This remains for me one of the best Batman films ever made. The film ties in with the first season of Batman: The Animated Series
, but it also has some clever references and allusions to the first two Tim Burton
films as well as some of the Batman comics (most notably Batman: Year One
The tone is pretty dark and there's a bit more action and violence than one might expect to find in a PG film, but I think that for most fans, myself included, that this is part of what made the film so great. It's the Batman film that hadn't been done up until that point. Unlike previous films which just took Batman characters and stuck them awkwardly on the screen with little reverence or knowledge to the comics or the stories, this film is full of little moments that fans will cherish (note the multiple references to Denny O'Neil
and Neal Adams
I also particularly like that they made Gotham so atmospheric and anachronistic. The vehicles and buildings all look like those found in New York and Chicago during the 1930s and 1940s, but the technology seems to be much more modern in most regards.
The voice cast is super and I still hold that Tim Conway
and Mark Hamill
are easily two of the best actors to have portrayed the iconic hero/villain dichotomy of Batman and The Joker.
Directed by Bruce (W.) Timm
and Eric Radomski
, both of who are mainly responsible for the great surge of animated series based on the DC Universe
, the film manages to have both action and suspense, but also more characterization than some of the Batman's televised animated adventures... and thankfully Robin and Batgirl are nowhere to be found. While the love story seems to be a bit more melodramatic than necessary, I do like the Andrea character and the concept of the Phantasm. It gives the whole story an urban Gothic romance style that was very nice.