Batman - Mask of the Phantasm
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Unmasking the Phantasm is just one of the twists in Batman: Mask of Phantasm, "one of the most imaginative films of the past year" (Chuck Rich, Westwood One). Only here will you discover all-new revelations about Batman's past, his archrival the Joker and the most grueling battle of Batman's life - the choice between his love of a beautiful woman and his vow to be the defender of right. Batman: Mask of Phantasm is a "mystery that is genuinely absorbing, suspenseful and moving" (Cincinnati Enquirer) and a film no fan should be without! Can the Dark Knight elude the police, capture the Phantasm and clear his name? Year: 1993 Director: Eric Radomski Starring: Kevin Conroy, Mark Hamill, Dana Delany, Hart Bochner, Abe Vigoda

Although the live-action Batman franchise faltered artistically after Tim Burton gave up control, the slack was taken up by the Saturday morning cartoon show, whose creators are responsible for this feature film. Though a cartoon, Batman: Mask of the Phantasm is less cartoonish than the popular '60s TV show (which spawned its own movie, Batman: The Movie). Mask of the Phantasm combines the noir of the original comic book, the violence and dark humor of the Dark Knight comic book revision, and Burton's two movies.

In Batman: Mask of the Phantasm, everyone's favorite schizophrenic billionaire crime fighter is investigating the murders of several prominent gangsters. Meanwhile, his ex-fianc¨¦e and her father are back in town. Through flashbacks, these two death-obsessed kids are shown falling in love (she lost her mother; he lost both parents--of course, they meet in a graveyard), until she leaves quickly and mysteriously. Along the way, there's a short course in the origins of the Batman costume and the origins of the Joker (voice of Star Wars' Mark Hamill!), a big fight with the smoke-enshrouded Phantasm character, who is suspected of killing the gangsters, and an even bigger fight with the Joker at the abandoned Gotham World's Fair grounds. Altogether, a good ride. --Andy Spletzer

Customer Reviews:

  • Batman Movie
    There are a couple of batman movies. This one is more of an origin story of batman and his first love. ...more info
  • Best of the animated movies
    I missed this movie when it first came out. Within the last few years, I've gotten back into watching my favorite cartoons from my childhood. Batman: TAS is one of them. I've seen all the other animated movies on Cartoon Network (Subzero, Mystery of the Batwoman, Gotham Knight, Return of the Joker). This is, by far, the best.

    The story line is compelling & the animation is top notch. We get to see a young Bruce Wayne as he begins his career as Batman. Very interesting. The voice talents have also done an amazing job. Kevin Conroy has become one of my favorite people to listen to.

    The only downside is with the DVD itself. There are no special features, other than the theatrical trailer. It's a two-sided DVD (standard/widescreen). ...more info
  • Phantastic Batman Title
    While the Batman animated series is recognized as a better part of the franchise as a whole, it is Mask of the Phantasm that really stands out on its own. The stark animation accompanied by an Elfmanesque score provides the perfect backdrop for our Dark Knight. What you will find here, though, is not a case of style over substance.

    One of the greatest qualities of this story is the amount of attention given to character development. We are given some of Bruce Wayne's backstory and what leads him to choose to live a life where love seems out of reach. It seems that, ultimately, he is torn between doing his work as Batman and settling down to raise a family of his own. It's an interesting dilemma that plays out quite nicely.

    Of course, we also have the baddies. The Phantasm provides a cool sort of smoke-and-mirrors mysterious type villain, while on the other end of the spectrum we have Mark Hamill voicing a deliciously insane Joker. If you decided to buy this movie for no other reason than just to hear Mark Hamill as the Joker, it would be money well spent.

