Wednesday, January 11, 2012

The New Adventures of Batman - A Sweet Joke On Gotham City

Now, before anyone gets excited about this title, this is the 1970's Batman. I think for my blog, I'm going to intentionally talk about every Batman show except for Batman: The Animated Series. I have nothing against Batman: The Animated Series; in fact, my opinion of it is practically the same as anyone else's on the Internet in that it's one of the greatest series known to man. It's just that why talk about an episode everyone's seen and discussed in detail when I can talk about THIS:

Oh hell yes.
Ah yes, the era of Batman that most fans like to forget about. It's an era of bleak, indescribable campiness, an era that decides that Robin can't go through a sentence without going "Holy <object relating to what's happening>" or Batman can't do something without pressing his fists on his hips and thrusting his pecs forward for the villains to behold. And yes, I know, all cartoons were like this during this era (again, anyone who rags on cartoons nowadays being mindless are full of crap; they have nothing on these cartoons) and I'm well-aware that I'm looking this through the eyes of someone who's watched character-driven shows like Batman: The Animated Series, but still. 

Anyways, for a little backstory, since I'm sure most people here probably wisely only stuck to the good Batman series. Back in the 1960's, there was an incredibly ground-breaking but incredibly campy live-action television series detailing the adventures of Batman and his young ward. After it's cancellation, Filmation followed the adventures and made superhero show after superhero show after superhero show. Seriously, the volume of cartoons that were made in the 60's and 70's is downright unbelievable by today's standards. In fact, Filmation actually had cancelled superhero shows they had in production in order to rush other superhero shows out to the public.

And they just kept making show after show after show of the DC superheroes. Course, according to most DC fans nowadays, none of these shows exist because, well, much better shows have come out since then. Why talk about the Superfriends if the Justice League exists?

I'm going to put it simply. Because this show is insane. The writing is insane, the situations are insane, the leaps to conclusion and the use of logic is insane. Everything is insane, and that makes this show instantly unforgettable because it just operates in a completely different world from the world we mere mortals live in. Oh sure, Mad Love might drive you to tears and Heart of Ice might've won an Emmy, but you know what those two episodes didn't have? Robin wearing a fat suit and complaining about eating chocolate. I rest my case.

Still not convinced? Okay then. In this show, Batman's voiced by ADAM WEST. If that doesn't convince you to read this, nothing will. Buuuut I don't want to give too much away. Break out the toothpaste, the dental floss, and the mouthwash, because we're going to see...

A Sweet Joke On Gotham City


Availability: On DVD.

Now, before I start talking about this actual cartoon (and believe me, I really want to get started on this insanity), I had to touch upon the oddly subdued and uninspired intro. Instead of having some sort of catchy theme song, Batman, Robin, and Bat-Mite (who got equal billing in this show) basically narrate to us about how they're going to take the audience on exotic adventures while fighting Gotham's greatest enemies while a high school jazz band blares out some decently superheroish but instantly forgettable tunes.

I just want to point out three things about this intro. One, it's bland as all hell, with most of the action coming from Batman and Robin riding around on boats and planes, burning up precious fossil fuels instead of actually fighting any villains. Two, Batgirl's in this, which is mildly interesting, I guess. Three, The Riddler and Catwoman are hilariously off-model and, in Riddler's case, he doesn't even show up in this cartoon, making his appearance in the intro a big fat lie.

Yes, that is seriously The Riddler and Catwoman right there. I guess it's laundry day.
We kick off this episode by teleporting to Commissioner Gordon's office, where it turns out that things are rotten in the state of Gotham City. Now, before any veterans of Batman: The Animated Series or any of the films gets all excited and thinks it involves embellishment, banks being destroyed, or boats being held hostage in order to be some sort of philosophical example, it turns out that Gordon called Adam West and Burt Ward to his office because...he got a special box of valentines from one of the supervillains in town. Uh, okay. And before you rationalize that this city breeds some sick freaks and even the most innocuous of objects can be laced with arsenic, it's just a box of valentines. Scary.

Fortunately, while this box of contained manliness is totally harmless, it also contains both a really silly Valentine's Day rhyme and a voice recording of Sweet Tooth, our villain for the day, that tells Batman that he's going to attack the city while peppering his speech with candy, sweet, and chocolate puns. Already I can hazard a guess as to why I never heard of Sweet Tooth even when I know of people like Crazy Quilt and Ratcatcher. It takes a spectacular kind of fail to send city-wide threats on a candygram.

And, just in case you were thinking about trying to like this character, Sweet Tooth sounds like a lawyer-friendly version of Paul Lynde, aka one of the most recognizable flamboyantly gay voices in existence. Someone in the recording studio thought that a voice that stand-up comedians usually imitate for their Queer Eye jokes would be perfect for a Batman villain. Considering his pink hair and his candy motif, I'm guessing this was totally intentional. Stay classy, Filmation.

So he hates Batman and Robin but he spent all that time and energy making
a cute little box with light-up hearts and everything...
What's the reaction our heroes have for this pink object of pure fail? Why, Dick Grayson gets to raise one arm (and only one arm; he's too stiff to perform any other action) and say "Sweet Tooth can only mean sour things for Gotham City!". Why do I get the feeling that half of this post is going to be me reiterating the absolutely dumbass things these characters say?

