From 1999 to 2001, Bruce Timm and Alan Dini offered an animated vision for the future of Gotham where Bruce Wayne was old but crime still threatened the peaceful existence of Gothamites. With Will Friedle voicing the character of Terry McGinnis AKA the new Batman, the show tackled more mature stories with a darker inclination than other cartoons at the time. In between the disappointing end to the George Clooney Batman years and the rise of Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight, McGinnis’ Batman told stories that could entertain younger audiences and keep older ones engaged as well.
The show is exciting in ways that few animated series are. While the struggle for McGinnis is real, the relationship between Bruce Wayne and McGinnis also allows for some interesting dynamics. Wayne wants to protect McGinnis but out of his love for Gotham, he needs McGinnis to live dangerously. Whether it’s biological fatherhood or crimefighting mentoring, the relationship shows more of what we’d expect off-camera (or off-page) in the relationships Wayne would have had with his mentees, his Robins.
Guests voices on the show include a ridiculous number of well-known actors like Mark Hamill, Cary Elwes, Johnny Galecki, Pauley Perrette, Ice-T, George Takei, Stockard Channing, William H. Macy, Stacy Keach, Teri Garr, Tim Curry, Patton Oswalt, Angie Harmon, Linda Hamilton, Clancy Brown, Gary Cole, and Frank Welker.
In The Complete Animated Series , the younger McGinnis shows a different side of the Caped Crusader – one that wouldn’t be touched on until FOX’s Gotham. Now, with fifty-two episodes and The Return of the Joker film, the collection provides 1500 minutes of episodic adventures and fifteen featurettes. Those who buy the deluxe edition of the set will also receive a limited edition Funko Pop (chrome) and four lenticular art cards.
On the six discs, there are a plethora of special features. There are three brand-new featurettes: “Nostalgic Tomorrow – A Batman Gathering” allows for the production team on Batman Beyond to discuss how the show was first created and then evolved, “Knight Immortal,” which looks at the eighty years of Batman’s history through the people who told his stories, and “Tomorrow Knight: The Batman Reborn” – how Bruce Wayne mentored McGinnis into being the next Batman. Other special features include:
Audio commentaries on multiple episodes, including input from Timm, Dini, and Alan Burnett;
“Music of the Knight” – Timm navigates through scenes from the show as well as the score they created;
“Inside Batman Beyond – Meet the Creators”, “Inside Batman Beyond: The Panel”, “Inside Batman Beyond: Season 3”, and “Inside Batman Beyond Season 3: Out of the Past” (about the “Legend of the Batman” musical) provide roundtable discussion of the show from different seasons;
Two technology-related features: “Gotham: City of The Future” –a look at the modernization of Gotham to the year 2039, and “The High Tech Hero,” a look at the changes in technology in the Bat Suit;
and “Secret Origin: The Story of DC Comics”, a documentary about the story of DC Comics and the mythology that makes superheroes part of our culture.
The collection is available now on Digital or in one of the 50,000 limited edition sets.