A young Bruce Wayne is in his third year of trying to establish himself as Batman, protector of Gotham City. Living in Gotham, a metropolis where shadows run long and deep, beneath elevated... See full summary »
Batman, the costumed crime-fighter who prowls the night skies in Gotham City, soon finds there's another vigilante in town knocking off prominent mob figures. Despite the scythe-like blade for a hand, a mechanical voice and the cloud of smoke that follows the figure wherever it goes, the police and outraged officials mistake the homicidal crusader for Batman himself and demand that the city's longtime hero be brought to justice. Meanwhile, Andrea Beaumont returns to town. She is the lost love of Bruce Wayne, the billionaire playboy who is Batman's alter ego, and was an integral part of Wayne's decision ten years earlier to don the cape and cowl. Now, she is back in his life and is no less a disruption than the return of his old archenemy, The Joker, who has a stake in seeing the annihilation of this new vigilante, whoever it proves to be. Written by
Most of the movie is based on the graphic novels "Batman: Year One" and "Batman: Year Two". The flashback to Batman's first night of crime-fighting, donning a jacket and ski-hat is parallel to book one of "Year One". The design and concept of the Phantasm was derived from the Reaper, the primary villain of "Year Two". See more »
When Andrea first encounters Batman in her apartment and he asks her about her father, he hands her a photograph with his bare hand. In the very next shot his glove is back on. See more »
[Buzz talks to Chuckie's tombstone, leaving a wreath]
Chuckie, Chuckie. You always were a loser.
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Along with Tim Burton's Batman Returns the best Batman movie to date.
This is easily the best interpretation of Batman I have seen in animated form, and along with Tim Burton's sometimes unfairly maligned 'Batman Returns', the best Batman movie to date. There has been a lot of speculation in recent years about movie versions of Frank Miller's 'The Dark Knight Returns' and/or 'Batman: Year One' (the latter being an obvious inspiration for 'Mask Of The Phantasm'), I just hope that if either eventually get made they are as good as this. The popular 1960s campy TV series was an absolute hoot, but unfortunately has permanently coloured a lot of people's expectations of Batman, a character generally a lot darker and more twisted than most people expect. The animation in this movie is excellent, the script isn't a masterpiece but it's very good, and the actors involved include some great talents like Stacy Keach ('The Ninth Configuration'), 'Star Wars' Mark Hamill (as The Joker), John P. Ryan ('Runaway Train'), and Roger Corman legend Dick Miller ('A Bucket Of Blood'). I think most fans of Batman in any of his comic book incarnations over the years will enjoy this one a lot. It's first rate.
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