Plastic Soul: Batman Animated’s Dark Knight

HE. IS. BATMAN. This episode is honoring Kevin Conroy, the voice of Batman for a generation, and his great contribution to the Dark Knight’s legacy.

Hello everyone and welcome to another episode of Plastic Soul: The Entertainment Earth Pop Culture Show, I’m your host Jason Lenzi. If you’re a geek like me, chances are you have laser-like precision with your memory. Things like movies you saw, where you saw them, TV shows when you watched them, comic books when you read them toys when you got them as gifts and when you first saw them in stores. Little pop culture moments that we’re all kind of attached to and sometimes we look at those things and the memories all come flooding back all the time.

Nostalgia Trip: Batman Animated Series

That’s how it is for me and The Batman the Animated Series, I think the first time I ever heard about this or knew what it was, was when I was working at the Mall of America in the Warner Brothers Store in The Gallery. And somebody had some pages from a catalog or a flyer or something that showed the new line of Kenner animated action figures, I mean I think I’d read about it in a magazine or something, but I hadn’t seen any actual images until I saw those action figures.

They just blew my mind because at that point I was so into Batman because of the two films that had come out – the two Burton films – I was ready for anything, then the gallery started getting the very first release of production cells. And I got one of the very first production sales from an episode called The Cat In The Claw that was a two-parter  with Catwoman in season one, and it’s a shot of Batman sort of walking toward the camera and pushing his cape back and it’s a clip where she says something sexy to him and then he says “I’d save the flattery for the judge” or something. And as he’s moving toward her, he’s pushing the cape aside, then he moves its side and they would show that clip over and over again on the big, giant screen they had at the Warner Brothers Store.

My Encounters with Kevin Conroy

Obviously one of the standout things about the show was a guy named Kevin Conroy playing the voice of Batman. There’s nothing I can say here in this video that will do justice to the work that Kevin Conroy did, he was a force of nature, it didn’t matter if he did dozens of products or dozens of characters or this one thing, he prides so much and he cared for so well, it doesn’t matter. He was and is Batman. Michael Keaton is always going to be my Batman for so many reasons, because of the first movie and everything, but Kevin Conroy and The Batman Animated Series is just about the best depiction of Batman there’s ever been on screen for my money. I think it’s brilliant and it hasn’t aged a day.

So I was thinking about Batman the Animated Series and I was thinking about Kevin Conroy, I only met him a couple of times, the first time was early on in my life in Los Angeles and I volunteered for a church thing to help underprivileged kids or something, I didn’t know anything about it, I just knew that this lady that lived in my building was organizing it  and Kevin Conroy was probably going to be there. But mainly I signed up because another girl I had a crush on signed up too and I thought ‘yeah I’m into volunteer work, this sounds great’.

Anyway, he showed up at this thing and I met him and talked to him and he was delightful. And then years later at my first or second Comic-Con there was an appearance, there wasn’t a crowd, there was only a couple of actors from the animated series and there was Kevin Conroy! I ran and got an action figure I found on the floor of Batman the Animated Series and it was Bruce Wayne with the bat suit next to it. It was perfect and I had him sign it, but I got to chat with him for just about a minute or so and talked about voice over work and I’m paraphrasing but he just said to me ‘stick with it, you got to stick with it, it takes a while and you got to believe in what you do and keep at it, don’t give up’ or something to that effect. And I never forgot it, he was really decent, we shook hands and that was it and I thought of it a lot when I would watch the show and hear his voice.

A Book to Remember

I also dug this book out and I remembered I have this signed too; this book was designed by a guy named Chip Kidd who had previously put out a Batman book that’s really exhaustive about his collection and Batman in general. This is about the making of the animated series and there was an event that was held in Beverly Hills on Robertson Boulevard in a little, swanky kids bookstore and I went, I talked to all the makers of the show, had it signed by everyone, Bruce, Tim, Eric Radomski, Paul Deeney, Chip Kidd.

The Bruce team drew a little Batman head in there too, so I thought I’d show that off. There’s a little mini tribute to Kevin Conroy and The Batman the Animated Series and what that show meant to so many people. What a body of work in so many different shows, so many different mediums, that he used the voice, there was never going to be another Kevin Conroy.

Share Your Thoughts

Let us know what you think in the comments, are you a big fan of Batman the Animated Series, all the animated series that have happened since, everything from Super Friends on? Let us know in the comments, please hit like, and subscribe. And don’t forget to sign up for the Entertainment Earth email newsletter to stay up to date on all your pop culture needs, and they’ve got lots of cool Batman stuff as well, check it out! Alright, here’s to Kevin Conroy, my Dark Knight, we’ll see you soon.



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