Christmas with the Joker (Batman: The Animated Series)
The title card of the episode.
Part of Season:
November 13, 1992
Beware the Grey Ghost!
The Laughing Fish
Christmas with the Joker is the second episode of the first season of Batman: The Animated Series in production order. Its plot is about Batman and Robin having to deal with the Joker's Christmas themed crime plan that the evil criminal set up after he escaped Arkham Asylum for the hundredth time.
Why It Rocks
High quality animation and character design which is typical of the original episodes of the series.
Well rendered settings, with fascinating use of light/shadows mechanics.
Excellent writing by Eddie Gorodetsky. The Joker's plan is very clever, and the ending is kinda heartwarming.
This is Mark Hamill's very first performance as The Joker.
A good plot featuring a traditional but not mundane Joker's plan which is well combined with the Christmas atmosphere of the episode thanks to the Christmas themed weapons the Joker uses. There are also a few significant plot twist; both major ones, like the one that takes place at the Observatory, and minor ones that happen during the final confrontation with the Joker.
Captivating dialogue. For example, Robin talking about the Joker and saying: "It's Christmas Eve, even scum spend the holidays with their families." with Batman replying "He has no family."
A very nice amount of action, especially after the duo enter the Joker's lair and have to deal with the Joker's goons and the Joker himself.
Very funny humor, especially because of the Joker's "Christmas special" where he calls his hostages "The Awful Lawful Family", among many other gags and antics. Another example is the Joker singing "his own version" of Jingle Bells at the beginning of the episode with lyrics such "Jingle Bells, Batman smells, Robin laid an egg! The Batmobile lost a wheel and the Joker got away!" and Bruce Wayne saying that he never actually watched the movie "It's a Wonderful Life" because he could never get past the title; all of these pointers are topped by a funny and wacky ending.
References to other Christmas themed media, like the aforementioned movie "It's a Wonderful Life" and the famous ballet "The Nutcracker" by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, Marius Petipa and Lev Ivanov through the music heard during the toys attack at the Joker's lair.