This year marks the 25th anniversary of Batman: The Animated Series, considered by many ( including us!) to be the benchmark by which all animated superhero shows are measured. Creator Bruce Timm, along with series producer Alan Burnett and voice artists Kevin Conroy and Tara Strong gathered at New York Comic-Con to celebrate the show’s legacy, and also to make one very special announcement to the fans.Announced at the panel by Warner Brothers animation publicist Gary Miereanu (via Polygon), the entire run of Batman: The Animated Series is coming to high definition Blu-ray next year. No other details such as release date or price point were confirmed at the panel, but Miereanu said itâ€™ll be â€œlaterâ€ in 2018 when it arrives — so we imagine sometime in the fourth quarter of the year.This is huge news for fans of BTAS, as for years it was considered an impossibility for the show to make it to the high-def format. Like most shows from that era, it was shot on film, but edited on standard definition tape. That means that Warner Brothers is going to have to go back to the original camera negative and reassemble the series from scratch, similar to what CBS did for Star Trek: The Next Generation a few years back.Considering that there are 109 episodes of the show, when you combine it together with The Adventures of Batman and Robin and The New Batman Adventures, that’s going to be quite a lot of work. Later Warner Brothers/DC Comics animated series like Justice League Unlimited were already in high-def, making their transfer to Blu-ray far easier. By doing this though, Warners is future-proofing the series, as more and more TV outlets only want high def programming. This assures the show remains relevant in the years to come.Hopefully, this new Blu-ray release means we get all new special features as well, like more commentaries from cast and crew. It would also be nice to see if they include some of the Direct to video BTAS movies like Sub-Zero and Mystery of the Batwoman to the collection. The first BTAS animated film Mask of the Phantasm was recently released on Blu-ray, so maybe it’s possible that the others will get similar high def remasters. Here’s hoping that if this release is successful, Warners will bring Superman and the Animated Series and Batman Beyond to Blu-ray as well, completing the DC Animated Universe in high definition.Are you as excited as we are for the arrival of Batman: The Animated Series in high definition? Chime in with your thoughts down below in the comments.
Images: Warner Brothers Animation
Go inside some of the best Batman: TAS episodes!
- Commissioner Gordon goes Over the Edge!
- Harley and Ivy showcases the show’s best female characters!
- Mr. Freeze’s heartbreaking origins are explored in Heart of Ice!
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