    In the end, if you or your kids like Batman to any degree, Mask of the Phantasm is a solid and worthwhile flick....more info
  • Great
    This movie is one of the movie masterpieces from the Batman: The Animated Series. It is darker than than the series, but so is the story. Great script, plot and voice acting. Definately a treat for the older Batman fans....more info
  • Batman Mask of the Phantasm (1993)
    This film is probably one of the most underated films ever made. The movie is based off the popular animated T.V. series on Fox, and it has the Dark Knight chasing a new adversary called the Phantasm while fighting his arch nemesis Joker too. Sparks will fly in this action packed movie for the entire family to enjoy. The story still suffers from being predictable though, but it offers some unique plot twists to keep you interested. Overall, I highly recommend this one....more info
  • The best Batman in a movie
    They got Batman right! For this film's age, it really is great! If you weren't satisfied with the live-action movies, watch Mask of the Phantasm and rejoice. The music, especially at the opening credits, ran chills down my spine. Kevin Conroy is the real Dark Night, right up there with Christian Bale (go see Batman Begins)....more info
  • The Most Detailed Batman Origin From The 90s Animated Era
    "Batman: Mask Of The Phantasm" is the theatrical release spun off from the 1990s's great "Batman: The Animated Series" from television. Those unfamiliar with the animated Batman material from this era should check out both the series, the movie, and the subsequent direct-to-video movies from the same line, because collectively they comprise the best pre-"Batman Begins" filmed versions of the Dark Knight, far surpassing several of the previous, live action, incarnations.

    "Mask Of The Phantasm" unfolds on two fronts - the appearance in Gotham of a new crimefighter known as Phantasm, who uses (in direct contrast to the Batman) lethal methods to take out members of Gotham's organized crime groups; and a series of extended flashbacks that take us far more indepth to the early day of the Batman than the animated tv series ever had. Like the series, the movie tones down the darker elements from the modern-era comic books, and keeps things from becoming too complex, so as to keep the show as accessible to five year-olds as to twenty-five or sixty-five year-olds. It retains the higher levels of characterization and believability than the live-action Batman movies of the 90s, and in terms of sophistication and detail runs somewhat closer to the comics than the pre-2005 live-actions ever did. It ties the two timeframes it takes place in together very well and fits perfectly with the tv show, incorporating a number of the main characters (and their voice actors) from the series into the flow of the movie, all brought to life by voice acting that's way above the norm for animated comic adaptations. The distinctive visual look of the series's unorthodox animation style is in full effect here, and is as well-done as ever. Overall a great movie; well-suited to young kids but older viewers definately shouldn't pass it up on the grounds of it not being live-action. A solid 4.5 stars...more info
    Not to take away from the 1989 movie which I have also reviewed, but this Batman is far superior to what has followed in the sequels. Kevin Conroy has found his place alongside Michael Keaton and Adam West as one of the best Batman portrayals on screen. And Mark Hamill as the Joker, who again is my absolute favorite villain ranks right up there with Jack Nicholson and Cesar Romero. The plot is well written, the animation is great and all in all this film, for a cartoon, is much more believable than recent Batman films. If you see this for the first time, I also recommend Batman:The Animated Series Volumes 1-3(I'm not a big fan of the revamped series on Volume 4), and Batman & Mr. Freeze: Subzero....more info
  • A Must-Have for Every Batman Enthusiast
    Mask of the Phantasm adds complexity and depth to the Dark Knight in a way not done in film until Batman Begins. Mask embodies all the things that made the Animated Series great as well as making a nice addition to the pantheon of Batman villains. Did I mention the great twist at the end??? A must-have for every Batman enthusiast. The DVD only disappoints in its lack of special features (only trailers). Some sort of commentary would have been much appreciated....more info
  • An absolute must have!!!!!
    This is an extremely good movie. For Batman fans, this is one that definitely belongs in your collection.

    My favorite aspect of the movie is that it actually focuses more on Bruce Wayne instead of Batman. The hero is always entertaining, but the vulnerability of the man behind the mask is far more interesting. Because of that, the movie has mass appeal that can stretch out to a wider audience. ...more info
  • One of the best
    If I had to pick which animated movie deserves high praise, this would be one of them. The way this movie is done was actually so wel thought out, it puts most live movies to shame. First off, this movie is more about Bruce Wayne than Batman himself and shows his past with his true love. The setup is pretty much someone is going around killing off the mob bosses and the police believe its Batman. A connection is found when his once true love and her father returned who ran away from these mob bosses many years ago. Is it one of them doing it or someone else? Great movie that shows the origin of batman, and no, not the parent killing part but the true beginning with his first mission before he chose the costume. Also shows the early days of the joker and one of Bruces loves (he had many, though whats funny is that on an episode of Batman Beyond, they showed every one of Bruces past loves except for this one which was odd). Anyways a great animated movie to get and lets just say, everything about it is perfect. ...more info
  • Best of Batman.
    I'll keep this review short. This movie is arguably the best Batman movie ever, it has a great story, a nice little twist, and it captures the character of Batman/Bruce Wayne.

