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Mayhem of the Music Meister!
Original Airdate - October 23rd, 2009
Batman and Black Canary are pitted against Music Meister, who is able to exert powerful mind control through song. When he hijacks a communications satellite, the entire world becomes subject to his musical bidding.

Written by Michael Jelenic
Directed by Ben Jones
Animation by Lotto Animation
Review by Andrew
Media by Warner Bros. Animation

Cast

Diedrich Bader as Batman
John DiMaggio as Aquaman, Gorilla Grodd
James Arnold Taylor as Green Arrow
Dee Bradley Baker as Clock King
Kevin Michael Richardson as Black Manta
Grey DeLisle as Black Canary
Tom Kenny as Babyface
Neil Patrick Harris as Music Meister

Music
Theme Written and Performed by Andy Strumer
Music by Michael McCuisition, Lolita Ritmanis, Kristopher Carter
Songs
"I'm the Music Meister"
Music by: Michael McCuistion
Lyrics by: James Tucker
Performed by: Neil Patrick Harris

"Death Trap"
Music by: Kristopher Carter
Lyrics by: James Tucker
Performed by: Neil Patrick Harris & Grey Delisle

"Drives Us Bats"
Music by: Lolita Ritmanis
Lyrics by: Michael Jelenic
Performed by: Neil Patrick Harris

"The World is Mine"
Music by: Kristopher Carter
Lyrics by: Michael Jelenic
Performed by: Neil Patrick Harris, Grey Delisle & Jeff Bennett

"If Only"
Music by: Lolita Ritmanis
Lyrics by: Michael Jelenic
Performed by: Neil Patrick Harris & Grey Delisle

"If Only (Reprise)"
Music by: Lolita Ritmanis
Lyrics by: Michael Jelenic
Performed by: Grey Delisle & James Arnold Taylor

Images

Video Clips


Review
This episode is difficult to review; things have certainly gone askew. A song-filled romp for the Batman? This was a strange plan, how dare you seduce this fan; such rhythmic lark - one could say they have jumped the shaaaark!

I apologize. I simply couldn't resist getting in tune with the episode. Even if you knew to expect a musical episode there was simply no way to be prepared for the magnitude of lyrical bombshells this episode would drop in your lap. I wholly expected the songs to be cheesy and cringe-worthy, but every bit of it is incredibly well-done. The tunes and the lyrics are all catchy to a point in which a single viewing of this episode may not suffice. All of that said, the rest of the episode's contents are well done as well. Lacking a teaser, this episode starts off with Gorilla Grodd, Black Manta and Clock King facing off against Black Canary, Green Arrow and Aquaman. The music is introduced nearly immediately in the most unexpected way, and Music Meister takes the six under his verbal control, which prompts Batman - who was watching - to slip in some Batplugs to keep Meister from sending him into a musical trance. Batman is unsuccessful in stopping him, and Meister manages to launch a satellite into orbit which hijacks the world's communications so he can broadcast his enchanted lyrics to the world.

From there on, the story is pretty simple as Meister has taken control fairly early in the episode. Batman managed to rescue the 3 heroes from being Meister's pawns, but only for a short while as Aquaman and Green Arrow apparently don't use the Batplugs they're given. Black Canary, however, employs their use but insists on singing along as they pursue Music Meister. Highly strange, but the songs are very well done that it's simple to keep along with them - she could still take on thugs while singing, so more power to her. The song I have to say I most liked had to be during the montage as Meister sings about how Batman drives people batty; heroes and villains alike. One interesting thing to note about the sequence, their portrayal of Arkham's exterior seemed to match the common exterior depiction in "Batman: The Animated Series" as it cut to a close-up of a very similar Arkham sign and immediately panned over to the building. The episode ends on an unexpected note with the introduction of a relationship between Black Canary and Green Arrow. Despite the lack of proper buildup as this is the first time they have been in the same episode, this didn't seem all that forced. Admittedly, though, that may be due to the subtle romantic atmosphere brought by the music which is drastically different than the atmosphere would have been otherwise. Either way, it will be interesting to see them touch on this later - surely not in such a touching way, though.

There isn't much else to say about the episode except that it's highly recommended that you see it. The songs, the music, the story all mesh together in a captivating display of musical, and writing talent. As well, the animation holds up to the quality of the rest of the show despite having a faster pace and new elements such as shots that involved panning out and into different angles. It's an odd experience, but it was handled beautifully. The episode gets bonus points to the lyrics writers for referencing not only the infamous Batusi, but also the notorious Shark Repellant. I have to say this certainly should qualify as jumping the shark, but they have managed a perfect landing. I credit that to the Shark Repellent - and of course the undeniable talent of Neil Patrick Harris.

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