Bat-Mite Presents: Batman’s Strangest Cases!
Original Airdate - April 1st, 2011
Bat-Mite hosts a series of Batman's most bizarre adventures including the Mad Magazine-inspired Batboy and Rubin, a Japanese-influenced Bat-Manga and a guest starring role from the Scooby Gang and Weird Al Yankovic.

Written by Paul Dini
Directed by Ben Jones
Review by klammed, Andrew
Media by Warner Bros. Animation
Cast
Diedrach Bader as Lord Death Man
Jeff Bennet as Rubin
Corey Burton as Bat-Manga Batman
Mindy Cohn as Velma
Grey Delisle as Daphne
Matthew Lillard as Shaggy
Jason Marsden as Scooby-Doo Robin
Paul Reubens as Bat-Mite
Frank Welker as Batboy, Fred, Scooby-Doo, Scooby-Doo Batman
"Weird Al" Yankovic as Himself

Music
Theme Written and Performed by Andy Strumer
Music by Michael McCuisition, Lolita Ritmanis, Kristopher Carter
Media



Video Clips

 
Clip 01 (QuickTime)
 
Clip 02 (QuickTime)
 
Clip 03 (QuickTime)
 


Review  (Klammed)
You wouldn’t be blamed if you walked into the middle of this one thinking there was suddenly a new Batman show going on. From Bat-Manga to MAD magazine, and Bat-mite providing the commentary along the way. Sufficient scatological and visual humour starts us off with Batboy and Rubin. If you thought Batman: Brave and the Bold was full of camp, well, let’s just say this takes it further. The backgrounds and environment designs really stood out for me though, with attention to detail including the halftone effects. Panel to panel transitions were a nice touch too.

“Awesome sauce!” And we’re taken back to Batmite’s little Bat paraphernalia den. Conversations ensue and one begins to wonder if this whole play with the fourth wall, third (or is it fifth?) space separating the fiction from the audience from the commentator/Bat-mite is going too far. Or not. Best not the think about it and just enjoy the ride, perhaps? Perhaps. Bat-mite’s very keen on letting us know that he’s the fellow in control, which results in a rather different title sequence from the usual. But it’s Bat-mite, nothing’s usual.

Zoom off into the world of Bat-manga, and Morrison fans may start jumping in their seats over Lord Death Man. Genius voice-casting here with Grey DeLisle as Robin, mimicking old anime conventions of getting a female to play the boy roles. Bader played a very commendable Lord Death Man here, and the script was hilarious with Corey Burton going all out in lines such as “Augh! Lord Death Man” (you have to hear it to appreciate it). The looping laughter at the end was described by one of my friends as something that will haunt her dreams forever and ever. We leave it up to you decide. That, and the ‘parachuting to safety’ bit completely up for interpretation. Now we know that you can’t trust English dubs.

Now, we’ve been told before the airing of this episode that the team up with Scooby Doo was going to be almost an exact replication of the original episode. ‘Almost’ is the right word. Detail right down to the voices and look was once again all brilliant, and they went to the extent of preserving colouring mistakes, which a very disgruntled Bat-mite points out for us, as well as other… ahem… mistakes. Brilliant gags again with Shark repellent and anti-aquatic rays. A typical Brave and the Bold episode is of course incomplete without a little spicing up. So instead of ultra-censored kid friendliness, we get an all out brawl. Even Scooby and Shaggy get in on the action. Brilliance? I’d say so, and made this segment my personal favourite, having grown up on Hanna-Barbera repeats.

Very typical odd fan-boy romp that Brave and the Bold usually is, one which definitely confused those who hadn’t been following the series (I’d been asked by friends who saw clips and wondered if the show was for real), which shows how willing the production team was in ensuring faithfulness to their source material.

Review (Andrew)
Throughout its pair of seasons, and the haphazard start of a third, this show has attempted to not only feature its only version of our beloved Dark Knight but also sneak in various references and homages to Batman’s rich history. Generally this is done with subtle efforts, such as “Trials of the Demon!” featuring the design of Batman as featured in the graphic novel Gotham by Gaslight. However, with the introduction of the mischievous imp, Bat-Mite, this show has taken liberties with to flesh it out further that not only serve as quirky and clever introductions to various aspects of the Bat-mythos, but also to cause delight among those that were already familiar with the source material. This time, though, instead of just inserting a quick references and jokes at Batman’s history as they did in “Legends of the Dark-Mite,” they upped themselves for this episode and each segment offers very unique, and sometimes infamous, versions of Batman.

One interesting thing to note about this episode is that it’s supposed to be one of the last few season 2 episodes but technically could be regarded as season 3 given its following of the previous episode, “The Battle of the Superheroes!” The reason why I find this is interesting is, at the time, it didn’t make much sense other than to start the new season off with the introduction of Superman, but now it may be some brilliant juxtaposition. The teaser for “The Battle of Superheroes” featured one of “Batman’s Strangest Cases,” which this entire episode is devoted to. Although it messes the episode order quite a bit, that’s actually a very good way of lining these episodes up.

The “teaser” for this episode is actually its own unique segment like the rest of the episode, but certainly the most strange. Inspired by Mad Magazine’s parodies of Batman, it has a significantly different tone compared to the other two segments in the episode as is its sense of humor. I’m not previously familiar with any of the Mad Magazine features of its parody so it’s nigh impossible for me to say whether or not they did well at capturing the source material, but at the very least it’s a hilarious segment. It’s certainly one of the last things I would have ever expected them to do, but they pulled it off tastefully and it’s one of the best opening teasers this show has had. The animation and quirkiness takes a little getting used to, but by the end I was wanting more.

The following segment, based on Japan’s manga comic book style, is equally well done and yet incredibly different. It’s certainly more laid back, and despite being influenced by manga’s style the plot reminded me of something more out of Super Friends or a similarly aged superhero cartoon. It strikes me as if something such as Speed Racer had been written by Hanna-Barbera. There isn’t too much that I feel needs saying on the story except that it was simplistic and fun, but the effort that went into the art style paid off incredibly well. All of the character designs match what you would expect from decades-previous manga, and yet they weren’t too different to the point in which anyone was likely alienated.

The final segment takes its influence from a far more notorious source that many are familiar with, but most likely forgot, and new people frequently feel the insatiable urge of hunting it down upon learning of it. Batman meets Scooby-Doo. Though it was made a whole decade prior to my own childhood, I was still quite familiar with it and what they have done here was simply brilliant. It felt like a natural continuation of it as though Hanna-Barbera themselves produced it, and managed to include its own original twists that didn’t step on the toes of the source material. It’s hard to say whether or not they saved the best for last this one since the whole trio of “Batman’s Strangest Cases” were certainly well done, but this one was easily my favorite. From the subtle jokes at the production errors to the featuring of modern-day celebrity Weird Al Yankovic, the whole thing is a great enjoyment and completes the fantastic trio of this episode’s mini-stories.

Overall, although getting used to the various animation styles and vastly separated tones can be a bit jarring at first, I don’t think anyone should have difficulty in enjoying this and Highly Recommend its viewing!

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