    This is not just a "cartoon"...more info
  • Batman is the Coolest Non-Super powered Hero EVER!!!!
    This movie shows some interesting history of how Batman became the way he was. It starts with Batman's first appearance and the introduction to a woman that I think is the love of his life.
    It made me cry.
    All the same Voice Actors are here, including Bruce Conway as Batman. (In my opinion has the best voice ever!)
    It you are a fan of the Animated Series, or a Batman fan in general you'll love this movie!...more info
  • Captures Batman better than any other movie
    I have watched and own all of Batman the Animated Series and I have to say Kevin Conroy IS the definitive Batman. So noting that I consider this to be the best Batman movie. Any newcomer to Batman or even old fan will love this movie. I had never watched any of the Batman animated movies before recently and I have to say that I missed out. If you have all the seasons of Batman the Animated Series this is another DVD you'll have to add to your collection. This just captures Batman better than the big Hollywood movies. You won't regret buying this one!...more info
  • Batman!
    I am a big fan of the graphic novel Batman: The Dark night retuns. I saw this at a DVD store and said why not? I did not think much about it. The when I saw it I loved it. If felt like I was waching a batman graphic novel on screen. This is a good DVD and I think it should be in everyone's DVD collection
    ...more info
  • one of the best batman movies made
    I love this version of the Batman story. It truly captures the internal struggle between the two personalities that Bruce Wayne faces. All the charcters were well-acted (voiced)especially Mark Hamill as the Joker. I think Kevin Conroy could have done a great job as Batman in the live action films. Even though it is an animated production, the characters are well developed and the story flows easily throughout. I never felt like this film, or the animated series itself was a "kid's cartoon." This movie is great for any Batman or superhero fan, young or old. ...more info
  • The Dark Knight Must Face a New Enemy...
    In the early 90's the Fox network premiered an all-new animated series based on the adventures of Gotham City's dark knight detective, Batman. After a couple of successful seasons under their belt, the creators of the "Batman: The Animated Series", Bruce Timm, Paul Dini, and Alan Burnett, decided to try their hand at their first feature length animated film based on the TV series. To many this gamble was an unnecessary waste of money, the thought of many critics was why is Warner Brothers pouring money into advertising an animated movie that would be better off airing on TV rather than premiering in theaters. However, with the release of "Batman: Mask of the Phantasm" those critics were silenced, as audiences of the TV series and Batman in general flocked to theaters to see this new animated movie.

    "Batman: Mask of the Phantasm" begins with many of Gotham City's most dangerous gangsters being eliminated. The police have no leads other than at every crime scene the Batman (voiced by Kevin Conroy) is always present, eventually suspicions are aroused that maybe Batman has finally lost it, and is eliminating the criminal element in Gotham once and for all. However, Batman knows that he's not to blame, the problem is the person or being responsible for the murders, known as the Phantasm, is proving difficult to catch, and until he does Batman is #1 on Gotham City's most wanted list. To make matters worse, this new villain is somehow linked to not only Bruce Wayne's past, but also the past of his worst villain, the Joker (voiced by Mark Hamill). Can Batman survive the combined threat of the Phantasm and the Joker, or will this be the dark knight's final night?

    Both the animated series and this movie contain an interesting style of animation that blends modern animation with a very obvious influence of the old-time Max and Dave Fleischer animations of the 1940's. Terrific vocal performances from all of the actors/actresses, some are regulars on the show, such as Kevin Conroy (Bruce Wayne/Batman) and Mark Hamill (Joker), plus some new vocal talents to the Batman world, Dana Delany and Abe Vigoda. Some critics and even fans felt that this Batman movie, even the animated series, is two of the best interpretations of Batman outside of the comic book medium. Whatever your feelings are about this series, there is no denying that "Batman: Mask of the Phantasm" is a terrific animated movie that fires on all cylinders from the moment the movie starts and doesn't let up until the credits roll.

