|Oh hell yes.|
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...
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.|
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...
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?"|
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.|
...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...|
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!".
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.
Some stay dry and others feel the pain
|"Dude, I'm tripping balls!"|
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.|
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.|
...no, 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!|
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.|
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."
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.
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
...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!"
...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.
|And he has great balance for a fat man.|
|"Ta dadada ta daaa! Puppy power!"|
|Dials and giant maps on the wall? This computer must be futuristic!|
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!|
|"I am vengeance. I am the night. I am.... HUNGRY!"|
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.|
...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.|
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.|
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.|
|"Holy calories! These weight loss reality shows get worse every year!"|
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.
|"Let us never speak of this incident again, Robin."|
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.|
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.|
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
|And his teaching baton is a candy cane! Get it? Because he's fat.|
|"A candy bar shot my parents."|
|"SWEET TOOTH IS GOING TO STRIKE THE CANDY FACTORY AND TWO PM TOMORROW. I REPEAT-"|
"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."
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."
|Batman's an asshole, I've noticed.|
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."|
...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...|
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.|
"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.|
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!|
|"Really, guys? You got captured by Sweet Tooth? Seriously?"|
...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."|
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.|
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.|
...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.|
|"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."
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.
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.