Jim Carrey's comic schtick is somewhere between Robin Williams' schizophrenic hamming and the ridiculous physical comedy of Jerry Lewis. Though the pure stupidity of his 1994 breakthrough Ace Ventura: Pet Detective proved popular, it was his summer follow-up, The Mask, that began to win over critics. With the release of Dumb and Dumber that December, Carrey had become one of Hollywood's hottest stars -- in one calendar year. Directed by the largely unknown Chuck Russell, The Mask's real stars are the computer effects designed by Industrial Light and Magic. Many compared the eye-popping "masking" of Carrey to Tex Avery's wacky Warner Brothers cartoons. Carrey's reputation as an actor and as a popular icon has continued to grow since the film's release, as has that of co-star Cameron Diaz, who made her impressive big screen debut in this film.