    "Batman: Mask of the Phantasm" is rated PG for violence....more info
  • An excellent Batman score. Perfect fit for a hero.
    No animated cartoon has captured a super-hero better than Batman: The Animated Series, and no music has captured a hero better than the theme for that show written by Danny Elfman and adapted by Shirlry Walker. When Batman: Mask Of The Phantasm was made the score could have been just a generic retread from the tv show. Instead, Walker gave the movie a score that is full of action, suspense and heroism. The chorale pieces tend to truly make it an intense score. There are moments that a true movie magic especially when Batman is born in the film. Overall I recommend this score as the second best Batman score ever, following up Elfman's score for the Batman movie. ...more info
  • Your angel of death awaits you!!!
    When batman the animated series came out it was a whole new relavation in batman a movie was inevitable. When mask of the phantasm came out in the summer of 1993 it opened to very bad reviews why? because the so called movie critic experts dont know jack thats why!!! It is one of the most creative batman movie you'll ever see watch it and love it....more info
  • One of the best animated films ever. Definately the most underated.
    Remember Tim Burtons Batman films? You know it seems Batman played second fiddle to the villains, and when he was on screen, they didn't give him anything to say. But this has a tortured Batman, and this deals with romance, commitment, murder, and dual identies. And this has beautiful animation, excellent voice work, and an intriging and engaging plot. This is Christopher Nolan good, see it as soon as possible. Kudos to Mark Hamil as on the best villains to grace the screen. The Joker. Note: No one ever says Phantasm in this....more info
  • Your Angel of Death Awaits: THE BATMAN Legend Reinterpreted
    The animated Batman series of the `90s was an excellent series, and this movie makes for a great companion piece. Judging by the format of this movie, it wouldn't have been possible for the animated series to tell this story for two reasons. First, the violence in this story was too extreme for the TV show - Batman bleeds fairly often, and people are actually MURDERED. I was a HUGE fan of the show when I was a kid, and I loved this movie, but back then I was really surprised by the degree of violence in it. I had expected it to be as tame as the TV show. Regardless, the violence in this movie isn't anything that kids aren't exposed to on a daily basis. But it is rated PG for a reason, and `parental guidance' means that parents should watch this movie with their younger children the first time they see it - just in case the parent needs to explain and/or clarify some of the events in this film to their kids. Second, even if the violence was toned down, this storyline couldn't properly be told if it was simply divided into three episodes for the TV series. The typical episode of the TV series wouldn't be able to handle all the flashback sequences - the TV series was more interested in fast-paced storylines. And the flashback sequences REALLY slow down the pace of this movie. But am I complaining? Of course not. The quality of this movie would suffer greatly without all those slow-paced flashback sequences. So it was necessary that an animated movie tell this story.

    Shirley Walker's brooding background music is perfect for this movie - she outclasses every other composer who ever worked on a Batman film. During the opening credits, Walker's title theme is powerful as we see a red sky over a darkened Gotham City, and pass by the towering and foreboding skyscrapers. Her music is especially poignant during many of the flashback sequences, and during the scene when the old World Fair site is completely obliterated. And how about during the last scene in the movie when it shows Batman in deep reflection right before the Bat Signal flashes across the heavens?

    The Phantasm is awesome - Batman must find out why he has marked Gotham's biggest mob bosses for death. No one really gets a good look at the Phantasm, and a lot of witnesses mistake him for The Batman. So Batman isn't framed for murder - it's an interesting case of mistaken identity.

    Everyone says the Joker steals the show. He certainly is great, but I think this is Batman's movie - they didn't repeat the mistake of Burton's Batman movies. I really like how the Joker is an old-time gangster in this movie, especially since he's deranged and looks freakish. With the black trenchcoat and fedora he's classy and menacing. The film explores his own shadowy past as well.

    In various flashback sequences, we see Bruce Wayne's first attempts at being a vigilante. He is sucessful in some respects, but not in others. I'm assuming it's a lot harder to beat up thugs when they aren't afraid of you. He must find a way to strike fear in criminals as soon as they lay eyes on him. The other big problem is his inability to focus during his scuffles with criminals - but it's presumably difficult to put yourself in harm's way when you have loved ones to worry about at home. Since we all know that Wayne becomes Batman, it's obvious that these two problems are eventually resolved.

    My favorite part of the movie is when Bruce Wayne first hears that his fiancee has left him forever, then it cuts to the scene where he's trying on the Batman costume for the first time. A silhouetted Wayne pauses to stare at the mask, contemplating the deep significance that it will have on his life. After he dons the mask, Walker's music erupts in dramatic fashion as the terrifying spectacle of The Dark Knight steps out of the shadows, setting off to begin his unending crusade against evil. Indeed, the sight of Batman coldly narrowing his eyes at Alfred (and the look of awe on Alfred's face) makes this one of my favorite scenes in movie history.

