The New Adventures of Batman (TV Series 1977–1978) Poster

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Best animated version of the Silver Age Batman
voicemaster7129 October 2005
After seeing nothing but negative reviews so far, I strongly feel this series needs at least one positive review and that's clearly a job for me.

Why a positive review you might ask? Simple. While most fans first exposures to Batman were either through the comic books or the TV series (if you grew up in my time). For me personally, the New Advetures of Batman was my first ever exposure to the Batman universe. While this series is nothing and cannot hold a candle to the likes of Batman: The Animated Series, I feel it's the best quality version of the Silver Age Batman animated for Saturday mornings.

They only made 16 episodes and reran them endlessly from 1977 to 1981 starting off alone and then with Tarzan and the Super 7. I never once tired from watching these shows. The New Adventures of Batman put me on the map and led me to the TV series and then the comic books and finally, the SuperFriends, another top favorite of mine.

The best element this series had was the voices of Adam West and Burt Ward who portrayed Batman and Robin a little more serious or a little less campy than in live action. Commissioner Gordon finally looked like his comic book counterpart and I enjoyed Batgirl, the Joker, Penguin and his quack cackle, the sexy voiced Catwoman, Mr. Freeze, and Clayface. The best original villain let alone best episode this series had to offer was the Moon Man. Electro was also good. I also loved the full body rotoscoping animation style that was used plus most of the 70's style music for this series.

The worst elements this series had were, the inclusion of BatMite, but if they had to have him, at least he was regarded as a pest and a hindrance than as a friend like other useless cartoon tag alongs were. BatMite replacing Alfred was a bad move and the Riddler's absence from the series, yet his appearance on the intro in a wrongly colored red costume made no sense to me at all. And new villains like Sweet Tooth, Professor Bubbles,the Chameleon, and Zarbor all left a bad stain on this series.

