One of the many things I decided to do over the course of my Christmas holidays this year was to binge watch all of DC's vast wealth of animated films. All of them. And you know what? A bunch of them are just as good, if not better than some of the best cinematically released comic book films out there. So here I am to break down the best of them, specifically the top 5 in my opinion!
5. Justice League: Doom
Because Batman always wins. Always.
This adaptation of the 'Tower of Babel' story arc changes the villain, the setup of the Justice League and many key elements of the plot and yet manages to remain true to the original story on one hand, while condensing it sufficiently for a 77 minute film. Doom's best attribute is probably the way it effortlessly encapsulates the sprawling DC universe and doesn't shy away from it's crazier aspects, but rather embraces them as part of what makes it so iconic. Each and every character comes to life as if they leapt out of the comic pages and the story plays out incredibly organically. And yes, it's basically an advert for how great Batman is.
4. The Dark Knight Returns Parts 1 & 2
Thank you Frank Miller, for reinventing Batman
I really couldn't choose between part 1 and 2 of The Dark Knight Returns, so screw it, I'm deciding that they're just one film. Both parts work well for different reasons: Part 1 is a great inspection of Batman's psyche and shows him in a world where he isn't as well respected as we're used to, whereas Part 2 is more along the lines of questioning the very idea of heroes. It's an essential Batman story, and even though I wouldn't call myself a "fan" of Frank Miller's style, it's impossible to deny that with this, he has crafted an incredible story that has been very faithfully adapted. The only reason that this isn't higher on the list is because Superman just isn't Superman here, but the big fight between Supes and Batman almost makes up for it.
3. Superman/Batman: Public Enemies
The movie we wanted 'Batman v Superman to be.
Public Enemies is a straight up showcase for how Superman and Batman are both the best buddy-cop team in the world and also how they kick just about everyone's ass. And, you know what? It's awesome! Everything from Lex Luthor's presidency to a giant Superman/Batman mech rocket ship to the superhero rumbles are spectacular and a lot of fun. It helps that the voice duo of Kevin Conroy and Tim Daly is just perfect. The animation is top notch and we get a really good glimpse at many of the best characters in DC's universe, including a (personal favorite) cameo from Captain Marvel. Overall, this film provides a greatly entertaining watch as well as - unlike Dawn of Justice - gets Batman and Superman's names the right way around.
2. Batman: Under the Red Hood
You may have picked up on the fact that most of these center on or heavily involve Batman. That's because he's DC's most popular character and with all of the exposure they give him, they damn well better churn out some great stuff every now and again. And Under the Red Hood is some of the best that they have to offer on that front. It actually covers both the 'Death in the Family' and 'Under the Red Hood' story arcs and depicts both of them perfectly. It contains one of my favorite Jokers as well as a great story concerning Batman's failures, something we don't get to see a lot of. It's also one of the few opportunities that Black Mask gets to show why he's a worthy character in Batman's rogues gallery. Definitely worth checking out.
1. Wonder Woman
Bet you didn't see this one coming
This movie is exactly what Warner Bros. should do with the Wonder Woman film they have in development. Just make this. Seriously, it's that good. It provides its own refreshing take on the comic/Greek mythology hybrid. Not only does it capture the essence of what makes Wonder Woman such an iconic and lasting hero, but it also tackles the (supposed) sexism in the character's history both tactfully and meaningfully. It doesn't come across as sexist but neither does it ignore the gender politics that are so fundamental to the character. It also has some of the most vibrant and organic animation you're likely to find anywhere, leading to some truly memorable moments, especially within the action scenes. Also, can we just cast Nathan Fillion as Steve Trevor right now? Please? If he's too old to do Green Lantern then just make him this guy. Cause he's just awesome in the film.
Those are my top 5 DC animated films, if you liked this article don't hesitate to check out my YouTube channel, Eneition.
What do you guys think? Agree? Disagree? Either way, feel free to share your thoughts below and until next time guys, enjoy your lives!