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The New Batman Adventures
This article is exclusive to The New Batman Adventures, the sequel to Batman: The Animated Series. The contents of this article are intentionally different from articles about BTAS.
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Animal Act
Episode 17
Animal Act
Air date September 26, 1998
Directed by Curt Geda
Written by Hilary J. Bader
Music by Harvey Cohen
Airdate Sequence
Old Wounds
Production Sequence
Cult of the Cat
Old Wounds
"The time has come," the Walrus said. "To talk of many things. Of bears and snakes, and clever crimes. That spring from circus rings."
- Mad Hatter

Animal Act is an episode of The New Batman Adventures. It is notable for introducing The Mad Hatter to the new series in what would be his only appearance in the show as the main antagonist and his last appearance overall.

"Animal Act" is the 16th produced episode and the 17th episode aired of "TNBA".


While on patrol, Batman, Robin, and Nightwing spot a strange man stealing a piece of technology from a rooftop. When they try to stop him, the heroes learn that the thief is actually a gorilla and Nightwing recognizes the animal before it escapes.

AA 07 - Miranda Kane

Miranda Kane

Later, Dick Grayson and Tim Drake visit Haly's Circus, where Dick meets the people and performers he knew as a kid. Although Dick recognizes most of them from his days at the circus, there is one particular clown who Dick is not familiar with, but who seems to be another harmless clown of the circus. Dick finally finds Peaches, the gorilla they confronted last night and he is reunited with Miranda Kane, the daughter of the beastmaster of the circus, who has taken the job of her father after his retirement. Dick and Tim inquire as of her training of the animals, informing her about their latest encounter with the gorilla, which she denies as she keeps the animals in their cages at all times.

That night, Dick takes a look at his old pictures when he notices that Batman has broken into his apartment. Batman informs Dick that there have been mysterious robberies of electronics at every place where Haly's Circus has toured. Dick refuses to believe that his old friend had anything to do with it, but Batman is not so sure. Robin contacts Batman through their radios and informs him about a robbery in process, not far from Dick's apartment. Batman prepares to leave, but he waits until Dick changes into Nightwing.

AA 14 - Bear Attack

Bear Attack

Batman and Nightwing arrive at the crime scene, where someone has clearly broken inside the building using the access codes. Once inside, Batman locate the responsible and much to their surprise, they realize it's a couple of bears, creating havoc and searching among the pieces of hardware and technology. Batman and Nightwing have a hard time fighting the animals, but they eventually manage to incapacitate and stop the bears.

The bears are returned to the Circus, where Miranda takes them back to their cages, but she is warned by Harvey Bullock to prevent further "incidents" with her animals or else she would be in trouble. As he is leaving the circus, Bullock has an unpleasant encounter with the trickster clown. Meanwhile, Miranda and Dick discuss the possibility of her leaving the cages unlocked accidentally, but Miranda is sure that there is someone else involved. Moments later, Dick is back at his apartment and Batman breaks in once again to show him the security tapes of the night the bears attacked. Batman and Dick watch how the bears broke into the building and dialed the security code to open the doors inside, making them realize there is someone else involved. At that moment, the mysterious clown removes a technologically advanced collar from the bears, as they have fulfilled their mission, but he is confronted by Miranda. It is then that the clown decides to reveal himself as Jervis Tetch The Mad Hatter.

AA 24 - The Mad Hatter

The Evil Mastermind

Batman and Nightwing make it to Haley Circus, in time to save Miranda and take her out of the lions' cage, where she was placed by the twisted criminal, with help from his mind-controlling device placed on the circus' animals. Batman, Nightwing and Miranda track the Mad Hatter to the big top, where the Hatter is awaiting for them. He has placed mind-controlling devices on all the circus crew and turns them against Nightwing and Batman. The heroes struggle against the mind-controlled circus performers, but they eventually get the upper hand when the Mad Hatter's hat is damaged and he loses control over his minions.

The Mad Hatter then tries to escape and use the circus' gorilla against the heroes, but he is stopped by them and his hat is destroyed. The Hatter had already opened the gorilla's cage and he gets crushed by the animal, who recognizes the Hatter is evil. The threat of the Mad Hatter is under control and in the aftermath, Dick Grayson and Bruce Wayne enjoy a nice day at the circus, while Tim has to clean the animal cages as part of his wish to live the circus life for a week.


Actor Role
Kevin Conroy Batman/Bruce Wayne
Loren Lester Nightwing/Dick Grayson
Mathew Valencia Robin/Tim Drake
Jane Wiedlin Miranda Kane
Robert Costanzo Harvey Bullock
Roddy McDowall Mad Hatter
Corey Burton Bruno the Strongman
Pete the Knife-Thrower (uncredited)
Lauri Johnson Connie the Knife-Thrower's Wife

Notes & Trivia[]

  • The photo of the Flying Graysons together is similar to the one shown in Robin's Reckoning Part I.
  • This is the second episode where a villain impersonates a clown to commit crimes. The first one was Be a Clown, from Batman: The Animated Series.
  • This is also the second episode to develop some of Dick Grayson's past at Haly's Circus. The first one was Robin's Reckoning Part I, from Batman: The Animated Series.
  • This episode also marks the second time Batman and Nightwing (formerly as Robin), confront a couple of bears. The first time happened in the movie Batman & Mr. Freeze: SubZero.
  • Harvey Bullock refers to the two bears as "Yogi and Boo-Boo". This is a reference to the classic animated cartoon characters by Hanna Barbera.
  • This is one of the few episodes of TNBA that was not used as any cutscene on the videogame Batman: Gotham City Racer.
  • The episode has been released as part of the following Home video sets:


  • There are some differences in Dick's photo album
    • Mary's hair is brunette and not blonde.
    • Mary's headpiece is gold instead of red and the feather is red instead of pink.
    • Dick's uniform has bare legs instead of pants.
    • John's pants are red instead of grey.
    • The belts are different.
    • Mary's lipstick and earrings are not visible.
    • On the second picture, Dick has a slightly altered uniform while Mary has a different one entirely.