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Batman - Mask of the Phantasm (1993)

Kevin Conroy , Dana Delany , Boyd Kirkland , Bruce W. Timm  |  PG |  DVD
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (273 customer reviews)


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Product Details

  • Actors: Kevin Conroy, Dana Delany, Hart Bochner, Stacy Keach, Abe Vigoda
  • Directors: Boyd Kirkland, Bruce W. Timm, Dan Riba, Eric Radomski, Frank Paur
  • Writers: Alan Burnett, Archie Goodwin
  • Format: Anamorphic, Animated, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, Dubbed, Full Screen, HiFi Sound, Subtitled, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround), French (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround)
  • Subtitles: English, French
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)
  • Studio: Warner Bros. Pictures
  • DVD Release Date: December 21, 1999
  • Run Time: 76 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (273 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0000399WH
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #183,837 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Batman - Mask of the Phantasm" on IMDb

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com

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-fiancée 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

Product Description

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

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
65 of 68 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Better by far than any live action Batman November 6, 2000
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
It's unfortunate that an animated series rarely gets serious attention, even when made into a movie, like Mask of the Phantasm. The writing is superior to the live action Batman movies, and the movie has more self-respect. We delve into Batman's past: not his why-I-became-Batman past which everyone knows; rather, we learn why he remains Batman despite the intense personal cost. This is a great movie, with a great voice cast (including Mark Hamill <yes, Luke Skywalker> who is just perfect as the Joker). The score is wonderful, playing a little with the score from the first Michael Keaton Batman movie, then proceeding along its own course.
The movie is, of course, not for everyone. If all you want to see are fists hitting the bad guys in the gut, you'll be disappointed (or perhaps, your kids will be). There is romance, sorrow, and introspection, in addition to the violence of Batman's confrontation with villains. This is simply a far more thoughtful movie than one might expect, and though it is well-done in this regard, it may not be what you are expecting.
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35 of 37 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars My Favorite Movie of All Time November 5, 1999
Format:VHS Tape
When I was younger, I used to brush off Batman: The Animated Series as stupid, and for little kids. Now at the age of seventeen, I see that I was gravely mistaken. Batman: Mask of the Phantasm would have to be my favorite movie of all time. How can I even begin to count all the things I love about it? It's gripping, exciting, witty, funny, sad... Needless to say, it's head over heals over any other Batman movie I've ever seen before. Unlike the live-action movies, it's not about appealing to the audience with predictable James Bond action sequences and famous actors. This movie truely does justice to the comic and to Bob Kane. Each character is portrayed perfectly, with wonderful animation and amazing voice acting. I absolutely love the dark deco art style as well. And the plot is one of the best I've seen. It really keeps you interested. I'd recommend this movie to anyone, Batman fan or not! Definately try this one out!
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Masterpiece of Animation and Storytelling December 5, 2003
Format:DVD
This is probably the greatest recreation of the Batman characters ever, Tim Burton's spectacular flick included. Gotham's simplistic but dark, tall, and gothic (pun VERY MUCH intended) style, the way that most of the scenes in "the present" were never during the day, the ingenious use of flashbacks, all came together to make a visually stunning movie. And this was a cartoon that didn't pull its punches. It was one of the only "kid-oriented" animated films to recieve a PG rating back in the 90's.
The voice cast was spectacular. The characters of Comissioner Gordan, Detective Bullock, Alfred; all are wonderfully cast (I would argue that this movie has the best Alfred of any Batman film EVER). And of course, the casting of Kevin Conroy and Mark Hamill (Batman and The Joker respectively) in a reprise of their roles on the show couldn't have happened any other way, simply because they embody these characters so well, and put far more heart into their performances than you get from many live-action parts (read: the last two live-action Batmans).
The story is both simple and complicated at the same time. Sure, some kids won't get all of it, but the thing is rated PG for a reason. A killer has shown up in Gotham, a murderer who is offing mob bosses with brutal efficiancy. The D.A. blames Batman, and starts a city-wide manhunt. On the Bruce Wayne side of things, an old flame has returned to Gotham (voiced by Dana Delany, the same dame who did Lois Lane in the Superman animated series; funny ol' world, in' it?), who is, in a roundabout way, the reason Batman was able to exist. Bruce is torn between his love, and the responsibilities of, and new dangers to, his secret identity.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The true Batman has finally arrived. December 30, 1999
By Ben
Format:DVD
