Kevin Conroy Calls Out Christian Bale’s Batman Voice

Published 5 years ago by , Updated February 10th, 2012 at 10:10 am,

Batman on Batman Kevin Conroy Calls Out Christian Bales Batman Voice

Batman has always been known for his duality, but this is ridiculous. Kevin Conroy’s panel at C2E2 on Friday gave us an interesting look into his world as the voice of animated Batman. While he mentioned the progress of the video game Batman: Arkham Asylum 2, the real treat was his words of disappointment with Christian Bale’s infamous Batman voice.

A civil war has brewed amongst fans on whether Bale’s husky voice work is good or bad since he first appeared as the Caped Crusader in Batman Begins. Now, we get a professional opinion. It’s tough to find more expertise than the most recognizable voice of the Dark Knight, Kevin Conroy. You may expect him to be coy with answers and simply praise Bale, but the man spoke his version of the truth.

When asked if Warner Bros. has ever requested he dub of The Dark Knight, the entire room laughed with Conroy before he gave an answer. Even better, he starts it off with his version of the awesome movie line, “I’m not wearing hockey pads.” See it for yourself with our video from the event. (Apologies for the audio mix-up near the beginning)

The passion with which people hate Christian Bale’s voice work is amusing, if not overwhelming. It is important to take a look at the character objectively and figure out why such an esteemed actor would choose to take it to such extremes.

Bruce Wayne’s goal to instill fear in his enemies is more than a cape and mask. It’s also more than “an idea.” The voice is an extension of his intimidation. While a line of dialogue here and there can become awkwardly forced with his raspy voice, it is part of the persona of Batman. If anything, it makes Wayne more human. But I understand many will not side with that sentiment, and their argument is sound with years of proof from Kevin Conroy that it can be done.

Video of the rest of Kevin Conroy’s discussion,will be up by the end of the weekend. It’s a great 25-minute up close look at the “classic Batman” with stories on how he got started with the character and its evolution throughout the years.

Batman Gotham Knight Kevin Conroy Kevin Conroy Calls Out Christian Bales Batman Voice

In addition to giving his fellow Batman a hard time, Conroy mentioned he had finished primary recording for Arkham Asylum 2 and expects the game to be finished by the end of the year. Based on a report from our own Game Rant, that seems a dubious claim.

If you are a fan of the animated Batman series, specifically with Mark Hamill as the Joker, Conroy shared some awe for the colleague’s performances. Stories of intensity and camaraderie between the two were intriguing and gave us an idea just why the characters are so powerful.

Voice your opinion on the Christian Bale voice debate below and let us know if you side with Conroy or Bale in the comments section below.

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  1. its not only the voice
    he sucked in TDK
    actually it was a movie about joker , chaos
    but the fact is that joker is the exact oposite of batman so it didnt really matter how bad or good christian bale was
    because heath owned the movie

  2. I never had a problem with Bale's Batman voice. In fact, I loved it.

  3. I enjoy hearing Kevin Conroy's voice of Batman, but I thought for Nolan's Batman Series Christian Bales was done well. Think for a minute. Bruce Wayne is in the media a good amount of time. If anyone heard Wayne's regular voice, and heard Batman in that same voice or even in a slightly lower version… it wouldn't be too hard to put two and two together. Nolan's series is trying to be a more realistic take. Conroy's DCAU Batman is in a world where things like that can be passed as, “oh, just go along with it.”

  4. Though, yet again, not exactly related to Batman, what do guys think of Milo Ventimiglia, Ralph Fiennes, and Daniel Craig as Superman, Luthor, and Brainiac?

  5. I look at it this way. the voice is otherworldly and is intended to convey his complete seriousness of what he is doing. criminals get this.. they dont think he's joking when they hear him speak.. the second benefit is that Bruce wayne travels in circles that expose him to people in the city that he also may run into as batman.. commisoner gordon for one, who's no idiot and would be able to recognize his voice. but criminals (two face, the joker, etc) while i admit they should have toned it down a bit, i understand the intent and i can live with it. . In my eyes it makes batman more human, in that he is cognizant that he needs to protect his alter ego at all costs. however, i love the treatment that he got on community (NBC) “candy corn look like little traffic cones” —

  6. Kevin Conroy is the man. They should have dubbed Bale with Conroy during the batman scenes, lol.

  7. I don't know much about Milo but the others are great casting ideas.

  8. Yeah the complainers have no case. Bales batman voice is awesome!

  9. I agree with JGandolf – the voice was much better in BB than in TDK. I'm not sure whether the voice actually changed or it was the dialogue, but anyway.

    This reminded me of how incredible the Batman animated series was. I mean, that show was awesome.

  10. The only problem I have with the Bale voice is when he uses it while talking to Lucius Fox of all people.

  11. I know this is a strange remark but has anybody else noticed how muscular Conroy's arms are? It just surprised me for a voice actor to be in such shape.

  12. I just watched that video, and man, it sounds just like Bruce Wayne from the cartoon… Oh the memories… He does do the best voice-over for a cartoon character ever…

  13. I have to say Kevin Conroy's voice is better than Christian Bale's. He may of voiced Batman on the animated series but in the early Nineties while watchin the show, The way his voice was as Bruce Wayne & Batman, You'd almost think they were two different people. Even Michael Keaton in my opinion did pretty good having the voice of Bruce Wayne & as Batman without goin over the top. I forget where i heard on but i heard Kevin Conroy kinda do the samething Keaton did in Burton's film. Both Val Kilmer & George Clooney didnt seem to try to darken thier voice as Batman. Christian Bale's just seem too roughed in Batman Begins and was even worse in TDK. I even had people say it writen in the film as part of film for in the neck area, Batman has somthing to change his voice??? I didnt buy it nor would that be somthing Batman have part of his costume in the comics. I wasnt that impressed with Heath Ledger's Joker etheir. If Mark Hamill was younger, id choose him over both Jack Nicholson's & Heath Ledger's Jokers. Back to Batman, Both Kevin Conroy & Michael Keaton in my opinion played Batman better. But, other than his voice, I do like Christian Bale as Batman aswell. Val Kilmer & George Clooney on the otherhand needed more work.

