Revisting Adam West’s Batman With Some Young Eyes
Over the holidays my nephews and I had a treat. To ring in the new year it was decided we were going to have a Batman party. That sure beats watching Ryan Seacrest!
Little kids love Batman. My love for the character started when reading my comic books, watching cartoons and of course seeing Adam West and Burt Ward Pow, Biff and Bam the villains of Gotham City on the old classic show. My favorite toy when I was a kid? My Batman Mego figure of course!
So now my four nephews who range from three to six are learning all about Batman. They have their toys and watch the cartoons. The cartoon Batman: The Brave and The Bold seems to be the majority of their exposure to him. They’re fully aware that the Joker is a bad guy and that Batman stops him from robbing banks. Of course they know the other famous members of Batman’s rogue’s gallery – The Riddler, Catwoman, The Penguin and Mr. Freeze.
Deciding on a Batman-themed party started as my suggestion and naturally I got stuck decorating, but actually it was a kick. Hanging up Bat symbols all over, blue and black balloons, laying out a Batman table cover and of course you need Batman plates and cups to eat and drink out of.
I even managed to display some of my Batman toys from my personal collection around that were meant to “only be looked at, not to touch!”. It’s kind of difficult to explain to kids that these things are not “toys”, but collectibles.
Yes, none of the little kids came up with this Batman party idea, it was the brain child of their grown-up adult uncle.
Anyway the party commenced and it was the usual kid kind of gathering. Everyone was dressed up as Batman, with cowls, capes, t-shirts. Some of these Batman kid costumes they have nowadays are pretty good! Much better than the plastic masks with the rubber bands I had when I was little.
If you get a group of kids together it usually ends up as a lot of chaos and that’s what happened. The feeble attempts at party games to keep them entertained were somewhat pointless and rules fell by the wayside. I really wish I could have found a pin the Bat Symbol in the sky, but no luck so we had to resign ourselves to sticking the tail on the jack ass game. I never considered what a strange game that really is.
The cake came and of course it was a Batman-themed Carvel cake. These things have to be the best tasting cakes ever! The vanilla/chocolate combination, along with the little crunchies! Who can resist that??? I’ll admit I never had one of their Fudgy the Whale numbers, but I can’t imagine it topping their ice cream cakes.
To round out the night I announced that we would be watching a Batman movie, one that I was sure none of them saw before – Batman: The Movie from 1966 starring Adam West and Burt Ward.
I was somewhat skeptical on how long these kids would sit for this. The cartoons and shows they watch now are much different than the stuff I used to watch when I was little. But I certainly couldn’t show them The Dark Knight just yet. I think it would be a bit much for them to see Heath Ledger’s Joker ram a pencil into a guys head.
The movie began and the kids were riveted! I was really surprised at how fast they got into watching Adam and Burt slide down the batpoles and fire up the Batmobile. The three year old….well he just continued running around the house. That kid can’t keep still, but the others sat there with wide eyes and open mouths seeing Batman beat up the bad guys.
The movie does hold up really well for kids. It’s colorful, action-packed, a lot of cool bat gadgets and is very funny. I think their favorite part was when the Joker’s jack-in-the-box shot a bad guy out a window.
Overall the screening of Batman 1966 was a success. The kids started to lose interest towards the end and got back to their coloring books, so they missed the part where Batman and Robin rehydrated the United Nation leaders. But for 90% of the film they were entertained and sat quiet. Something their mothers were very happy about it.
Afterwards they asked me if there were more Batman movies like this. When I explained there was a whole TV show, they immediately wanted to see it. Unfortunately, I told them I don’t have those. How on earth that show is still not on DVD is beyond me. I wish they could just work out the rights and finally release all those shows.
By the way I enjoyed the evening as well. Of course I wasn’t partaking in fruit juice in a Batman cup while watching Adam West, but I was indulging in my own Bat beverage – a Batman rum and coke.