Batman / Batman Series

Why Did They Change the Animation Style on Batman: The Animated Series?

If you’re a fan of Batman: The Animated Series, you might have noticed that the animation style changed after the first season. The show’s characters and environments looked different, and it left many fans wondering why the creators made this change. In this article, we’ll explore the reasons behind the shift in animation style.

The Background

The Batman: The Animated Series premiered in 1992 and quickly became a fan favorite. Its dark atmosphere, complex characters, and engaging storylines set it apart from other animated shows at the time. The series was praised for its mature themes and attention to detail.

The Change

After the first season of Batman: The Animated Series, the animation style changed drastically. Characters’ designs were altered, and backgrounds became more detailed. Many fans wondered why these changes were made.

Reason #1: A New Animation Studio

One reason for the change in animation style was that a new studio took over production after the first season. AKOM Production Company replaced Tokyo Movie Shinsha (TMS), which had produced the initial episodes.

AKOM was known for its low production costs but had a reputation for producing lower quality animations. As a result, some fans speculate that budget constraints may have played a role in the design changes.

Reason #2: Creative Direction

Another reason for the shift could be attributed to creative direction. Bruce Timm, one of the creators of Batman: The Animated Series, wanted to differentiate it from other animated shows on television at that time.

He desired to make it more cinematic with more realistic designs and intricate backgrounds. Timm also wanted to incorporate more shadows and darker colors into each episode’s visuals.

The changes in animation style allowed him to achieve this vision while also keeping up with production schedules by not having to rely on TMS’s work schedules.

The Result

Regardless of the reasons behind the change in animation style, Batman: The Animated Series remained a successful and beloved show. The series won four Emmy Awards and was praised for its storylines and character development.

Ultimately, the change in animation style did not hurt the show’s popularity or critical acclaim. In fact, it may have contributed to its success by setting it apart from other animated shows at that time.


In conclusion, there were several reasons behind the change in animation style on Batman: The Animated Series. These included budget constraints, creative direction, and a new animation studio.

Although some fans were initially disappointed with the changes, the series continued to be popular and well-received. Whether you prefer the original animation style or the updated version, there’s no denying that Batman: The Animated Series remains a classic of 90s television.