  14. Ken J

    Long time no see! Whats up? This is chrisj if you remember me. I changed my username is all. I watched the video too. Amazing how he sounds pretty much the same after all these years. The more i see the guy behind the voice, the more i wonder if he could of been the best Batman. Then again, we might not have all the animated series.

  15. And when Batman 3 is underway in 2 years:

    “Ooh I love Christian Bale hes like the awesomest actor ever!! He's the best as Batman!”

    Get over yourselves people.

  16. WallyWest? lol :-P

  17. Before I write any comment to this I want to say that I loved Batman Begins and Dark Knight…

    Christian Bale's voice in both films always make me chuckle when I hear him. If it wasn't for the sheer awesomeness of both films I wouldn't have watched them due to THE VOICE. There I've said it…. I feel like a weight has been lifted off these shoulders of mine.

  18. I think Bale voice in Batman is fine. Its much better in Dark Knight but in the first one it took some time to get adjusted. I remember the part were he is talking to Katie Holmes about what she told him about “It's what you do that devines me” is the part I cringed a little.

    But I like the raspy voice part of it. I remember growing up and getting use to kevin voice and its a classic but i see this as a new art and concept from Nolan. I like the voice and it shows the transition between Bruce wayne and Batman. Nothing wrong with that.

  19. I just glanced at Armored and saw him and I was like “Holy crap, that looks like Superman!”. Then I looked up his record and age and I think he could pull off Superman.

    Acting-wise I think he's done pretty well on Rocky Balboa, plus he's an unknown and most unknown's I've seen do pretty well.

  20. I see all of these criticisms about Bale's 'Batman' voice. Anybody remember Clooney or Kilmer portraying the Dark Knight? That was horibble. I started read 'All-Star Batman and Robin' in which Dick Grayson aka Robin makes the comment that he sounds like Clint Eastwood. I mean if he spoke in a normal voice people would recognize him, like Clark not wearing his glasses…..

  21. I didn't really like “Batman Begins” or “The Dark Knight.” Christian Bale is just not my cup of tea. That being said, his Batman voice is very identifiable. As shown in this awesome clip from the television show “Community.”

    At a Halloween party, one of the characters (Abed) dresses up as Batman and he comes complete with the Christian Bale voice. Then as the credits role Abed and hhis friend Troy talk about candy corn in that very same Batman voice. It's hysterical.

    And for these 2 minutes and 13 seconds, I will always be thankful for Bale's mouth breathing, laryngitis infected Batman voice.

  22. People also seem to forget that the audio was recorded differently for TDK. In BB, they used a boom mic to record the majority of Bales voice work. However, in TDK, they had the mic actually inside the suit most of the time, to help his voice jump out even more.

    Then, as others have said, they digitally altered it even further in post, which is what lead to the more extreme voice heard in TDK. If they had done audio exactly as they had in BB, it would have sounded differently.

  23. Maybe better..but not taller, and I think he's supposed to have a chest as well.
    (not QUITE a million times…maybe a couple times better)

  24. Jessie, Laryngitis is the word i was lookin for when thinkin about Christian Bale's Batman's voice. Just about everyone i know likes him as Batman, but not the voice. I liked Batman Begins more than TDK. I didnt think TDk wasnt that awesome people hyped it up to be, especially when they based it most on Ledger's performance. LoL to be honest, between Bale and Clooney, Bale sounded alot better. Clooney in my opinion didnt even sound like the Batman. Kevin Conroy may be a voice actor, but impressed me as a great Batman. As did Keaton.

  25. Im getting very annoyed with this conroy IS batman in my eyes? Really? cuz all he had to do was talk into a mic and sound like batman. Its not that difficult to do voiceover with the voice he uses. It sounds pretty normal. Now if u want to say th depiction of batman in the original series is ur favorite, cool. I respct that even if i disagree but to say Conroy is the best batman is stupid. Its his voice. He doesnt act. Theres no facial expressions or gestues. Theres no character acting.” Its a dude sounding like what we think batman should sound like. The true testament goes to the artists who made the series. ot his voice. oh…and mr. mom/johnnydangerously wishes he was half the actor bale was and his jew fro and 5'11″ stature never seemed all that frightning to me.

  26. Bale sounds like he's pushing one out when he talks…

  27. In the scene where he is talking to Lucius Fox, the first thing he says is 'Beautiful, isn't it?” It really is so much more smother than it usually is. I also think it shows Bruce Wayne's psychosis growing if he thinks he needs to keep up with that voice in a normal conversation with a person that knows who he really is.

  28. In the scene where he is talking to Lucius Fox, the first thing he says is 'Beautiful, isn't it?” It really is so much more smother than it usually is. I also think it shows Bruce Wayne's psychosis growing if he thinks he needs to keep up with that voice in a normal conversation with a person that knows who he really is.

  29. In the scene where he is talking to Lucius Fox, the first thing he says is 'Beautiful, isn't it?” It really is so much more smother than it usually is. I also think it shows Bruce Wayne's psychosis growing if he thinks he needs to keep up with that voice in a normal conversation with a person that knows who he really is.