The second episode produced for ‘BtAS‘ was planned as the big introduction for two major characters to the animated universe: The Joker and Dick Grayson/Robin. The episode would also the first starring role for supporting cast member Summer Gleason, the ‘BtAS‘ equivalent of journalist Vicki Vale from the comics and ‘Batman‘ 1989.
‘Christmas with the Joker‘ first aired on 13th November 1992 as the series 38th episode putting slightly closer to Christmas than the shows September debut on US screens.
The story sees Joker escape Arkham Asylum on Christmas Eve and he has a special Christmas planned for Batman and Robin. Kidnapping Commissioner Gordon, Summer Gleeson, and Harvey Bullock, he threatens to kill them at midnight. Of course, things are never easy with the Joker and he sets a few disasters in motion to keep Batman and Robin busy that Christmas night.
In stark contrast to ‘On Leather Wings‘ (reviewed here) this episode is much lighter in tone and successfully shows a lighter side to the ‘BtAS‘ world. Any fan of comics is aware of The Joker and what he stands for and also aware that it wouldn’t be appropriate to depict his true character in animated form so instead what we get is a brilliant construct of manic and clown. His actions can cause laughs from the audience but at the same time he remains a threat.
Robin’s character does feel a little shoehorned in to this episode but mainly due to the last of a proper introduction, something with the show then rectifies during the brilliant ‘Robin’s Reckoning‘ two-part episode later in the season. After only one episode he appears as though he has always been there only which is just a bit jarring.
Voiced by Loren Lester Dick/Robin has the right mix of youthful energy and angst to fit in well with Kevin Conroy’s iconic Batman without resulting on becoming an annoying Scrappy Doo type character.
The character design for Robin also fits in well with the rest of the series design. His colour scheme stands out more against the dark backdrops but less so than an animated representation of Burt Ward would.
The animation continues to be top-notch for a show of it’s era with the episode taking the Dynamic Duo out of Gotham in to the hills following the train giving the animators chance to contrast the dark deco city with a more snowy countryside appearance… still at night of course.
Much like Robin does the Joker brings more vibrancy to the show. We’re not yet fully introduced to his purple suit due to the Christmas jumper he wears to celebrate the holidays but still his nature is colourful in visual and metaphoric terms.
Musically this episode follows the Elfman-inspired feel of ‘On Leather Wings‘. Shirley Walker has done a brilliant job working on DC/Warner properties over the years and the recent soundtrack album releases only serve to prove this more.
The Joker theme…..
This episode could have been used as the first in the series, playing on the familiar villain and using Robin to identify more with the young audience but it plays well where ever you might watch it in ‘BtAS‘ rewatch.
Vertigo Releasing Has Confirmed June UK Release For BOYS FROM COUNTY HELL
WONDER WOMAN 1984 Lands Sixth Week At The Top Of The UK Film Chart
Vertigo Releasing To Bring Dylan O’Brien Sci-Fi Thriller FLASHBACK To The UK
DC Comics Announces Groundbreaking Changes To SUPERMAN Line
Amazon Prime Confirms Season 2 Of STAR TREK: LOWER DECKS Is Coming Soon To UK Viewers
Sold Out BRZRKR #1 To Return With Second Printing Variant
THE TOLL: Take a detour in this new clip
GODZILLA VS KONG teaser reveals new look at [Spoiler]
WONDER WOMAN 1984 Holds On Strong At The Top Of The UK Film Chart
THE SUICIDE SQUAD Trailer Is here!
BATWOMAN Goes Fast & Furious In New Episode Promo
Blue Finch Releasing Debuts I BLAME SOCIETY Trailer
The Galaxy Faces A New Threat In STAR TREK: DISCOVERY Season 4 Trailer
Shudder Release New Trailer For THE BANISHING Ahead of Launch
STAR TREK: LOWER DECKS Returns For Season 2 In August 2021
Review2 years ago
STAR TREK: DISCOVERY S02E10 “The Red Angel” review
News7 months ago
LEGENDS OF TOMORROW add Lisseth Chavez for season 6
News8 years ago
‘Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.’ announces third episode title!
Anime5 months ago
MY HERO ACADEMIA Movie confirmed
News5 months ago
Want the latest news direct to your inbox? Sign up to our NEWSLETTER
Film News1 year ago
Take a deep dive on BIRDS OF PREY’s animated opening sequence
Comics News8 months ago
Dark Horse set to release MIKE MIGNOLA – THE QUARANTINE SKETCHBOOK in March 2021
News1 year ago
Meet the Scooby gang like you’ve never seen them before in MYSTERY INCORPORATED trailer