As I dig through my old iTunes music files, I find music I can’t believe I forgot about.
Batman: The Animated Series
Possibly the best American kid’s cartoon ever made, full stop.
In November 2022 we lost Kevin Conroy, voice of Batman/Bruce Wayne in this show and many, many other cartoons and video games since. He will be missed.
And yes, I own all four sountrack albums on six CDs.
“Batman: Mask of the Phantasm” Main Title
The first and best BTAS movie has the best opening theme.
A more upbeat version became the main title of the Batman and Robin Adventures, when production went digital and they redesigned the characters.1
While my opinion about the movie has changed since I last wrote about it – I miss the character flaws of the comics Carol Danvers – the music is still pretty good.
“I’m All Fired Up”
This accompanies the scene where Carol breaks her Kree conditioning.
Revolutionary Girl Utena
Like I said last time I used to be crazy about this series, so I bought all the soundtrack albums I could find. The first album covers the first 13 episodes; the others cover the other 26 and the even trippier movie.
Don’t worry, I won’t post the entire album. Although if you want it this guy has it.
Star Trek: The Original Series
Years ago I bought three albums of Star Trek TOS background music by Alexander Courage. The second one, with music from “Doomsday Machine” and “Amok Time” contains all the themes that get endlessly recycled throughout the rest of the series.
“What Is Doomsday Machine / The Planet Killer”
The “Doomsday Machine” theme is almost as iconic as the “Amok Time” music below.
“Goodbye Mr. Decker”
“Doomsday Machine” remains one of my favorite TOS episodes, due largely to William Windom’s performance as Commodore Matt Decker. Windom specialized in men on the verge of a nervous breakdown – casting directors called him Weeping Willie – and he was in rare form here.
“The Ritual / Ancient Battle / 2nd Kroykah”
In “Amok Time” Spock and Kirk battle each other on the planet Vulcan. That’s all you really need to know.
This scene aired back in 1967 and has been endlessly referenced and parodied ever since.
Wonder Woman (2017) may have some flaws, but Rupert Gregson-Williams’s score is not one of them
“No Man’s Land”
The entire film pivots around the No Man’s Land scene. Before, Diana was just a stranger in man’s world tagging along with the first man she ever met. After, she became a superhero, risking her life to let others break through enemy lines.2
Having read William Moulton Marston’s original Wonder Woman comics, I found out that Amazons were tall and fit but otherwise ordinary women who knew mystical techniques to enhance their abilities. Bullets could hurt them, which is why they learned to deflect them. Like Batman, then, Wonder Woman was meant to have weaknesses and frailties. Despite the, um, other things Moulton and subsequent authors added to the story, that fact(oid) resonates.
Badly in the case of the Joker. The original series often tried to emulate the Max Fleischer Superman cartoons of the 1940s, but getting a bunch of overseas artists to put out 22 minutes of animation a week was a different kettle of Joker fish entirely. Joker, in particular, looked very off-model in some cuts. The redesign simplified him for ease of animation, but went too far: he looked like a scarecrow in whiteface, not Batman’s most dangerous enemy. Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker and Justice League fixed it, and then some. ↩︎
According to one rumor I heard, some studio exec wanted to cut the scene to shorten the movie because he didn’t think it was needed. Studio execs baffle me. ↩︎