Best Order To Watch Batman Animated Movies
If you're a fan of Batman, then you know that the Batman animated movies are just as good, if not better than the live-action ones. But unless you're a comic nerd or have watched them all in chronological order, it can be hard to keep track of them all. Not to worry, though – this guide is here to help!
This article should guide you how to watch all of the Batman animated movies in order and give you a little bit of info on the best ones. So get comfy and let's get started!
Batman: Year One
Based on the four-issue Batman comic book series of the same name written by Frank Miller. The story tells the origin of both Bruce Wayne and Jim Gordon from their earliest days in Gotham City up through their first year as the Dark Knight and the Commissioner, respectively.
After years of training and international travel, Wayne returns to Gotham, determined to fight crime but unsure of how to go about it. He soon meets James Gordon, a rookie cop who is struggling against corruption within the Gotham City Police Department. The two quickly form a close bond as they work together to fight crime in Gotham.
While the series is primarily a story of Bruce Wayne becoming Batman, it also features a number of subplots involving supporting characters such as Selina Kyle, Carmine Falcone, and Alfred Pennyworth.
I think fans of the original story arc will be pleased with how faithful this adaptation is to the source material. I really enjoyed the animation and the dark, sophisticated character designs. I also thought the voices were well done and sounded genuine. There were stand-out voice acting performances from Bryan Cranston as Jim Gordon, Ben McKenzie as Bruce Wayne and Eliza Dushku as Selina Kyle. Overall, I thought this was a great adaptation of a classic Batman story arc.
Batman: The Dark Knight Returns, Part 1
The story is in the same universe as Batman: Year One. It's about Bruce Wayne returning to his crime-fighting ways as Batman after the death of his protégé Jason Todd. He is motivated to return by the reemergence of Two-Face and the rise of a gang known as The Mutants. He is joined by a new sidekick, Robin, who helps him to protect Gotham City from these foes.
I thought that the movie was outstanding and had some deep themes about the nature of heroism vs vigilantism. These are explored in Miller's comic book, but the animated form takes this to the next level.
I liked that the film stayed faithful to the DC Comics' source material. I also thought the visuals were great and resembled Miller's comic work. The voice acting was also well done, especially by Peter Weller as Bruce Wayne / Batman, Bryan Cranston voicing Jim Gordon. I thought the overall plot was exciting and well-written.
Even though it is a cartoon, it is meant for adults only. The violence is captured well, but not glorified. Peter Weller does a great job as the voice of Batman, and it is nice to see a Batman with a dark and dangerous sense of humor.
Also, it's great to see Batman's friendship with James Gordon explored more in this movie.
Batman: The Dark Knight Returns, Part 2
Set after Batman and Robin reclaim Gotham City from the Mutants in Part 1. However, when The Joker is awoken from Arkham Asylum, they must face him in a final showdown. Meanwhile, Superman is asked by President Ronald Reagan to end Batman's vigilantism. This leads to a tense and thrilling climax between Batman and Superman.
Overall, the story of The Dark Knight Returns: Part 2 is an exciting and action-packed tale that explores themes of evil, power, justice, heroism, and redemption. Whether you are a fan of superheroes or not, this is a must-watch film for anyone who loves great storytelling.
My favorite part of the film is the climactic showdown between Batman and Superman. The two titans of justice go head-to-head in an epic battle that is both exciting and visually stunning. This scene is an excellent example of the high caliber of animation and storytelling that Warner Bros is capable of.
Batman: Under the Red Hood
Based on the comic book story arc of the same name that ran from February 2005 to August 2005, before going on a short hiatus and returning from November 2005 to April 2006. The story arc is also a part of the crossover Infinite Crisis.
The film is about the return of Jason Todd, the second Robin, who was thought to have been killed by the Joker. Jason comes back as the Red Hood, a vigilante who is willing to kill in order to achieve his goals. Batman must stop him before he does something he can't take back.
I thought it was fantastic. Not only is it intelligent but it is very deep and complex and delves into the characters far more effectively than any of the Nolan and Schumacher movies in my opinion. It has a dark, haunting visual style, with smooth backgrounds, well-drawn characters, and atmospheric coloring, not to mention a beautifully realized Gotham City. The score is really energizing and mood-grabbing. Jensen Ackles was a great choice to voice the Red Hood. I can just picture him playing a live-action version of this character.
