|Christmas With the Joker|
|Season 1, Episode 38|
|Air date||13 November, 1992|
|Directed by||Kent Butterworth|
|Written by||Eddie Gorodetsky|
|Music by||Michael McCuistion|
Terror In The Sky
Heart of Steel Part I
On Leather Wings
Nothing to Fear
Christmas With the Joker is a Christmas Special episode of Batman: The Animated Series. It is the only episode to feature a holiday theme. This episode is notable for being the first produced episode with Joker, Robin and Summer Gleeson.
Christmas with the Joker was the second episode to be produced and the 38th to be aired.
Robin would like nothing better than to show Batman "It's a Wonderful Life" on Christmas Eve. But their broadcast gets interrupted when the Joker escapes from Arkham Asylum to put on his own murderous game show, leading the dynamic duo in a series of rescue missions to ensure that Gotham has a Merry Xmas.
At Arkham Asylum on Christmas Eve, the inmates all join in the singing of "Jingle Bells" as Joker puts the finishing touch on decorating a Christmas tree -- which, as it turns out, becomes an escape rocket for the Clown Prince of Crime to use for busting out, laughing all the way.
At Wayne Manor in the Batcave, Dick Grayson tries to reason with Bruce Wayne over the pointlessness of going out on Christmas Eve, suggesting that even someone like the Joker wouldn't be actively causing mayhem on it. Dick makes a bet with Bruce that if they find nothing going on in the city that's worth their going out as Batman and Robin, then they will go home, enjoy a Christmas dinner, and watch "It's A Wonderful Life", to which Bruce agrees. On their patrol of Gotham City, Batman spots a would-be attacker of an elderly lady and goes into action, but suddenly sees for himself that the "attacker" was actually a kind stranger returning a package that the lady had dropped. She responds gratefully with a kiss and a greeting of Merry Christmas. Batman gets the feeling that tonight he would not be needed and so he and Robin return to Wayne Manor to enjoy a quiet Christmas of dinner and watching a movie.
As they begin to watch the movie, however, Bruce and Dick notice that on all the TV channels, the Joker has pirated a signal on them to present his own special presentation, "Christmas With The Joker". While they return to action as Batman and Robin to pinpoint the location of the pirated signal, the Joker presents on his Christmas special his "special guests", the awful Lawful Family, which turn out to be Commissioner Gordon, Summer Gleeson, and Harvey Bullock all "dressed up" in baby clothes, daring Batman to rescue them by midnight or else they're history. He then cuts to a shot of his henchmen Donner and Blitzen preparing to blow up a train bridge, which will cause the train just coming towards it to crash, killing everyone on it, including Summer's mother. Batman turns the Batmobile around after the bridge explosion and puts it on autopilot while he and Robin work on saving the passengers, with Robin decoupling the passenger cars and putting on the brakes and Batman rescuing the engineer before the locomotive section goes off the bridge. The Joker, displeased with the rescue operation, decides to blow up his "studio audience".
The Batmobile computer pinpoints the location of the pirated signal coming from the Gotham Observatory, and soon Batman and Robin drive to that location, where they are greeted with a Joker-in-the-box and a giant cannon aiming right for them. Batman distracts the cannon's computer guidance system while Robin breaks into the observatory, diving past an army of Joker robots with machine gun hands and using an explosive to destroy the computer, putting the cannon out of commission. Though the cannon does destroy an antenna, it turns out that the Joker's pirated signal was not broadcasted from that location, which then leaves the Batman wondering where it's coming from.
With only minutes to midnight left for the hostages, Batman tunes into the Joker's broadcast where he now sees the Harlequin of Hate present Summer with a present which she opens, revealing it to be a Betty Blooper doll that he winds up and lets loose on a cardboard model of Gotham City. Batman tells Robin that Betty Blooper dolls haven't been made since the Laffco Toy Factory went out of business fourteen years ago -- which clues the Dynamic Duo to the actual location of the broadcast.
Arriving at the factory, Batman and Robin are greeted by giant robotic toy soldiers and electric airplanes swooping down on them while "The Nutcracker Suite" and "The Russian Dance" play in the background. They easily knock down the toy soldiers, and Batman uses a baseball bat to take care of the airplanes while Robin uses an empty metal barrel on some of them. But soon they got snipers chasing after them. Batman and Robin hide behind some giant stuffed bears, while Batman leaves behind a Bat cape as a decoy for them to shoot at, causing a giant bear to fall down and pin them to the ground.
Finally the Joker draws back the curtains to reveal that his hostages are now a rope cut away from being drowned to death in a vat of boiling molten plastic. He hands Batman a present that he cautiously opens, only for it to be a harmless pie in the face. The Joker laughs at the Batman's pratfall before he cuts the rope and sends the hostages plummeting, swiftly rescued from death by Batman. While Robin lets loose the hostages, Batman gives chase to the Joker as he tries to escape on a walkway, only to slip on a roller skate and nearly plunge into the same boiling death as his intended victims. Batman catches the Joker by the ankle before he does, greeting him with a "Merry Christmas, Joker!"
After Joker has been turned over to the authorities and taken back to Arkham, Bruce and Dick get to enjoy watching a copy of "It's A Wonderful Life" that Commissioner Gordon allowed them to borrow. Dick comments after the movie ends that "it truly is a wonderful life", while Bruce adds "it does have its moments".
Back in his dark dingy cell, wrapped in a straitjacket, the Joker cackles as he sings along with "'Tis The Season To Be Jolly".
|Robert Costanzo||Harvey Bullock|
|Bob Hastings||James Gordon|
|Mari Devon||Summer Gleeson|