Bruce Walter Timm (born February 8, 1961) is an American character designer, animator and television producer. He is also a writer and artist working in comics, and is known for originating the Timm Style of animation as well as being one of the five people generally recognized as the team responsible for the DC Animated Universe (the other four being producer-art director Eric Radomski, writer-producer Alan Burnett, writer Paul Dini, and casting director Andrea Romano).
Timm landed his first animation job in 1981 with Filmation Studios as a layout artist for Blackstar. In 1982, he joined Don Bluth Productions as an assistant animator for the feature film The Secret of NIMH. He then returned to Filmation to work on He-Man and the Masters of the Universe (1983). In 1984, Timm joined Marvel Productions doing character and prop designs for G.I. Joe. From there he went back to Filmation and worked on She-Ra: Princess of Power. In 1987, Timm worked for Ralph Bakshi Productions as a character designer on The New Adventures of Mighty Mouse, and also worked on Spiral Zone. In 1988, he worked for DiC Entertainment on The Beany and Cecil Show, which gave him his first shot at directing.
In 1989, Timm joined Warner Bros. to be a storyboard artist and character designer for Tiny Toon Adventures. In a remarkable stroke of good luck, it was on this assignment that he first met Radomski, Dini and Romano, forging a creative team that would end up lasting the better part of twenty years. Shortly before the first season of Tiny Toons was finished, Warner decided to try producing an animated Batman series to capitalize on the popularity of Tim Burton's reboot of the franchise. Timm and Radomski both made it known they were interested, with Timm doing some designs for Batman in the style of the Superman Theatrical Cartoons shorts from the 1940s, and were then made co-producers, with Timm handling the character designs and Radomski tackling the art direction. Batman: The Animated Series premiered in September 1992, and eighty-five episodes were produced and aired by FOX on weekday afternoons. He went on to co-create and produce Superman: The Animated Series (premiered in September 1996), The New Batman Adventures (premiered in September 1997), and Batman Beyond (1999-2002) for The WB network. Timm also served as producer on the feature-length straight-to-DVD Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker before taking the helm as creator and producer of the critically and fan-acclaimed Justice League, which debuted in November 2001 on the Cartoon Network. It ran for two seasons before being revamped into Justice League Unlimited, which ran for three more. Unlimited would be the final DCAU series in terms of both continuity and style. Timm continues to be producer on many DC based straight-to-DVD animated projects like Superman: Doomsday and Justice League: The New Frontier.
Timm's work is easily known by its distinctive art style, first seen on Batman The Animated Series. Heavily influenced by his love of Golden Age comics and 1940s art deco design, Timm's characters usually have rather angular facial structure and simplistic hairstyles. His male characters tend to the "lantern-jawed and brawny" side, while his female characters are noted for having realistic proportions (at least, realistic as far as comic book characters) that lean more toward normal.
Works produced by Bruce Timm:
- DC Animated Universe
- Green Lantern: The Animated Series
- Justice League: Gods and Monsters
Tropes associated with Bruce Timm:
- Approval of God: He's stated he liked Harley's costume in Suicide Squad (2016).
- Author Appeal: Film Noir, Vice City settings, Alfred Hitchcock movies, Grey-and-Gray Morality, nods to Batman (1966), suffering protagonists, Deadpan Snarker humor and sexy curvaceous bad girls.
- Creator Cameo: He's voiced several characters in works he'd produced, including The Riddler in Batman: Under the Red Hood, and was a Gray Ghost fanboy and also the villain in the Batman: The Animated Series episode "Beware the Gray Ghost". He was also the leader of The Jokerz in Batman Beyond, which he claims was done "under duress."
- Deadpan Snarker: He really likes characters like this, probably because he's one himself. The commentaries he contributed to are often as hilarious as they are informative.
- Disowned Adaptation: He has implied that he's not fond of Harley's New 52 redesign and that Harley's death in the Justice League: Gods and Monsters tie-in miniseries, Justice League: Gods and Monsters Chronicles was a Take That! towards New 52's Harley.
- Forehead of Doom: His caricature's like that for a reason.
- Hand-or-Object Underwear: "Harley and Ivy" seems like Bruce was just trying to see how much of this he could get away with.
- In-Joke: Tons, but one of the funniest was Harley's beating up the actor playing The Joker, and his mumbling "Yoda? Dagobah system?"
- Ms. Fanservice: We are, after all, talking about the guy who designed Harley Quinn. And in 2012, he released the pin-up collection Naughty and Nice: The Good Girl Art of Bruce Timm, which features almost 300 sketches of nude and semi-nude women, including some obvious Expys of DCAU characters including Supergirl, Batgirl, Lois Lane and Inque (the irony being that a section of the book is dedicated to the women of DC, all of whom are depicted as fully clothed for obvious reasons).
- Timm Style: Trope Namer.