    One of the most touching scenes is when Batman is on a skyscraper in the rain, watching his former fiancee eating at a restaurant (it sounds sick, but it's not). Walker's music, and the expression of longing on Batman's face as he reflects on his past, is moving. Then Batman's nostalgia is interrupted by a police helicopter - knowing he is a wanted man, Batman is forced to flee before being spotted. So the scene ends on a sentimental note. At the same time the end of this scene is really cool - the way Batman is so stealthy that he can completely disappear from sight (and without a sound) when your attention is diverted for a millisecond.

    Most action fans will be disappointed that it's not all action from start to finish, but the action scenes in this movie are very impressive. Batman's raid at a casino was done with lightening speed and efficency. I especially liked how Batman flips a heavy table on one gunman, then afterwards he stomps on the table (and thus the gunman) for good measure. In another scene Batman sights the Phantasm while in the Batwing (which is a really cool jet airplane - the noise it makes as it flies would terrify any evildoer). A chase ensues. But the Phantasm escapes, and to make matters worse the police sight Batman. This leads to one of the coolest chase scenes you'll ever see. The fight with the Joker in a miniture city is excellently done - it seems to have been inspired by the Godzilla movies. Yes, this is one of my very favorite movies - I almost enjoy it as much as Batman Begins. Buy this DVD, and the soundtrack too....more info
  • not your average animated series entry of bruce wayne
    This one was kind of weird, it was very adult like yet managed to remain a kids movie. This is for those kids that like a little darker stuff like i did. The dramatic moments from bruce are excellent in this and the love story I thought was the best in the entire series. While the romance makes for a more complete movie, that is really not what I am looking for, all you fans of the joker played by mark hamill are in for a real treat. He is as insane as ever, with a robot maid as one of his only friends. He also has one of his scariest moments, there is just something about seening him in that hat. It is truly amazing how they manage to cram so much of a story like a 70 minute movie, and there is a flashback that lasts like half the movie!

    So overall a bit unreal, but a true gritty batman episode, movie whatever you want to call it.

    2-channel audio and no commentary makes this dvd inferior to return of the joker, but slightly edges that entry out with a better movie. So overall a better dvd since I don't watch dvd's for the special features, a regular feature is just fine with me. ...more info
  • Dark Phantasm
    I saw this movie a few years ago, but can still remember in quite good detail the fine points of it. First I must say I love noir, and that either Batman, or Spiderman, or Superman is my favorite of all the superheroes, simply because I grew up watching Batman/Superman on Kids WB, and Spiderman on Fox Kids. But, more importantly, Batman, with that noir feel to it, is probably the one I enjoyed, and/or will enjoy the most, for my mind often goes back to the comics, and oh how I wish to have them.

    Take note that this movie is darker than the original cartoon, before it got the revamp.

    I will not go into a whole outline of the movie, but it is a tale in which you can really feel Bruce's pain, and being that he is my most loved of the three superheroes listed above, I can almost empathize with him. All he ever wants to do is help, and all he ever ends up is hurt. My heart truly pains for him. For he found his true love, but had to give her up to the murderous rage that has destroyed so many lives, both in tv, movies, and all other aspects of life.

    If you are looking for a great story, and some quite good voice acting, then this is definitely something you would enjoy.
    But be warned that like the original cartoon, this story is quite dark in its complexion....more info
  • great CD but buy it off of itunes instead.
    this a great cd with different types of scores it is both dark and not at the same time but buy it off of itunes where you can burn a copy off of the computer for 9.00 and that sure beats 50.00 on info
  • Best Batman Feature
    This is one of the best Batman animated features I have ever seen.The writing was good and Mark Hamill doing the voice of the Joker?G-O-O-D.The soundtrack gets high marks and the actors picked to voice the characters was good.With plans to make a new series of Batman feature films in the works,I would like for Warner Brothers studios to please keep Tim Burton as the executive producer and most important,Michael Keaton as Batman because he is the right actor for the role....more info
  • The best Batman film yet!!
    Batman: Mask of the Phantasm is the dark knight the way he truly was meant to be. Despite the many excellent incarnations of him, no one ever portrayed as well as the producers of this movie. They're also responsible for the remarkable series, which came out when I was 9 years. I loved it!! Now that I'm older, I love it even more. The series was clearly made for an older crowd. So was this movie, for if I had seen it when I was younger, I surely would not have liked it as much as my mother would have!!
    The story is very deep, with many twists and also many mature themes. It also shows an alternate reason for Bruce Wayne choosing to become Batman, which is a broken heart. Batman Begins did explore Batman's origin, however it cannot even come close to being compared to Mask of the Phantasm. NO live action movie to date and in the future will ever match the perfection of this film. Alan Burnett, Bruce Timm and their production team made the most under-rated movie ever. And Kevin Conroy is undoubtedly the greatest actor to ever play the role of Batman. Highly recommended movie!!!!!!! Indeed it is the best Batman film ever made!
    ...more info
  • Great movie, poor DVD
    Batman: Mask of the Phantasm is one of my favorite animated films. it is, in my opinion, an essential film to watch or own for any fan of the modern Batman series. the story has amazing depth, as do the characters, and the dark knight is quite possibly seen at his very best.

