How To Watch Batman Animated Movies In Order


The Original Animated Movies

The original Batman animated movies paved the way for the countless adaptations that followed. These early films are a must-watch for any fan of the Caped Crusader, offering unique and captivating storylines that stay true to the essence of Batman. Here are some of the standout titles:

  1. Batman: Mask of the Phantasm (1993) – This film tells the story of a mysterious vigilante targeting Gotham City’s crime lords while Batman grapples with his past and the return of a long-lost love interest.
  2. Batman & Mr. Freeze: SubZero (1998) – In this film, Batman must rescue Mr. Freeze’s cryogenically frozen wife, Nora, before her life runs out. The emotional depth and complex portrayal of Mr. Freeze make this movie a standout.
  3. Batman: Mystery of the Batwoman (2003) – Batman faces a new adversary, Batwoman, who is determined to bring justice to Gotham City. This film delves into themes of identity, trust, and the blurred lines between heroism and vigilantism.
  4. Batman: The Killing Joke (2016) – One of the most controversial Batman stories brought to life, this film explores the complex relationship between the Dark Knight and his arch-nemesis, the Joker. However, it is worth noting that this movie contains mature themes and may not be suitable for all audiences.

These original animated movies provide a solid foundation for any Batman fan looking to understand the character’s depth and complexity. They offer intricate storylines, striking visuals, and exceptional voice acting that bring the iconic Gotham City to life. Whether you’re a longtime fan or new to the world of Batman, these films are a must-watch for any lover of superhero storytelling.

The DC Animated Universe

The DC Animated Universe (DCAU) is a collection of interconnected Batman animated movies and TV shows that share a consistent and cohesive continuity. This universe has captivated fans for decades, showcasing some of the most iconic Batman stories ever told. Here are the key entries in the DC Animated Universe:

  1. Batman: The Animated Series (1992-1995) – This groundbreaking TV series set the standard for animated superhero shows. It introduced a darker and more mature tone, exploring Batman’s psychological battles with criminals like the Joker, Two-Face, and Poison Ivy.
  2. Batman: Mask of the Phantasm (1993) – While mentioned earlier, this film serves as a continuation of the acclaimed animated series. The movie dives deeper into Batman’s origins and showcases his journey from a young crimefighter to the Dark Knight.
  3. Batman: The Animated Series – The New Batman Adventures (1997-1999) – A continuation of the original animated series, this show features a redesigned art style and introduces new characters like Tim Drake as Robin.
  4. Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker (2000) – Set in the future, this film explores the legacy of Batman and introduces Terry McGinnis as the new Batman. The story revolves around the return of the Joker and his dark history with the original Dark Knight.

The DC Animated Universe seamlessly weaves interconnected stories, character arcs, and themes, providing a comprehensive and immersive Batman experience for fans. Each entry builds upon the previous ones, evolving the character of Batman while staying true to the rich lore of Gotham City. Watching these movies and shows in chronological order allows you to fully appreciate the character development and the intricate universe that has been meticulously crafted over the years.

Whether you are a long-time fan of the DC Animated Universe or just beginning your journey into the world of Batman, these interconnected movies and TV shows are a must-watch. They showcase the best of Batman’s adventures, his allies, and his most formidable adversaries, offering a compelling and engaging viewing experience for fans of all ages.

The Batman: Year One Saga

The “Batman: Year One” saga is a series of animated movies that delve into the early years of Batman’s crime-fighting career in Gotham City. These films explore how Bruce Wayne transformed into the Dark Knight and lay the foundation for his journey towards becoming the legendary protector of Gotham. Here are the key movies in the Batman: Year One saga:

  1. Batman: Year One (2011) – This film is an adaptation of the acclaimed comic book storyline by Frank Miller and David Mazzucchelli. It showcases Bruce Wayne’s first year as Batman and his alliance with Lieutenant James Gordon as they work to rid Gotham City of corruption.
  2. Batman: Bad Blood (2016) – While not directly connected to “Batman: Year One,” this film continues the storyline of Batman’s absence in Gotham City. It explores the introduction of new characters such as Batwoman and Batwing, as well as the struggles of the Bat-family to protect the city in Batman’s absence.
  3. Batman: Night of the Owls (2021) – Based on the popular “Court of Owls” storyline from the comics, this film sees Batman facing a secret society that has ruled Gotham City from the shadows for centuries. Batman must confront the deadly Talon assassins while unraveling the mystery behind the Court of Owls.

