BAT 77 Episode #01 - The Gosh-Darned Bat Mite

General goings on in the 1966 Batman World

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BAT 77 Episode #01 - The Gosh-Darned Bat Mite

Post by BAT 77 » Fri Sep 14, 2018 10:27 pm

#01 The Gosh-Darned Bat Mite .png
Holy Two Dimensions, Batman!
#01 The Gosh-Darned Bat Mite .png (239.13 KiB) Viewed 531 times
It’s the start of our rewatch and review of the 1977 Filmation series “The New Adventures of Batman” featuring Adam West and Burt Ward. JB gives a brief overview of the series history and reviews the pilot episode “The Pest”, where the Dynamic Duo’s biggest fan keeps messing up their attempts to capture the Clown Prince of Crime.

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Re: BAT 77 Episode #01 - The Gosh-Darned Bat Mite

Post by John Mack » Sat Sep 15, 2018 5:33 am

I am so embarrassed :oops:
Music. BAT! Music.

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Re: BAT 77 Episode #01 - The Gosh-Darned Bat Mite

Post by BATWINGED HORNET » Sun Sep 16, 2018 5:30 am

Filmation dropped the ball on the 1977 Batman cartoon; the Action For Children's Television guidelines/restrictions were in full force, so unlike the 1968-70 Batman cartoons, the '77 version was completely free of physical violence (specifically punching) making the Duo no better than kids playing dress up--and tolerating Bat-Mite.

Speaking of Bat-Mite, he was just one of what was a long, annoying line of impish comedy relief mascots on Filmation productions, such as Scarab (Web Woman), Orko (He-Man), the Trobbits (Blackstar), Deputy Fuzz (Bravestarr) and Belfry (Ghostbusters), always eating away at the value of their action/adventure shows (Well, Ghostbusters was comedy, so it gets a half-pass). Lou Schiemer's belief that such comic relief was necessary--or that all children enjoyed that was patently false. The '68 series was able to fill the running time without the distraction / padding of comic relief seen in the '77 series.

You mentioned the re-use of character cels from the '68 production, but there were quite a number of changes, such as the Bat emblem on Batman's chest, and most important of all, the use of rotoscoping for character running or action cycles, which were not used by Filmation in the previous decade.

About what studios made up Saturday morning cartoons in the 70s, in addition to what you mentioned (H-B, Filmation and repacked Warner Brothers material) on networks, there was also studios such as:

-- DePatie–Freleng Enterprises behind a long list of shows, including the long-running Pink Panther Show (NBC, 1969-80), Return to the Planet of the Apes (NBC, 1975-76), [The New Fantastic Four (NBC, 1978), Spider-Woman (ABC, 1979-80), etc.

--Ruby-Spears with The Plastic Man Comedy Adventure Show (ABC, 1979-80)

--Fred Calvert Productions with Emergency Plus 4 (NBC, 1973-74), so there was a large amount of non WB/Filmation/H-B shows on network TV.

Regarding Ward's voice work, he was not alone, as many actors who reprised live action roles played their animated counterparts in ether off ways (Danny Bonaduce on The Partridge Family 2200 A.D., John Astin as Gomez Addams on The New Scooby Doo Movies, DeForest Kelley on Filmation's Star Trek), or over the top (Dick Van Dyke on The New Scooby Doo Movies, and it was not his comedic schtick at play).

Even West's delivery had changed significantly since the 1966 series, not just due to an aging voice, but it was the beginning of his sort of exaggerated, semi-mocking way of preforming Batman which would be carried to yet another level in the 1979 Legends of the Superheroes disaster.
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Re: BAT 77 Episode #01 - The Gosh-Darned Bat Mite

Post by BAT 77 » Sun Sep 16, 2018 9:15 am

BATWINGED HORNET wrote:
Sun Sep 16, 2018 5:30 am
Filmation dropped the ball on the 1977 Batman cartoon; the Action For Children's Television guidelines/restrictions were in full force, so unlike the 1968-70 Batman cartoons, the '77 version was completely free of physical violence (specifically punching) making the Duo no better than kids playing dress up--and tolerating Bat-Mite.
In an upcoming episode where Catwoman frames Batgirl for stealing an invention, Gordon and the GCPD don't pull out their guns and shoot at her when she makes a run for it after she's caught "red handed" with the stolen merchandise. Whereas back in '67 the NYPD would fire away at Spider-Man on a regular basis on his show.

