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STUDIO: Shout Factory
RATED: Not Rated
RUNNING TIME: 510 Minutes
SPECIAL FEATURES: None!
It’s Batman meets…a bat.
The voices of Len Maxwell and Frank Buxton
Batfink and his pal, Karate, have to run around the city and save the day from various criminals like Hugo A-Go-Go, Victor the Predictor, and other troublesome persons. If you’re wondering what the “fink” in “Batfink” stands for, the show never answers that question. I don’t think it stands for anything. Though the dictionary tells me that a fink is “an undesirable person.” And I’m of the opinion that bats are some of the worst creatures on Earth. Seriously…I’m scared to death of them. So there you go. A little useless trivia about me.
Batfink is certainly not a remarkable show. The animation is less then adequate, the character design is cheap, ugly, and unappealing, and every episode the same. The fact that each episode is little more then five minutes apiece has something to do with this, I imagine. One would think that with there being 100 episodes of this thing that the animation would have gotten a little better over the two year running time of the show. Wrong. They use the same bits of animation over and over again. Though considering that each episode appears to have been animated by only one guy, perhaps that’s understandable.
Every episode is pretty much a spoof of a condensed plot of the Adam West Batman series that was running at the same time as this. Batfink is in his cave with his goofy, bucktoothed, Asian, sidekick, Karate. He gets a call from the inept police chief, telling him that some mad genius is destroying the city. Batfink and Karate hop into the Batillac, which is actually a pink VW Bug with fins. They get into a bit of trouble. At some point, Batfink says, “Your bullets cannot harm me, my wings are like shields of steel.” Batfink saves the day, usually using whatever handy power we didn’t know he had until the perfect moment presents itself. Karate says something goofy. End of episode.
But there is a silly, self-aware fun to the show that is hard to deny. And it mainly comes from the narrator of the show who usually shows up once every episode. The action on the screen freezes and the narrator asks us things like “Will Batfink save the city from Dr. Hilarious’ laugh-ray? Does he have the strength and fortitude? You better believe it, loyal citizen!” And then Batfink saves the day in the exact way the narrator described it.
It’s also fun to see how ridiculous the show can get in aping the campy villains from Batman, and how Batfink escapes the wacky plots. Batfink makes great use of his super sonar, which is just the word ‘BEEP’ flying across the screen, doing whatever he needs it to do. Locate criminals? Check. Diffuse bombs? Check. Tie shoelaces? Check. The list goes on.
I imagine this show was made to be filler between other, longer television shows. The quality of animation and imagination of the show is a testament to that. It’s designed to be watched once and then instantly forgotten.
Four discs in two slip cases. The picture and sound are mediocre at best. No special features here.
6 out of 10