Thoughts: As I said in my previous about Batman: The Animated Series, I would post the review for Batman: Mask of the Phantasm.
Batman: Mask of the Phantasm is a spin-off of the Emmy Winning Batman: The Animated Series, which you can Click Here to read my review for the series. But you do not have to have much prior knowledge of the series to watch the movie. If you have do knowledge about Batman you could still watch the movie because the flashbacks take you to Batman's origin. Batman: Mask of the Phantasm is the best animated ever made by far. It is dark, complex, and mature. Mask of the Phantasm is considered by many critics to one of the best animated movies and one of the best comic book movies. Although I had watched this movie more than 10 years ago on VHS, I did not remember anything about the movie. So it was just like watching a new movie for me. The mystery in the plot is one of the best mysteries I have seen in a film, not just animated ones. The amount of emotion that is conveyed in the animation is amazing, if this was made into a live action movie, it could be the best Batman movie ever made. Although I am in the minority, I think that Mask of the Phantasm is better than Batman Begins (not better than The Dark Knight). The story is very compelling, and the characters are multi-dimensional characters despite being 2D drawings. Also there is almost nothing in the movie that would make you think it is a "kid's movie", but it is still mostly accessible to kids. Although Mask of the Phantasm is rated PG, the movie is surprisingly violent and implied some mature themes, which makes the movie better. There is also a good deal of romance in the movie but it is very well made and fits into the plot perfectly. One of the things that this movie and the Animated Series never forgets that Batman is just as much a detective as he is a crime fighter. It is more than an animated movie; it is an intense character study, which shows you a view into Batman's past. There are a lot of flashbacks, so you have to pay close attention to what is a flashback and what is not. The only very minor flaw with the film is that it is short, even for an animated movie but that does not detract from the movie.
For another opinion of the check out Banon's Roar!: Batman: Mask of the Phantasm (1993) review.
Directed by: Eric Radomski, Bruce Timm
Genre: Animated, Mystery, Comic Book, Action,
Release Date: December 25, 1993 (1993-12-25)
Running Time: 76 minutes
MMPA rating: PG
The Good: Shocking reveal, Excellent mystery, Dark and complex plot, Fantastic voice cast, Best Animated movie by far, Kevin Conroy is the best Batman, Fantastic soundtrack,
Plot: During a conference of crime bosses held in a Gotham City skyscraper, gangster Chuckie Sol is killed by a mysterious cloaked figure shortly after Batman bursts in on the meeting. Batman is blamed for Sol's death. Councilman Arthur Reeves tells the media that Batman is a public menace, then attends a party at the mansion of billionaire Bruce Wayne, Batman's alter ego. Reeves taunts Bruce for his bad luck with women and for having allowed an old girlfriend, Andrea Beaumont, to get away. Batman confronts Andrea, who soon deduces his secret identity.
In a flashback to ten years ago during Bruce's college days, Bruce meets Andrea in a cemetery while visiting his parents' grave. That night, he dons a ski-mask and black leather jacket and ninja styled outfit then foils an armored car robbery, but is discouraged that the criminals did not fear him. Around the same time, he begins a romance with Andrea. Eventually, Bruce decides to abandon his plan on becoming a crime-fighter and proposes marriage to Andrea. Watch the movie to see what happens next.
Note: The following scores relative to other animated movies not live action.
Plot: 9.8/10- The mystery reminded me of an Alfred Hitchcock mystery. Despite everything that was in the plot it was not over stuffed and every plot thread connected perfectly at the end. There is one very minor plot hole that is not explained.
Action: 8.9/10- The action in Batman: Mask of the Phantasm is very good for an animated movie but the action is not the main focus of the movie.
Acting: 9.5/10- Fantastic voice cast including Mark Hamill's excellent performance as the Joker. Kevin Conroy as Bruce Wayne/Batman as in the animated series is perfect for the role. The other voice actors were great as well.
Art Style: 9.4/10- The stylized look of the TV series was upgraded very well to the movie format.
Soundtrack: 9.4/10- From the opening main theme to other tracks the soundtrack is great.
Comedy: 3.5/10- There are one or two humorous lines but it is actually better and more serious without the humor.
Would I Watch This Again: I definitely will watch this again.
Overall: 9.8/10- Overall Batman: Mask of the Phantasm is the perfect example of how to make an animated movie dark, complex, and mature yet still mostly accessible to kids. It is not only my favorite animated movie, it is one of the best comic book movies. Even if I was comparing it to live action movies, it would still score around a 9.3/10.
Closing Comments: Batman: Mask of the Phantasm transcends the boundary of animation and makes an excellent animated masterpiece that is better than many live action movies.
Recommended For: Animation fans, Comic Book fans, Action fans,
Below is the full movie in parts that were posted on YouTube. I highly recommend watching it, even you do not know anything about Batman.
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