I have been cruising through my Batman the Animated Series box set for close to a week now. My wife hasn’t seen most of the episodes and we have had a big animation craving lately, so from the beginning it was. Hailed as one of the greatest cartoons of all time, this was a staple of my childhood. Now 20 years later…Last night, I came across an episode that I remember being one of my favorites when I was younger and it still carries through today. It is called The Laughing Fish. Batman the Animated Series ran for 85 episodes in 2/4 seasons, whichever way you look at it. The influence of this show is undeniable and can be looked at as the origin of other great animated DC shows like Superman and Justice League, also being the influence for the events in the Batman Arkham series and the current DC animated movie-verse.
“The Laughing Fish” is written by the great Paul Dini and directed by the legendary Bruce Timm. As I hope you can tell, its a Joker story, and it starts off with a smile! A fishing boat crew is ready to examine their catch only to be horrified when they see that something is terribly wrong with ALL of their fish, they have been poisoned by the Joker! This crazy bastard has poisoned the entire Gotham Bay! Anyways after some great detective work and crafty storytelling you are graced with one of the best episodes of the series! The Joker’s commercials are the best part of this episode, but don’t be fooled, this is a ruthless throw down of an episode! The Joker is truly vicious and I think that Dini does a great job showing of his insane side! There are a few WTF scenes that you wonder how they got on after-school TV! I don’t want to give away a lot of the story to you because I think you should watch it for yourself. The Laughing Fish has a great Joker/Harley dynamic, almost sad to abusive at times. And if you have not had the pleasure of watching this classic show once in your life, do it immedietely. I think that they have been re-running it on The Hub, where I’ve been catching up on Superman the Animated Series. Doesn’t compare to that “nut over in Gotham”!