Reviews for Batman: The Animated Series Vol 3

Video Librarian Reviews
Right off the bat, a great two-part episode opens the third and final four-disc set that completes the DVD release of this Emmy award-winning series. In "Shadow of the Bat," a new crime fighter joins the club: Barbara Gordon, Commissioner Gordon's lithe young daughter, a.k.a. Batgirl. And as her unwitting father remarks, "She's as welcome in Gotham City as the Batman." The same could be said of all the women of Batman: when they're good, like Barbara, they are very, very good; but when they are bad, like "clever little minx" Harley Quinn and Catwoman, they are absolutely terrific (the more comedic Harley episodes, "Harlequinade" and "Harley's Holiday," are particularly entertaining). The "grim, stalwart Dark Knight" faces the familiar who's-who assortment of warped master criminals (among them, the Joker, Harvey "Two-Face" Dent, Roland Daggett, and--one of the most formidable--Bane, a chemically charged hulk who wears a mask straight out of Mexican wrestling). Several episodes feature intriguing alliances: Batman and the ancient Ra's Al Ghul in "The Demon Quest"; Batman and nemesis cop Harvey Bullock in "A Bullet for Bullock"; Batman and Harley in "Harlequinade"; and Batgirl and Catwoman in "Batgirl Returns." To the end, the series did the Batman franchise proud with its boldly stylized animation, compelling stories, literate scripts, and exemplary voice work. As the handful of commentaries included in the DVD extras demonstrate, the series' creators approached their work with reverence for Batman's history. So the disappointment is palpable in the last words spoken in the final episode here, "Batgirl Returns." As Catwoman gets away yet again, Batgirl restrains Robin from pursuing her. "It's okay," she says. "There'll be another time." Not for this series, unfortunately. Youngsters not up for the PG-13 thrills of the latest feature film, Batman Begins, will enjoy this more age-appropriate Bat-time. Recommended. (D. Liebenson) Copyright Video Librarian Reviews 2005.