This dialogue also implies that they've fought this villain before. Personally, I would've loved to have seen an episode where Batman first meets Sweet Tooth, laughs his ass off, and then realizes the man with the three chins, bright pink hair, and sailor cap is totally being serious. It was probably the highlight of his career.

Incidentally, why is everyone so pissed off by Sweet Tooth? Most of Batman's villains have themes that aren't exactly appetizing like poison ivy, killer clowns, and crippling OCD with riddles; a candy-themed villain sounds like a total blast from my perspective.

"Oh geez, this asshole again? Can we phone The Joker and fight him instead?"
After Dick delivers that line, the camera zooms in on one of Gotham's many abandoned buildings. Today, our poorly guarded building for the day is going to be some sort of processing plant that's happens to be Gotham City's main source of water, a building so important that there are no guards, no security cameras, and no gates blocking any illegal entry. Because yeah, to hell with security! It's not like there are crazed supervillains who would love to taint the water supply! I bet the citizens of Gotham City are used the faint taste of bitter almonds in their tap water by now.

But then, our villains show up. With a bizarre inability to function without cramming their faces and bodies that look like they belong on the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man instead of a Batman villain, Sweet Tooth and his children (which disturbingly means that Sweet Tooth has had sex multiple times) boat their way towards the source of their evil schemes while looking absolutely ridiculous while doing it. By the time his fat crotchnuggets congratulated him for his schemes, that's when it hit me that this is our villain and this is what Batman is facing. And then, I cried bitter, bitter tears.

Augustus Gloop, after his traumatic factory accident, dyed his hair pink and turned to a life of crime.
These heart attacks waiting to happen have an ingenious plan for this poor city. Sweet Tooth has made a pill that turns all of the water in Gotham City's water supply into chocolate syrup. Oooh, that villainous slimeball!

...I hate to say it, but while a pill that magically turns an entire city's water supply into chocolate syrup is pretty damn awesome, but it has better uses than a supervillain's plot. Just think of the production costs The Hershey Company and Nestle could save if they had a small pill that could turn vast quantities of water into chocolate. Hate to say it, Sweet Tooth, but you really could be making faster, easier, and more Batman-free money if you just patented that crap and sold it to the highest bidder. What a dumbass.

And how the hell did he even invent that sort of miraculous pill? They never give any backstory on this guy or even what his previous job is so my mind is constantly trying to fill in the blanks. Is this guy one of the leading scientists of chocolate-based technology? Does he have a PhD in Confectionology?

Man, you can practically hear the fat sloshing through their bloodstreams...
But no, he's not going to sell his miraculous prodigy of science and instead go through with his whole "be a dick to the suffering people of Gotham" plan. And, to sweeten the deal (sorry), he even has an "electronic computer lock" that controls all of the water supply and keeps the chocolate flowing, just in case they actually use the city government efficiently in this episode (fat chance of that happening, no pun intended) and try to strike the syrup down from the source. If they want their water back, they're going to have to pay Sweet Tooth the sum that he demands. It must be Tuesday in Gotham City.

I just want to say that I hate the angles Filmation uses for this guy. I'm not sure why we need a worm's eye view of his crotch, cartoon. I get the fact that this man is morbidly obese without needing to see where the party is.

I like to think that his medical exams end with the doctor shouting "How are you still alive!?
Your blood has the same consistency as butter!".
So we leave our laughably pathetic fat man and, while an oddly isolated "Written by Mark Fink" credit floats on by, Bruce Wayne and Dick Grayson are in a park and find that the water has, indeed, been turned into chocolate syrup. They even survey the damage this is causing. What, are the water pipes being jammed up and are exploding in random apartments, killing civilians? Is the chocolate running into the ocean, decimating the local fishing industries? Are diabetics everywhere going into shock just by taking a shower? No! Children are ruining their teeth and their health by drinking chocolate syrup instead of water. GASP.

No, seriously, that's the only thing they're worried about. That kids are eating too much chocolate. This is the only problem they can think of for if someone changed all the water into chocolate in a bustling city, and yet Batman is still treating this like a ticking time bomb, as if the children in Gotham City don't have parental supervision and will just continue gorging themselves on free chocolate until their stomachs explode.

And personally, considering these children live in freaking Gotham City, a diseased bullet-ridden hellhole full of serial killers, mobsters, mutants, people with severe mental disorders, and some of the most poorly guarded asylums and prisons in the entire country, these kids deserve a day where chocolate pours out of the pipes.

Chocolate Rain
Some stay dry and others feel the pain
But in fairness to Batman here, judging from the expressions of one of the children, there's more than just chocolate in that water supply.

"Dude, I'm tripping balls!"
Since Bruce Wayne isn't going to, you know, stop those kids from drinking the contaminated water (and they should thank their lucky stars that Sweet Tooth's the villain of the day and not a villain who actually uses neurotoxins), we find ourselves back at Wayne Manor. And aren't we lucky, because we get to see one of the main gimmicks of the show arise. While Batman tells Robin to hand him the Bat Oil (because what's a Batman cartoon without the word Bat stuck onto mundane objects?), Bat-Mite appears and says that he wants to help.

