Great little remembrance by Polygon’s Susana Polo on Batman: The Animated Series composer Shirley Walker:
It was Walker and the rest of her composing team who furnished a Saturday morning kids’ cartoon with a full suite of character-specific musical themes, just as composers like John Williams and Howard Shore have done franchises as big as Star Wars and the Lord of the Rings. Walker based her music on a combination of design, mannerism and even character voice, once an actor for the part had been chosen and their final personality had been made clear.
Longtime readers know I’m a film score aficionado, and Walker’s music for B:TAS and, later, the Superman and Batman Beyond animated series, imbued them with a class and production value that was a big part of what elevated them from standard Saturday morning animated fare. While some of the cues were borrowed from the music composed by Danny Elfman for the 1989 Batman movie, the vast majority of the work by Walker and her team was completely original. Unsurprisingly, as I listened through Walker’s Gotham City Overture, I found I vividly remembered so many of the themes and leitmotifs used throughout, even 25 years later.
For way more on Batman: The Animated Series, you can of course check out the Batman University podcast, hosted by my pal Tony Sindelar, over on The Incomparable (especially, of course, the episode I guested on–even though we talked about Superman: The Animated Series).