The first Batman
animated movie, and the only one ever released in theaters. While well-loved by fans and critically acclaimed
, the movie did poorly financially.
The movie was written and directed by Eric Radomski, Bruce W. Timm, Alan Burnett and Paul Dini. The fact that it was gang-directed does make it a bit disjointed, but if you've ever longed to simply watch a great Batman comic unfold on the screen, this is your movie.
The movie flashes back and forth in time, as a young Bruce Wayne (voiced by Kevin Conroy) is tempted away from his path of vengeance by a remarkable young woman name Andrea Beaumont (voiced by Dana Delany). Bruce and Andrea have a lot in common and hit it off very well. Alfred, seeing a chance for his best friend's son to be truly happy, encourages Bruce to abandon his plan and pursue Andrea. But on the day Bruce decides to propose, Andrea and her father leave town, never to be heard from again.
At least, not until a mysterious vigilante called the Phantasm shows up twenty years later and starts murdering old-time gangsters. By using costumes and MOs similar to Batman's, the Phantasm throws the Gotham police department onto Batman's trail. Things get even hotter for Batman when one of the gangsters turns to the Joker (voiced by Mark Hamill) for help.
The movie is well-animated, has some amazing action scenes, is very well-written, and has a beautiful score. If you're a Batman fan and you've never seen it, do so. I doubt that you'll be sorry.