Here is a quick run down of the plot. Several mobsters have been murdered by something or someone that resembles Batman. While Batman is trying to figure who is 'posing' as him, his unresolved past issues are coming back up to the surface when an old girlfriend Andrea Beaumont comes back to Gotham City. While he tries to resolve things with a very bitter Beaumont, one of the mobsters Valestra turns to one of Gotham's most calculating villains; The Joker for help, since he knows he is next. I cannot really say too much about the plot because this a film I don't want to wreck for you. But either way it is awesome, and I think you will be surprised with how dark and deep the film goes.
When watching part of the murders take place, you can't help but feel unsettled by it. Now while this is supposed to be a kids cartoon, this is very much for adults. The reason why it's so dark isn't just because of the visuals, it's because of the dark passion that Batman and the Phantasm possess. You may be thinking sure Batman is a brooding sorta guy right, but he isn't a dark and negative force. His dark passion resides in his psyche. While he may not commit crimes, you can see that sometimes he just wants to cross that line and just rid the city, his life and his bad dreams of all the scum. And you can see that through the dialogue, the body language, the tone of his voice. That is why this film was such a shock for me when I first watch it, and at times I was quite unsettled by it. If you don' remember what I mean if you have seen this, go back and revisit, I think you will then notice what I mean.
The love between Bruce and Andrea is lovely because it is so unexpected. Bruce never thought he would fall for someone so deeply, and Andrea thought this would never amount to anything because she wasn't part of his plan. While their romance was short lived, you can tell they both wont to rekindle it, because now that Bruce is a fully fledged Batman, not just someone experimenting with costumes anymore, he feels he cannot truly commit. And at the same time Andrea won't show any strong emotion towards him besides anger, because she is too proud to be vulnerable. These are some pretty strong emotions for a cartoon don't you think? I have seen more genuine emotion from Batman: Mask of the Phantasm than I have from some actual live action movies.
I found the Joker to be extremely vicious in this film. I already knew how vicious he could be, but when you watch this you will understand what I mean. Because you see what the Joker was entangled with in his past life, and while you don't see the visuals, you can just let your imagination play, and I can guarantee you will probably think of the most violent thing possible, which will just mutilate your mind. Sometimes not seeing violence is far worse, because our imagination always runs away with us.
I loved the musical score to this film. It was extremely epic and it adds even more emotion to every scene. Here is the opening theme to Batman: Mask of the Phantasm. It is just so dark, beautiful and it will give you chills. It really does set the tone for the film, and makes you ready for things to get dark and serious. I also love how you get to see the eerie buildings as the music plays, it just adds that touch of creepiness and class.
Another song I will show you is a song called 'I never even told you' by Tia Carrere. This is played in the end credits, and boy does the song sum up the movie. It's about loving someone, and just assuming they know, and then next thing you know the love that you thought you had is pretty much a memory. It is a beautiful song, and reminds of why I love 90's music...don't judge me!
If you haven't seen this amazing representation of Batman, you need to, right this minute. If you are just a comic book fan in general, you should definitely dig this, and understand the dark elements in it. The emotions in this film are incredibly raw and honest, and that is what some of these cartoon superhero films need to start possessing.