Batman Rewatch: Christmas with the Joker

  • Season 1, episode 2
  • Writer: Eddie Gorodetsky
  • Director: Kent Butterworth

One of the very cool things about Batman: The Animated Series is that they didn’t feel the need to start off with anyone’s origin story. Episode 1 was just a story about Batman hunting down the Man-Bat. There was no Batman origin. Here, in episode 2, we meet Joker, but it’s not his origin story. And they introduce Robin (Dick Grayson), but it’s not his origin either. I love this.

For my money, Mark Hamill is the best Joker ever. Yep, better than Heath Ledger. That voice. That laugh. It’s unmatched.

The episode starts with Joker’s completely implausible escape from Arkham on top of a rocket Christmas tree. Zoey got a blast out of this scene since he’s singing the “Jingle Bells Batman Smells” song. She’s 5; she loves this song.

Zoey seems to be a little obsessed with this episode. I think she’s seen it 3 or 4 times already. I asked her about Joker, and she said, “Well, he’s scary, but he’s not that creepy. Like the scarecrow.” Her dislike of Scarecrow runs deep for a 5-year-old.

And we’ve got Robin in this episode, so she’s happy.

Joker has the “Awful Lawful” family kidnapped on his make-believe TV set. They’re wrapped up as presents and have candy canes stuck in their mouths. Why don’t they just spit them out? Well, if you listen carefully, there’s a sound effect that sounds a lot like Velcro ripping when Joker yanks them in and out of their mouths. There’s obviously no Velcro around their mouths. Perhaps they’re crazy-glued in? That would be fitting and perfectly twisted for Joker. Oh. And ouch.

Zoey: “Aw, that’s so cute……I mean, creepy.”

Zoey: “Batman would’ve totally broken his back jumping off that train!”

Zoey: “Ew. That’s what I don’t want.” Joker unwraps a Betty Blooper doll as a clue to his whereabouts. Good thing Batman’s has intimate knowledge of toy history: “They don’t make toys like that anymore…not since the Laffco Toy Company went out of business 14 years ago.” I mean, c’mon! That was without the Bat Computer. That’s just off the top of his head. No denying that’s just darn impressive.

Zoey: “This is very violent. I don’t think Mommy would like this.” Not to worry. There are a ton of wasted bullets in this show. No one ever gets hurt.

Zoey: “Aahh! That’s creepy! He just took off his hands!” Apparently, creepy is her word of the week.

Verdict? “I like this one because it has Robin and Joker, who’s not too creepy. He just laughs all the time.”

 

 

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