Follow TV Tropes


WMG / The Mask

Go To

The Mask is The King in Yellow.
A Humanoid Abomination clad in yellow with an inhuman mask-like visage who brings madness wherever he goes.

The cartoon series takes place in the same universe as Captain Planet and the Planeteers.
The basis for this guess is the shared link of Tim Curry and his characters in each cartoon. We know that prior to her facial scarring and insanity, Dr. Blight was once a good-natured scientist who worked with her lab assistant/husband Malcolm to create a computer AI. After the accident supposedly took Malcolm's life and left her insane, she reprogrammed the AI into her computer MAL and gave it Malcolm's face. What if Malcolm didn't die but had also been driven insane in the accident? Pretorius sure looks a LOT like MAL, after all... and he was never given any sort of history in the series beyond the surgical removal of his own head to plant it onto a robotic body.

The Son of the Mask is a prequel.
Okay, so in the second movie, Loki is sent on a mission from Odin to get the titular mask, which he created and sent to Earth a long time ago to mess with people. From what we've seen of Odin, he seems to be a jerk to his son, who, despite his zaniness, is still trying to do what his father said, and is constantly living in Thor's shadow. Near the end, he tries to take Tim's son instead of the mask, because he's the only one who he's ever truly bonded with due to their similarities. Suddenly, Odin shows up, and, seeing that Loki has been slacking off, tries to banish him. Luckily, Tim tells Odin off, telling him that he needs to be a better father to Loki in spite of his differences. Because of this, Loki listens to his Father and gets the mask, Odin leaves with a newfound understanding of his son, Tim gets his baby back, and everything seems Hunky Dory. Except, there's just one thing: Odin is a freakin' God! Do you really think that after thousands of years of treating Loki like crap, that he's going to change his entire perception of his son due to one mortal's lecture? Well, not entirely. If anything, he's just waiting for Loki and him to be alone so that he can punish him like he wanted to. Only this time, he decides that the mortal had a point, and changes the eternal banishment to being just a temporary punishment. If Loki can change the life of one mortal man for the better, than he will be freed and let back into Asgard. Where does he banish him to? Why, the mask, of course, which he puts into a chest at the bottom of the sea, silently allowing him to be released when a mortal comes along who's life sucks so much that he is worthy of divine intervention. Meanwhile, he removes the powers of baby Alvey, along with the Avery family's memories of ever having the mask in the first place, leaving them a nice, normal 80's family. Ten years later, baby Alvey has grown up, embedded with a deep love of cartoons due to his cartoonist father, and, having moved from the fringes of Edge City to make it big, has changed his name to separate himself from his old farm town roots. His new name? Stanley Ipkiss.
  • Nope! The mask ends up in a museum, and Dr. Neuman is the exhibit curator/tour guide. He specifically mentions the events of the first movie. Loki's trying to get it back precisely because Stanley had used it in Edge City.
    • What Dr. Neuman mentions is that the mask has caused plenty of havoc, not specifically in Edge City, but as a whole. He could just be referring to the thousands of years the mask has been on Earth.
    • Except that in the first film he doesn't recognise or believe in the Mask when Stanley brings it to him.
The mask can work in the daytime, but only when it wants to.

Remember that Loki's a trickster god first and a night god second. The thing didn't work in Dr. Neuman's office because it didn't want to work at that moment. Come the Animated Series, Loki is all too ready to forgo this rule if it means getting rid of superpowered or ordinary villains. And, hey, he can wind up Lt. Kellaway day and night.

  • This one is pretty solid seeing as it refused to work in front of Dr. Neuman several times in the cartoon.
    • Addendum to the above:

The Mask (or should I say Loki) creates several of Edge City's more outlandish villains
Since wearing the Mask effectively puts Stanley into god mode, defeating ordinary crooks is easy. When he's not using the Mask, it exerts its powers more subtly by rewriting real physics into Cartoon Physics and imposing the result upon selected targets (Terrible Two; Kablamus; etc.). This is more to provide a challenge than anything; it also stops Loki from getting bored. It might have something to do with Edge City already being somewhat unhinged—the madness amplifies the Mask's powers.

Why Walter is so effective against Mask wearers.
The Mask makes the wearer into a Trickster. Most Trickster-types revolve around what would make others laugh at the victim's suffering. But if someone shrugs off a prank or joke, it just isn't very funny anymore. Walter has no emotions to exploit, so Big Head/The Mask can't fight him off as easily as other enemies.
  • It fits with the mask not doing anything when Walter puts it on, too. His lack of imagination/feeling/whatever makes him anathema of the Mask.
    • Actually, the mask doesn't do anything when Walter tries it because it's too small to fit his face.
      • And yet the mask is able to stretch and cover the wearer's whole head (at least in the movie and animated series).
      • The lack of imagination angle makes much more sense (and the "it won't fit" thing was never solidly defined) considering that, in the Kablamus debut episode, Stanley changed his life and became more assertive, only to find the mask no longer worked because he'd lost his repressed side in the process.

It isn't Heroic Willpower that allows Cartoon Stanley to be a hero, but being such a goody two-shoes.
The popular theory for the cartoon is that the Mask is a hero because Stanley has enough Willpower to keep from becoming too violent when under the effects of the mask, as opposed to most other people who put it on. This is one possibility, but there's another that, while depreciating of Stanley, seems to fit him more.

