We’re almost half way through the season! This is the second to last episode of the first half of the season and it’s a whole lot of fun!
1. The Penguin
This episode’s portrayal of the Penguin is strange. This may be something that is just odd to me personally, but I don’t believe Paul Williams’ voice fits the character of the Penguin. There’s also something strange about the way the character speaks. It’s like he talks in Shakespeare quotes or quotes he makes up to sound like Shakespeare. He never really comes across as a menacing or legitimate threat to Batman, however, this episode doesn’t put him up against Batman. It puts him up against these neighborhood children that he genuinely can menace. Despite the characters strange voice and speech patterns, he is allowed to come across as a villainous force because of this juxtaposition.
2. The Bird
This bird is stupid. This isn’t necessarily a fault of the show; it’s more of a fault of cartoons in general. I hate the pet-animal-that-totally-can’t-be-trained-but-acts-like-a-human cliché. There’s absolutely no reason this vulture should be a better henchman than actual human beings. It would be a nuisance at best. That being true, the fact that the bird is what usually endangers the children in this show or tracks them down to where they’re hiding Batman is so dumb. That’s not something you can usually say about something in this show.
3. The Batman
Alright, remember when I said everything about this depiction of the Penguin not really coming across as a threat to Batman? That sin is really doubled because he actually gets Batman. He gasses him and knocks him out. Without the children in this episode Batman genuinely would’ve lost to this really cartoony version of the Penguin. It’s out of character for Batman and probably could’ve been done better.
4. The Day
Not a big point, but it’s just really neat to see an episode take place during the day. It’s obviously not the whole episode as it starts out with Batman taking down the Penguin at night, however, the whole part where the Penguin tries to break into the kids’ house is during the day. It’s just good for variety you know.
5. The Children
I always wonder about shows that depict children living in a time period before I was alive if they’re accurate depictions. Was this really what children were like during this time? I know I certainly wasn’t trying to solve mysteries like I was in a Hannah Barbara cartoon when I was a pre-teen, but I still don’t know that that’s true of these children so it really does allow for the suspension of disbelief. It’s also a heart-warming story that causes you to root for these children, despite its believability, because I do believe that this kid wants to defend Batman and would do anything for him. This emotional reality that the episode is able to capture is often times in media more engaging, and more important.