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The following FAQ entries may contain spoilers. Only the biggest ones (if any) will be covered with spoiler tags. Spoiler tags are used sparingly in order to make the page more readable.
For detailed information about the amounts and types of (a) sex and nudity, (b) violence and gore, (c) profanity, (d) alcohol, drugs, and smoking, and (e) frightening and intense scenes in this movie, consult the IMDb Parents Guide for this movie. The Parents Guide for Batman: Mask of the Phantasm can be found here.
Yes and no. Phantasm is loosely based on the character the Reaper from the comic-book miniseries Batman: Year Two: Fear The Reaper, written by Mike W. Barr; art by Alan Davis, Todd McFarlane, Mark Farmer and Paul Neary. However, the actual character of Andrea Beaumont is original to the movie.
Bruce Wayne has been the Batman for ten years when the film opens, putting him in his early to mid-30s. As a comic-book character, Batman's first appearance was in Detective Comics #27 (May, 1939).
Yes and no. Batman discovers that the Joker was originally one of mobster Salvatore "Sally" Valestra's goons; however, anyone in this film who knew him from the old days is dead by the end except for the Joker himself—and possibly city councilman Arthur Reeves. As Valestra's thug, Joker is revealed to be the murderer of Carl Beaumont—Andrea Beaumont's father. The comic-book Joker was originally revealed to have been the Red Hood—the otherwise nameless leader of a gang of crooks; in Alan Moore's graphic novel The Killing Joke, he was only an unnamed engineer and struggling comedian. In Tim Burton's film Batman (1989), the Joker was gangster Jack Napier and also (in this film series only!) the killer of Bruce Wayne's parents. In Batman: The Animated Series the Joker's true identity was Jack Napier as well, as shown in the episode "Dreams In Darkness." However, later the episode "Beware the Creeper" from The New Batman Adventures rectified this by stating that Jack Napier was merely one of several aliases.
Gotham City is a fictional U.S. port city located on the north-eastern Atlantic coast. It was originally a stand-in for New York City, but has also been likened to other crime-ridden urban centers such as Chicago and Detroit. Some sources have placed Gotham City in the state of New Jersey; however, this cannot be considered definitive. In the context of Batman: The Animated Series, the second (1993-1994) season episode "Avatar" shows a map that places Gotham City in the location of the real-world New York City. In addition, the direct-to-video animated movie SubZero (1998) gives Barbara Gordon's street address as Gotham City, NY; and gives a ZIP code (10025) and telephone area code (212) that are assigned to New York City. The current DC universe version of Gotham City is actually a small island connected to the mainland by a series of bridges and tunnels. The east and south sides of Gotham face the Atlantic Ocean. The city is further divided by the Sprang River (named for Dick Sprang) on the northern end and the Finger River (for Bill Finger) to the south. Tiny Blackgate Isle to the south-east is home to Blackgate Maximum Security Penitentiary. Blackgate is replaced by Stonegate Peniteniary in the animated series Batman (1992-1995) and its spin-offs.
One assumes that the filmmakers wanted to keep the focus of this story squarely on Bruce Wayne and Andrea Beaumont. However, there are at least two in-film explanations. (1) Dick Grayson was away at college and Bruce didn't want to involve him in such a personal case. (2) The movie novelization by Geary Gravel has Dick overseas, training with one of Bruce's old martial arts masters.
One can assume that Harley was cooling her heels in Arkham Asylum during this story. Harley's voice actress Arleen Sorkin did have an uncredited role as "Miss Bambie."
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