With Batman Begins now in theaters, I think this is a great opportunity to take a look at the excellent animated versions of Batman that Warner Bros. produced during the 1990's and beyond. You'll find that like Batman Begins, the 90's animated version of Batman is closer to the spirit of the comic books than anything else. Unlike Batman Begins, however, most of these works are suitable for kids.
Batman: The Animated Series
Premiering on FOX in 1992, this stylish show set a new standard for "kids" television. It featured a dark, art-deco look (achieved in part by drawing backgrounds on black paper) and surprisingly serious, intelligent writing. The show had an excellent voice cast with the biggest surprise being Mark Hamill as the voice of The Joker. You'll never think of The Joker the same way again after hearing Hamill's chilling performance. This series ran for over 80 episodes and later spawned The New Batman/Superman Adventures on Kids WB.
Batman: Mask Of The Phantasm
This was the first Batman animated movie and it's the only one to ever receive a theatrical release. Before the release of Batman Begins, Roger Ebert considered this film to be the best Batman movie ever made. Darker and a little more violent than the TV show, it's also the perfect companion to Batman Begins. In this film, a Batman-esque vigilante known as The Phantasm is killing mobsters and Batman is getting the blame. Batman struggles to solve this mystery while Bruce Wayne deals with the return of a woman from his past. This film offers its own take on Batman's origins. Given that this film and Batman Begins share a couple of plot elements (the origin of Batman, the woman from Bruce's past), it's surprising that Warner Bros. hasn't yet reissued this film in a special edition on DVD.