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wow two great batman films but Tim Burton's version wins out in a close one.
I have to disagree. I believe I have to agree with Siskel and Ebert, who were upset with themselves that they didn't review this film during its limited theatrical release, that Mask of the Phantasm is the best pre-Batman Brgins Batman film, animated or otherwise. As a cartoon it's less zany and more realistic than Burton's, though his gets points for the Cathedral sequence that mirrors the end of Metropolis.
God it hurts to choose on this one.
I was actually fortunate enough to see "Mask of the Phantasm" during its theatrical release, and I loved it. It holds up very well 17 years later and stands at the top of the animated superhero heap. That said, Anton Furst's production design in Burton's '89 film made Gotham City come alive. Shirley Walker's score is great, but Danny Elfman's has reached "icon" status. I'm going with "Batman" here, but I'll take "Phantasm" over just about every other Bat-film.
What Mark Hamill did with the Joker in Phantasm is simply magnificent. I agree with GoukaRyuu, this is the best of the pre-"Begins" Batman films.
Batman did make gotham a real place and it certainly inspired the Gotham of BTAS and Phantasm. However Burton's Gotham City is relegated to one town square set piece. While this is more true in Returns, I never got the sense that this gotham could exist while the BTAS gotham pushed its style to the nth degree and made it its own world. We also take for granted how good keaton is as Bruce Wayne. In the scene where he (Wayne) confronts the Joker we get the strong sense they are all too similar, in fact, Joker comes off as the more sane of the two in that scene. I also enjoy the action scenes in Batman far more than in Phantasm. Burton wins by a nose.
Going with "Mask of the Phantasm." I'm glad it's getting some of the recognition it deserves here!
As a big fan of the animated series, I can't believe I've never seen 'Phantasm' before now. As I'm still digesting it (just finished it an hour ago), I can't yet rank it over Burton's 'Batman', but I must say, it was a pretty good show, and it was really nice to take in the aesthetic of the animated series in a new adventure that I hadn't seen ten times before. Also, I do love Hamill's Joker much more than Nicholson's. 'The Mask of the Phantasm' will probably forever be the best deal I've ever gotten on a movie, as I stumbled across a DVD for less than two bucks...
Phantasm is tighter but I enjoyed the Burton film more. It was more fun.
After seeing them both a few more times I am changing my pick: Mask of the Phantasm wins!
Siskel(RIP) actually said he'd rank Phantasm "just under the first live action Batman from Tim Burton"(you can watch their review on youtube if you don't believe me) Ebert liked Phantasm better, but he didn't like the Burton movies to begin with. Interestingly Siskel didn't like Mark Hammil as the Joker!(Oh well, still love the guy)
Hm. Mask of the Phantasm wins, but I have to see it again to be absolutely certain about this.
Mask of the Phantasm is one of the best Batman movies ever made. Right up there with Begins.
Both films have an excellent sense of atmosphere, maybe Batman more so. But in terms of storytelling and character, the '89 film is quite shallow. Mask of the Phantasm has a fantastic mystery at the creamy middle, as well as a great love story and Mark Hamill's Joker. It's really too bad that it flopped at the box office, I would have like to see more Bruce Timm theatrical films.
Batman '89 but both are BATASTIC!! Bum dum tiss.