The Batman: Year One saga provides a fascinating exploration of Batman’s early experiences, his struggles, and the formation of his iconic rogues’ gallery. These movies offer a fresh perspective on the character, showcasing his evolution from a vigilante fighting for justice to a symbol of hope in Gotham City.

By watching the Batman: Year One saga, fans gain a deeper understanding of Bruce Wayne’s transformation into Batman and the moral complexities that drive him. These films offer a gritty and realistic portrayal of the early years of Batman’s crime-fighting journey, immersing viewers in the dark and dangerous streets of Gotham City.

Whether you’re a longtime fan of Batman or new to the character, the Batman: Year One saga is a must-watch for anyone looking to delve into the origins and early adventures of the Caped Crusader.

The Dark Knight Returns Saga

The “Dark Knight Returns” saga is a series of animated movies that brings to life one of the most iconic Batman storylines ever written. These films explore an older and retired Bruce Wayne coming out of retirement to once again don the mantle of Batman. Here are the key movies in the Dark Knight Returns saga:

  1. Batman: The Dark Knight Returns – Part 1 (2012) – This film adapts the first half of Frank Miller’s seminal comic book storyline. It depicts an aging Batman returning to Gotham City to fight a rising tide of crime and corruption, facing off against a new generation of criminals.
  2. Batman: The Dark Knight Returns – Part 2 (2013) – This second installment continues the epic story as Batman confronts his most formidable foes, including the Joker and a government-controlled Superman. The film explores themes of redemption, sacrifice, and the consequences of a society without Batman.

The Dark Knight Returns saga offers an alternative and darker take on Batman, exploring the consequences of a world without the Dark Knight’s presence. These movies delve into the psychological depths of Bruce Wayne, showcasing his inner demons and his unwavering commitment to justice.

Through the Dark Knight Returns saga, viewers witness an older and grittier Batman taking on increasingly dangerous foes, challenging societal norms, and questioning his own legacy. These films present a thought-provoking exploration of the complex and nuanced character of Batman, and the impact he has on the world around him.

Whether you’re a fan of the original comic book storyline or looking for a fresh and compelling take on the Dark Knight, the Dark Knight Returns saga is a must-watch. It offers an immersive and thrilling experience, showcasing the enduring legacy of Batman and the indomitable spirit of Gotham City.

The Animated Batman Beyond Movies

The “Batman Beyond” animated series introduced a new and futuristic take on the Batman mythos. Set in the year 2039, this series followed Terry McGinnis as the new Batman mentored by an aging Bruce Wayne. The success of the show led to the release of several animated movies set in the Batman Beyond universe. Here are the key movies in the Batman Beyond series:

  1. Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker (2000) – This film serves as a bridge between the original animated series and the Batman Beyond show. It explores the return of the Joker and his dark secret connected to the original Batman and his allies.
  2. Batman Beyond: The Movie (TBD) – This upcoming movie will serve as a continuation of the Batman Beyond storyline. While plot details are still under wraps, fans eagerly anticipate the return of Terry McGinnis and the futuristic Gotham City.

The Batman Beyond movies provide an exciting glimpse into a future Gotham City and the ongoing legacy of Batman. These films explore the evolution of Terry McGinnis as he embraces his role as the Dark Knight and navigates the challenges of a technologically advanced world.

With stunning visuals, fast-paced action, and thought-provoking storytelling, the Batman Beyond movies offer a unique blend of futuristic sci-fi and classic Batman lore. The dynamic relationship between Terry and Bruce Wayne adds depth to the narrative and showcases the enduring legacy of the Dark Knight.

Whether you’re a long-time fan of Batman Beyond or new to the concept, these animated movies provide an exciting and fresh take on the Caped Crusader. They invite viewers to explore the boundaries of what it means to be Batman in an ever-changing world, and the enduring message that anyone can be a hero.

The Batman and Robin Movies

The dynamic duo of Batman and Robin has been a staple of Batman lore for decades. Several animated movies have showcased their partnership, highlighting the unique dynamic between Batman and his trusted sidekick. Here are the key movies that focus on the adventures of Batman and Robin:

  1. Batman: Bad Blood (2016) – While not solely focused on Batman and Robin, this film explores the aftermath of Batman’s apparent death and the impact it has on his allies, including Robin. It delves into the challenges of filling the void left by Batman and the importance of teamwork.
  2. Batman vs. Robin (2015) – This movie delves into the complex relationship between Batman and Robin (Damian Wayne). It explores the personal struggles of Robin as he balances his desire for justice with his need for guidance from Batman.
  3. Batman: The Killing Joke (2016) – While previously mentioned, this film showcases the intricate relationship between Batman and his original Robin, Dick Grayson. It delves into their shared history and the profound impact that the Joker has had on their lives.

