I also have the movies Mask of the Phantasm, The Mystery of the Batwoman and Return of the Joker, so as far as I know, I'm only missing Sub-Zero out of what's available. (Are there any episodes of Static Shock or The Zeta Project available? Netflix? YouTube?) BTW, does anyone know where these movies fit into the shows continuty?
I put them pretty close to where they came out relative to the shows. In my chronology, Mask of the Phantasm
is between the first and second production seasons of B:TAS (i.e. following episode 65, "The Worry Men"). Sub-Zero
is shortly after the end of season 2/episode 85 and before the comics miniseries The Lost Years
(i.e. before the flashbacks in "Old Wounds"), which also puts it shortly before the debut of Superman in Superman: TAS
. And as stated above, Mystery of the Batwoman
(and the "Chase Me" short) goes between the end of The New Batman Adventures
and the start of Justice League
As for The Return of the Joker
, I believe that came out between seasons 2 and 3 of Batman Beyond
, and I have it placed during season 3. It's a bit hard to place because of the flashbacks, which have to be nearly 40 years before the movie and also have to be after the Joker's last appearance in JL's "Wild Cards" -- if not after JLU's "The Greatest Story Never Told," in which Booster Gold refers to the Joker as still at large.
It's interesting going from watching Justice League and Batman Beyond, at one end of the DCAU, and then going back to the begining. The animation style changes a lot more than I realized. B:TAS is much darker and grittier than its spin-offs and off-shoots, despite obviously being a similar style.
Sometimes literally grittier, since they still used physical animation cels at the time and sometimes the cels got pretty dirty. I believe they switched to digital animation around 2000, during Batman Beyond
's second season. (These days, the original pencil drawings are still done by hand, but rather than being inked and painted onto cels, they're scanned and digitally inked and painted in the computer.)
Gotham Central wrote:
I always wondered why the artwork takes a nosedive the with arrival of Superman: TAS/Gotham Knights/New Superman Batman Adventures.
Its really noticeable when you look at the revamped Joker, Ivy and Catwoman. Did the earlier artwork take to long to animate?
"Nosedive" is a matter of opinion. When they brought back the show, they decided to revamp the character designs and make them more streamlined, to take the caricature style B:TAS had pioneered and refine it even further. Glen Murakami did the new designs, whereas Bruce Timm had done the originals. Some of those designs didn't work as well as their predecessors, notably the Joker, but others were definite improvements. For one, the TNBA Barbara/Batgirl was a lot better-looking than the B:TAS version.