It has been 50 years since Adam West, Burt Ward and Julie Newmar dawned the tights to play the devastatingly dashing Dynamic Duo and the purrfectly seductive Princess of Plunder. In celebration of its Golden Anniversary, the trifecta of campy superhero humorists reunite in an animated feature that not only recaptures the the Silver Age of comic books, but also a contemporary update that works for the 21st century in Batman: Return of the Caped Crusaders.
The Caped Crusaders and their felonious favorite felons compete for a duplicator ray that could give the quartet of chaos the power to take over Gotham City. Suprisingly, The Joker (Jeff Bergman), The Riddler (Wally Wingert), Penguin (William Saylers) and Catwoman (Newmar), put their differences aside long enough to thwart the duly deputized duo.
Writers James Tucker and Michael Jelenic recapture lighting in a bottle by not only playing every single note from the original series but make beautiful music with constant reminders of why we loved the timeless classic and one of the many incarnations of the Dark Knight.
Wingert, Saylers and Lynne Marie Stewart (Aunt Harriet) were incredible in their voice matches to of their live action predecessors and although Bergman was close, there was something in his Cesar Romero interpretation, but was spot on as the narrator.
Batman: Return of the Caped Crusaders is an instant classic. Although a couple of nitpicking fanboy notes to make, the bat used to change scenes in the original tv series was red with a white border instead of the black bat with a yellow shield like on West’s chest and it would have been fun to see a mustache shadow under The Joker’s clown makeup as Romero refused to shave off his during the TV tapings. Also, when they scaled the wall, it would have been fun to have someone pop out of the window to chat with them, but with time restraints and budgeting, I understand why they weren’t done.
Director Rick Morales would make the original show runners proud with his take on the campy crusaders by adding a level of action that couldn’t be performed in 1966. West, Ward and Newmar still have the “it factor” that make them my favorite incarnation of the Silver Age.
Batman: Return of the Caped Crusaders comes to Blu-ray, DVD and Digital HD combo back on Tuesday, November 1, 2016.