Bruce W. Timm: We had a lot of faith in our approach to the show because it just seems kind of like it’s not brain surgery. It’s like you know we took we kind of cherry picked stuff from the entire history of Batman both from the comics and the you know the the movies and the serials and the TV show. And we thought we took things and kind of messed around with them but for the most part we stayed really faithful to the spirit of the character and to the spirit of the comic. So we had a feeling that would go over really well. And not only that but back then we were coming right off of the first Tim Burton Batman movie which you know people have a tendency to forget but that was huge it was a big movie back then. So Batman was just really super hot so had I always had a feeling the show was probably going to be a hit. Whether it was any good or not but the fact that it’s that really resonated with people is this is did the style of the show is kind of come together.
Tony Tellado: I know you did like the opening of the show first Batman you know kind of sort of get that style sort of evolved from that open.
Bruce W. Timm: I mean it was a kind of a combination of lots of different influences. It was One of the obvious big influences on the look was the the old Fleisher Superman cartoons which are done in the 1940s. And I think in the back of my head I always kind of thought that that that look would have been even more appropriate to Batman and Superman. But the fact that it’s you know if I had my way I would have set the show actually in 1939 and It made it a national period piece. But for a lot of reasons we knew that was not realistic. So but we definitely try to stay true to that is that, both the character designs and the background of styling Obviously people seem to like it.
The only thing really that I can think of and it’s not a big thing is how anything I lose sleep over. But I had an idea to do about an episode where Batman turned into a vampire temporarily with a character from the comics called Nocturna, the character that Doug Moench and Gene Colan created. And it didn’t get really much past just the idea. You know we floated it past Fox Kids and they just said no vampires and I said well what if he wasn’t really a vampire. No vampires.
You know we knew going in that we were obviously going to do Batman and Ridler and Catwoman. And you know those characters. But we were really interested in doing characters that had not gotten a lot of screen time either in the cartoons or in the in the movies at that time. So you know we were really excited to like you know Two Face and reinvent Mr. Freeze or to take him from being not a knock on the Adam West version of that of the character, but he was always kind of silly with ice puns and stuff and you know we thought we could that character a little deeper. Characters that had never really even been done before in any kind of filmic version like like Ra’s Al Ghul and Scarface (the puppet) . You know Scarface was at that time was like a really recent addition to the comics. But I always liked the character.He seemed like a classic Batman villain. It was just such a perfect kind of twisted take on a weird gimmick. We pretty much got to do what we wanted to do.
Tony Tellado: How did the two partners come about ?
Bruce W. Timm: We just did it organically I think. Probably the first thing we did was the Two-Face story. And I think it just as with as Alan (Burnett) and the writers were breaking the story I think they just realized OK with this is this is too much story to do in the one episode so they just kind of just a two parter and Fox Kids said don’t do this. Occasionally would like you know Robin’s Reckoning and other episodes it just seemed like if it seemed appropriate that we just went ahead and did it.
Bruce W. Timm: I have tons and tons of fun memories about Non-Leather Wings because it was the very first episode that we put into production. It was the first time we saw the characters animated it was the first time we recorded an episode with our wonderful cast. First time I heard Shirley Walker’s amazing music it all kind of came together and I think it’s a really solid episode. We kind of like planted the flag and kind of did exactly what I intended to do with the show. It was it was a little bit spooky it was a little bit fun. It was a little bit funny and it had a lot of adventure and it didn’t talk down to kids. So you know it was kind of like when we first saw the episode because here’s the thing when we were kind of doing a lot of things that at the time were revolutionary in terms of how to style an animated show Or you know with like you know painting the you know the backgrounds on black paper and the kind of stylized look of the characters we had no idea if it was really going to work or not. So when we got the first episode of On Leather Wings back from Japan it was kind like “Oh thank God it actually works. “I like this. This is going to be good.”
Bruce W. Timm: I mean “Over The Edge” is one of my favorites of that run. There’s just it’s just a really good thing Even though it’s a dream even though it’s all a dream and that’s kind of a cheat. I think the episode kind of earns that it’s about time you get to the end of it you don’t go oh it was just all a dream because we’re telling you pretty much from the beginning it’s like the minute the Scarecrow show that it’s like oh if you can imagine. I just thought it was a really really good episode. And that whole bit where we got to kill Batgirl. You know that was that was kind of fun to have you know kind of play with people’s emotions.
Tony Tellado: Is there anybody who came on to do voice a voice a voice or character that surprised you when you heard them?
Bruce W. Timm: I mean Mark Hamill was you know I never in a million years would I have thought to cast Mark Hamill as the Joker. But when we did come to the realization that we should probably recast the part Mark had already told us earlier since he was in that that Mr. Freeze episode that he really wanted to play one of the one of the big villains. And so we remember that and brought him back into to audition for The Joker. And it was just it was not even it wasn’t even anybody was even close. He was just he just nailed it right away. It was like OK great. So that was a big surprise. I mean his first time I heard that voice coming out of him.
Special thanks to Gary Miereanu
PODCAST: Christophe Beck
“DC in D.C.,” a pop culture event open to the public in Washington, D.C. during the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday weekend that brings together the worlds of entertainment and public service to illuminate the story of America and discuss topical current issues through the lens of comics and Super Heroes. .....