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Making Music for Batman: Behind the Scenes of Three Decades of Animated Composing

For most fans of the franchise, the most iconic Batman opening to ever exist is the opening of Batman: The Animated Series.

It’s a perfectly animated action sequence that introduces the character, his quest, and Gotham City without a single word. What narrates this feat of storytelling is music. It builds tension, sews scenes togethers, and delivers each punch with explosive energy. Listening to that theme song can still produce chills almost 25 years after its debut.

That song was crafted by the inimitable Danny Elfman, but he was not alone in composing the music for Batman: The Animated Series. Elfman worked with a large team of composers, three of whom have continued to work with the character and banded together to form the studio Dynamic Music Partners. Together or apart, Lolita Ritmanis, Kristopher Carter, and Michael McCuistion have scored a variety of animated Batman stories such as Batman Beyond and Batman: The Killing Joke. Most recently they composed the music for Batman: Return of the Caped Crusaders, bringing new life to Adam West and Burt Ward’s beloved camp interpretations of Batman and Robin.

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