I thought the action sequences were well done and the story was engaging. I also liked how the film dealt with some heavy topics, such as vigilantism and whether or not it is ever justified to kill. It was a really thought-provoking film.
Batman: Mask of the Phantasm
The film follows Bruce Wayne as he tries to stop a new vigilante who is targeting Gotham's mobsters, Bruce must also deal with his complicated relationship with Andrea Beaumont, his former love interest.
Despite featuring a weak villain and an unnecessary action scene, the film is saved by its moody atmosphere and tragic love story. These elements make Batman: Mask of the Phantasm a worthy addition to the Batman mythos. The film is one of the original Batman: The Animated Series features, and it is clear that the series' creators put a lot of thought and care into the project. Batman: Mask of the Phantasm is a must-see for any fan of Batman or animated DC films in general.
Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker
The plot of the film is about Batman, with the help of Batgirl, investigating a series of crimes committed by a group of Jokerz. Throughout the film, he discovers that the Joker has taken over Tim Drake's body and must stop him before he destroys Gotham City.
Overall, I thought the film was very well-made and engaging. I loved the dark and suspenseful atmosphere of the film, as well as the clever plot. The action scenes were exciting, the plot was clever and unpredictable, and Mark Hamill's performance as the Joker was fantastic. I would definitely recommend watching the Beyond episodes before watching this to get the full experience.
Batman: Assault on Arkham
The film revolves around the Suicide Squad, who Amanda Waller reassembles for special black ops missions. As they attempt to complete their mission at Arkham Asylum, they must deal with both the asylum's formidable inmates and each other, as various secrets and double-crosses threaten to tear the team apart. Meanwhile, Batman becomes involved in the mission due to his search for a deadly Joker bomb that threatens Gotham City.
Overall, the film is a fast-paced and action-packed thriller with a dark sense of humor and plenty of stylized violence. I enjoyed the focus on the Suicide Squad, as well as the mix of action, humor, and violence. I also thought the voice cast did a great job, particularly Troy Baker as the Joker, it almost felt Mark Hamill himself was voicing Joker.
Batman vs Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
Batman vs Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles is an action-packed animated adventure that follows Batman and the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles as they fight to save Gotham City from a sinister criminal mastermind. With their unique blend of martial arts skills, high-tech gadgetry, and unstoppable fighting prowess, the heroes must work together to defeat their common enemy and save Gotham
As always, Troy Baker does an excellent job as the Joker, and the voice cast overall is great. The animation is fantastic, with some truly impressive action sequences.
There were also a lot of small callbacks to the TMNT series from the 90s that fans will appreciate. Batman vs Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles is a fun-filled ride that fans of both franchises will enjoy.
Batman & Mr. Freeze: SubZero
In this direct-to-video animated movie, Mr. Freeze is once again up to his old tricks, and Batman must stop him. However, when Freeze's wife Nora is injured, he must find a way (kidnap Barbara Gordon aka Batgirl) to help her while also fending off Batman. Things become even more complicated when another villain, Bane, shows up. Ultimately, Freeze must choose between his love for Nora and his desire to exact revenge on Batman.
My favorite things about the movie are the complex characters, thrilling action, and engaging storyline. I also love Michael Ansara's performance as Mr. Freeze, which really brings the character to life in a nuanced and compelling way.
It's a fantastic film that trumps the live-action version with Clooney which was released at a similar time. Kevin Conroy's Batman is exactly how you would expect the Dark Knight to sound. He's tough, brooding, and determined to stop Mr. Freeze at all costs. Clooney's performance in the live-action movie is campy and odd by comparison.
Batman vs. Robin
Batman vs. Robin is an animated superhero film about the complex relationship between Bruce Wayne and his son, Damian Wayne aka Robin. Set in present-day Gotham City, the film follows Batman as he tries to uncover the secret organization known as the Court of Owls, who have long lurked in the shadows and are now threatening his city. Along the way, he must also deal with the various challenges and conflicts presented by his relationship with Damian, who struggles to live up to his father's expectations and prove himself as a worthy hero.
What I love about Batman vs. Robin is the complex, nuanced characterization of Bruce and Damian Wayne, which really brings their father-son relationship to life in a powerful way. I also love the impressive animation and action sequences, which are some of the best I've seen in an animated superhero movie. Overall, this is a very well-made film that really captures the dark, complex world of the Batman universe. Also, some great voice acting from Jason O'Mara, Stuart Allan, and Jeremy Sisto.