Let me just sum up Bat-Mite in one word: godawful. Even if you ignore the fact that we now live in an era where Brave and the Bold exists and Bat-Mite's a lot more entertaining there, Bat-Mite just plain unlikeable because he's the basic "cute, annoying sidekick with mystical powers that talks in a falsetto voice and exists for comedy relief" character that popped up all the damn time in Hannah Barbera and Filmation cartoons. This era just had a weird obsession with the teleporting cutesy characters and they're almost never charming. I have to wonder if there were children growing up on these cartoons that developed a form of paranoia where they believed they were being stalked by invisible levitating midgets with green skin.

Oh, and Batman has a weird obsession with calling him "Li'l fella". It's a cute nickname, but the way Batman says it, he just totally draws out the words like his mind's still trying to come to grips with the fact that he has to live with a strange alien that's constantly stalking him and telling him that he's his greatest fan. It's like if the nerds at Comic-Con had frightening, supernatural abilities. No one needs to live with that!

Bat-Mite and Sweet Tooth go to the same dentist, apparently.
So our dynamic duo drives off in their awesome Batmobile, both of them silently hoping that Bat-Mite chokes to death on a ballpoint pen offscreen. During their scenic drive where they're literally the only car on the road (I'm guessing the city had to be evacuated from this terrible chocolate disaster), they pass by a fire hydrant that exploded and is filling the air with creamy brown goodness. To Batman, that's somehow a sign that there isn't much time for Gotham City. Man, Bruce Wayne really hates chocolate.

Although the fire hydrant shooting out chocolate just reminds me of the fact that all of the indoor plumbing in Gotham is now chocolate-filled. Including the toilets and showers. Suddenly, Sweet Tooth's plan has a little bit more malice in it when you picture someone using a toilet with chocolate syrup instead of water. And I apologize in advance if you happened to be eating anything when you pictured that.

Plus, think of the insects that would attract. Sweet Tooth is a sick, sick man.
Suddenly, while they're driving along, Bat-Mite saves them from being flattened by a giant piece of caramel!, you read that correctly and I didn't just randomly hit my keyboard with my forehead until that sentence appeared. Bat-Mite teleports out of nowhere, stands in front of the Batmobile, and by distracting them long enough with his annoyance instead of telling them about the trap he was protecting them from, he ends up saving Batman and Robin's lives. Weak.

But man, just think of what would've happened if Bat-Mite didn't come in time and falling piece of caramel trap worked. It would be rather ironic if, after getting his back broken by Bane, after surviving all of The Joker's traps, and after getting shot at by dozens of murderous supervillains and mobsters, that's the thing that kills Batman. It would make one hell of a tombstone, that's for sure.

Man, look at those bustling city streets! Millions of lives are at stake here!
With a "It's a GIANT, SOFT, caramel candy, Batman!" from Robin (emphasis and all), the superheroes deduce that it obviously came from Sweet Tooth, since only that fatass would try to kill them with something that lame and nonthreatening. At least the hobos of that street are going to eat well tonight.

The note stuck to the caramel only seals the deal. Yes, my friends. Right before Sweet Tooth somehow launched a several hundred pound block of caramel at his worst enemy, he actually stuck a piece of paper on it and somehow the note remained totally legible and obtainable despite this. Do the writers of this show ever read their screenplays out loud? Explain this, Mark Fink!

You know, this also just seems like a waste of good caramel instead of a decent death trap. I'm sure if Sweet Tooth decorated a machine gun with lollipop and chocolate bar decals, it'll fit with his motif just as well.

Yes. This makes total sense.
What does the note say?  Just "I'm up here, suckers", because Sweet Tooth needs to remind me why I hate him so much. Okay, seriously, this asshole just tried to kill the heroes with a piece of caramel and he somehow felt the need to work in one more candy-related pun into his death trap. There's sticking to a theme and then there's just needlessly punching that theme in the balls. I'm sure Two-Face doesn't have to leave sticky notes saying "Get it? My face is like this coin!" when he tries to kill Batman with a giant penny.

And that note's just pointless. What, you mean the bad guy is hiding out in the same building that launched the giant piece of caramel? That's just madness!

"Dear Batman, while you're reading this, I'm launching a second giant piece of caramel at you.
Have fun dying. Hugs and kisses, Sweet Tooth."
So Batman and Robin climb up the building with their various grappling hooks (summoning as much rotoscoped stock footage from the intro as possible) so they can meet up with Fatass McBlubberstein and ask for his demands while Sweet Tooth clutches one of his many love-handles and laughs profusely.

I'm probably going to say this a lot, but is it me or is Sweet Tooth just really not threatening? Yes, you can make the argument that villains like The Penguin and The Ventriloquist (aka two characters that appeared on more "Worst Batman Villains" list than this guy, which is just sad) are pathetic and laughable, but they at least have guns and minions at their disposal. Sweet Tooth's armed with a goddamn lollipop and looks like he's about ready to die from Type 2 Diabetes. This is the man that other supervillains like to stand next to in order to make themselves feel better about themselves by comparison. People like Killer Moth and Calendar Man point at Sweet Tooth and go "Man, I'm glad I'm not that guy!".

