The Dark Knight can be watched on Hulu, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice is on HBO Max, but the best Batman movie is now officially on Netflix. Batman: Mask of the Phantasm is now streaming on the service and if you're a fan of the caped crusader but haven't seen it, you it to yourself to give it a shot. Released on Christmas Day in 1993, the movie acts as a standalone story in the Batman: The Animated Series canon but also a continuation of the entire show as a whole. Though the movie opened to critical acclaim, the film failed to find audiences upon its release.
The movie was made completely in-house by the team behind the series, being co-directed by Eric Radomski and Bruce Timm, two co-creators of the animated series, and co-written by co-creator Paul Dini and fellow Animated Series writers Alan Burnett, Martin Pasko, and Michael Reaves. On Rotten Tomatoes, Mask of the Phantasm has a higher rating than any of the Burton or Schumacher Batman films, a higher score than Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, and is tied with Christopher Nolan's Batman Begins.
Mask of the Phantasm tells the story of a wrinkle in Bruce Wayne's time as Batman by introducing an old flame from his past that returns to Gotham and whose loss in his life was one of the key elements that pushed him to becoming the Dark Knight. Furthermore the film introduced a new villain into the canon, the terrifying and titular Phantsam. As the name implies, it has a ghostly appearance but its reaper like mask and giant-clawed right hand give it an even sinister vibe. The killer vigilante is out for revenge on criminals in Gotham in the film, with one of their targets being none other than The Joker.
Despite a prime opening date and the popularity of the animated series on television, the film was a colossal flop in theaters. The film brought in just $5.8 million and failed to match its production budget from its theatrical release alone. In the years since though the film has become a cult classic and fan-favorite. One person who witnessed first hand the production of the film, the poor reception upon release, and the reputation it has now is star Mark Hamill, who reprised his role of The Joker for the film. Hamill shared his memory of seeing the film in theaters on Christmas last December.
As we said, you can watch Batman: Mask of the Phantasm on Netflix by clicking here.
One other interesting piece of trivia is that despite the popularity of the movie the titular Phantasm has never appeared in the main continuity of DC Comics. That's about to change though as writer Tom King previously confirmed he'll be bringing the character into the fold with his highly anticipated Batman/Catwoman comic series.
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