So far in this re-watch, Batman's skills as a detective are also lacking. He's still relying on the Bat Computer for clues on the criminal's next caper, and when the Bat Computer fails to come up with anything (which so far is always the case) Robin or Bat Mite will say some random thought that inspires Batman to come up with a plan of action. I guess you can say the same of the much of the '66 series, but at least we had the Bat Fights (tm). Now without the fights and the detective element, most of these episodes so far have been a big runaround for kids to imitate on the playground when they go back to school on Monday.
Speaking of Bat-Mite, he was just one of what was a long, annoying line of impish comedy relief mascots on Filmation productions, such as Scarab (Web Woman), Orko (He-Man), the Trobbits (Blackstar), Deputy Fuzz (Bravestarr) and Belfry (Ghostbusters), always eating away at the value of their action/adventure shows (Well, Ghostbusters was comedy, so it gets a half-pass). Lou Schiemer's belief that such comic relief was necessary--or that all children enjoyed that was patently false. The '68 series was able to fill the running time without the distraction / padding of comic relief seen in the '77 series.
Sure, but each episode of the '68 series was made up of a two-part adventure followed by a one-part adventure, with each part being probably not more than 8 minutes in length. So there wasn't any room for padding, especially on those single part adventures.

The impish comedy relief mascots really came to the fore on She-Ra in 1986 where we had Madame Razz and her talking broom (modeled after Lou Schimer himself), the Twiglets, and Kowl on the Rebellion's side, and even the villain had a brown-nosing, pig-like imp character (named "Imp" IIRC) that everyone in the Horde wanted to do away with.
You mentioned the re-use of character cels from the '68 production, but there were quite a number of changes, such as the Bat emblem on Batman's chest, and most important of all, the use of rotoscoping for character running or action cycles, which were not used by Filmation in the previous decade.
On the next episode I'm going to record, I will be mentioning the rotoscoping technique as we will have our first Bat-Climb. Not sure why they bothered to changed the Bat emblem (unless it was for copyright issues), but there's also the reverse R on Robin's chest throughout the whole series.
About what studios made up Saturday morning cartoons in the 70s, in addition to what you mentioned (H-B, Filmation and repacked Warner Brothers material) on networks, there was also studios such as:

-- DePatie–Freleng Enterprises behind a long list of shows, including the long-running Pink Panther Show (NBC, 1969-80), Return to the Planet of the Apes (NBC, 1975-76), [The New Fantastic Four (NBC, 1978), Spider-Woman (ABC, 1979-80), etc.

--Ruby-Spears with The Plastic Man Comedy Adventure Show (ABC, 1979-80)

--Fred Calvert Productions with Emergency Plus 4 (NBC, 1973-74), so there was a large amount of non WB/Filmation/H-B shows on network TV.
I also forgot to add to the list Sid and Marty Croft who gave us such acid-induced nightmare fare as HR Puffenstuff, Land of the Lost and Sidney and the Sea Monsters.
Regarding Ward's voice work, he was not alone, as many actors who reprised live action roles played their animated counterparts in ether off ways (Danny Bonaduce on The Partridge Family 2200 A.D., John Astin as Gomez Addams on The New Scooby Doo Movies, DeForest Kelley on Filmation's Star Trek), or over the top (Dick Van Dyke on The New Scooby Doo Movies, and it was not his comedic schtick at play).
I didn't think DeForest Kelly sounded THAT off, at least not as off as Shatner. I think of lot of that was due to the fact that most of these vocal performances were recorded in isolation and not in a group session. It would've been too expensive for Filmation to attempt to coordinate everyone's schedules for a group session. We only had West and Ward return for '77, but I believe each of them recorded their lines in isolation. I think if they were in the studio together, they would've been able to play off each other and maybe sound a little more "authentic", though in Ward's case his age and lack of acting work would still be a factor.
Even West's delivery had changed significantly since the 1966 series, not just due to an aging voice, but it was the beginning of his sort of exaggerated, semi-mocking way of preforming Batman which would be carried to yet another level in the 1979 Legends of the Superheroes disaster.
I am enjoying West's performance so far. At times he sounds downright seductive in his line readings. On an upcoming episode he makes the line "I want you to go undercover" sound like an indecent proposal. And we are spared the long, Shatner-like pauses and phrasing. West's more subtle performances from '66 would not translate at all on eight-frames-a-second animation.

Thanks for commenting.