I don't think Batman even needs to throw a punch. All he has to do is wait
for Sweet Tooth's heart to explode.
Anyways, what does the fatass want? Ten million dollars. Again, I'm pretty sure that if he can make a several hundred pound of caramel as a weapon and fill an entire city's pipes with chocolate, he could make way more money than that with a deal with Hershey alone, but it's already been established that Sweet Tooth's kind of an idiot.

There's a scene where it's originally five million dollars until Robin opens his big mouth and insults the rotund villain, but really, I just want to illustrate the difference between the heroes and the villain here. One side has able-bodied young men, even if Batman looks like he's squatting down and ready to take a crap, and the other side has someone that The Biggest Loser would love to have on their show. Why is Sweet Tooth, who isn't even armed with anything more lethal than a stomachache, even a problem in a city where Bane and Killer Croc exist? The only defense I can see on him is the fact that his body looks like it was built for maximum punch absorbency. 

Sucking too hard on your lollipop
Oh, loves gonna get you down
Sucking too hard on your lollipop
Oh, loves gonna get you down
Right when Batman is about ready to discover just how far he can ram his fist into Sweet Tooth's gut and whether it is just like fighting a giant gummi bear, our grotesquely fat villain then pulls a steaming turd of a booby trap out of his ass. It turns out the ledge Batman and Robin are standing on is a graham cracker, and right when he says that, they fall.

...okay, several things. First of all, why the hell didn't the graham cracker break as soon as Batman and Robin stepped on it? Second, how was Sweet Tooth able to replace the concrete ledge with graham cracker without anyone noticing? And seriously, how come that graham cracker is the same thickness as concrete and looks just like concrete?

Finally, graham crackers aren't really candy, but now I'm just nitpicking.

This reminds me of when I was little and I would play superheroes with my friends. "Hah, you couldn't
beat me because the floor turned into graham crackers and you fell down!"
But don't worry, guys. Batman and Robin are totally fine, because the Batmobile can just spit out a trampoline at the press of a Bat Belt button. Hooray for old cartoon props!

...a really ineffective-looking trampoline that Batman and Robin need to be falling at that exact spot for it to work (if they're off by just a foot, they're kissing pavement, that's how precise this thing needs to be) and doesn't even look like it would logically fit in that car, but hey, it managed to save them at least. Not sure why they couldn't just use their goddamn grappling hooks from earlier but I guess they needed to show off one of the Batmobile's many features for the kiddies so they can go run to their nearest parental figure and beg for toys that now fetch hundreds of dollars on eBay.

Only available while supplies last! Order today!
Operators are standing by, must be 18 or older to call.
So the caped crusader and his underaged boy of a sidekick, now kind of pissed that they let a man with pink hair outsmart them, run after Lardass McLardBody, which leads me to wonder just how the hell Sweet Tooth is able to outrun freaking Batman. He has at least a whole building lead on the guys, and he didn't even start running until after they were rescued by the trampoline. Sweet Tooth should have the wind knocked out of him just for running while being so full of chocolate; the idea that Batman and Robin can't catch him on foot is insulting to my intelligence.

And he has great balance for a fat man.
And, to add insult to injury, Bat-Mite teleports out of nowhere, sees that people are still legitimately enjoying this cartoon, and then decides to crap everything up (as if there's some unwritten rule where Bat-Mite must not have any redeeming qualities at all for maximum cuteness) and let Sweet Tooth get away. I think this character exists just so children learn how to hate fictional characters. Maybe there's a reason why I can't find any 1970's Bat-Mite toys on eBay; kids probably burned them, hoping that by doing so, they can perform a complicated act of voodoo and free Batman from his curse.

"Ta dadada ta daaa! Puppy power!"
Instead of dwelling too long on how a four hundred pound man managed to outrun The Dark Knight, a man who went through rigorous physical training in order to fight crime, they go check up on Barbara and her unprofessional miniskirt to see if her state-of-the-art 70's computer has anything on Sweet Tooth's biggest weakness. You know, besides exercise, flights of stairs, and vegetables.

Dials and giant maps on the wall? This computer must be futuristic!
No, instead his weak spot is a specific type of cookie (and really, considering the way Sweet Tooth eats, wouldn't it be more logical to assume that he's going to stuff anything cookie-related in his face without discrimination?), and the computer demonstrates this first by displaying a recipe that I hope someone used to make authentic Batman-style cookies and then shooting a cookie out of a floppy disc slot.

This bears repeating. The computer shoots a cookie out of a floppy disc slot. Even before the advent of the Internet, Barbara's computer could bake cookies. Literally.

...why can't my computer do that!? Now I'm jealous and hope that this is an included feature on the Wii U.

This computer is so advanced that it doesn't know how to spell chocolate and marshmallow!
But that's not all. Batman then has to take a bite out of the cookie and use his renowned world-saving detective skills in order to deduce what type of cookie it is. Why, it's a chocolate fudge marshmallow jelly cookie, a cookie so delicious that it has a totally unwieldy name! I'm sure your parents are proud of you, Bruce. The city's in danger (okay, the loosest definition of the word "danger", but still) and you're busy eating cookies that came out of someone's computer. What would Alfred say if he was actually in this cartoon?

"I am vengeance. I am the night. I am.... HUNGRY!"
So then, our next stop is the Gotham City Dump. What an appetizing place to eat cookies.