However, like other movies in this genre, they could have at least made it 10 minutes longer to give more development to the story and characters. Additionally, the music by Frederik Wiedmann is once again good without being too memorable. Nevertheless, Batman vs. Robin is a great addition to the DC Animated Universe movie collection and I would highly recommend it.
The Batman: Hush movie is an action-packed thriller. The story follows Batman as he attempts to uncover the identity of a mysterious villain named Hush, who is wreaking havoc on the city and its inhabitants. Along the way, Batman encounters a number of classic villains from the Batman universe, including the Joker, Scarecrow, Catwoman, and Riddler. All of them he must battle in order to protect Gotham City from total destruction. Ultimately, Batman is successful in unmasking Hush and defeating him, but not before he suffers some personal losses along the way.
The movie is a dark and violent take on the Batman mythos that will please fans of the comics and action movies alike.
There are many things to like about the Batman: Hush movie, but some of my favorite aspects include the dark and gritty tone of the film. The excellent voice work by Jason O'Mara as Batman and his chemistry with Jennifer Morrison's Catwoman must also be credited.
The story is thrilling and features a great mix of action, suspense, and mystery with an adult theme. However, some viewers may find the violence and dark themes of the movie to be too much, particularly if they are not familiar with the Hush graphic novels. Nonetheless, I would highly recommend the Batman: Hush movie to anyone who enjoys Batman-related material.
Batman: Gotham by Gaslight
In an alternative universe, it is the year 1889 and Gotham City is not ruled by Batman, but by Jack the Ripper. When several women are brutally murdered by the Ripper, Bruce Wayne dons the mantle of Batman to find the killer and clear his name when he is framed for the murders. Along the way, he meets Selina Kyle, a skilled thief and love interest who helps him as he investigates the case. But as he delves deeper into the mystery, Batman realizes that Jack the Ripper may not be working alone, and that his crimes have far-reaching implications for Gotham City and beyond.
I love the setting and the overall atmosphere of Gotham City in this movie. It feels like 19th century London out of a Sherlock Homes novel from the one we know, and yet it is still familiar in many ways. Despite it's theme, it's nice to it giving nods to established Batman mythology, as well as a subtle callback to Tim Burton's 1989 film.
The characters are also well-written and compelling, especially Selina Kyle, who is a strong female character with a lot of depth and agency in this story. Also a shout out to Bruce Greenwood as Bruce Wayne and John DiMaggio as Police Chief Bullock.
Overall, I think this Elseworlds take on Batman mythos is entertaining and engaging.
Batman: Return of the Caped Crusaders
In Batman: Return of the Caped Crusaders, Gotham City is in trouble as crime increases and government officials are replaced with replicas by Batman, who has been affected by a powerful new strain of Batnip. With the help of Catwoman, Robin must find a way to stop Batman and save Gotham from an army of replicas.
I loved the animation style and the art direction. They did an amazing job of making it look like the original Batman TV series from the 1960s. It was also great to see Adam West, Burt Ward, and Julie Newmar return to voice their iconic characters. The movie is a fun and nostalgic trip down memory lane for fans of classic superhero stories.What is your favourite things about the movie without being too cliched?
Batman: Bad Blood
Batman: Bad Blood is a new animated superhero movie exploring the story of Bruce Wayne, also known as Batman, and his struggle to protect Gotham City from a mysterious new villain. As usual, he partners up with other heroes in his fight against evil, including Batwoman, Nightwing, and Robin.
The animation is one of the strong points of the film. Despite having an interesting premise, the movie is ultimately let down by its many subplots and lack of focus. Either way, still worth a watch because it ties into the wider DCAMU.
Justice League Animated Movies featuring Batman
1. Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox 2. Justice League: Dark 3. Justice League: The New Frontier 4. Justice League: War 5. Justice League: Doom 6. Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths7. Justice League: Gods and Monsters 8. Justice League: Throne of Atlantis 9. Justice League vs. Teen Titans
So, there you have it. Our list of the best animated Batman movies, reviewed and in various orders. We hope you enjoy watching them as much as I did putting this together. If you’re a fan of the Dark Knight, be sure to check out our separate list of best DC Animated Universe films. Which is your favorite?