As these unfortunate events tend to do, the recent passing of influential film critic and pop culture icon Roger Ebert inspired his legions of readers and fans to reflect on the work he did that entertained them the most or had the biggest impact on them personally. Naturally I found myself re-reading (or in some cases, reading for the first time) many of his thoughts on films based on comic books. Although Ebert’s opinions were sometimes divisive, I think I agreed with the late critic more than not, but never more strongly than in the case of Batman: Mask of the Phantasm.
Along with his late partner Gene Siskel, who passed away in 1999, Ebert included the fan favorite animated feature in a mid-’90s episode of their widely watchedtelevision show. What’s remarkable about this is that not only did both of these famously disagreeable critics agree that they loved the film, they basically apologized for not reviewing Mask of the Phantasm when it was released in cinemas a couple of years earlier.