Look at this trap, by the way. I realize that, considering the era, of course their technology would be less advanced than the Batman: The Animated Series version, but I was still expecting something more elaborate than sitting in the city dump with a wrapped present attached to a fishing rod. Although now, oddly, I kind of wish he did this in one of the Christopher Nolan films.

By the way, I'm not sure why Barbara bothered to suit up as Batgirl for this scene, because she contributes absolutely nothing in what follows. I guess she likes randomly sitting around in decaying piles of garbage.

No words can describe the brilliance I see before me.
Of course, Stupidly Named Waste of Oxygen arrives, because he never met a calorie he didn't like, but first, I want to point out his bus. This character may be one of the most annoying things Batman's ever had to face, but at least he knows how to pimp his ride.

...and why would he even need a bus if he only has himself and his three chunky offspring? They're fat but I don't believe they're that fat. What, was the candy paint job just too tacky on a 1973 Camaro?

I'm pretty sure if you made your car look like this, the government instantly registers you as a sex offender.
By the way, but is it me or is this plan a little flawed? Because we quickly learn that the grease-soaked mockery of a supervillain showed up, not because he was told there'd be cookies (as you're lead to believe), but because he was told the ransom money was in that box. Batman already had bait. They didn't need to go to Barbara and find out any weaknesses, because that lead absolutely nowhere. The cartoon has just shamelessly wasted our time with that cookie scene earlier.

Ah well, at least they catch the moron. Because Batman's fishing line can turn into a net. If you're questioning the logic behind this, then you give way more of a crap than I.

Man, that happens to me too whenever I grab a box full of money and cookies from a city dump.
We next spot our annoying fatass in prison, and considering it's only halfway through the episode and this cartoon doesn't know the meaning of the words "pacing" or "plot twist", that instantly tells us, the audience, that Sweet Tooth is going to escape. And man, do I hate the fact that he's going to do just that, because I had way higher expectations for the Gotham City Police.

And boy, is his escape method dumb as hell. His kids show up in a helicopter (because every villain in Gotham seems to have a helicopter on call) and shoot an oversized gumball of all things at the bars, destroying them and proving just how inept the building construction is in this city. And then, while Gordon and Barbara are standing there with their mouths slightly agape at the sheer amount of fail in front of them, the kids lower down a rope for Sweet Tooth to dangerously grab and hold onto, instead of doing it the smart way and actually pulling the villain into the helicopter. Gordon is so shocked by this turn of events that his brain malfunctions and the only thing he could say is this is his reaction:

"Sweet Tooth's kids always seem to...lower themselves to the occasion!"

Okay. That was lame, Gordon. A villain is going to contaminate all the water in the city all over again, thus decimating the diabetic population, and you had to somehow turn that into a pun. Really?

And how the hell do those young ten-year-old kids know how to drive a goddamn helicopter?

And then he falls to his death.
Sadly, this leads to Batman once again tracking The Michelin Man down, and man, he sounds just as sickened by this turn of events as you would expect. With his fists rammed into his hips as if he's trying and failing to contain the sheer amount of rage burning inside of him, our bat-themed superhero eyes the evil masses of blubber on his Bat-Computer with utter contempt, somehow keeping track on them because he creepily installed security cameras in all of Gotham's water canals. He's so angry that he even ignores whatever inane comment happens to float out of Robin's mouth. It's personal now, fat man!

"Holy calories! These weight loss reality shows get worse every year!"
The camera switches over to Sweet Tooth, despite my psychic pleas to the cartoon otherwise, and while he's busy poisoning the water supply with diabetes, one of his kids actually loses another tooth and brags about it, saying that soon he's going to look just like his hero.

You know, even though I'm thoroughly annoyed by this sorry excuse for a supervillain, the fact that the cartoon's implying that Sweet Tooth only has one tooth in his entire head (why, it's almost as if his name alludes to something!) is surprisingly sad, if only because tooth decay that severe must be causing him great physical agony and could be a good excuse as to why he's such a dick. Man, now I kind of want the current Batman comics (which are really dark and gritty, especially compared to this) to revive this character, if only so they can depict a morbidly obese man driven mad by his heavily diseased and rotting mouth, with blood leaking out of his lips whenever he talks or eats. Think of the backstory they could come up with! You listening to this, Frank Miller?

Hah hah, it's funny because he's slowly dying from severe form of gingivitis!
By the way, don't Google Image Search "gingivitis". Don't make the same mistake I did.
I'm just going to ignore the Bat-Mite scene that follows (because seriously, go to hell, Bat-Mite) and say that what happens next is a very boring, very by the numbers boat chase between Sweet Tooth and Batman. Bat-Mite ends up screwing up their whole plan, it turns out Sweet Tooth's boat is able to convert into a very stupid-looking submarine, and Batman is defeated because the annoying pink-haired lardass can shoot obscene amounts of whipped cream out of his boat and somehow that gums up the engine. At this point, I'll accept that. Sure, cartoon. Let one of the world's greatest cartoon heroes of all time get defeated by ice cream topping. I won't stop you, since you've already made me hate all forms of sugar.

