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According to this question, B:MotP takes place in the same universe as B:TAS. B:TAS must take place in the 90's as Batman Beyond takes place in 2039.

My question is, does Mask of the Phantasm also take place in the 90's? There is nothing to indicate this really and many of the designs and technologies seem 40's-ish. However, there is more futuristic technology such as the Bat-Computer and many of the characters act more modern than they would if it does take place in the 40's.

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"1940s"

While it has been mentioned already that Batman: The Animated Series and Mask of the Phantasm occur in the same universe (maybe), almost every source agrees that Phantasm is set in the 1940s.

The description of the film released with various official merchandise (e.g.) states:

In this 1993 animated feature set in the 1940s, Batman is pitted against a mysterious figure who is taking out Gotham’s most dangerous criminals and many believe Batman is responsible for the murders....

The 1940s claim is reinforced by various articles, both old and new. For example:

The DCAU Wiki notes the discrepancy between the time period of TAS and of Phantasm, pointing out the existence of sources that place Phantasm in the 1940s. (It also notes that the reason TAS is believed to take place in the 1990s is the appearance of a newspaper in one episode that has "1992" on the front page.)

How does one rectify this? Note that the answers to the "same universe" question are not the most conclusive. One answer establishes that the Phantasm is a character in the DC Animated Universe. All that means is that the Phantasm was "good enough" to be used again, in a possible different continuity. Another answer relies on a particular photo of the Joker appearing in both Phantasm and the Animated Universe.

Myself, I am not especially convinced that Phantasm occurs in the same universe as TAS. Rather, it could be an homage to TAS, meant to be viewed as an independent story.

As for the Bat-Computer, it is out of place in the 1940s, but:

  • Wayne might have had access to technology that the general public was not aware of. We do not see a computer anywhere else in the film — not on any desks or in the hospital scene, etc.

  • We might be seeing an alternate 1940s, with slightly more advanced technology than we ourselves had at the time.

Upshot

In short, there are no direct references to the 1990s in the film and no sources stating that it takes places in the 1990s, but there are plenty of sites insisting that it takes place in the 1940s.

This is probably not what you wanted to hear!

  • Interesting. Then, if we assume that Phantasm takes place in "1940s" (with Bruce being at least 20+ years old), and Beyond takes place in "2039", Bruce would be 120+ years old (unless my math is wrong) if they were both the same universe.Which could disprove all those answers saying that it is the same universe. – Kreann Sep 21 '15 at 13:47
  • @Deion : Indeed. But I didn't want to make such a strong statement in this answer. Once could of course revisit the other question now, about whether they are in the same universe. I probably won't, so feel free to if you wish... – Praxis Sep 21 '15 at 14:54
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You also have to understand that while Batman: TAS is technically set 'in the 1940s' it's not our 1940s. The entire thing takes place in an alternate universe where futuristic technology existed back in the 40s. It's almost a diesel-punk series in that respect.

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    That second from the end sentence might need some referencing - then this will be a good answer ;) – Gallifreyan May 9 '17 at 19:44

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