I was glad to see this series again when the WB network aired them for a while in 2001 and if this series is ever released on DVD, it will be my holy grail. To me, Adam West was the best pre Kevin Conroy Batman voice over and the New Adventures of Batman is well worth checking out. I give it two thumbs up for making me the Batman fan that I am today. If you want the worst representation of Batman, I recommend Legends of the Super Heroes or "The Batman" series on WB.
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As I recall, it wasn't THAT bad...
hutsman16 May 2006
I don't think this cartoon was as bad as some may think. Of course, I was only five at the time it came out. But, I did find it very entertaining at the time and would still give it a look today if given the opportunity. Batman and Robin being voiced by Adam West and Burt Ward was a nice touch, and gave it a sense of familiarity for me as I was also watching re-runs of the campy 1960's live action show "Batman" at that age. This cartoon also introduced some new twists I had forgotten all about, like "Bat-Mite" for instance. Looking back on it, I'm sure he was likely as annoying as many think, but he didn't bother me much at the time. The best I can recall, his voice sounded like a cross between Dumb Donald and Orko. Gee, I wonder why? :) Anyway, give it a look if you can and make up your own mind. You might be surprised.
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Blame the networks, not the show!
garcia6019 February 2005
First of all, I'd like to correct another poster who claims most of the original cast of the 1966 TV version of Batman provided the voices for this cartoon version. Only Adam West and Burt Ward came back to do the voices in this cartoon. Secondly, Charles Napier was never in the 1966 version of the show. Now, as far as this Filmation cartoon version of Batman is concerned, while it may not have been the best cartoon representation of Batman, it really gave the networks (at the time) what they wanted, a cartoon show with no violence. We can thank the PTA and similar groups at the time with a massive campaign to curb violence on TV. As a result, most cartoon shows being shown in the late 70s were pretty lame (boring). The networks would not have allowed a typical Batman story to be shown in the late 70s. The original Filmation Batman "The Adventures of Batman" (1969) was a lot better than this version. That version looked basically like a cartoon continuation of the 1966-68 TV series of the same name. While Hollywood continues to make Batman abominations today, the 1966 TV show continues being the most fun version of the character, with Adam West still being the definitive "Batman". Yes, the 1977 cartoon version may have been a bit boring, but we shouldn't blame the production as much as we should the networks. This was the kind of shows they wanted to release to the young public in those days. OK Batmite was annoying, but once again, don't blame the production, the character (as annoying as he is) was actually a character in the comics before he came to TV. As with most Filmation shows of the mid-late 70s, the New Adventures of Batman gave us a special "morals" message at the end of each episode. At least the shows in those days cared enough to instill morals in young people, something today's cartoons don't seem to care at all about. All in all, I would say that while this version of the cartoon Batman may not have been the best, it's certainly far and away better than most of today's cartoons. There's also a big reason this cartoon is worth seeing, it starred the voice of the man who will always be known as the "only" Batman that mattered, Adam West.
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Batman at its best
afonsobritofalves13 September 2018
One of D.C.'s best series. A true classic of american T.V. Highly recommend.
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Brought a light on as a kid, imagination came alive it was fun with Batman adventures!
blanbrn4 November 2015
Growing up and being born in the late 1970's as a little kid I grew up on Saturday morning cartoons and this one was a gem as I use to watch it on Saturday mornings with my mom on CBS! It was "The New Adventures of Batman" The cartoon was animated just fine with color as when you watched you felt just like you were reading a "Batman" comic book! And the legends Adam West and Burt Ward lent their voices to the characters of "Batman" and "Robin"! Also the fun little sidekicks of "Batgirl" and the far out "Bat-Mite" were good. Still the episodes featured battles with all of the villains of Gotham city like the Joker, Penguin, Catwoman, and Mr. Freeze. Even though a cartoon the series showed all of the Bat equipment and weapons with action paced detective type episodes, really it's sad that this series only ran a year or so in the 70's it was a nice fun little gem!
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A Kinder, Gentler and More Child Friendly version of Gotham City.
redryan6426 October 2015
MUCH IN THE same manner as had occurred with the two Columbia Pictures' Serials in the 1940's, the two BATMAN animated series for CBS TV sported complete makeovers in cast, Whereas the New Adventures was done having both Adam West and Burt Ward as Batman & Robin, the older (1968-69) run featured Olin Soule and Casey Kasem in the parts.*

THERE WAS OBVIOUSLY a lot of study done by the production of all of the previous productions; as well as an in depth re-examination of the comics pages, before the NEW ADVENTURES was kicked-off. This was being tailored to the Saturday morning Cartoon crowd and as such, has a decidedly Juvenile bent to it.

THE HANDLING OF the Batman Rogues Gallery was done in such a manner so as to avoid any potential criticism from any crusading parents groups or other arbiters of the public morality and welfare of the children.** So, we saw elements such as: The Joker's having black hair with only a streak of its original green. Joker also was given a pet Laughing Hyena. The Penguin also was affected, as he was not shown with his customary cigarette holder and favourite king-sized brand. (We were wondering, would they be KOOLS? Get it, Schultz? KOOLS had a penguin as their trade mark!)

AS SOMEWHAT OF a concession to the need for comic relief, the production resurrected an impish character from the past. BAT-MITE was an extra-dimensional Batman fan; whose one passion in life was to emulate the works of the Caped Crusader, even to the point of messing up a case. He would magically appear and then just as quickly disappear at story's conclusion..

THE CHARACTER FOUND new life in the cartoon series after having been set aside with many other on-going elements of the BATMAN Comics feature with the coming of the "New Look" in 1964.*** The Batmite character was a sort of carbon-copy knockoff of SUPERMAN'S long standing rivalry with enemy, MR. MXYZPTLK.

AS FOR THE general impression of the series itself, it is favourable. Having recently screened it with Grandsons, Jack and Patrick, we can honestly say that our opinion is one of recent viewing and not only made of bits and pieces of our ever diminishing memory.

