1968 The Adventures of Batman Blu-ray is out Tuesday — the late Olan Soule’s birthday, as it happens — and my lord, was it worth the wait.
Quick background, if you’re just joining us: These Filmation shorts, featuring the voices of Soule (born Feb. 28, 1909) as Batman and Casey Kasem as Robin, are among the most popular superhero cartoons of all time. A staple of Saturday mornings in the ’60s and after-school syndication in the ’70s, they’ve long been available but in muddy, muted standard definition.
Now, however, much like the gorgeous Filmation Aquaman, you can now see these animated bits of Bat-gold in 1080p high definition. And man, is there a huge difference.
Originally, I thought of posting actual frame grabs but then decided the best way to convey just how great these cartoons look is by putting them through the Ultimate Test: How do they look from your living room couch?
So, dig this comparison, from the classic How Many Herring in a Wheelbarrow?
Note how bright and fiery the red of the cavern looks in the newer version, let alone the substantially tighter linework on the Dynamic Duo.
But this is just an appetizer. Dig these 13 IMAGES that were merely taken on my iPhone, sitting on the couch (which explains why the framing is slighty off-kilter):
Man. Man, oh man.
OK, a few things you need to know:
— They’re only available in a 2-disc Blu-ray set, which is a great thing if you like to own your media but a little frustrating if you prefer to stream or download. That said, I have to imagine that these will pop up elsewhere at some point. In any event, the set, including all 34 Bat-adventures, lists for $24.99.
— The packaging makes no mention of the cartoons being remastered. And weirdly, Amazon doesn’t make it easy to find in its search function. So when you’re purchasing, make sure it’s the Blu-ray you’re getting. (It says 1080p high definition in tiny letters on the bottom of the back.) Here’s the Amazon link if you’d like it, but you can search other retailers if you prefer.
— The original press release listed Larry Storch as the Joker. I noted at the time that was incorrect (it’s a myth that refuses to die), so I’m glad the packaging makes no mention of it. It was Ted Knight who played the Joker — and the Penguin and the Riddler and most, if not all, the male villains on the show, as well as Alfred and Commissioner Gordon. Jane Webb played Batgirl and Catwoman.
— Now, we just need Warner Bros. Discovery to clean up The New Adventures of Superman — along with the Superboy segments!
— The TOP 13 FILMATION BATMAN Episodes — RANKED. Click here.
— 13 QUICK THOUGHTS: The Kitschy Kick of FILMATION BATMAN. Click here.