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Watching: "The Wild Wild Wild West" (1.5: 'The Night of the Casual Killer', 1965)

[DCAU: Anniversaries: TV Episodes] _ I truly adore DCAU (Timm-verse). Such great craftsmenship. Quality storytelling, animation, voice casting, writing, musical score, sound effects, level of realism, and that extra something that keeps me coming back for more. Been following this fandom since childhood. Starting with "Batman: the Animated Series". That series turned me into a Batman fan and influenced so many of my following interests as I got older. What I love and feel about DCAU is that it's timeless to me. I mean, I never get tired of it. It's always a pleasure to go back and rewatch the classics or what I haven't seen in a while. All the qualities I mentioned earlier are so strong that it doesn't seem too kiddish and can be enjoyed by various age ranges. So, I've been following the fandom since BTAS. On summer vacation, I've been trying to catch up on the direct to DVD features I'm behind on and the shorts 'DC Showcase'. Just recently saw "Batman: Year One". Looking forward to "Justice League: Doom". Curious about their upcoming feature, "Batman: The Dark Knight Returns", which is adapted from the famous graphic novel by Frank Miller during the 1980's. I would like to attempt to read the source material before I see that JL and/or BM feature. (The JL one was based on "Justice League: Tower of Babel".) Hope I can find them in stores! 


(Source: World's Finest)

Batman: The Animated Series (1.3) "Heart of Ice" (1992)
Director: Bruce W. Timm; Writer: Paul Dini; Guest: Michael Ansara (Dr. Victor Fries/Mr. Freeze)
[The Animated Batman] [World's Finest] [YouTube] [Mr. Freeze: Wikipedia, DC Wiki]
Facts: 'Hellboy' creator Mike Mignola designed Mr. Freeze; Won Emmy Award/Outstanding Writing in an Animated Program
Rec. Reading: "Batman and Psychology: A Dark and Stormy Knight" (Langley, 2012) (See: 'Case File 2-2')

MR. FREEZE: "Yes, it would move me to tears if I stil had tears to shed."

Great episode. Usually I associate Dini with the lighter, sometimes more comical, type episodes like the ones that feature The Joker and/or Harley Quinn as the main villain from Batman's rogues' gallery. But, "Heart of Ice" is one episode that proves he can do more serious material. Also, lend wonderful insight to some characters. Especially to one like Freeze. Make him tragic, give him an origin story, and make you care about him. I found it very interesting learning about this episode and character in a book I'm reading  called "Batman and Psychology." Highly recommend checking that out! Anyways, back to the show... I enjoy the fact that Timm and co. picked up Mr. Freeze's story later in the companion movie to BTAS called "Batman + Mr. Freeze: SubZero" (not a fan of the CGI work used in that) and later in an episode of "Batman Beyond" (1.5: 'Meltdown'). (In a more recent incarnation of of him, Mr. Freeze got a kick ass new design in one of the current DCAU series, "Young Justice". In the pilot episode, 'Independence Day.')



(Source: Google / Comic Vine)

Superman: The Animated Series (1.4) "Fun and Games" (1996)
Director: Kazuhide Tomonaga; Writers: Robert N. Skier, Marty Isenberg; Guest: Bud Cort (The Toyman)
[World's Finest] [YouTube] [Toyman: Wikipedia, DC Wiki]

THE TOYMAN: "A childhood is a terrible thing to lose, Miss Lane. But I'm getting mine back - with a vegence."

I'm amazed at what a great job the writers and animators did that made a villain like The Toyman work at all. (Same as in the case with Mr. Mxyzptlk. Gosh, it makes me all 'brainy-hurdy'* trying to remember how to spell that name off the top of it my head!) He could have easily been made cheesy or campy, but he wasn't. The Toyman was eerie with that mask. That smile almost as scary and indimidating as The Joker's. Loved the way the animators played with shadows to lend a dark edge to him. Sort of noirish in a way. The level of character development was great in how it unfolded with the way Toyman revealed his tragic lifestory to Lois Lane and with what Clark Kent and Jimmy Olsen discovered about the man behind the persona and what his motives for his crimes are. That gives the narrative complexity and realism. For a while, I thought that just maybe the Toyman was voiced by Burgess Meredith (famous for his guest appearances on "The Twilight Zone" (such episodes as: "Time Enough at Last", "The Obsolete Man") and his role as The Penguin in the campy live action TV series, "Batman". I've seen some of that Batman series. *Shiver*). But, then again, the voice quality was not quite right to be him. Anyways, I could've pictures him playing that voice or that character in a live action version during the time he was alive. 

* Thanks to Jonah Ray from "The Nerdist" for that phrase. (Love it!) He 'coined' that in one of the "Doctor Who" specials that aired last month on BBC America before the season seven premiere of DW. It was the one about time travel called "The Timey-Wimey of Doctor Who". It was in the context of discussing the episode (5.13) 'The Big Bang' (2010, UK). 

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