Bruce Timm, artist, animator, director and producer celebrates his birthday this coming week (Wednesday, Feb 8). So I figured what better than some Bruce Timm and DCAU/Timmverse version of Zee!
Zatanna came in to the Bruce Timm/DCAU/B:TAS world in the episode naturally titled "Zatanna".
It featured a young Bruce Wayne and an even younger Zatanna back when Bruce was learning escapology.
Here is what Timm and Paul Dini said at the time about this episode.
Paul Dini on Zatanna’s appearance on Batman: “Bruce [Wayne] had to learn to be an escape artist from someone, and I thought, ‘Wouldn’t it be great if he learned from Zatara, DC’s old Golden Age hero, who at the time had a cute, little sixteen-year old daughter?’ I pitched this to Paul Levitz, president of DC Comics, who said, ‘That’s wonderful; that’s better than anything we’ve ever done with Zatanna! And it was logical that, if he learned from her father, he would have had a little thing going with Zatanna (courtesy of Cinefantastique Magazine)."
Bruce Timm on Zatanna (circa 1998): “We wanted to make sure [that] any superhero guest stars would make sense within the context of the Batman show. So we played Zatanna’s down and made her more of a David Copperfield-type of magician so that she had a bit more realistic framework for her appearance (courtesy of Wizard Magazine).”
She would then go on to stay friends with Batman, even learn his real name and display the power we are accustomed to seeing.
We all know Paul Dini loves Zatanna, but Bruce Timm can't be too far behind.
So happy birthday Bruce Timm!