Classic Cartoons

The History of the Justice League TV Cartoons

Justice League promotional art
Justice League is an animated television series that ran from 2001 to 2004 in Cartoon Network. This animated TV series is part of the DC animated universe, and it is produced by Warner Bros. Animation. Justice League, the animated series is based on the comic book by DC Comic entitled Justice League of America. After two seasons of the Justice League series, it got rebranded as Justice League Unlimited, and it aired for three seasons. In this article, we are going to know more about the history of this hit animated TV series.

Production of the Justice League Animated Series

Bruce Timm, the man who co-produced Batman: The Animated Series as well as Superman: The Animated Series during the 1990s, is also the one who produced Justice League: The Animated Series. The cartoon includes Superman, Batman, The Flash, Wonder Woman, Hawkgirl, Martian Manhunter, and Green Lantern. The show had a total of two seasons, with 52 episodes that run for 24 minutes.

Justice League was directed by Dan Riba and Butch Lukic, and it featured the voices of Michael Rosenbaum, Kevin Conroy, Susan Eisenberg, Phil LaMarr, Maria Canals-Barrera, George Newborn, and Carl Lumbly. When Justice League ended in May 2004, Cartoon Network announced that it would have a follow-up series entitled Justice League Unlimited, which came out June that same year. That series featured a more extensive roster of characters.

The casting of Justice League Animated Series

Kevin Conroy, the man who voiced Batman from the Batman: The Animated Series, Batman and Beyond, and The New Batman Adventures, returned to his role in the Justice League series. In this series, Batman’s costume was redesigned, and it has a combination of his last three costumes. It has the same design as his costume in The New Batman Adventures. Still, it has blue highlights from Batman: The Animated Series and long ears from the Batman Beyond costume.

On the other hand, Tim Daly, the one who gave voice to Superman in Superman: The Animated Series, was initially involved. Still, later on, he turned down the role because he had other commitments. That is why he got replaced by George Newbern. In the Justice League animated series, Superman was redesigned to have a little squint in his eyes as well as small details of wrinkles to show that he looks older. Aside from that, Superman also had an apparent shining streak to his hair, and he was drawn to be larger than other characters. However, fans did not like Superman’s appearance. That is why the creators of the show decided to tone him down on the second season of the show.

Most of the other characters retained their comic book origins except for Wonder Woman, who is referred to as the “rookie” here in the animated series instead of being the ambassador of peace to man’s world just like in the comic book series.

In the animated series, The Flash was portrayed to be younger and a bit more brash compared to his comic book counterpart. Charlie Schlatter is the one who voiced the Flash during the show’s first episode. However, he was unavailable to tend to his role. That is why he was replaced by Michael Rosenbaum. Some significant changes were also made with Hawkgirl up to the point where she got involved in a romantic relationship with Green Lantern as the series progressed.

Even if Justice League, the animated series is made using a 2-dimensional style, its opening cards have toon shading, and it is rendered in 3D. The intro of the show is used throughout the series up until Justice League Unlimited premieres.

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