JB
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Re: BAT 77 Episode #01 - The Gosh-Darned Bat Mite

Post by cammy85 » Sun Sep 16, 2018 11:21 am

I always figured it was the ADR that made Adam's West''s voice the way it was. I can't and won't compare those with the two movies. But that Batman in 1977 (and Robin as well) was played straighter than in the 60's live action show. It's a shame they couldn't do the Batfights, but I guess that's what Batman was famous/infamous for and Filmation was trying to do away with that.

Edit: i guess I should comment on the episode too. This was not the best start to the series. Actually, the Moon Man episode right after this was leaps better. I didn't care for the Joker's voice here, and Penguin's isn't much better. Both were better in the New Scooby Doo Movies.

Bat-Mite didn't start off on the right foot, though I do admit he got better in time. Mainly in the three episodes at the end dealing with Zarbor. He is indeed comic relief like Belfry, Orko and Madame Raz; but at least they could be serious when they had to be. Bat-mite was a well-meaning imp; nothing more.

The Bat-Messages at the end of every episode were hardly serious either. Some had good morals, but mainly just a recap of the episode's events and a gag. The aforementioned examples of He-man, She-ra and Ghostbusters did those right.

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Re: BAT 77 Episode #01 - The Gosh-Darned Bat Mite

Post by BAT 77 » Sun Sep 16, 2018 12:53 pm

cammy85 wrote:
Sun Sep 16, 2018 11:21 am


This was not the best start to the series. Actually, the Moon Man episode right after this was leaps better. I didn't care for the Joker's voice here, and Penguin's isn't much better. Both were better in the New Scooby Doo Movies.
Winerib's Joker voice gets even more bizzare in the upcoming episodes. He'll keep switching from a nasally voice to a more throaty voice, often in the middle of sentences. It reminds me a lot of Pee Wee Herman. Joker & Penguin in the Scooby-Doo movies were the same for the '68 Filmation. It was definitely Ted Knight for Penguin, but there has been an ongoing debate about whether Knight or Larry Storch voiced the Joker in '68 Filmation and the Scooby-Doo movies.

Glad you enjoyed the podcast. - JB
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Re: BAT 77 Episode #01 - The Gosh-Darned Bat Mite

Post by Progress Pigment » Sun Sep 16, 2018 11:59 pm

cammy85 wrote:
Sun Sep 16, 2018 11:21 am
I always figured it was the ADR that made Adam's West''s voice the way it was. I can't and won't compare those with the two movies. But that Batman in 1977 (and Robin as well) was played straighter than in the 60's live action show. It's a shame they couldn't do the Batfights, but I guess that's what Batman was famous/infamous for and Filmation was trying to do away with that.
I actually love it! Certainly not on a level with Filmation's Star Trek, but still, so much fun. If you have the box set, there's a mini-documentary, explaining how Adam West knew instinctive that on an animated series, you had to "sell it". They couldn't have been more complementary about his voice work on the series. And I agree cammy85 , The Moon Man was a wonderful episode. He did the same thing in the later episodes of Superfriends, and for my money voiced the best animated rendition of Batman put on film in "The Fear". When given an opportunity, the guy always managed to give the good stuff.

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Re: BAT 77 Episode #01 - The Gosh-Darned Bat Mite

Post by cammy85 » Mon Sep 17, 2018 7:27 am

OMG!! Progress Pigment, "The Fear" is the greatest thing ever!! Thanks for posting that!! I've been waiting to see that again!!! Definitely worth the wait in the Batman/Super Friends/Super Powers Team franchise. A gem in a sea of Darkseid-dedicated episodes.

BAT 77: I agree!! The voices take some getting used to, especially Catwoman/Evil-lyn before she was Evil-lyn,

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Re: BAT 77 Episode #01 - The Gosh-Darned Bat Mite

Post by Progress Pigment » Tue Sep 18, 2018 12:42 am

cammy85 wrote:
Mon Sep 17, 2018 7:27 am
OMG!! Progress Pigment, "The Fear" is the greatest thing ever!! Thanks for posting that!! I've been waiting to see that again!!! Definitely worth the wait in the Batman/Super Friends/Super Powers Team franchise. A gem in a sea of Darkseid-dedicated episodes.
:) cammy85, will you marry me?!! The Fear is certainly an anomaly. It has nothing to do with the then current series story arc, which as you said was pretty Darkseid driven. A comics fan, I remember at the time it aired hating the odd "scratchy" animation, now I love it! It was actually drawn. These days, nearly everything produced looks like it was done on a laptop. It's great to see Alfred, Dick Grayson, and even Diana Prinze! I don't think Alfred appeared anywhere else in Superfriends history. It's funny, when you see the other heroes arrive at the end. As soon as you spot Superman, you think, woah! This is over!

