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Trivia / Batman: Mask of the Phantasm

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  • Acclaimed Flop: The film received critical and audience acclaim, but bombed when it was originally released in theatres.
  • Bad Export for You: The movie had this treatment in France.
    • Initially, due to its poor box-office performance in the US, Warner decided to release Batman: Mask of the Phantasm straight-to-VHS in many overseas conutries, including France, where it received a complete dub with the cast of the animated series. For a long time, this release was the only official one here...
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    • In 2006, Warner announced a Z2 DVD release of the movie. After being pushed back to 2009, it was finally cancelled without explanation, leaving again the movie only available in cassette.
    • The movie was finally released in Blu-ray in 2018. Finally, fans could enjoy a good quality release of the movie... but this Blu-ray contained the Quebec dub instead of the much more popular European French dub. Many fans were angry, leading to complaints to the local Warner aftersales services. After months of silence, the studio decided to press a new run of Blu-ray with the correct dub and to offer them at free exchange. It turned out that those Blu-rays either malfunctioned or did not work at all, shredding any possibility to find the European French dub of the movie in other releases than the now out-of-print VHS.
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  • Box Office Bomb: Due to a lack of advertising, the movie bombed hard during its theatrical run. This didn't last forever, though, as a certain trope to be seen below indicates...
  • Creator Recovery: As detailed in his autobiography Dark Night: A True Batman Story, Paul Dini had just experienced a traumatic robbery around the time he was given the assignment of co-writing the film. What doesn't make this a Creator Breakdown is that penning the script helped him get over his physical and psychological trauma.
  • Franchise Killer: Not for animated DC films as a whole, but it was the only animated DC film to receive a wide theatrical release until The LEGO Batman Movie
  • Playing Against Type Stacy Keach voicing a sympathetic businessman who breaks the law, and later voices a violent vigilante, will be a major surprise to people who know him from playing law enforcement officers or detectives.
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  • Reality Subtext: Andrea is named after Andrea Romano, the voice casting director for the series. The entire romance plot came about because of Kevin Conroy ad-libbing an "Oh! Andrea" after a series of grunts. It was originally intended to be Batman getting punched, but the ad-lib made it sound a little different.
  • Screwed by the Network: The film did not have a pre-release screening for critics, which hurt it badly, since when a production company does that, it indicates that the film is probably awful. The reviews that did come out were generally positive, but they were on a Saturday, instead of the launch day, and generally, movie reviews on a Saturday are passed over by readers.
  • Spoiled by the Merchandise: Kenner's figure of the titular villain revealed that "he" was actually Andrea Beaumont, Bruce Wayne's Love Interest.
  • Vindicated by Cable: The movie turned a huge profit when available on VHS, earning millions more than it did while in theaters.
  • What Could Have Been:
    • The film was supposed to be released direct-to-video before Warner Bros. decided to give it a theatrical release. When the movie bombed, they made sure not to repeat the mistake with Batman & Mr. Freeze: Sub-Zero, which was released direct-to-video.
    • The film was going to be completely computer generated, but that was dropped for traditional cel-animation. The CG buildings during the opening credits are an artifact from that plan.
    • The movie was originally planned as the series finale for Batman: The Animated Series, which explains why Joker seemingly dies at the end.
    • The movie's story was mostly taken from two unmade episodes of the animated series; a two-parter called "Masks" featuring Batman Year Two's villain Reaper, and a standalone ep called "Vigil" detailing Batman's origin from Alfred's perspective.
  • You Look Familiar:
    • Andrea is voiced by Dana Delany, who later became more famous as the voice of Lois Lane in Superman: The Animated Series. In fact, Word of God has stated that it was her stellar performance here that caused them to pursue her for the role of Lois in the first place. Bruce even had a brief relationship with Lois.
    • Dick Miller, who provides the voice of Phantasm's first victim Chuckie Sol, would provide the voice of Boxy Bennett in a few episodes of Batman: The Animated Series' second season the year after the movie came out.


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