06-02-2013, 12:34 PM
Join Date: Jan 2009
Re: The Official Batman TAS Thread - Part 1
This was a perfect episode. (and I'm probably gonna make at least two more rounds of it.)
BTAS Episode: Perchance to Dream
- Although the entire series is heavily indebted to Film Noir, some of the most explicit references are found in this episode. The climax at the bell-tower is perhaps a nod to Alfred Hitchcock's Vertigo and Batman directly quotes Humphrey Bogart's final paraphrase from The Tempest in The Maltese Falcon in the end. The dreamlike nature of the storyline is very much in common with Film Noir. Interestingly, the climax also resembles the finale of Metropolis and Tim Burton's Batman, in which Michael Keaton's Batman and Jack Nicholson's Joker face off in the spire of a cathedral.
- This episode marks the first time in the DCAU where Batman and Bruce Wayne come face to face with one another.
- By this episode (in production order), Kevin Conroy's voice for Batman began to change slightly, becoming less raspy and more gruff compared to previous episodes (the voice would continue to change slightly in The New Batman Adventures and Justice League).
- The title comes from a line in the famous "To be or not to be" soliloquy from the play Hamlet, in which Prince Hamlet debates with himself whether or not to commit suicide, or to face the cruel travails of the world, and specifically the task of avenging his dead father which has been put before him. This is a subtle, but intriguing parallel not only to the story of the episode itself, but to the story of Batman in general. Also, Kevin Conroy, the voice of Batman in the series, appeared in a number of Shakespeare plays during the 1980s, before being cast on the show.
- The theme and conflict found in the episode are both similar to those faced by Superman in the Alan Moore story For the Man Who Has Everything. In that story, Mongul uses an alien plant to place Superman in a fantasy world where Krypton never exploded. Indeed, this story was eventually adapted in the Justice League Unlimited episode with the same title.
- Leslie Thompkins essentially sums up part of the episode: the persona of Bruce Wayne, who has never had to work for what he wants, is jealous of the personality of Batman, "whose every deed has great value". Thus, the two personalities fight each other in the bell-tower for control of Bruce Wayne.
- In Batman: Animated, Paul Dini wrote that the producers rarely explored the idea of Bruce being tempted to give up being Batman and lead a "normal" life. Kevin Conroy added:
“ Batman needs Bruce, however hollow that identity feels to him from time to time. Bruce keeps Batman human.... I think the temptation is there, but the temptation is to retreat into the cave and never come out. To give up his disguise as Bruce Wayne and surrender himself completely to the darkness. ”
- In that sense, Batman seems to be able to tell that the dream world is a lie, because the temptation it offers is not truly the one he feels.
- The main clue that the Mad Hatter is behind the events of this episode is the fact that his theme plays in this episode's title card.
- Bruce buys "a flare gun and some flares", probably with the intention to get Batman's attention. However, he never actually uses them.
- Both Bruce and "Batman" act slightly out-of-character in the dream world, with Bruce being considerably more harsh than playful toward Alfred and "Batman" unusually calm and collected.
- One of the men who "Batman" stops during the jewel heist resembles The Penguin's henchman Jay from "I've Got Batman in My Basement".
- Kevin Conroy, the voice of Batman, has stated on his Twitter account that this is his favorite Batman: The Animated Series episode.
- The Supernatural episode "What Is And What Should Never Be" has a plot similar to this one. Both episodes feature the villain putting a character in a dream-like state (Batman/Dean) where their parents (Bruce's parents/Dean's mom) were never killed. They don't believe it at first but start accepting it until they see signs it's not real. Both leave their dream by killing themselves.