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"Batman: The Animated Series" Turns 21
San Diego Comic-Con 2013 schedule included a panel dedicated to the classic Batman: The Animated Series landmark cartoon. The hour-long panel "Batman: The Animated Series Turns 21" was held at 5:45pm 6:45pm in Room 6DE on Saturday, July 20th, 2013 at the San Diego Comic-Con. The San Diego Comic-Con convention is held every year, focusing on host of different genres and pop culture events. Panel details are as follows:

Batman: The Animated Series Turns 21
Saturday July 20, 2013 5:45pm - 6:45pm (Room 6DE)

Pop the champagne! The landmark television production Batman: The Animated Series turns 21 this year. Spend an hour with the creative core of this groundbreaking series -- Bruce Timm, Paul Dini, Alan Burnett, and Eric Radomski -- as they recollect the dynamics of crafting a series that would have a resounding influence on Dark Knight properties -- and the entire animated television landscape -- for two decades and counting.

Yeah, we know. We can't believe it's 21 years old either. But Batman: The Animated Series is still as relevant and exciting as ever, and this is sure to be an awesome reminiscence. Don't miss out exclusive panel coverage, which you can find below:

Continue below for the official coverage details released to the press and media by DC Comics.

We're getting ready for the start of the panel and the energy in the room is pretty amazing. It's time to begin and here come the panelists! Show producers Alan Burnett, Paul Dini, Eric Radomski, and Bruce Timm come on stage to huge applause.

First question out of the gate, did they know if the show would work?

They weren't 100% sure the show would work at first, but were confident it would in the end.

Q: What was the most difficult part of production?

They started out getting to work on the show, but when it became a series there was a lot of pressure on whether they could pull it off or not. It was difficult to get people to trust them and what they could do. Apparently their first story editor didn't see quite eye-to-eye with them and that made the first 6 months of the show really difficult to produce. That is until Alan Burnett came in as a story editor.

Q: Was there anything they didn't get to do on the show that they weren't able to.

There was a vampire story they wanted to do and a Christmas silent night episode that they weren't able to get to for a variety of reasons.

Q: Can they watch the show and now and enjoy it?

Bruce Timm says it was really hard to watch it in the past because all he could see was the flaws, but he hasn't actually seen one in a long time. Paul Dini recently watched The Mask of the Phantasm with his wife and they both loved it.

Q: What was your favorite episode and why?

Dini thinks it was 'Heart of Ice' because as he said, "It works. It was just right."

Timm agreed with 'Heart of Ice', but added 'The Laughing Fish' and 'On Leather Wings' since it was the first episode. Said he just has a soft spot for the episode since it was their first.

Radomski agreed with 'On Leather Wings,' because it was the first episode. He also loved 'Robin's Reckoning, Part 1' due to the level of story telling and the dramatic impact of the episode.

Burnett took it a different direction by stating his favorites were: the first episode with The Ventriloquist, 'Feat of Clay, Part 2', and the Mad Hatter episode 'Perchance to Dream.'

Q: Besides Batman what was your favorite character?

Dini loved the Joker, and Radomski agreed. Though he also threw Harley Quinn into the mix, which received huge applause. He elaborated by saying it was about the pull of the psychotic relationship she had with the Joker that made her so great. Timm gives a short, but well received answer... "Alfred."

Q: Was there anyone particular that was a casting surprise?

Radomski is the first to respond with Kevin Conroy, and how they were looking for just the right voice for Batman. Timm added to that by sharing that originally when Mark Hamill came in he really wanted to play one of the big villains on the show. At the time there wasn't one really open but not too long after that they actually needed someone new to voice the Joker. So Hamill came in and auditioned and was the exact Joker they were looking for. Timm also agreed that Loren Lester was amazing as Robin, and that they weren't originally planning on adding Robin at all. They wanted to make him more of a standalone character rather than making him a sidekick of Batman. Eventually they did bring him into the show, reluctantly, but chose to make him a little bit older and a more mature team mate for Batman.

Oh! And look who it is! Loren Lester voice actor of Robin and Nightwing just popped up in the crowd to join the panelists on stage.

He comes on stage to huge applause.

When asked how he felt about working on the show, he responded that it was great and elaborated to say, it wasn't a normal cartoon show. It felt serious, like how movies were being made. He also spoke about how they were appealing to a totally different older demographic.

The panel agreed that the fan demographic for the show was much older at the time than most other cartoons, but the material was also meant to be more for older kids and appeal to that age group.

Image courtesy of Gary Miereanu

Want to watch the panel? Watch the entire Batman: The Animated Series Turns 21 panel in the player below!

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