WE FOUND THAT the stories presented were fast paced, thoughtful and totally appropriate for the small-fry crowd. The visuals were always bright and interesting. The usually rather brief scenes were linked with a brief snippet of the musical score accompanied with appropriate Bat-visuals.

AT TIME OF the original telecasts, little did we know of the multitude of BATMAN animations that would follow. We're not sure of how many there've been. But we do know that they'd keep a reviewer busy at his keyboard all Winter long!

NOTE: * The two Columbia Serials were quite different. BATMAN (1943) starred Lewis Wilson & Douglas Croft as the Dynamic duo. THE NEW ADVENTURES OF BATMAN & ROBIN gave us Robert Lowery & Johnny Duncan I the roles and introduced Commissioner Gordon to the screen in the person of Lyle Talbot.

NOTE: ** As an example, we point to the sudden halting of Hanna-Barbera's highly successful production, THE FANTSASTIC FOUR (1967). This was due to fears that children shouldn't be exposed to the flaming body of Johnny Storm, "The Human Torch." A later FANTASTIC FOUR series replaced The Torch with Herbie, a sort of R2-D2 like robot.

NOTE:*** Slumping sales prompted the change as long time Batman Editor, Jack Schiff, was replaced with Julius Schwartz. We've heard stories around Comics Fandom that Jack had wanted to do more of those great Batman vs the Underworld stories; but the publishers wanted more elements that made up the SUPERMAN Feature. Commonly known as the "Superman Family", it featured the likes of Krypto(Super-dog), Streaky (Supergirl's Super-cat) and all of the Superman supporting cast on the Daily Planet, etc.

With characters such as Batmite, the formula didn't work here. In the end the "New Look" went back to stories where Batman was at war with the criminal element; which was what Editor Schiff argued for in the first place. Go figure!!
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Tale of the two Bats---compare the two
raysond19 October 2002
First off I would like to give a comparison to two Batman animated series that were produced by Filmation Productions in the 60's and mid-70's. Lets start with the first animated "Batman" installment titled "The Adventures of Batman and Robin"(narrated by the great Ted Knight) which was part of "The Superman/Aquaman/Batman Hour" which premiered right after the TV series starring Adam West and Burt Ward went off the air in 1968. Here the dynamic duo continue their adventures which was mostly seen on Saturday mornings and I remember this show vividly as a kid. Still for one the story premise was exactly like the TV series and the comic book with Batman and Robin fighting evil doers/villains and maintaining order in Gotham City alongside with the help of Batgirl.

In this series,you have the stylish animation of veteran Hal Sutherland who took part in the directional duties and some excellent writing from Batman creator Bob Kane. But the voice overs for Batman and Robin were done by actor Olan Soule and radio personality Casey Kasem(who would go on to do voice overs for a array of cartoon characters including Shaggy from Scooby Doo)who would go onward to do the voice overs for the dynamic duo again in "Superfriends"(which was produced by Hanna-Barbera) which premiered during the early 70's. But getting back to the first and only original format of the Batman animated series from the late 60's is this: it maybe old and crappy but here it packed a heavy load of non-stop excitement and adventure each week because it kicked butt even for a hourly segment it still held even better than the crap that's on these days(prime example: Batman Beyond---why destroy the image of a great superhero format?). Like I said,the series was produced by Filmation associates(productions)and it ran from 1968-70.

Then,the unthinkable happened which almost killed the Batman franchise entirely.........