"Let us never speak of this incident again, Robin."
And, again, to add insult to injury, this scene has to end with Bat-Mite saying that he'll never eat another sundae again. Hah hah, it's funny because you're a total waste of animation and make Batman fans cry.

Although I did legitimately get a laugh by how Batman and Robin treated that line with stone-cold silence. Look at Robin's face. I'm sure they believe that if they keep ignoring Bat-Mite, maybe he'll fade out of existence.

This is the worst porno ever.
Since their previous attempts at outsmarting a sentient blob of lard have failed (this really isn't making you look good, Dark Knight), Batman has a new plan for them to try. All Robin has to do is disguise himself as one of Sweet Tooth's kids, infiltrate their base of fatness, and hope that Sweet Tooth doesn't know how to count and just assumes that he magically created another offspring through meiosis.

This was just the thing this cartoon needed after so many scenes that were just jammed pack full of fail before, because the scene where we first see Robin in a fat suit while Batman surveys the damage just defies all known words in the English language. Hear that sound? That's the sound of all those sick mpreg fics populating the Internet suddenly being validated.

Ladies and gentlemen, the reason why this cartoon was made.
So then we find ourselves at Sweet Tooth's hideout which is, of course, a giant ice cream cone-shaped building in the middle of Gotham City, because hey, Sweet Tooth had the right zoning permits so why the hell not? And judging from the interior, I'm honestly surprised that the people living in this place are still alive, because every last inch of this place is some sort of pagan shrine honoring the vengeful yet loving sugar gods. I mean, for the love of god, Sweet Tooth has honest to god paintings of pieces of candy just hanging in his house. There's keeping to a theme and then there's just full-blown insanity and Sweet Tooth totally crossed that line.

But at the same time, I can't help but think that this would be the best damn place ever to throw a Super Bowl party. "Hey, guys! If you want any refreshments, just grab one of the giant, human-sized bon-bons next to the two-story cupcake."

What do you get when you guzzle down sweets?
Eating as much as an elephant eats?
What are you at getting terribly fat?
What do you think will come of that?
I don't like the look of it
In a room labelled classroom, implying a possible origin story if you squint (Sweet Tooth as a fired Health Sciences Professor who later turned to obsessive snacking to fill the void in his life would make the character more interesting), we hear that Fat Albert plans to strike a chocolate factory next. Because he's fat and he must steal chocolate even though he just goddamn turned the water supply into chocolate and there's a ton of readily available chocolate for free now. For crying out loud, Sweet Tooth, use your brain instead of your stomach for once!

And his teaching baton is a candy cane! Get it? Because he's fat.
While this shameless display of clogged arteries is assaulting our eyes, we also get to see Robin, hiding out in the back of the classroom totally unnoticed because Sweet Tooth can't count to three, take a bite out of a candy bar and then complain that how the hell they can eat this stuff. I understand if they were trying to give us some sort of moral about overeating (and really, this cartoon is not exactly subtle; this is exactly what it's trying to do), but the way they keep presenting it, it sounds more like just a small dose of chocolate is enough to make you balloon out. The way Dick Grayson is going on about this candy bar, it makes it sound like he just plain hates candy.

"A candy bar shot my parents."
So, while Sweet Tooth is still within earshot by the way, Robin leans over and rather conspicuously tells Batman where the bad guy's going to strike next by practically shouting into his wristwatch. I don't think Dick gets the concept of "going undercover" if this is the most discreet he can manage. It's a good thing he's dealing with a massively brainless idiot or else this never would've worked.

"Hey, my mysterious fourth child I've never seen until just today, could you keep it down?
I haven't said enough candy puns yet."
And, since this needs to happen once an episode, Robin ends up getting captured by the main bad guy while he's discovering where the electric computer lock is hidden. Because, as demonstrated earlier, Robin's idea of being unnoticeable is yelling into a wristwatch and then, immediately afterwards, rooting through Sweet Tooth's office. It was like he was begging to be captured.

But in fairness to Robin, the plan really was quite stupid, since he was, you know, trying to disguise himself as a son that doesn't exist and hoped that no one noticed him.

...wait, if Sweet Tooth is a walking gay stereotype (and considering his color scheme and voice, he is) but has children, does this mean this cartoon is showing gay adoption in a positive light? Okay, "positive" is used rather loosely here what with the constant teeth loss, but the kids seem happy enough, if a little overfed. I take back everything mean I've said about Sweet Tooth if this is the case here.

"Uh, I was just shouting into my watch after looking at your secret computer lock
that's protecting your evil scheme. That's not suspicious at all."
Of course Adam West hears the resulting scuffle over the watch transmitter thing, so he's well-aware that he has to go save his young ward's ineffective ass. You gotta love Batman's face when he says "Dick's in real trouble. I gotta save him.", by the way. He's just so happy that people are holding Robin hostage. Saving his useless dead weight in his life must be the best part of his day.

Batman's an asshole, I've noticed.
It doesn't take long for Batman to arrives at the Maison de Dent Douce, and who happens to greet him but Bat-Mite. When faced with a thick wall of idiocy, Batman does what any sane man should do when confronted with Bat-Mite; he ignores the hell out of him and continues on his way as if nothing ever happened.

And then starts scaling a giant ice cream cone while treating it with stone cold seriousness, because shut up, he's Batman.