    however, the DVD release of this wonderful film is quite disappointing. I owned the VHS prior to buying it, and hoped that the DVD would be an improvement, but it really isn't. the video is in no way re-mastered and has quite a bit of noise, as though it was sourced from a VHS tape. the only reason I gave this release 4 stars is because of how much I truly appreciate this film. sadly, I don't think it is likely that there will be a re-mastered release of the film, but in any case this will do, since I really just want to be able to watch it and not worry about degrading the media every time I do.

    if you're a batman fan I suggest you buy either of the two DVD releases; the keepcase is $2 more, but aside from being in a different case, the items are identical. I spent the $2 extra because I prefer having a keepcase and think it's more aesthetically pleasing, but there's no qualitative difference....more info
  • Most of the great stuff has been said here but...
    It would have been better if they would have taken an extra 15 mins. and showed the true back story of Bruce/Batman. For those who don't know, they should have had a few scenes of Bruce going to the theater with his parents and Joe Chill shooting his mother and father and the aftermath of that and a little bit of his childhood. In the comics it is refered to quite a bit either in flashback or as a mini story at the begining. In Superman Animated it shows Kal-El/Clark going through his 3 episode beginnings with the death of millions so go figure! Joe Chill was only featured on the episode of Justice League Unlimited called For the Man Who Has Everything. ...more info
  • The Darkest of the Dark Knight
    I recently read a review on this which had a line summing up this movie very well: there is no happy ending here.

    Lots of Bat-Fans point to "Batman Returns" as the darkest entry into the catalogue, but this one has it beat hands down in the dark department. And I mean that as a compliment. Batman is not supposed to be an ode to daffodils. The whole foundation of the Batman story is rooted in tragedy, murder and mayhem. And boy-oh-boy, you have it here in spades.

    Is it a violent movie? Yep. It has a higher murder rate than "Psycho". How about depressing? Oh yeah. There is a VERY downbeat ending, and a flashback scene so depressing, that I swear even Batman is teary-eyed at the end of it (although he is in a heavy rain, so it could be only that). Many pivotal moments in this film take place in the cemetery. There are also complicated plot points may make it hard for the very young to undertsand what's going on (Like why are the police going after Batman? Explain that to your 3-year-old).

    Kudos to the writers for a great story and script that doesn't deign to try and market the daycare set. This is an animated film, but everything about it is grown-up. Shirley Walker's score drives everything to the brink (especially the chase scene with GPD). The visuals are great, with the 40s look and 90s problems as a setting. The voice characterizations are right on the mark, with Conroy and Hamill becoming icons themselves as Batman and The Joker respectively.

    It has been stated many times, but I'll do it again: the makers of the live-action films need to take a lesson from this film and the related TV series. Unfortunately, the 60s series with Adam West and the Batman of "Superfriends" were around so long and came along at such times they became iconic; they were the rule rather than the exception. But this film showed everyone how it's supposed to be done.

