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Category: Batman

Follow the Dark Knight Rises, Batman vs. Superman hitting theaters, Batman the Brave and the Bold, Justice League Unlimited, Beware the Batman and BTAS

WALL-E and Batman Win Scream Awards

WALL-E and Batman Win Scream Awards

Wall-E, the adorable CGI robot from Disney’s summer hit of the same name, was amongst serveral comic-book superheroes to take home Scream awards on Spike TV over the weekend.  The show was the third annual event honoring the best in fantasy, sci-fi, comics and horror, and will air on Spike TV Tuesday, October 21st, at 9PM.  Wall-E took home the award for Breakout Performance.  But it was Batman who was the evening’s big winner, with The Dark Knight grabbing 12 awards, including The Ultimate Scream.

Toy Story meets Dark Knight

Toy Story meets Dark Knight

I don’t know about you, but I loved Toy Story and Toy Story 2.  I also loved the sequel to Batman Begins, The Dark Knight.  …I guess I really just like movies!  Well, there are a bunch of really talented and creative fans out there that are big fans of those movies AND have the ability to package them like you’ve never seen before… mushed together into one movie!  Whether that new movie would be called Dark Toy Knight, or Knight Story, or Toy Dark Story Knight ToonBarn… something… who knows!  Whatever it is, it’s great!  Check out the fan-created trailer below the break!

BTAS Secrets – Ferris Boyle

BTAS Ferris Boyle

The beloved Heart of Ice episode from Batman: The Animated Series holds yet another secret, ready to be discovered by this ToonBarn special; details of the man behind the villain.  Mr. Freeze wasn’t always a sympathetic villain — we know he was once the good Doctor Victor Fries, who dedicated his time to finding a cure for his wife Nora.  Striken by a life-threatening illness, Nora was kept safe, frozen by her husband Victor, until a cure could be found to save her life.

Ferris Boyle, the man who owned the equipment Victor was using, was furious over how Victor was using his property.  In a rage, Boyle destroyed the equipment, disregarding Nora and Victor’s life, and presumably destroying them both.  Even before Victor became Mr. Freeze, the episode has a villain in Ferris Boyle.

To produce such a chilling, villainous persona, the execs behind BTAS looked in the direction of one man, Mark Hamill.  Weeks before he would became the Joker, Mark Hamill was cast to appear a single time in the entire series, as GothCorp CEO Ferris Boyle, the bad guy behind the bad guy.

After competing the episode, Hamill reportedly had such a great time playing the role, particularly the role of such a bad guy, and asked to meet with producers about finding him more work.  Then, and only then, did Mark Hamill get a chance to brilliantly portray the Joker, in what has since become one of his most memorable roles.  But before then… Hamill was Ferris Boyle; colder than Mr. Freeze.

Check out more images of the “Humanitarian” after the break

BTAS Secrets – Ice of Heart

Heart of Ice

One of the more beloved episodes of the entire Batman: the Animated Series run was the retelling of Mr. Freeze’s origin, Heart of Ice.  The story was action oriented at times, while also featuring sleuthy detective work, however it was mostly known as a heart-felt tale of love lost.  The final scene of the episode is especially note worthy; Dr. Victor Fries, alone in his cell, sadly weeping because he can no longer be with his love, Nora Fries.

Amazingly enough, this scene is not only crucial to the plot and the defining moment of the character, it was also the first scene written for the episode!  Heart of Ice was “secretly” written backwards.  Paul Dini, Batman writer extraordinaire, originally conceived of this final moment weeks before sitting down to flesh out the entire saga.  The details he noted as being most important were Victor’s tears freezing into snowflakes as they rolled off of his face.  As the camera zooms out, the cell where he is locked up appears to be snowing from the inside — a display of how much the sympathetic villain is crying.

Only the best writing can make you feel bad for the bad guy!

Check out some more images of Mr. Freeze after the break

Can we have a Batman / Superman animated movie?

Batman Superman

With Batman’s “The Dark Knight” hitting $500 million today, there has been a great deal of news trickling out of Warner Bros. about plans for more superhero movies. Specifically, what about Batman’s pal, Superman? There was a live-action Superman movie a few years ago, which, at the time, started to circulate rumors of a movie with Batman and Superman.  Now that there are talks again about another Superman movie, the rumors have returned about the two of them working together — though not necessarily as a live action film with Christian Bale and Brandon Routh.  Some rumors have hinted at a possible “World’s Finest” animated movie, reuniting the BTAS and STAS teams back together again.  Stay tuned to ToonBarn for more details!

BTAS Secrets – Riddle me this

The Riddler

It’s no secret: The Riddler has always been one of Batman’s most popular villains — he’s clever, he’s slick, he’s covered in green, and loves himself question marks!  That’s… pretty odd.  But what can you say, he’s a riddle!  Edward E. Nigma (which breaks down to “E – Nigma”, another word for a puzzle or riddle) has been in the Bat universe for over 60 years, always causing trouble for Batman, but always remaining a fan favorite.

When it came time to introduce him to the animated Bat universe, the creative folks behind the characters had a few tough decisions to make.  Over the years, the Riddler has taken on several different forms; some were reserved, some were manic and crazy.  Some had wacky costumes covered in question marks, some were just green jump suits.

Early sketches and portrayals for the Riddler were to be fashioned after the hyperactive take that Frank Gorshin made famous in the live-action TV series from the 1960s.  The animated Riddler was to wear a spandex-looking costume, complete with question mark decor, just like the earlier show. The producers even went so far as to start auditions for a zany, loud, and boisterous actor to fill the role of the Riddler’s voice.

Later (and thankfully!) the decision was made to offer the audience an entirely new look at the character.  The creators crafted a much more cold, serious take on the character, giving him calculated style in persona and his sharp-suit attire — a slick, dark green suit with a classic Bowler hat… and, of course, a slight flash of purple in his tie, along with the signature question mark symbol.

and Riddle Me This… what would Batman the Animated Series be without him?

Check out some more Riddler images after the break

BTAS Secrets – Ra’s Al Ghul’s Daddy

Ra\'s Al Ghul

Ra’s Al Ghul is one of Batman’s fiercest and most unique villains.  He does not conform to Gotham’s standard rogue lot, with colorful flare or traditional gimmicks.  In fact, Ra’s does not always confront Batman alone, but rather leading an entire league — the league of Shadows — whose members bow to their leader, “the Demon’s Head.”  No secret there.

Created in the early 70s during a period where comic books were updating with the times, establishing new, more believable stories, more evil characters.  Denny O’Neil, head Bat-writer at the time, created Ra’s as the perfect foil for Batman — and Ra’s beautiful daughter Talia to love Batman, and the stories were instant classics.  Years before Liam Neeson starred as Ra’s in Batman Begins, O’Neil made him a fixture in the Batuniverse.

When it came time for Ra’s Al Ghul’s first appearance in Batman the Animated Series, the two-parter “The Demon’s Quest,” the BTAS staff wanted to be sure the character and story lived up to the amazing comic book version.  To guarantee success, the staff brought in a special producer for the episode, Ra’s Al Ghul’s creator in comics, and now co-scripter of the his creation in the animated form, Denny O’Neil.  Nearly 25 years later, O’Neil introduced Ra’s to an entire new legion of fans, and proved every bit as successful in animated form.

Check out some images of Ra’s Al Ghul after the break.

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