"Commissioner, I need chocolate sprinkles. Repeat, I need chocolate sprinkles."
And the death trap for today, which is located at the top of the cone because apparently Sweet Tooth is rich enough to own a skyscraper-sized tower that looks like an ice cream cone (again, some backstory would be mighty handy right about now), happens to be a giant chocolate bar making conveyer belt surrounded by candy canes and licorice rope that leads to a giant vat of chocolate.

...that actually sounds kind of fun and not at all threatening, now that I think about it. The chocolate isn't even searing hot and, when we see Robin fall in, the chocolate level barely goes to his waist, meaning that Sweet Tooth just doesn't get the concept of "death trap". I know there's some recipes for cakes called Death By Chocolate but still...

Aaaaand there goes my ability to take Nightwing seriously ever again...
Batman of course saves Robin from the perils of being waist-deep in chocolate, and Bat-Mite manages to help by using his Powers of Annoyance for good by annoying the right people for once (and I'm not going to showcase that scene here, because even if he helps Batman, Bat-Mite is still a futile attempt to appeal to a younger audience that makes me die a little inside), but even that is quickly forgotten once Batman and Robin confront the corpulent blob and Sweet Tooth once again outsmarts them and outruns them. This just isn't your day, Batman. If Joker doesn't go "So, remember the time Sweet Tooth of all people almost kicked your ass?" the next time you see him, I'm going to be severely disappointed in him and his bleached skin.

I also kind of want to know why Sweet Tooth is wearing a sailor cap of all things. Is he some sort of bitter candy mascot that turned to a life of crime? Seriously, cartoon, if you can waste my time having Bat-Mite screw up all of their plans just so the villain can keep getting away, you can have Sweet Tooth spill the beans on his possibly gory and very exciting backstory involving an underground crime ring tied into the Japanese mafia.

And is it me or is it kind of sad that we never get to hear this guy's real name?

I also wonder if he's a natural pink.
Yes, Fatass has several more tricks up his sleeve. It turns out in one of his rooms, he has a machine that shoots giant, killer donuts at people. Yeah, okay, cartoon. It's clear that you've ceased giving a crap a long time ago. That being said, I have to wonder if he built that machine himself or if he had a very uncomfortable talk with a mechanic a couple months ago.

"So, what exactly do you want this machine to do again?"
"I want it to create giant, man-sized donuts that need to travel down this conveyer belt at such a speed that it tears intruders in half from the sheer velocity. The donuts have to be chocolate too. I have this fixation on chocolate that I'm trying to make into my supervillain gimmick."
"...they don't pay me enough to do this job."

This death trap has been brought to you by Dunkin' Donuts.
So The Pillsbury Doughboy gets away, because Batman is powerless to stop the awesome power that is giant flying donuts, so instead Robin leads Batman to the electric computer lock. Lucky for them, the electric computer lock that controls Sweet Tooth's entire plan is the same place it was earlier even though one of the superheroes had previously discovered it in a previous scene. I've probably said this a bunch of times already, but Sweet Tooth's as dumb as he is fat.

But wait, it turns out the electric computer lock was there because it was bait for yet another trap and...oh god. Please, can we just stop? I mean seriously, do we have to see people get captured by this guy for a second time before we get that his theme is candy-themed?

Also, way to get defeated by mere taffy, Batman. I could get out of that death trap with my trusty rows of Bat-Teeth and I was half-expecting these two to do the same thing.

Note the Bat Symbol on Batman's chest. Quality!
It was around here, when Batgirl had to go save the day and perform the exact same ice cream-climbing and chocolate-rescuing stunts that Batman did, that I decided that I was done with this episode. Okay, Filmation, it's clear that you no longer care whether I stick around to see the end of the episode or not. I already saw Batman rescue Robin; I really don't need to see Batgirl rescue Batman and Robin right afterwards. The fact that Batgirl of all people looks bored out of her mind while doing shows that I'm not the only one who thinks this. Poor Barbara.

"Really, guys? You got captured by Sweet Tooth? Seriously?"
So they make it back to the very same room, Sweet Tooth's at the very same computer (which can shoot either cotton candy or ice cream now; it's so badly drawn that it kind of looks like both), but this time, they finally beat the guy.

...because Batman pulled a laser out of his belt and shot the hell out of Sweet Tooth's machine.

Well then. I see I'm not the only one who wants this episode to end already.

"Alright, enough of this bullcrap."
This overloads the machine and finally, after all of that abuse, Sweet Tooth is finally defeated and we get to hear Batman say to both him and his kids that, after they go to the dentist (even though I doubt the dentist can do anything by now), they're going to prison.

Damn, Batman. That's kind of harsh. Really? You're going to throw the kids in jail too? Just because the kids helped with Sweet Tooth's plans (probably because, when you get right down to it, he is a supervillain with death traps, he could've easily threatened them off-screen) doesn't mean they should rot in Arkham too! What, do youth detention centers just don't exist in Gotham City? Considering their physique, I'm sure the mobsters and the serial killers are going to love them.

It's a shame Sweet Tooth's gimmick isn't dignity, because he certainly needs some.
So of course they fix the water supply, leading me to wonder just how many hours the water was chocolate. Man, No Man's Land has nothing on the level of erosion that must be eating away at every household and apartment in Gotham City now.