    ...more info
  • "You won't here a giggle out of me."
    One of the best anmaited Batman movies, Mask of the Phantasm brings history to the characters like no other movie has. It begins with Bruce Wayne foiling some robber, but he they weren't afriad of him, so he tries to come up with a way to do that. He goes through alot of ways to do this too. He just dosen't come up the bat first off. But along the way he meets the lovely Andre Beoument, and falls in love. He then tries to get our of the vow he made to his parent's to stop crime. But she leaves him and he finds the cave under his house and comes up with the Batman persona. Fast foward to the present and we see Ms. Beoumont comming back into town, a Phantasm killing mob members, Batman taking the blam and The Joker blowing up have the city. With out a dought a buy. I bought this when it first came out on VHS and it came with the graphic novel adaptation. If you can find that it's intresting to see how them compare. All the actors from the TV series are here, with Mark Hamill giveing the best performance of his life as The Joker. The only person who can best Jack Nickleson in the role....more info
  • The best Batman yet!
    The animated feature-length debut of one of the most popular superheroes of all time is a must own for any fan. Unlike the films, this movie goes into more character detail and gives us insight into the mind of Bruce Wayne, and what made the 'Bat'. The story and script are great, supported by good animation and amazing sound effects. Mark Hamill's joker is the best. Hope a special collector's edition comes out soon....more info
  • Love or Duty? The Puzzle of the Batman
    Batman Mask of the Phantasm (1993) is one of those better cartoon series with way more excitement and adventure than many of the live action Batman movies of the post Tim Burton era (except for Batman Begins and Dark Knight of course).

    Who is the Phantasm? And why is the D.A. so intent on labeling the Bat as an evil vigilante. Even the Joker didn't believe it.

    Batman confronts who he is and why he is; how love, though strong, is not stronger than the duty to his parents, to Gotham.

    The animation was realistic and spot-on. Bruce Timm did a great job in co-producing, and I didn't know that Paul Dini (Elfquest comics) had a hand in the script.

    Mark Hamill (Star Wars) does a great voice-over as the maniacal, cackling Joker!

    The DVD is very barebones, with English and French subtitles, a scene selector and a film trailer.

    Bruce Timm had a hand in other great DC animation:

    Batman Collection DVD 3-Pack (Mask of the Phantasm / SubZero / Return of the Joker)
    Superman: Doomsday
    Justice League Unlimited - Season One (DC Comics Classic Collection)...more info
  • Terrible Disappointment
    Although the animation and voice talent was tremendous (even had Abe Vigoda - love that gravelly voice) the story line was so weak and the resolution was not thought through. It was like the producers said "Ooh! Let's have a hot sexual theme because we are now in a theater and can avoid the censors!" Any Batman fan knows he forsook love because of his dedication to his second persona (Batman). In Mask, Batman appears weak and controlled by his libido. I was uncomfortable with the scene implying [physical interaction] had taken place between Bruce and Andrea. The blatant sexual story didn't fit with Batman as how we have come to know him. Nor did it fit with the masterful animated series, which used subtleties so powerfully.

    In the Ras-Al-Ghul episodes, his romance with Talia is cinematic, his affection for and implied dalliance (Cat Scratch Fever) with Catwoman fit with the series and Batman's character. Even his chick from the past, Zatana, is acceptable. This is because at all times, Batman remains in control of his emotions. In Phantasm, he acts like a pimply fourteen year old, even spying on Andrea in plain sight with binoculars!

    The movie's resolution was extremely sloppy. The Phantasm was a compelling character, but the strength and movement the Phantasm displayed was never explained, like a Scooby Doo episode, when the monster's head is pulled off and reveals weak "Uncle Albert." Also, the Joker and Harley are depressing rather than scary/humorous as in the series.

    I love Batman: the Animated Series. I went to a lot of trouble to tape every episode. I even put the tapes in a safe deposit box at one point, when I lived in an apt. with incidents of crime. When I saw the poster for this film, I was dizzy with delight. When I came out of the theater I felt sick to my stomach and almost cried.

    I highly recommend the movie Batman and Mr. Freeze: Sub Zero, as well as the Batman Beyond series and movies. They are truer to the Batman characters to say the least....more info

