The Animated Series Started With Steven Spielberg And Freakazoid!

Bruce Timm loved superheroes from the beginning. He also enjoyed drawing, but wasn’t sure if he’d ever be good enough to make it as a comics artist. Per an interview with Comicology, he quit his “9-5 job at K-Mart” to work at nearby Filmation Studios. There he did layouts for “Blackstar” (in his own words, a “third-rate Conan knockoff”) and eventually “He-Man: Masters of the Universe.” In the process he met Russ Heath, a professional comics workhorse whose designs were unfortunately far too complex for animation. Timm respected Heath’s craftsmanship, but aimed for a looser style that was easier to animate. He gained further experience and confidence drawing in-betweens for Don Bluth’s “Secret of NIMH.”

Timm found his way to Warner Bros just in time for “Tiny Toons Adventures.” Producer Tom Ruegger hoped “to make Looney Tunes for the ’90s,” per the Los Angeles Times. “Tiny Toons Adventures” and its successor “Animaniacs” broke new ground for American TV animation, just as Disney’s “DuckTales” had in 1987. Meanwhile, the success of Tim Burton’s “Batman” film led the president of Warner Bros. Animation, Jean MacCurdy, to suggest a “Batman” animated series. Timm, who longed to sink his teeth into something meatier than “Tiny Toons,” was immediately intrigued. He joined forces with a crew composed of “Tiny Toons” veterans and animation stalwarts including Paul Dini and Alan Burnett among others. They were united by their shared love of superhero comics and an ambition to expand the aesthetic and dramatic palette of TV animation. The rest is history.

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