Our legal team removed the section of Judge Kent Dixon's review where he reminisced about recreating Batfink's fighting techniques. We do not encourage children to attempt these at home. Thank you.
"Your bullets cannot harm me—my wings are like a shield of steel!"—Batfink
An over-the-top narrator who peppers his words with cliches and delivers a cliffhanger message just when we think our heroes are doomed.
Nearly every on-screen action is accompanied by a well-placed "POW," "ZAP," "ZOOM," or "BEEP."
A hero available at a moment's notice when the Chief of police calls.
Deeply dimwitted villains who always seem to miss their most obvious weaknesses—like the guy who has super hearing but forgets to protect his ears from nasty sounds like HUGE BELLS!
Apologies to both Adam West and Burt Ward, but I am NOT referring to the live action TV Batman of the 1960s who danced the "batusi." Yes ladies and gentlemen, you guessed it—I'm talking about Batfink!
Facts of the Case
With his super-sonic sonar radar and bulletproof wings, wheeling about in his unforgettable signature vehicle the 'Batillac,' and with his trusty sidekick Karate at his side, yes true believers, he's Batfink!
Batfink has ruled his own special corner of TV airwaves since the show was created in 1966. Created quickly as a cartoon lampoon of the Batman and Green Hornet live-action shows that aired during the same era, Batfink has become a treasured memory for a wide audience of fans ranging from those in their 40s who watched when it first aired, to younger fans who have seen the show in re-runs. The show continues to air around the world today from Cartoon Network in the U.S. to Nickelodeon in India as recently as 2007, and translated into Hindi to boot!
As I get older, my childhood memories are becoming the increasingly more cherished ones. And as more and more of my cherished childhood memories are arriving on DVD, I am able to introduce (my wife would say 'indoctrinate') my children to the classic cartoons that came before them.
It's the child in me that relates to these shows, taking me back to a time before I had a job to go to every day or a mortgage to pay. Shows like Batfink were cherished friends I could spend my early Saturday morning time with—they told me fun stories that captured my imagination, showed me dazzling and vibrant images, and even made me laugh.
To this day, Saturday morning fare like Looney Tunes, The Flintstones, Scooby-Doo (pre-Scrappy Doo!) Batman/Tarzan/Lone Ranger Adventure Hour, Blackstar, Space Ghost, Jonny Quest, Dungeons and Dragons, Flash Gordon, Superfriends and yes, even Batfink, have a special place in my memories. Even as I re-watched the show and revisited my childhood in preparation for this review, I watched in awe as my five-year-old son transformed into a Batfink fan, right before my eyes!
Not unlike The Flintstones, to save money and production time, Batfink episodes reused backgrounds and other elements. But like The Flintstones, these kinds of little quirks are what add to the character and charm of an animated show. At times as I watched Batfink: The Complete Series, I found the drawing style used on some of the characters and background plates kept reminding me of something else, and I realized it was the 1969 Rankin/Bass release of Frosty the Snowman—another beloved animated childhood memory.
But what's the appeal of a show like this, when the animation isn't that stellar, the dialogue is cheesy and each episode only lasted around five minutes? Those very same elements that may be seen as weaknesses are strengths in my mind. If you know a young child or have one of your own, you know that five minutes is a pretty good guess at their attention span. And it doesn't take Emmy Award-wining dialogue or high-end CG animation to impress a child.
The voice of both Batfink and villain Hugo-A-Go-Go, Frank Buxton has remained largely behind the camera as an unseen announcer or character voice until the early '90s, when he appeared in the film Frankie and Johnny, and more recently, in a variety of TV roles. Buxton has impressive additional credits as the writer and/or director of various episodes of '70s sitcoms Happy Days, The Odd Couple, and The Bob Newhart Show. Rounding out the balance of the main recurring characters, Len Maxwell lends his voice talents to both Karate and The Chief.
All 100 episodes of Batfink are included on this release (yes, I just said ONE HUNDRED) and are distributed as follows:
If you're a fan of Batfink from childhood, you likely already know about this new DVD set. But if you're not, Batfink: The Complete Series is definitely worth a look, especially if you're a fan of cartoons from the 60s and 70s.
Batfink: The Complete Series is cleared of all charges and released to keep the streets safe from bumbling evil-doers everywhere. Oh yeah, and we fired everyone involved in bringing this courageous and carefree champion Chiroptera before us on these ridiculous charges in the first place!
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