Batman_GothamKnight_Blu.jpgTomorrow is a red-letter day for fans of the Batman. In addition to the release of Christopher Nolan’s Batman Begins on Blu-ray DVD in both a regular and a special edition, tomorrow brings the release (straight to DVD and Blu-ray) of the animated feature Gotham Knight.

The animated film bridges the gap between Batman Begins and its sequel, The Dark Knight, which opens in theaters on July 18. It tells the story of how the Batman hones his craft in the aftermath of the events of Batman Begins, through six interlocking chapters: “Have I Got a Story For You” (written by Josh Olson, who received an Academy Award nomination for A History of Violence [2005] ), “Crossfire (written by Greg Rucka), “Field Test” (written by Jordan Goldberg), “In Darkness Dwells” (written by David S. Goyer), “Working Through Pain”(written by Brian Azzarello), and Deadshot” (written by Alan Burnett). Each segment features art from a well-known Japanese anime director. Kevin Conroy, who provided the voices of Batman and Bruce Wayne in the art-deco-inspired Batman: The Animated Series (1992-95), reprises the roles here. (By the way, the fifth and final season of that series will also be released tomorrow on DVD, along with the fifth season of Teen Titans, Robin’s spinoff series).

My younger son has become very interested in Batman lately and both he and his older brother have been fascinated by the posters for The Dark Knight. They both accept, however, that the film is going to be too “scary” for them. I made the mistake of telling them that there would be a new animated film released at the same time that would be more appropriate for them. Unfortunately, that was before I discovered that Gotham Knight is rated PG-13 and saw images on the film’s website.

Instead, I think I’ll show them the 1966 Batman, a spin-off of the campy television series starring Adam West, which I loved as a child, much to the consternation of my kindergarten teachers. It’s available on DVD and has just been released on Blu-ray.