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1994 was a banner year for Jim Carrey as a movie star, including his breakout hits The Mask, Ace Ventura: Pet Detective, and Dumb and Dumber. The following year, all three films received cartoon shows. That included The Mask: Animated Series, which featured Carrey's character, Stanley Ipkiss, but without Carrey himself. Regardless, voice over actor Rob Paulsen nabbed the title role and carried the torch with distinction. Paulsen not only nailed his own take on Stanley/The Mask, he also successfully imitated other famous characters and actors during the course of the show. The "rubber-voiced" actor even sang The Mask's theme song in character!
The Mask as we've come to know him is pretty far from the violent and even deranged anti-hero he was in the comics. Mike Richardson, Chris Warner, John Arcudi, Chris Warner, and artist Doug Mahnke all played a part in The Mask's creation. But it was the movie that defined The Mask in the public's imagination, and the animated series carried that forward. Regardless, the cartoon did introduce Walter, the silent antagonist from the comic who was absent from the movie. For the most part, the animated series went its own way.
Because the empowered Mask is like a living cartoon, the series was well-suited for its new medium. The Mask: Animated Series played with its own fluid sense of reality. And in a bizarre twist, it pulled off the Jim Carrey-less crossover event of the millennium: a two-part meeting between The Mask and Ace Ventura.
The Mask has been largely dormant as a property for several years. But it's such a great concept that it will probably overcome its dismal cinematic sequel, Son of the Mask, and rise again. If that happens, then The Mask: Animated Series deserves a bigger audience. Because this show was hilarious.
For more details about The Mask: Animated Series, check out the latest episode of SYFY WIRE's original series, Everything You Didn't Know!