Skip To Content

    These 10 Awesome Animated Batman Movies Prove That Cartoons Aren't Just For Kids

    Move over live-action Batmans!

    There have been a lot of blockbuster live-action Batman movies over the years, and many of them are totally rad. However, my favorite stories of the World's Greatest Detective are animated. Since the incredible Batman: the Animated Series from the early '90s (a must-see), DC has pumped out lush, funny, dark, and exciting animated movies and TV shows that – in my opinion – have made even the MCU look stale. Though the best starting point for any beginner is definitely the animated series, I put together a list of my personal favorite animated films of the Caped Crusader.

    Fox Kids

    10. Batman: The Dark Knight Returns, Parts 1 & 2 (2012)

    Superman and Batman facing off in front of snow-covered building
    DC Entertainment/Warner Bros. Animation

    This double-feature plays out like a nightmare of an aging Bruce Wayne. Here we get Bruce and Gotham at their lowest as they're threatened by monstrous gangs, wildfires, Joker, and even Superman!

    9. Batman: Year One (2011)

    James Gordon holding a gun as he battles some villains running around the streets of Gotham
    DC Entertainment/Warner Bros. Animation

    In Year One, Bruce is a young, lost man who doesn't yet know his place in a deteriorating city. James Gordon moves to Gotham and joins the extremely corrupt police department. It also features the voices of Ben McKenzie and Bryan Cranston.

    8. Batman: Assault on Arkham (2014)

    Harley Quinn leading the suicide squad into the depths of Arkham Asylum
    DC Entertainment/Warner Bros. Animation

    This movie is pure fun. Harley Quinn is front and center and takes a suicide mission to its most chaotic limits. Absolute blast!

    7. Batman & Mr. Freeze: Subzero (1998)

    Mr. Freeze crashing a formal party with two polar bears in tow
    DC Entertainment/Warner Bros. Animation

    This is one of the two feature films that were extensions of the '90s animated series. This movie continues the story of the show's best episode, Heart of Ice, and follows Mr. Freeze's quest to save his wife at all costs.

    6. Batman: Hush (2019)

    Catwoman, Superman, and Batman joining forces to fight crime
    DC Entertainment/Warner Bros. Animation

    A recent addition to the animated Batman movies, Hush is extremely dense yet fun. We get all the big characters in one exciting, twisty movie. Plus, there's finally an on-screen love story that Batman and Catwoman deserve.

    5. Batman: Soul of the Dragon (2021)

    Batman and a group of people preparing to battle a bunch of bad guys
    DC Entertainment/Warner Bros. Animation

    This one might be recency bias, but I can't help but put this 2021 movie near the top. This film features a '70s setting, Kung Fu, and a great cast including Michael Jai White!

    4. Batman: Under the Red Hood (2010)

    Red Hood pointing a gun at Batman
    DC Entertainment/Warner Bros. Animation

    This is a gut-wrenching, action-packed film soaked in tragedy. This is easily one of the most engrossing Batman movies out there.

    3. The Lego Batman Movie (2017)

    A lego-shaped Batman and Robin interacting with each other
    Warner Animation Group/DC Entertainment/Lego System A/S

    What can I say? This movie's a visual and reference theme park for all DC fans and extremely funny. Will Arnett, Zach Galifianakis, Michael Cera, Mariah Carey, and loads more provide the iconic voices.

    2. Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker (2000)

    an eerie Joker shrouded in shadows with glowing red eyes and holding a Joker card
    Warner Animation Group/DC Entertainment

    Batman Beyond is another animated series that was made in the late '90s, set in the future when Bruce Wayne is retired from vigilante work and has a new, smart-mouth protege as the new Batman. The feature film brings back Mark Hamill's wickedly entertaining and sick-minded Joker, and the new Batman does not know what's in store for him.

    1. And lastly, Batman: Mask of the Phantasm (1993)

    the bat signal flashing in the sky above gotham city and batman speeding towards it in the bat mobile
    Warner Animation Group/DC Entertainment

    The only theatrically released film on this list, it can be argued this is the greatest Batman film ever made. This was an extension of the animated series and brought to the screen the incredible voice talents of Kevin Conroy as Bruce/Batman and Mark Hamill as the Joker. This movie is full of haunted pasts, heartbreak, hope, and stirring commentary on generational violence.