In the fall of 1977,Filmation produced a new concept called "The New Adventures of Batman". Filmation produced 16 episodes and recycled them endlessly in repeated episodes from 1977 to 1981. This was shown as part of a lineup of shows for Saturday Mornings which CBS-TV at the time produced a 90 minute format called "Tarzan and the Super Seven" which consisted of episodes "The New Adventures of Batman","Tarzan:Lord of the Jungle","The Adventures of Shazam and Isis", along with The Lone Ranger and Zorro all on the same bill since this was part animated cartoon along with a live-action bit as well,"Jason Of Star Command" which was mostly seen on Saturday Mornings and some Sunday Mornings in repeated episodes until CBS canceled them all in 1981. But getting back to the new Batman format,this second installment of the Batman series(besides Superfriends) was by far the worst(not to mention pathetic) representation of Batman ever conceived and it shows if you see the episodes you know what I mean. It sucked. For one,this version brought back most of the cast from the Batman TV series of the 1960's,and it featured the voice overs of Adam West(Bruce Wayne/Batman),Burt Ward(Dick Grayson/Robin),and Yvonne Craig(Barbara Gordon/Batgirl). The rest of the characters stayed in place,but what was missing from the original was the butler Alfred. The villains? Well,they did however bring back four of the most gruesome diabolical characters The Dynamic Duo ever face....The Joker,The Penguin,The Riddler,and The Catwoman. Did they ever bring Eartha Kitt out of retirement to do the voice-over for Catwoman,not to mention bringing back veteran actors like Burgess Meredith and Frank Gorshin to do the voicework. But they couldn't get Cesar Romero? New villains were added to the series were Professor Bubbles,The Moon Man,and Electro. The show had perfectly good stories and great exciting adventures including Batman and Robin defending Gotham City from the forces of evil. But what killed it and ruined the entire concept not to mention killing the series? The most annoyingest character ever devised.......

BAT-MITE! A total nuisance and one pain in the butt. Out of all the animated characters ever made BAT-MITE comes in behind THE WONDER TWINS PLUS WENDY AND MARVIN(from Superfriends),and ORKO(from another Filmation production "HE-MAN")as one of the most worst in the bunch and it shows alongside two Joel Schumacher masterpieces'(Batman Forever w/Val Kilmer and the pathetic as hell Batman and Robin w/George Clooney,Chris O'Donnell and an obese Alicia Silverstone as Batgirl--please as if?)

Believe me,compare the two and see what I mean.
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The return of West and Ward!
grendelkhan13 April 2010
This series marked the return of Adam West and Burt Ward to the roles of Batman and Robin. prior to that, the cartoon voices of the Caped Crusdaers were provided by Olan Soule and Casey Kasem. West was a definite improvement, as he had a more subtle delivery and a deeper tone than Soule. Kasem versus Ward is a little closer. Kasem was a better voice actor than Ward, but Ward did well.

The series suffers from the broadcast restriction placed on it. Filmation knew full well they couldn't recreate their old Batman cartoons, as they were responsible for the networks cracking down on cartoon violence. So, they hoped the addition of West and Ward would draw people to the cartoons. For the most part it worked, but the comedy level was ramped up, especially with the addition of Batmite. Quite frankly, this detracted from the shows. The plots were more mundane, as physical confrontation was taboo, so the dramatic tension was weaker. Stock footage was used even more than in the original series and watching more than one episode at a time really drives this home. As such, this series ends up weaker than both the original Batman cartoons and the later BTAS version. Even the Super Friends had more lively action.

With all of the above said, the series is worth watching to catch West and ward. They do a fine job and are a bit better at the comedy than Soule and Kasem. More villains were featured than in the Super Friends and it bore a closer, if watered down, resemblance to the comics. Don't expect quality like the Bruce Timm shows, but it's at least entertaining to those with a forgiving eye and youngsters with an attention span.
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would be OK ,if it weren't for 3 huge problems
disdressed122 August 2007
for me,this is not a good TV show,animated or is however,annoying to the nth degree.there are a few reasons for this,in no particular order.first,the intro of one of the most pointless,and annoying characters ever,Batmite.this character serves no purpose for the show,whatsoever.maybe it is intended as comic relief,but it doesn't work out that up,the Joker.i thought it was really ridiculous to have his character let loose with that ridiculous laugh after almost every about repetitive.this gets old really fast..also don't think the had the right actor to voice the just doesn't sound at all like the joker should sound.lastly,they made Robin look like a complete dork.other than these problems,the show isn't that bad.but these are big enough problems to drastically lower the likability factor.for me,"The new adventures Of Batman" is a 3/10,at best.
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