It always amuses me when animation outpaces many big Hollywood blockbusters. B:MOTP does this very thing. More gripping & intelligent than any of the live-action movies, MOTP brings Batman back to his roots by placing him in a mystery that, when finally solved, forces the Dark Knight to do some HEAVY soul-searching. I'm a fan of the series too & am constantly surprised at how it & this movie tackle heavy issues without being preachy about it. Not really for the kids, but then again neither is the series. Kid viewers will be satisfied with watching Batman run around & fight, but they'll totally miss the emotional crisis that Batman/Bruce Wayne finds himself in. The Joker is particularly nasty in this film & comes in right when you're thinking that all this is too heavy for a cartoon. That's just it though; this is not a cartoon per se. Rather it is an animation & should be viewed as such. Hollywood take note. This is the level that all other Batman films, live & animated should aspire to.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best filmed exploit of the Dark Knight yet November 25, 2000
Format:VHS Tape|Verified Purchase
Mask of the Phantasm is an on-film example of what not only the movie franchise, which was terribly ruined by Joel Shumacher, could have done with the character, but of how much better the 1990's Animated Series, good as it was anyways, could have been if it was scheduled in prime time instead of during the Kid's Hour. Don't get me wrong; the show went further then then any other long-running animated series yet has (with the possible exception of The Transformers back in the 80's) in terms of skimming close to adult level sophistication and dialogue. Still, this film shows how much better still the Animated Series could have captured the essence of the comic book Dark Knight if American adult audiences were more accepting of animated shows that were not purely idiotic sitcom fare (i.e., The Simpsons, Family Guy, Futurama, etc., ad nauseum). Unfortunately, for any super-hero series to get done, it has to be made 'kid-friendly' and put on Saturday or Sunday mornings, or weekday afternoons, in order to get a chance at the small screen (with the only few exceptions being MTV's Aeon Flux and HBO's Spawn, though these weren't really marketed for a mass audience, which may have contributed to their short life spans despite their success). This is quite unfortunate. What is also unfortunate is that no more Batman animated movies are likely to get onto the big screen after the very undeserved failure of this one, simply because audiences couldn't be bothered with going to see a 'serious' animated movie, unless it was a 'family-friendly' Disney epic. Thus, successive entries in the direct-to-video slot like Sub-Zero were made in the same mold as the series was, and was not given the PG rating that Mask of the Phantasm was awarded. Read more ›
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars this is my favorite Batman movie out of the 8 theatrical releases and...
By far, this is my favorite Batman movie out of the 8 theatrical releases and the multiple straight-to-Disc films released by DC Animated Studios. Read more
Published 23 days ago by Shogg
5.0 out of 5 stars Great movie, but barebones DVD
One of the best Batman animated films out there. Even better than some of the live-action films, too. If you haven't seen this masterpiece yet, watch it now!!! Read more
Published 1 month ago by Daniel Files
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
If you're a fan of Batman TAS you'll love this movie. It's literally just one long, well-developed episode.
Published 1 month ago by Katie-Beth
5.0 out of 5 stars a nice twist to the batman saga
a nice twist to the batman saga,romance and heartache bring the movie to life. plus the jokers back to cause trouble.
Published 1 month ago by zep
5.0 out of 5 stars As Good As the Series...10 Stars!
Like the series this film spins off from, I absolutely love it! My one negative comment is that the studio decided so late in the production process to release it to theaters... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Philip Scholz
4.0 out of 5 stars this is a great addition to the mythos
As a fan of the animated series, this is a great addition to the mythos. I recommend it to any Batman fan. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Dennis A. Johnston Jr.
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
The animated films are awesome! Cannot say enough good things.
Published 1 month ago by Charles J. Mcpeak
1.0 out of 5 stars Far less amazing than suggested
Several people online suggested that this was the best Batman movie, even better than the Dark Knight.

I'm not sure what they were thinking. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Nathan Walker
5.0 out of 5 stars Best animated Batman!
Mask of the Phantasm is without a doubt the best animated Batman movie. It feels like a chapter of the animated series during it's glory days, before the 4th season when the art... Read more
Published 2 months ago by colesloth
5.0 out of 5 stars top notch character driven movie
i loved everything about this. the voice work is awesome esp the Joker. the animation style is old school and is beautiful, almost painting like. Read more
Published 3 months ago by e.m.
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Blu ray release
We need a serious Special Collector's Edition of MASK OF THE PHANTASM. I'm talking featurettes, commentaries, and ESPECIALLY a new high-def transfer of the original negative. This WAS the best Batman movie ever until BEGINS and THE DARK KNIGHT (some even think it still is).
Apr 22, 2011 by Andrew Babino |  See all 7 posts
Change DVD case
WB is notorious for releasing DVDs with cheap cardboard casings. Just look at all of Kubrick's DVDs and any of the earlier WB releases. They are ALL cardboard!!! I agree it sucks, but would you really let that stop you from buying the DVD? After all, it's what's on the inside that counts, not... Read More
Jun 21, 2006 by Crusader |  See all 6 posts
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