THE BATMAN THE ANIMATED SERIES and THE NEW BATMAN ANIMATED SERIES
They are basically the same, except for a title change, a redesign on the character of Joker plus the introduction of Batgirl and Robin. BTAS aired between 1992 and 1995 and then as THE NEW BATMAN ANIMATED SERIES, it aired from 1995 to 1997 allowing for the creation of one of the most iconic versions of Joker to date. Voiced by Star wars actor MARK HAMILL, the characterization combined the humor of the Cesar Romero years with a dark and twisted inflection unique to Mr. Hamill. This clown would be both funny, menacing and lethal all in one purple suit and grisly smile (though in the series he really never killed anybody in front of the camera). This characterization has made Mark Hamill a legend as the most loved Joker voice. over in the history of the character. Don’t forget the trivia and fun facts at the end.
TRIVIA and FUN FACTS
- “Make ’em Laugh” (Season 3, #7) Lisa Lorain is clearly a parody of comedian and TV personality Roseanne
- “Harley’s Holiday” (Season 3 episode #6) is the first episode featuring Harley Quinn that does not include the Joker in it.
- “The Man Who Killed Batman” Season 1 episode #49) Note that when Harley Quinn impersonates a lawyer, she states her name as “Harleen Quinzel”, which in later episodes is revealed to be her real name. This episode also marks the debut of Bud and Lou, Harley’s pet hyenas.
- “Harley and Ivy” (Season 1, episode #47) The diamond that Harley steals from the museum is called the “Harlequin Diamond”. In the same episode, the Joker has The Riddler’s phone number, 655-3673, posted on his phone.
“The Joker’s Wild” (season 1, episode#42) The file Kaiser has on the Joker includes his real name as Jack Napier, from the first Batman movie. On the same episode, the sign that Joker throws off the car he steals at the casino incorrectly reads “WAN THE CIRIN GNAL JOKERNOCILE.”
“Christmas With the Joker” (Season 1, episode #38) The Joker waves goodbye to Charles Manson as he escapes from Arkham Asylum. This episode also introduces us to the Joker and Arkham Asylum for the first time.
“The Joker’s Favor” (season 1, episode #7 )Even though this was the first “Joker Episode” to air on TV; it was actually the fourth episode made with the Joker
Tim Curry was initially cast as the voice of the Joker. After he recorded four episodes, his take on the role was deemed to be too scary, so the decision was made to recast and eventually the role went to Mark Hamill.
All voice acting was, unlike most voice-over work, performed ensemble. This means that all the voice actors performed their lines in a room together, rather than at separate times in different locations. Mark Hamill was the only cast member allowed to perform his Joker voice while standing, to make it easier to infuse the character with the manic energy the role required. All the other actors did their voices sitting down.
- Officer Renee Montoya and Joker’s girlfriend/henchman Harley Quinn were created for the animated series and later incorporated into the comic books’
- After every single storyboard, FOX would send the producers a long single spaced list of restrictions about five pages in length, on things they could not do for example; no child endangerment, no open wounds, no blood, no heavy gun violence, no strangling or neck grabs, no alcohol references, and no smoking. The FOX network was really picky, not just about the censorship, but just in terms of content and story. The network had many opinions on what the producers should and shouldn’t be doing.
- Paul Dini has said that Harlequin was partly inspired by seeing Arleen Sorkin wearing a harlequin’s costume in her role as Calliope Jones on an episode of the daytime drama “Days of Our Lives” (1965). As a result, Dini was subsequently inspired to cast Sorkin as the voice of Harlequin. In addition, Dini and Sorkin were college classmates together.
- Harley Quinn’s relationship with The Joker was intended as a Punch & Judy coupling, but with the roles reversed. She was initially a one-shot character but audiences took to her. She was brought back for more, and the writers even took the time to sketch a comic-book origin for Harley, to make her seem more real.