Normally, the Mask would bring out one's darker impulses. Even an upstanding citizen likely has a repressed dark side, dark thoughts on what they'd like to do if unimpeded by laws or rules. The Mask often brings these dark thoughts out to the forefront. Some people can control these urges through incredible willpower. For Stanley, however, it's not willpower, but his own soft nature. Basically, he's so soft-hearted that he never had such a dark side. He could never imagine himself 'cutting loose' like most other people would end up doing as the Mask. Oh, he acts all wild and chaotic and is a thorn in the cop's side, but he never does anything truly evil. Indeed, even when supposedly unimpeded by morality and laws, he still goes to the effort of doing the right thing and saving the day which it is confirmed in the animated series as it is shown that the Mask cares about the people who live in Edge City with him and Stanley's friends are also his friends as well which he shows genuine care for them and loves Milo like Stanley does and stopping the supervillains who attack his friends and the public even if he's in the most chaotic state of his mind and is very much friends with children as well when he thought he was the one who robbed them and ends up feeling so gulity that he lets himself go to prison until he's finds out the truth and frees himself from the prison he was living in.

The reason why Tina isn't in the animated series is because her and Stanley's relationship sadly didn't last.
This is one question that's plagued quite a few of the fans' minds. It's all but confirmed in the first episode of the cartoon that the events of the movie did happen, so where the heck is Tina?!

Well, a while back I was talking to a friend of mine online, and she came up with a theory for Tina's absence from the series that is incredibly plausible:

After Milo gets the mask back at the end of the movie, Stanley is at first stunned and tries to hide it from Tina, as they were now a couple. But after seeing all the crime in Edge City, and the temptation to release his inner desires finally gets the better of him, he always goes off being The Mask. But, Tina doesn't want The Mask butting in between her and Stanley (literally). She confronts Stanley about this, and tells him that it's either her or The Mask. Stanley says he can't just leave the city to the crooks, so Tina decides to leave him and pursue her career as a singer, while he is left as being the crazy vigilante.

And the reason why Tina is never mentioned in the series? Simple; their break-up is still a sore subject for Stanley, and he doesn't like talking about it.

Walter is immune to the Mask's powers because he is isn't human at all, despite his (initially) human appearance.
He is the latest incarnation of some malevolent force that is the antithesis of the Mask, as he is completely serious and emotionless and unable to talk, while the wearers of The Mask act like maniacal cartoon characters, however, he has no other powers other than being disgustingly large, strong, and durable, essentially making him the embodiment of Boring, but Practical.
  • We did see a Walter-like individual in the past in the Dr.. Chronos debut episode. While the early days of the town was filled with look-alike ancestors of most of the regulars, it very well could have just been Walter himself.

The reason why The Mask, Eve and all mask personas are acting like different people is because the mask becomes more alive and self aware the more their wearers put their faces on the mask.
The Mask, Eve and all the other mask personas are different people than their wearers and they have their own minds, personalites, interests, hobbies and habits with The Mask liking to go out to the Coco Bongo a lot and the more their unmasked selfs puts the mask on they slowly become more alive and self aware such as The Mask been aware that his unmasked self Stanley tried to control him with the sister mask which though could mean that they share the same knowledge but however it is possible that The Mask has become alive at that point and can see and hear everything Stanley says and does which explains why Stanley puts on a tape for The Mask after Milo got sick indirectly by The Mask bringing a living vrius to the apartment and The Mask after watching the tape decides to help Milo mostly because he loves Milo just like Stanley and partly he got's used to being with Stanley's face and The Mask doesen't want to end up losing his life in a museum after Stanley threatens to put him there if he does not help Milo the dog that they both love and care for.
The reason why The Mask decided to become a superhero because he saw that there are good people in Edge City.
The Mask at first decided to become a gangster though one with a good heart because he thought that was the only way to get people to respect him and so therefore he blows a horn at a guy who was horning at him to get off the road, shooting up at the gang that was harassing him with a balloon that turned into a gun that actually shot real bullets which he missed on purpose to warn them never to harass him again and shoves the exhaust pipes up the bottoms of mechanics who ripped off his unmasked self Stanley who he cares very much like a older brother but then when he meets Tina at the Coco Bongo who treated Stanley nicely he saw that the reason why he wanted to become a superhero before changing his mind was because of the one woman who treated his unmasked self nicely and when he meets Tina again in the park he decided after spending time with her and seeing how much she cares about him and Stanley he decided to become a superhero because he realised that being a gangster won’t bring them and Stanley to become close with one another together so he decided to become one for not only his sake but also for hers and Stanley’s as well so that’s why he didn’t attack the police who were there to arrest him and instead used his reality warping powers to make them dance instead and when his unmasked self Stanley puts on the mask in the Coco Bongo The Mask decided to put bang flags in the guns that he showed to Dorian’s goons to scare them off because he decided to do the superhero code of no killing from now on and that’s why The Mask though pretty annoyed by the people’s idiocy, jerkness and though he’ll rather spend a night at the Coco Bongo than deal with those people is because of Tina the one person who bothered to show his unmasked self Stanley love and kindness which is why he started to become genuinely caring about the people who live in Edge City and stopping anyone who attacks them is because of Tina the woman that he and Stanley both love.

The Mask reflects different aspects of Loki
It's suggested that the Mask brings out one's deeply repressed feelings and that is clearly part of it but I think it's also reflecting the different aspects of it's prisoner depending on the wearer. Stanley, not having much maliciousness in him, brings out Loki the carefree trickster, only willing to harm those that have wronged him and even very rarely fatally and being mostly concerned with silly pranks. Dorian Tyrell, being a seriously nasty piece of work, brings out the deeply malevolent part of Loki, the Loki who killed Balder and who is foretold to bring about Ragnarök. The reason why the "one last kiss" trick from Tina works on him is because in every legend Loki is always horny.

I'd like to think Milo is channelling the part of Loki that fathered Fenris.