Veteran Warner Bros. Animation producer Alan Burnett announced today that he will be retiring after more than 33 years in the industry. Burnett’s announcement came with a flood of support and well wishes from his former co-workers.
Burnett’s career in animation began with SuperFriends: The Legendary Super Powers Show in 1984. He went on to hold positions like story editor, producer and writer on animated series like DuckTales, Batman: The Animated Series, Superman, Static Shock and Batman Beyond. Burnett’s next project to be released is the upcoming animated feature Batman and Harley Quinn, and a representative from Warner Bros. Home Entertainment said there are “several more” unannounced projects he’s worked on still to come.
Burnett made numerous friends over his decades working for Warner Bros. Animation. Character Designer Phil Bourassa wrote on Instagram that Burnett is an “unsung hero of the seminal [Batman: The Animated Series] and one of the pioneers who helped set the stage for what has become the modern era of superheroes on film.” Bourassa said Burnett was the first executive producer to whom he pitched his design work when he started at Warner Bros. 15 years ago.
Spent an evening at the Warner Ranch yesterday saying farewell to legendary producer/story man Alan Burnett. Unsung hero of the seminal Batman the Animated series and one of the pioneers who helped set the stage for what has become the modern era of superheroes on film, Alan's wonderful contributions to the medium of animation are manifold and too extensive to name here. What is quite clear beyond his list of career accomplishments is the impact he has had on so many of us and the high esteem in which he is held by his peers, colleagues, employers and pupils. Alan was the first EP I pitched design work to when I started at WBA 15 years ago, so it meant a lot to me when he stopped by my office last year to tell me how much he loved what we have been doing on the DC movies lately. Long after he could have put his feet up and kicked back he still cares enough about the quality of work being done at our studio to reach out personally with words of encouragement. Thank you Alan for your generosity and your kind and humble spirit and for the good humor that you have made the hallmark of a brilliant career. You will be missed! #alanburnett #batman #dc #legend #writer #producer #hannabarbara #wbanimation
“It meant a lot to me when he stopped by my office last year to tell me how much he loved what we have been doing on the DC movies lately,” Bourassa said. “Long after he could have put his feet up and kicked back he still cares enough about the quality of work being done at our studio to reach out personally with words of encouragement.”
Burnett’s time as a producer and head writer on Batman: The Animated Series yielded big changes for the Caped Crusader and his many nemeses. It was Burnett who first suggested that the criminal Two-Face had a preexisting dual personality before, as District Attorney Harvey Dent, he was disfigured and turned to a life of crime. One of the series primary voice actors, Kevin Conroy, who played Batman on the show, posted a picture to Twitter celebrating Burnett’s career.
Celebrating Alan Burnett career (producer of Batman) with Andrea Romano, Bruce Timm, Alan, Wes Gleason (director of JLA) pic.twitter.com/ih50jglFuy
— Kevin Conroy (@RealKevinConroy) June 9, 2017
Longtime collaborator and pupil Bob Goodman also posted to Twitter thanking Burnett for being a “mentor, surrogate dad and superhero.” Goodman has written scripts for series like Justice League Unlimited, The Batman and Warehouse 13. Goodman wrote for the New Batman Adventures animated series from 1997 to 1998, a series on which Burnett served as producer.
— Bob Goodman (@b0bg00dman) June 9, 2017
Aside from producing and writing animated series, Burnett also wrote storylines for comic book series like Superman/Batman, The Flash and Justice League of America.