Movies – 5 Best Animated Original Movies Featuring Batman (& 5 Best Featuring Superman)
With its latest entry, Batman: Soul of the Dragon, the DC Universe Animated Original Movies series now numbers at an impressive forty films. With those forty movies encompassing the well-regarded sixteen film DCAMU continuity, starting with Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox and ending with Justice League Dark: Apokolips War, the DC Universe Animated Original Movies collection packs some quality entertainment.
Unsurprisingly, due to their popularity as DC characters, Batman and Superman are by far the most frequently used characters in the series. Because of this though, some of the best films under the DC Universe Animated Original Movies banner either revolve around them or feature them as pivotal characters.
10 Batman & Superman – Justice League: Gods And Monsters (2015)
What’s great about Justice League: Gods And Monsters is that it gives audiences versions of Batman and Superman they’ve never seen before. In the alternate world where this film takes place, Superman is the son of General Zod and is raised by Mexican migrant farmers.
If that isn’t enough of a change-up for you, Batman is a blood-thirsty vampire. These versions of Batman and Superman are radically different from what fans expect but once you get through the initial shock, this is a top-notch Justice League movie.
9 Superman – The Death Of Superman (2018)
Although DC already adapted the famous The Death of Superman comic with Superman: Doomsday in 2007, eleven years later they readapted the story into a two-film arc with The Death of Superman and its sequel Reign of the Supermen.
This classic story from the comics that sees Superman “killed” by Doomsday has lost a bit of its novelty because of how well-known the arc is now but for the uninitiated, this film is still worth a viewing.
8 Batman – Justice League Dark (2017)
Technically John Constantine is the main character in this film, but Batman plays a vital role throughout and is highly entertaining in his dynamics with the Justice League Dark team and how “out of his comfort zone” he looks with them.
This film is a top-tier entry in the DC Universe Animated Original Movies collection, featuring thrilling action sequences, incredibly powerful characters like Zatanna and Swamp Thing, and an exciting story filled with horror, unexpected twists, laughs, and world-ending stakes.
7 Batman & Superman – Justice League Dark: Apokolips War (2020)
This movie is the culmination of the DCAMU, ending the sixteen film arc on a grand scale similar to what Marvel fans saw with Avengers: Endgame. Cashing in on plotlines, characters, and easter egg moments from all of the DCAMU continuity, this film is an epic conclusion that holds nothing back.
With Batman brainwashed as Darkseid’s right-hand-man and Superman depowered from kryptonite infecting his blood, Justice League Dark: Apokolips War is a thrill-ride that shouldn’t be missed, although it’s highly recommended that you watch the fifteen films leading up to it first.
6 Superman – Superman/Batman: Apocalypse (2010)
While Batman plays a big role in this movie, Superman and Supergirl are the clear standouts. Because Superman/Batman: Apocalypse largely revolves around Supergirl, Superman naturally is a very important character in the story.
Serving as Supergirl’s protector when Darkseid comes to Earth wanting to make her one of his Furies, this film puts Superman in a big brother-type role that makes his character much more relatable than he normally is as an all-powerful alien.
5 Batman – Batman: Assault On Arkham (2014)
Similar to Justice League Dark, Batman isn’t technically the main character in this movie. Don’t let the title deceive you, Batman: Assault on Arkham revolves more around the Suicide Squad and Deadshot than it does Batman.
That said, Batman plays a pivotal role in this movie that deserves recognition. Set in the Arkham videogame universe, the Batman in this film is voiced by the legendary Kevin Conroy and is a badass (more than usual) who pulls no punches.
4 Batman & Superman – Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox (2013)
What works so great about Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox is how it reinvents common DC lore and gives audiences unexpected versions of the characters we love.
While Thomas Wayne becoming Batman is the storyline this film is most known for, the unique take on Superman as a government experiment locked away underground is surprising and welcomed, turning the Man of Steel into an emaciated lab rat that doesn’t even know what the word “friend” means.
3 Superman – Superman: Red Son (2020)
The concept of Superman: Red Son is a “What If?” storyline that revolves around Superman landing in Russia instead of America and how that would change the shape of the DC landscape.
If you go into this film expecting radically different versions of not just Superman, but also Batman (in a small role), Wonder Woman, and Green Lantern, there’s a lot to love about this movie. This version of Superman is easily one of the most interesting takes on his character in a long time.
2 Batman – Batman: Under The Red Hood (2010)
Batman: Under the Red Hood is one of the most well-reviewed Batman animated films of all time, so seeing this movie on this list should be no surprise.
Following the famous comic arc where the long-dead Jason Todd comes back to life to haunt Batman, this film packs a major emotional punch. While not as action-packed as some entries on this list, there aren’t many films in the DC Universe Animated Original Movies series that have better writing than Batman: Under the Red Hood.
1 Batman & Superman – Batman: The Dark Knight Returns (2013)
When it comes to Batman and Superman on-screen together, this is the definitive experience. If you found Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice to be a letdown, then do yourself a favor and watch Parts 1 & 2 of Batman: The Dark Knight Returns.
This film is the very best of what the DC Universe Animated Original Movies banner has to offer and is debatably the best DC film ever, including live-action. Not just about a brawl between Superman and Batman, this movie also heavily features Joker and has a small, but memorable role for Green Arrow.
NEXT: DC: Top 10 Animated Original Movies Ranked According To IMDb
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