When it was originally released in 1993, Batman: Mask of the Phantasm didn’t receive anywhere near the reception it deserved. It’s reasonable to assume that most audience members were still thinking of the Caped Crusader in the terms of Tim Burton’s two live-action films, and didn’t think that an animated Batman implied a film aimed at adults as much as it was children. But although few saw it at the time, the secret of Mask of the Phantasm gradually began to get out. Some 25 years later, it’s rightly recognized as the finest Batman animated feature … and by many as the best Batman movie, period.
Sure, you can have your Dark Knight. Christopher Nolan’s film is a masterpiece, but it’s more of a crime epic than it truly is a traditional Batman story, of the type you’d find in the original comics. Mask of the Phantasm, on the other hand, is a classic Batman comic come to life; the synthesis of everything that was already great about the style-defining Batman: The Animated Series. Its Gotham is a blood-skied, terrifying megalopolis of gothic architecture. Its villains are chilling, but not afraid to ham it up at the same time. Its style is gratuitous and bombastic. It’s much more BATMAN than something like The Dark Knight ever attempts to be.
And now, it’s back in theaters! Yes, for one night only, Batman: Mask of the Phantasm will be returning to select theaters on Nov. 12, 2018, via Fathom Events. It’s your chance to see the best Batman movie in the way it was always meant to be seen! Oh, and we should probably mention that Richard Donner’s 1978 Superman will also be returning to theaters in the same way on Nov. 25 and 27, but come on—we know which of these films is cooler, right?
Directed by Bruce Timm and Eric Radomski, Mask of the Phantasm features many classic voices from the animated series and Batman lore, including Kevin Conroy as The Batman and Mark Hamill as The Joker, along with Efrem Zimbalist Jr. as Alfred, Dana Delany as Andrea Beaumont and Stacy Keach as The Phantasm.
You can buy tickets for Mask of the Phantasm in advance by clicking here. In the meantime, enjoy this modern recreation of a new Phantasm trailer.