In just a few short weeks, we are going to be in a movie theater watching the new DC animated movie Batman: The Killing Joke. We still can't believe that they are finally making this movie and we are counting down the days until we can see arguably one of the best graphic novels of all time depicted on screen.
We decided to get ready for this event by watching past Batman animated movies and we are going to list our favorites.
5. Batman Beyond: Return Of The Joker
You know this is going to be quite a list when Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker is at No. 5! Batman Beyond was an animated series that took place in the future. Terry McGinnis takes over the mantle of the bat from the aging Bruce Wayne and this movie brought together both voice acting casts from the animated series as well as the Batman Beyond cast.
The story centers on Terry McGinnis and him not wanting to be Batman anymore. The Joker comes back to Gotham — which is completely unbelievable to Bruce because he saw the Joker die (again) — and we witness some extremely brutal flashbacks from the time when the Joker kidnapped Tim Drake.
Seppin refuses to spoil this film for those that haven't seen it, but we highly recommend any fan to watch this film. The movie brings together the Bat family and we finally saw an ending to Batman: The Animated Series.
4. Batman: Year One
Batman: Year One was written by acclaimed writer Frank Miller and what makes this movie even more awesome is Bryan Cranston voicing Commissioner Gordon. The story centers on Bruce Wayne and Gordon as they start their journey fighting crime in Gotham.
The movie has decent animation, but the way the film parallels each character is quietly brilliant in a way. This movie is a must for any fan.
3. Batman: The Dark Knight Returns
Batman: The Dark Knight Returns is, in our opinion, Frank Miller's best work. The story of an older Bruce Wayne was a bit risky to tell because everyone likes to envision Batman as a young man taking justice into his own hands. This version shows Bruce as older and bitter. He is plagued with nightmares and he is trying to settle into retirement, but he just can't shake the bat mantle.
He fights against old and new foes as he is drawn back in once more and we also see the epic fight against Superman. The animation is really good and you just can't beat the writing.
2. Batman: Mask Of The Phantasm
The Mask of the Phantasm may be an older film with old-school animation, but it still holds up as one of the best Batman films to date. We actually see Bruce Wayne as himself and not just glimpses of who he is without the cowl.
Bruce sees the return of one of his old love interests Andrea Beaumont and also the arrival of a new vigilante. This new vigilante is taking out the mob and Batman gets blamed for these actions.
The two best parts of this movie are Mark Hamill's portrayal of the Joker and the amazing soundtrack.
1. Batman: Under The Red Hood
Batman: Under The Red Hood is the best animated Batman film in our opinion. We may be a bit biased because Jason Todd is Seppin's favorite DC character, but the story of a Robin gone bad is just the most awesome concept to ever be imagined.
Jason Todd was Batman's second Robin. Batman caught him taking the wheels off the Batmobile when he was just a kid and Batman knew instinctively that this kid could be dangerous if not mentored to do good.
Jason grows up and is definitely rougher than his predecessor, Dick Grayson. He finds out his mother — who he thought died of a drug overdose — is alive and travels to the middle east to find her. Unfortunately, this was all orchestrated by the Joker, who beats Jason savagely with a crowbar before killing him.
Unbeknownst to Bruce, Jason is resurrected in the Lazarus Pit and five years later comes back to Gotham to confront Bruce as to why the Joker is still alive and why he didn't seek vengeance for murdering Jason. He also sets a plan in motion to control crime in Gotham and finally get his own revenge on his murderer.
He carries the title of The Red Hood and he is a great antihero in every possible way. Even thought the Lazarus Pit made him insane, there are still traces of the old Robin and Batman's teaching lingering inside of him.
We can't recommend this movie enough and we will stubbornly stand by this choice as No. 1!
Seppin's Choice — Batman vs. Robin
Rek's Choice — Batman: Bad Blood