The Batman and Robin movies highlight the importance of partnership and the strength that comes from working together. They explore the mentor-student dynamic, the growth of Robin as a crimefighter, and the unique bond that forms between these two iconic characters.

These movies showcase the collaborative nature of Batman and Robin as they face daunting challenges, overcome personal conflicts, and protect Gotham City. Through their shared adventures, Batman and Robin exemplify the power of teamwork and the importance of having someone to lean on in times of need.

Whether you’re a fan of the classic Batman and Robin dynamic or interested in exploring the complexities of their relationship, these animated movies offer an engaging and emotional viewing experience. They demonstrate that the strength of Batman and Robin lies not only in their individual heroics but in their unwavering trust and reliance on each other.

The Standalone Animated Movies

Alongside the interconnected storylines and sagas, there are also standalone animated movies featuring Batman that offer unique and self-contained adventures. These films provide fresh perspectives on the character, allowing viewers to enjoy individual stories without the need for extensive prior knowledge. Here are some noteworthy standalone Batman animated movies:

  1. Batman: Under the Red Hood (2010) – This film introduces the character of Jason Todd, the former Robin, who returns to Gotham City as the vigilante, Red Hood. It explores themes of redemption, loss, and the complicated relationship between Batman and his former sidekick.
  2. Batman: Assault on Arkham (2014) – Set in the Arkham video game series universe, this movie features a team of supervillains recruited by Amanda Waller to break into Arkham Asylum. Batman finds himself caught in the crossfire, leading to intense action and psychological twists.
  3. Batman: Gotham by Gaslight (2018) – This unique film takes Batman out of his usual modern-day Gotham City and places him in a Victorian-era setting. Batman must track down Jack the Ripper in a thrilling and atmospheric tale.

The standalone Batman animated movies allow for diverse storytelling possibilities, exploring different genres and alternate universes. These films showcase the versatility and enduring appeal of the Batman character, allowing viewers to experience fresh interpretations and narratives.

Whether you’re a long-time fan of Batman or new to the world of the Caped Crusader, these standalone animated movies offer engaging and self-contained stories. They provide a glimpse into the vast and varied world of Batman, showcasing his adaptability as a character and the enduring impact he has on popular culture.

Don’t miss out on these standalone adventures that provide a new lens through which to appreciate the Dark Knight’s enduring legacy.

Recommended Viewing Order for Maximum Enjoyment

With so many Batman animated movies available, it can be overwhelming to decide where to start or how to watch them in the most enjoyable way. To help you make the most of your Batman viewing experience, here’s a recommended viewing order:

  1. Batman: The Animated Series (1992-1995) – Begin with this iconic TV series that introduced a new standard for animated superhero storytelling. Immerse yourself in the world of Gotham City and witness the birth of the DCAU.
  2. Batman: Mask of the Phantasm (1993) – Once you’ve completed the animated series, dive into this film which serves as a continuation and expansion of the TV show’s storyline. It provides essential context for the Batman universe.
  3. Batman: Under the Red Hood (2010) – Watch this standalone film next to explore the complex dynamics between Batman, Robin, and the emergence of a new vigilante in Gotham City.
  4. Batman: The Dark Knight Returns – Part 1 (2012) and Part 2 (2013) – Experience the iconic storyline of an older Batman’s return to action in these two films. Witness the clash of old and new in Gotham City.
  5. Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker (2000) – Explore the future of Batman with this movie that showcases Terry McGinnis as the new Batman and his confrontations with the resurrected Joker.
  6. Batman: Gotham by Gaslight (2018) – Wrap up your Batman journey with this unique film that transports Batman to a Victorian-era Gotham City, where he must track down Jack the Ripper.

This recommended viewing order allows you to experience the evolution of Batman, from his early years as a crimefighter in Batman: The Animated Series to the dystopian future of Batman: The Dark Knight Returns and the futuristic world of Batman Beyond. It provides a comprehensive and enjoyable journey through the Batman animated universe.

While this viewing order is not set in stone, it offers a cohesive and engaging way to explore the different eras and storylines of Batman. Of course, feel free to mix it up or add other movies to your viewing experience, depending on your personal preferences and interests.

So grab some popcorn, don your cape and cowl, and get ready for an exciting and immersive journey into the world of Batman!