I have read that "The Fear" was produced as a possible pilot for a new Batman cartoon, but can't substantiate that's true. Anyway, by that time Michael "buzz kill" Uslan had optioned the character, and certainly would not have green lit any Batman project featuring Adam West.

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Re: BAT 77 Episode #01 - The Gosh-Darned Bat Mite

Post by BAT 77 » Tue Sep 18, 2018 5:38 am

Progress Pigment wrote:
Tue Sep 18, 2018 12:42 am
It's great to see Alfred, Dick Grayson, and even Diana Prinze! I don't think Alfred appeared anywhere else in Superfriends history.
Alfred does appear in "Challenge of the Superfriends" but as Bizzaro Alfred in a hilarious scene where Batman and Robin temporarily forget that all of the Earth's population have been transformed to Bizzaros and Cheetas. They call on Alfred to fix some sandwiches, and he ties them to the Batmobile and sets it on its way to the side of a cliff.
I have read that "The Fear" was produced as a possible pilot for a new Batman cartoon, but can't substantiate that's true. Anyway, by that time Michael "buzz kill" Uslan had optioned the character, and certainly would not have green lit any Batman project featuring Adam West.
Yes, I've also heard that "The Fear" was going to be a "backdoor-pilot" for a new Batman animated series in the early 80s that was going to take a darker tone. Adam's performance in "The Fear" is among his best as Batman, and I will definitely touch on this when I record the wrap-up episode of the podcast.
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Re: BAT 77 Episode #01 - The Gosh-Darned Bat Mite

Post by BAT 77 » Tue Sep 18, 2018 5:53 am

cammy85 wrote:
Mon Sep 17, 2018 7:27 am

BAT 77: I agree!! The voices take some getting used to, especially Catwoman/Evil-lyn before she was Evil-lyn,
Melody Britt does an amazing job of bringing distinct voices to Batgirl and Catwoman. There's a nice bit in an upcoming episode where she has a conversation with herself (i.e. Batgirl and Catwoman confront each other). She played both characters much more maturely than Jane Webb in the '68 version.

Also, in the '77 Filmation series, Barbara is not a librarian but instead the Assistant District Attorney. Alas her boss, Harvey Dent, does not make an appearance in the series.
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Re: BAT 77 Episode #01 - The Gosh-Darned Bat Mite

Post by Progress Pigment » Tue Sep 18, 2018 5:16 pm

BAT 77 wrote:
Tue Sep 18, 2018 5:53 am
cammy85 wrote:
Mon Sep 17, 2018 7:27 am

BAT 77: I agree!! The voices take some getting used to, especially Catwoman/Evil-lyn before she was Evil-lyn,
Melody Britt does an amazing job of bringing distinct voices to Batgirl and Catwoman. There's a nice bit in an upcoming episode where she has a conversation with herself (i.e. Batgirl and Catwoman confront each other). She played both characters much more maturely than Jane Webb in the '68 version.
I love her! Melody was a great Catwoman -- I'd put her above Halle Berry or Michelle Pfeiffer! I thought she did a nice homage to Julie Newmar, but put a nice twist on it. She's largely remembered as "She-Ra", but did quite a bit of non-voice work, and in her day was pretty enough to play Catwoman. :)

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Re: BAT 77 Episode #01 - The Gosh-Darned Bat Mite

Post by Progress Pigment » Tue Sep 18, 2018 5:43 pm

In 'The Fear', could this have been the first time Alfred was shown to have been working for the Wayne family prior to their deaths? In the comics, he just showed up at the doorstep of Bruce & Dick straight from England, looking for work. Post-Crisis in the comics has Alfred raising Bruce, but I wonder if this was actually the first instance that this was hit upon? That would be incredible.

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Re: BAT 77 Episode #01 - The Gosh-Darned Bat Mite

Post by cammy85 » Thu Sep 20, 2018 9:50 am

LOL at their reactions!! That's a page you don't want to show people who think there's... something else going on with Bruce and Dick!! Haha!!

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Re: BAT 77 Episode #01 - The Gosh-Darned Bat Mite

Post by mattman » Thu Sep 20, 2018 9:54 am

Love the 'noodle' incident of the year wait, torpedoed at sea, being adrift then saying his most memorable experience was being potentially mugged lol

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