It does so not merely because it interconnects all of these distinct and starkly different tales about super-powered humans and or superheroes into a world that makes sense with all of them in it, but moreover because the series is not afraid to have fun whilst still building to tragedy and redemption. Somehow no one else has been able to do that with superheroes, especially the most famous one: Batman.There are a lot of great nostalgic television shows from the 1990s and 2000s, but this one takes the crown for champion. Buy and watch as much of this as you can (they are released sporadically everywhere).
Facts: The chronology of the series goes: Batman then Superman the Animated Series, Static Shock, Justice League, Justice League Unlimited, Batman Beyond (and the Zeta Files). The animated feature films are all needed to understand the overall plot. Paul Dinni and Dwain McDuffie are the writers to credit with most all of this. Bruce Timm is the producer of note. Andre Romano deserves nothing but credit for gathering the voices that she did:
(Also hate to give the cast and crew the short end of the stick, but the people at the DCAU wiki covered most all that I was going to profiling them, and more on each of the shows.)
Plot: I should like to profile every series, but this behemoth is one I am going to only be able to tackle via examining its soul. The series at the soul of this is Batman the Animated Series and its sequel, Batman Beyond.
by a happy accident I might add. It is also the third and greatest of the three great tragedies of modern animation. Unlike the other two tragedies, this one is a slow subtle decaying build of rising action that spans over almost ten seasons of television. It also happens to be a two part tragedy. The inevitable fated fall build to is also a sudden jerk that does not even span an entire episode, and yet it is still the greatest.
This is the tragedy of father. The father no matter how scary he may seem you want to hug all the same because he seems to be doing no wrong. He is there for you (Robin) and all your favorite aunts and uncles (the Justice League, Batgirl, Batwomen, Nightwing) too, always with the right advice, the right bit of information, the right action that pushes you and them. He dedicates so much of his time to helping all of us save the world, he hardly gets any for himself. What does he do with all that spare time: he says and seems to be making it so that no eight year old kid ever has to loose their parents, like he did, because of some punk with a gun.You feel safe because of this man, and yet he becomes the reason for all the dangers in the lives of those most precious to him.
Batman never once stops to question that his ruthless pummeling and incarcerating of virtually anyone who breaks the law without much remorse mercy, compassion, or desire for reconciliation does nothing to help anyone. In fact, he seems to be under the impression that this is what directly lead to the formation of his new families, their functionality, and strengths, as oppose to his hands-off behind the scenes assistance. None of the criminals he constantly throws in the slammer get any better, in fact over the course of the show, they all get worse, but Batman cannot see this because he has mistaken mere correlation for causality in terms of how his war on crime affects the development of his family, and moreover his fourteen year old adopted son: Tim Drake, Robin.
It makes him think that he truly is protecting his family right this time, and subconsciously, it makes him feel great too. He never has to feel that weakness that helplessness he felt when his parent's died ever again, and his son, and children like him, will never have to know that pain. Unfortunately that is a lie. A lie born out of fear and pride. There are worse pains for children to feel than loss of a parent, and worse failures for adults to experience than the helplessness of that loss. It only takes one petty clown with an interest in "adopting" a son himself, to make Batman wish it all had ended not with a bang but with a whimper.
There is a part two to this tragedy, for Batman, despite his pride, still managed to raise some of his children right. It is prodigal illegitimate rejected son who lived most of his life as a criminal that saves father. Well not completely, but he manages to do that father could only wish to do, and recognize the better way to do it. See also: Batman's friends called Superman and the Justice League. In this tragedy, like the other three, it may be the case that morality and ethical law are torn asunder by evil's inevitability, leaving us with only the void of relativism from which to grasp at straws, but despair, while it is nothing but anguish to leave once there, is an arbitrary state of being. There is good to be found in change, in death, and even in failure, for reconciliation and faith and the solidarity renewed by them are powerful--when done right of course.
There are no super powers in the real world, and no way to stop evil from winning, or convince people to care to realize their--our mistakes--before it is too late (again), except by our own hands. If the DCAU, and Batman in particular, do all they do to show that, despite how super and or terrifying they may seem, they are still people too just seeking the same as you and I: companionship, then it may also be true that we could be the opposite. It won't come without great self-sacrifice, but I firmly believe that there may be a hero in all of us. Act to make it so.