Batman Mask of the Phantasm
I'd like to spend a little bit of time talking about the best Batman movie made so far. No I'm not talking about Batman Begins, or the Tim Burton movies, but Batman Mask of the Phantasm. Phantasm was the first movie made by the brilliant animators who worked on the Batman cartoon that started up in the early 90s. That series was, and still is, my favorite interpretation of the Batman character, and I have recently rediscovered that amazing show. Let my review of this movie guide you into this first, and best foray into Batman's animated adventures. (Don't even get me started on the Crap that is the newest animated incarnation of Batman.)
First of all I must talk about the character designs for this movie, which were all based off of Bruce Timm's iconic art style. These designs are very unique, and as I said before iconic, many have hailed this series character designs, and animation for being very lush, and for providing alot of detail and movement. What I liked in particular about this movie was the use of shadows on Batman, and how characters would blend in and shroud themselves in them. In fact this movie is very dark with most of the scenes taking place at night. Overall all character designs are very nice, and attractive. This series has much more fluidity in it's animation, and it is refreshing to watch animation that was produced completely by hand, instead of today's mostly computer generated/aided animation.
The voice acting in this movie is incredible, I remember reading someplace about how the casting agent Andrea Romano looked for actors with character in their voices, and that this series' voice actors often recorded their lines together to allow for greater chemistry between actors. First off I have to mention Kevin Conroy, the voice of Batman, he provided an extra psychological layer to this movie by using two distinct voices when voicing Batman and Bruce Wayne. I should also mention that Conroy has been voicing Batman for the Past 14 years. (DAMN THAT NEW CARTOON FOR CASTING SOME OTHER JERK AS BATMAN!!!!! DAMN THEM!!!!!!) Dana Delany provides the voice for Bruce Wayne's love interest in this movie, and does an excellent job. I just have to say that I love just about every voice acting performance I have heard Delany in, she imbues any character she voices with instant respectability, and personality. Also Mark Hamil (yes Luke Skywalker) provides the most definitive take on the Joker ever, bar none, and his voice acting work is just incredible. In fact it is blasphemy that he isn't in that godforsaken new Batman cartoon either. The only voice actor that I didn't like was the guy who voiced the hot shot politician, I forget the politician's name and position, he just didn't have that "it" factor to his voice.
So I guess I should give this a numerical grade...Hmm I'll go with a 98.
I Know this says comic book adaptation, but dammit it looks cool