  • great idea
    Great idea for this movie the directors had
    brilliant animation
    have this on dvd
    and love it more and more every time I watch it
    it can be funny at times
    very powerful
    a little violent but not bad
    deeply moving the whole story is
    I loved watching the Batman animation series on tv as a child
    and will get it when I find it on dvd in stores
    Batman wether toon or regular movies is a classic hero of our our decades to fulfill...more info
  • Danny Elfman doesn't have ANYTHING on Shirley Walker!
    So Elfman wrote the original Batman theme that can be heard in the opening for the animated show. However, when I think of Batman, a different theme comes to mind. It is the powerful gothic theme very well showcased in this score that I think of. Shirley Walker wrote this theme/score as well as the remainder of the score for the animated series. (as a side note, her work on the animated series is truly incredible- each episode features its own unique, very high quality score). Anyway, it is this theme that truly describes the Batman mystique to a tee. The score is relatively short, but then, so is the movie. There are very few unpleasant cues on the cd. Most of the score circles around presenting the main theme and a couple of sub-themes in a myriad of different very interesting rhythms and instrumentation. Her music is truly a brilliant tribute to the ideas that, collectively, are Batman!...more info
  • Batman done right
    This is Batman the way hes supposed to be.Dark,Moody,and always serious but never boring.Still the best Batman film ever made(sorry Christian Bale...).Nobody does Batman better than these guys....more info
  • Best Animated Batman ever!!!
    I am a huge batman fan, and i have followed the batman through comics, graphic novels, movies and animated cartoons, so i have seen and read a big share of batman stories, and the Mask of the Phantasm ranks amongst my favourite ones.

    where do i start? well it has a great story, animation is a bit better than the normal series and also we see a different bruce wayne than usual. we see him dating, having fun and more which i wont mention so that i wont ruin any surprises. And thats why this story rises above other Batman stories, because we rarely see Bruce wayne, usually we see just Batman as a vigilante with no feelings, just his never ending crusade for justice. here we see Bruce wayne, and we learn a lot about him and see him through a new light.

    Also you dont need to know a lot about batman to understand the story cause it explains everything, so if its the first time you are watching a batman movie, rest assured that you wont need to know the batman's rich and deep history of character's and events. it's a perfect jumping point for anyone new to the batman, and for fan's it is a great pleasure to watch.

    I highly recommend this dvd, even if you are not a batman fan because as storylines go, it is really great. i was surpised to see how good it is, even better than some of the movies like Batman & Robin, and Batman forvever. It has elements of action, thriller noir, romance, and a hint of comedy, especially with Alfred's ( Bruce wayne's butler) witty remarks.

    Now stop reading this review and get this dvd asap. you will be thanking me later for this recomendation. ...more info
  • Probably the best Batman film Tim didn't direct
    Back when the film was released, my dad gave me a copy of it on VHS and I always loved it but after awhile as usual with things, you lose track of it and forgot where it was. Out of town one year, bam, there it is on the shelf so I nabbed it. Like a lot of reviewers have said, it combines the dark film noir style with that over-the-topness of the films.

    One thing I never really got with the films is Bruce Wayne's complexity. Although on a show that has a different superhero, to paraphrase Smallville's Chloe Sullivan, Bruce Wayne has more issues than Rolling Stone. He made a vow that he would protect the innocent.

    Basically the story is that mob bosses are being killed off by a grim reaperesque villain named the Phantasm(although oddly, that name's never mentioned). However, due to the image of the Phantasm's costume and blink and you'll miss it images, Batman instead gets blamed. None of which is helped by a commissioner who has it in for him, probably his one true love returning, and his battle with an old nemesis.

    One thing has got to be said first off: this is one amazing score. The woman responsible did an astounding job and the opening theme is great. The voices are great too. Kevin Conroy does 2 voices(although slightly similar) voices for Batman and Bruce, so that way people close to him wouldn't figure out his voice if they met Batman. And who knew that Mark "I'll always been known as Luke Skywalker" Hamill would give a crazier performance as the Joker than Jack Nicholson?

    One thing that's nice about the film is that it is quite dark. There's quite a few flashbacks and they're not quick either. There's a certain amount of complexity to the plot for the kiddies but adults will understand it. It's nice to see a different version of how Bruce Wayne started becoming Batman, and his inspiration for the Batmobile's a nice touch.

    Like most people that are fans of this, we're waiting for a DVD release. If they're has been one, then an SE one cause I've never heard of it. Rumors are that they'll release it along with the Tim Burton Batman films to coincide with the release of Batman Begins in June which should be interesting. However, for now, deal with a film that Joel Schumacher wish he directed....more info
  • Even better than the "live action" movies
    Drawn on black paper, this animated feature has the dark, brooding film noire style one would expect considering the storyline of "the Batman's" genesis. A thoroughly enjoyable film that can only be compared to the original Tim Burton motion picture. This is how future Batman films should be made....more info
  • Best Batman Movie EVER
    Mask of the Phantasm is by far the best of all the Batman movies, including the live action ones. I have been wanting to get this movie on DVD forever and now I can! The story is great, the dialogue is great, the twists are great, everything about it is great!...more info