April 20, 2014

Tag Archives: Shirley Walker

Batman: The Animated Series theme is a treasure to behold

HollywoodNews.com: Purely for fun, and purely because I was in the mood, I’ve compiled every relevant Batman musical theme since the 1960s. One live-action TV show, three film themes, and four animated series themes. A few things of note. First of all, that audio clip of Shirley Walker walking us through the Batman: The Animated Series theme is a treasure to behold, especially as she passed away several years ago (it’s the last cut on the two-disc Batman: The Animated Series score collection, which yes I do own).
Secondly, and this is what inspired me to compile these in the first place, whatever misgivings you may have about Batman Forever and Batman & Robin, Elliot Goldenthal’s music should not be discounted. His rip-roaring, more overtly comic book-ish theme is still a joy to listen to, successfully combining the lingering darkness from the Burton films with the more traditional Caped Crusader heroics on display in Schumacher’s films (the rest of the jazzy, offbeat music for Batman Forever is pretty terrific too). Thirdly, however powerful and effective the Hans Zimmer/James Newton Howard music may be for the Nolan Batman films, the themes are dreadfully challenging to hum, and I’d be lying if the Batman Begins ‘action theme’ didn’t sound just a bit reminiscent of Jerry Goldsmith’s theme to The Shadow (ironically best evidenced in this trailer for The Saint). Finally, despite the nine themes sampled below (and the fact that she’s seen quite a few episodes of Batman: The Animated Series and Batman: The Brave and the Bold), my daughter considers the 1960s Batman television theme to be the only ‘real’ Batman theme song and gets pissed when I hum anything else.
To be fair, I’m not exactly in a rush to show her Batman Returns or The Dark Knight (although she could probably handle Batman & Robin just fine). Please enjoy and share your thoughts below. What’s your favorite Batman music? Is it still Elfman above all else or has another later theme supplanted it? What music do you hear when you think of Batman?
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