Bat-Mite Presents: Batman's Strangest Cases!
Original Airdate - April 1st, 2011
Bat-Mite hosts a series of Batman's most bizarre adventures including the Mad Magazine-inspired Batboy and Rubin, a Japanese-influenced Bat-Manga and a guest starring role from
the Scooby Gang and Weird Al Yankovic.
Written by Paul Dini
Directed by Ben Jones
Review by klammed,
Media by Warner Bros. Animation
Diedrach Bader as Lord Death Man
Jeff Bennet as Rubin
Corey Burton as Bat-Manga Batman
Mindy Cohn as Velma
Grey Delisle as Daphne
Matthew Lillard as Shaggy
Jason Marsden as Scooby-Doo Robin
Paul Reubens as Bat-Mite
Frank Welker as Batboy, Fred, Scooby-Doo, Scooby-Doo Batman
"Weird Al" Yankovic as Himself
Theme Written and Performed by Andy Strumer
Music by Michael McCuisition, Lolita Ritmanis,
You wouldn't be blamed if you walked into the middle of this one thinking there was suddenly a new Batman show going on. From Bat-Manga to MAD magazine, and Bat-mite providing the commentary along the way. Sufficient scatological and visual humour starts us off with Batboy and Rubin. If you thought Batman: Brave and the Bold was full of camp, well, let's just say this takes it further. The backgrounds and environment designs really stood out for me though, with attention to detail including the halftone effects. Panel to panel transitions were a nice touch too.
“Awesome sauce!” And we're taken back to Batmite's little Bat paraphernalia den. Conversations ensue and one begins to wonder if this whole play with the fourth wall, third (or is it fifth?) space separating the fiction from the audience from the commentator/Bat-mite is going too far. Or not. Best not the think about it and just enjoy the ride, perhaps? Perhaps. Bat-mite's very keen on letting us know that he's the fellow in control, which results in a rather different title sequence from the usual. But it's Bat-mite, nothing's usual.
Zoom off into the world of Bat-manga, and Morrison fans may start jumping in their seats over Lord Death Man. Genius voice-casting here with Grey DeLisle as Robin, mimicking old anime conventions of getting a female to play the boy roles. Bader played a very commendable Lord Death Man here, and the script was hilarious with Corey Burton going all out in lines such as “Augh! Lord Death Man” (you have to hear it to appreciate it). The looping laughter at the end was described by one of my friends as something that will haunt her dreams forever and ever. We leave it up to you decide. That, and the ‘parachuting to safety' bit completely up for interpretation. Now we know that you can't trust English dubs.
Now, we've been told before the airing of this episode that the team up with Scooby Doo was going to be almost an exact replication of the original episode. ‘Almost' is the right word. Detail right down to the voices and look was once again all brilliant, and they went to the extent of preserving colouring mistakes, which a very disgruntled Bat-mite points out for us, as well as other… ahem… mistakes. Brilliant gags again with Shark repellent and anti-aquatic rays. A typical Brave and the Bold episode is of course incomplete without a little spicing up. So instead of ultra-censored kid friendliness, we get an all out brawl. Even Scooby and Shaggy get in on the action. Brilliance? I'd say so, and made this segment my personal favourite, having grown up on Hanna-Barbera repeats.
Very typical odd fan-boy romp that Brave and the Bold usually is, one which definitely confused those who hadn't been following the series (I'd been asked by friends who saw clips and wondered if the show was for real), which shows how willing the production team was in ensuring faithfulness to their source material.
its pair of seasons, and the haphazard start of a third,
this show has attempted to not only feature its only
version of our beloved Dark Knight but also sneak in
various references and homages to Batman's rich history.
Generally this is done with subtle efforts, such as
“Trials of the Demon!” featuring the design of Batman as
featured in the graphic novel Gotham by Gaslight.
However, with the introduction of the mischievous imp,
Bat-Mite, this show has taken liberties with to flesh it
out further that not only serve as quirky and clever
introductions to various aspects of the Bat-mythos, but
also to cause delight among those that were already
familiar with the source material. This time, though,
instead of just inserting a quick references and jokes
at Batman's history as they did in “Legends of the
Dark-Mite,” they upped themselves for this episode and
each segment offers very unique, and sometimes infamous,
versions of Batman.
One interesting thing to note
about this episode is that it's supposed to be one of
the last few season 2 episodes but technically could be
regarded as season 3 given its following of the previous
episode, “The Battle of the Superheroes!” The reason why
I find this is interesting is, at the time, it didn't
make much sense other than to start the new season off
with the introduction of Superman, but now it may be
some brilliant juxtaposition. The teaser for “The Battle
of Superheroes” featured one of “Batman's Strangest
Cases,” which this entire episode is devoted to.
Although it messes the episode order quite a bit, that's
actually a very good way of lining these episodes up.
The “teaser” for this episode is actually its own
unique segment like the rest of the episode, but
certainly the most strange. Inspired by Mad Magazine's
parodies of Batman, it has a significantly different
tone compared to the other two segments in the episode
as is its sense of humor. I'm not previously familiar
with any of the Mad Magazine features of its parody so
it's nigh impossible for me to say whether or not they
did well at capturing the source material, but at the
very least it's a hilarious segment. It's certainly one
of the last things I would have ever expected them to
do, but they pulled it off tastefully and it's one of
the best opening teasers this show has had. The
animation and quirkiness takes a little getting used to,
but by the end I was wanting more.
segment, based on Japan's manga comic book style, is
equally well done and yet incredibly different. It's
certainly more laid back, and despite being influenced
by manga's style the plot reminded me of something more
out of Super Friends or a similarly aged superhero
cartoon. It strikes me as if something such as Speed
Racer had been written by Hanna-Barbera. There isn't too
much that I feel needs saying on the story except that
it was simplistic and fun, but the effort that went into
the art style paid off incredibly well. All of the
character designs match what you would expect from
decades-previous manga, and yet they weren't too
different to the point in which anyone was likely
The final segment takes its influence
from a far more notorious source that many are familiar
with, but most likely forgot, and new people frequently
feel the insatiable urge of hunting it down upon
learning of it. Batman meets Scooby-Doo. Though it was
made a whole decade prior to my own childhood, I was
still quite familiar with it and what they have done
here was simply brilliant. It felt like a natural
continuation of it as though Hanna-Barbera themselves
produced it, and managed to include its own original
twists that didn't step on the toes of the source
material. It's hard to say whether or not they saved the
best for last this one since the whole trio of "Batman's
Strangest Cases" were certainly well done, but this one
was easily my favorite. From the subtle jokes at the
production errors to the featuring of modern-day
celebrity Weird Al Yankovic, the whole thing is a great
enjoyment and completes the fantastic trio of this
Overall, although getting
used to the various animation styles and vastly
separated tones can be a bit jarring at first, I don't
think anyone should have difficulty in enjoying this and
Highly Recommend its viewing!
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