When you stop and think about it, for a good 12 or so hours, Sweet Tooth shut down all running water for everyone in Gotham City, and that's one of the main necessities of a household. Think of everyone deprived of hot water and couldn't do their normal utilities. Think of the people who ended up washing their clothes in chocolate syrup. Think of all those poor citizens who can never eat a hot fudge sundae without thinking of the day where they had no choice but to take a dump in a pool of chocolate syrup floating in their toilet.

In other words, despite me mocking him for like most of this thing, Sweet Tooth's plan was kind of effective in being menacing. That sly villain, using Pavlovian association to make an entire city hate chocolate. We're dealing with a serious foe here, even if his shoes are pink.

Although really, he probably would've gotten better results by using something that was actually toxic.
Finally, it ends, with Adam West saying "Teamwork....paid off", pause and all, because this cartoon certainly illustrated that by having to show everyone saving each other. Because that's just the thought I need to dwell in my head; the idea that without Robin, Batgirl, and freaking Bat-Mite, Batman never would've defeated a corpulent tub of sausage in a skintight purple sweater. I've seen Batman use only his wits to outsmart some of the most deadly comic book villains in the history of the medium, but nope, a land whale armed with giant donuts and a cotton candy cannon will easily take him out.

...I'm beginning to see why the Batman cartoons and the Batman comics largely treat this era like some sort of acid trip that didn't really happen. And why Batman: The Animated Series is often seen as the animation medium telling Batman that it's sorry for making a mockery of him all those years ago.

Oh god, Batman's face.
Oh, but it's not over yet. You know what else this cartoon has?


"Holy hamfisted morals, Batman! Shouldn't we respect our audience's intelligent a bit more?"
"No. We can't let children think they can enjoy cartoons without learning something."
Yes, I'm dead serious. At the end of every episode of this cartoon, there is a Bat Message designed to teach the kiddies the important messages they should learn if they want to be good upstanding citizens. It's freaking Sonic Says with Batman.

Only this one is even stranger and more cryptic than anything Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog could put out, because all Batman does is vaguely say that Sweet Tooth was ruining the lives of those kids and then gets mad at Bat-Mite for eating a fudgsicle. Yes, you'd think they'd actually, oh I don't know, mention that you should regulate your portions or not to stuff candy down your throat when you should have a more balanced diet or anything. Instead, all this Bat Message does is make Batman look like a sugar-hating asshole and only yells at Bat-Mite when he's doing something completely harmless.

But to be fair, the writing was brainless enough that it was implied throughout the entire episode, so I guess Batman figured we'd fill in the blanks ourselves.

I think I'm done here. Batman and chocolate are both dead to me now.

The Moral of this Cartoon
Don't ever eat candy ever, because just having one taste of chocolate will turn you into some greedy porkhog with bad teeth. Candy is gross! No one wants to be a fat person, after all.

Because fat people are assholes.

Final Verdict

Is this good?


Okay, okay, but is this so bad it's good? That really depends on what kind of mood you're in when you watch this.

When it boils right down to it, I honestly enjoy watching this cartoon because it is really fun seeing what lead to later creations and because it's simply so campy and cheesy as hell that my mind is blown by each possible plot twist they throw at me. This is purely a guilty pleasure cartoon.

But at the same time, it's not the wholesome camp-filled goodness I want it to be because some things do hold it down.

I think the main problem is that, honestly,  there's 10 minutes of material stretched into a 20 minute cartoon. There's a very good reason why Hannah-Barbera is the more respected name out of the two major "limited animation" studios of this time, and I think the main reason is that HB's shows have better pacing and better character design than Filmation. We really didn't need to have the heroes captured twice just so that both Batman and Batgirl had a scene where they rescue people.

Plus, as evidenced by some of these screenshots, the way they draw the characters sometimes is just really awkward. I understand the use of limited animation and how they can only move certain frames at a time, but when you see Batman sometimes stand like he's about ready to take a crap, and people bending their arms in a way that wouldn't make sense, then you run into some problems. I get that they were using incredibly realistic humans as opposed to the more stylistic humans used in the Hannah-Barbera shorts, and that was considered revolutionary for TV cartoons to have humans this realistically styled, but obviously there were some kinks that still needed to be worked out.

Plus Bat-Mite's just annoying. Characters like that need to be handled with care so they don't saturate the cartoon, and unfortunately, that's exactly what Bat-Mite did. That, combined with the fact that the villain himself could be grating at times, you got a double helping of Exasperation-flavored ice cream topped with pissed off sprinkles.

But, despite that, it was an okay look at this era I guess, and the villain's theme was rather fun. Despite what it sounds like, I don't actually hate Sweet Tooth. I just didn't find him all too interesting and I think it was because he didn't have a reason why he was doing his evil deeds without a clear motive. I know it was before the pretty awesome backstories and introductory episodes of Batman, but even a simple "I want to turn the water into chocolate syrup because they shut down my candy shop" line would've sufficed. A simple sentence explaining why the villain is here. Even with Scooby-Doo, the villains give a reason, so come on, Filmation.

But yeah. I think the next couple of posts are going to be more recent cartoons because there's only so much of Filmation that I can take in a month.