When one looks for quality television, one rarely looks as children’s animation. Often times it is derivative, uninspiring, and all around annoying. However, when the truly great shows come around, the realization is made that children are capable of handling more mature subjects without being remarkably traumatized in the slightest. One of the true greats in the aspect was the early 90s cartoon, Batman: The Animated Series. A superhero cartoon seems to be a strange place to be talking about mature content. Superheroes are the bread and butter of Saturday morning entertainment, but Batman decided to step away from the traditional method of children’s cartooning and try something different. Instead of simple “kid-friendly” villains, the show was able to mine its source material and use villains that were willing to kill an entire city just because they wanted to. This dark material should, according to many sensibilities, be extremely offsetting to kids. Instead, the show is able to find a happy medium which isn’t super violent, but at the same time won’t pull its punches when it comes to mature topics. One of the best examples of this phenomenon comes when dealing with the character of Two-Face. He is an established enough villain that the show could have easily had him simply appear and no one would think twice about it. However, the show takes the viewer through the entire emotional journey of his creation. The audience is introduced to the character of Harvey Dent, Gotham’s district attorney and best friend to the protagonist, in the first episode, and he is a recurring character throughout the series. This means that when an explosion goes off, horrifically maiming his face and cracking his personality in two, the audience is deeply invested in his character. This kind of deep emotional connection followed by such a traumatic experience gets the audience involved, but for many, it is too disturbing for children. By including it anyway, Batman proves that kids aren’t stupid when it comes to their entertainment. The show was very popular in its day and many kids watched this episode. There were no widespread reports of kids becoming traumatized by this event. Instead, they were able to take the emotional journey with the main character of losing his best friend and feeling guilty every time they have to cross paths. In short, Batman: The Animated Series didn’t try to create programming for kids. They simply tried to make the best animated show they could, but didn’t try to dumb it down for children. Instead, they expected kids to understand what was going on, and for the most part they were successful. While not every episode is as emotionally charged as the Two-Face origin, the show asks viewers, both child and adult to rise to the occasion so that the show can best the best it can possibly be.