Ah, Bat-Mite. Some people don’t like him because he’s not only a kiddie mascot character but he represents a rather…divisive…period in the Batman comics. I don’t mind him…in small doses. As a recurring character he brings a new challenge to the heroes of Gotham, but you can bet he won’t show up in the New 52. Have we even had Mxyzptlk show up yet?
So why bring up the little wanna-bat? Because when Filmation brought back Batman (realizing they still had the license even though Super Friends was still on ABC) they decided to do a new Batman cartoon for Saturday mornings, airing on CBS. Batgirl made her first animated appearance as did Bat-Mite…as a regular character. I’ll get into my thoughts on the show someday, but we’re here to talk about the intro and while I’ll praise Filmation’s writing and effects, their intros leave a lot to be desired. And this one? It may be their worst.
Does this look like an intro to a TV show to you? It looks more like an advertisement. Filmation’s intros are known for having a character or narrator spell out the series plot to varying degrees of interest. This one has Batman and Robin practically begging you to watch. “Hey, look at all the cool villains we fight and vehicles we have!” It makes Conan The Adventurer look better by comparison, except this show doesn’t have a run-on sentence for an intro.
And yes, that is Adam West and Burt Ward as Batman and Robin. The VAs from the previous series, the late Olan Soule and the still around Casey Kasem, were working on Super Friends at the time and weren’t available so they went for the actors from the 60’s live-action TV show. (West would later replace Soule as Batman in the last two “Super Powers” seasons while Soule moved to Professor Stein, one half of new character Firestorm. No, I don’t know why.) Melandy Britt took on the role of Batgirl rather than using Yvonne Craig, the Batgirl Adam and Burt used to run with. Lou Schimer took on the voice of Bat-Mite and let’s just say Orko he’s not. (Bat-Mite I mean; Lou also voiced Orko.)
The show itself I remember liking as a kid but I’d have to watch it again today to judge it. The intro, however, needed a total makeover. And dropping that annoying siren.