In keeping with my theme of Batman (I told you that I’m a Batman geek), I thought I’d do a list of the best Batman animated films. I think the animated films are largely better than the live action films because they tap into something that rarely is put in the live action films. That is that the police think they are above Batman and do things to try and stop him. So for my list, I have watch all the material I can cover on this subject, that being said lets get to it.
Starting things off with #5 is The Dark Knight Returns. The deluxe version of this is incredible, covering the 4 issue comic. It follows the comic to the letter with the art style and story. I mean there is no reason why fix it if it is not broken? Peter Weller was a great voice actor for the Dark Knight and brings in a gritty, harsh tone that fits the film so well. The way he delivers his lines is so cold but it’s perfect for what the film needed. I was very happy they followed the comic so well just the reason for it not being higher on the list is that its not really my favorite of the stories they’ve told. But don’t get me wrong, all of the films I mention are the best of the best.
Coming in at #4 is Under the Red Hood. Once again The Joker is the bad guy, but this time the Dark Knight has his hands full on figuring out who the Red Hood is. It is quite a shocker and a great suspense film. The act style and action work so well. Bruce Greenwood does a great Batman and does a good gritty and angry style of Batman. He does the tragic Batman very well and the story is heartbreaking. By the last scene you feel just like Batman…angry, exhausted and pained. For a shorter film, it is one of the best Batman films that I’ve ever seen.
Onward to #3. Now while it isn’t a Batman solo film Justice League Doom shows that Batman can take anyone and anything. When the famous villains from each respective hero come together and steal Batman’s contingency plans in case the Justice League ever went rogue. This shows how prepared Batman is for anything that comes at him. Sure, as it shows in the film that the team doesn’t like this but it is necessary. It shows a dark Batman that is faced with his mistakes and must learn to outdo even his best plans. It is a terrifying reality that the heroes must face that they could ever become the thing that they fight everyday. I liked that for the film, they had Bane as Batman’s foe instead of The Joker. While The Joker is a great opponent for the Dark Knight, he is just overused and Bane is underused. The horror that Bane makes him endure is something truly terrible and remarkable. For that and the story, that is why it is my 3rd favorite Batman film.
Now for #2 and that is a different kind of Batman. The film is Batman Beyond: Return of The Joker. This is the more futuristic Batman and instead of Bruce Wayne, we have Terry McGinnis. It is one of the darker animated films and tugs at your heart like a lot of the films I mentioned. It is not a funny film, it even drives me to cry at the most shocking scene…the death of The Joker and the damage done to Robin. Now, being a person that has never really cared about Robin, this film actually makes you feel for him and feel the pain. The Joker really messed him up, damaged him perhaps forever. This is truly a great Batman film and deserves all the praise it can get.
And now for #1. This one isn’t much of a surprise as for those that know me well, that I went ahead and got a tattoo of my favorite scene in the film. That film being Batman: Mask of The Phantasm. Acting as a sort of prequel and a sequel to the animated series, it shows the trials and errors of a young Bruce Wayne. His struggle to become the vigilante that we all know and love, his struggle of trying to have his own life besides the one behind the cowl. A very insightful Alfred looking out for Bruce as he fights to become the Batman. The police are not on Batman’s side in this one and often get in his way, leading such pain. It’s another heartbreaking film that hurts but you can’t stop watching it. The film did not do very well in the theaters, mostly for it’s more mature tone and the blood and violence. It will forever be my favorite Batman film, better than all the live action films and better than any of the other animated films.
Thank you for reading and I hope you give your commentary on this. I hope you enjoyed this post and that you’ll give me your honest opinions on this. Thank you