Why did they have a different death for the Joker in the DVD version and the DCU version?
Sounds like the DCU version is pulling from the original censored broadcast for kids. That shouldn’t be the case – I advise you contact support.dcuniverse.com.
I think the real one was originally released overseas, and the US got the family friendly version, but i may be making that up.
All i know is there was a plunger on the table.
From what I recall, the “darker version” was the original cut, but one or more forces at WB felt it was too much for their target audience. So, they animated less intense scenes (Joker gets electrocuted off-screen instead of impaled, Bonk is alive after being gassed), changed up some dialogue (saying Robin “defeated” Joker, instead of “kill”), and the “safer” version is what was initially released.
The uncut version was released on DVD for official sale eventually, but it was already circulating unofficially in VHS form at conventions for a while, by that point.