This op-ed originally appeared on BOF in January of 2013. It has been updated in honor of the 75th anniversary of Batman and to include the latest animated Batman film, SON OF BATMAN
When it comes to "Batman on film," we sometimes forget that there have been several have been of the animated variety. Here are my rankings of the animated Batman movies to date. And don’t worry BOF’ers, SCOOBY DOO MEETS BATMAN isn't part of the mix. My list includes Batman-centered films only – I didn’t include any movies that featured Batman and other superhero characters. Thus, BATMAN/SUPERMAN: PUBLIC ENEMIES and JUSTICE LEAGUE: CRISES ON TWO EARTHS, for example, were excluded.
And finally, don't take my rankings too seriously as it's subjective. Plus, no matter where one of these films falls on the list, I don't think there's been a "bad" animated Batman film yet.
9) BATMAN: MYSTERY OF THE BATWOMAN
This one is the weakest of the lot, no doubt about it. Batman, Robin and Batwoman – Batwoman? – take on The Penguin and Bane. It’s alright I guess, but this is the only one that isn’t a “Must Have” on my list.
8) SON OF BATMAN
Better than I expected. A good adaptation of Grant Morrison's BATMAN AND SON from the comics.
7) BATMAN & MR. FREEZE: SUBZERO
This should’ve been BATMAN AND ROBIN. In fact, this animated movie’s release was postponed by Warner Bros. because they knew it was better than that live-action garbage!
6) THE BATMAN VS. DRACULA
Overlooked and underrated. Yeah, it’s got a supernatural vibe with a vampire being the villain, but it’s still pretty darn good. If you never saw this one – maybe because you weren’t a fan of THE BATMAN animated series – you definitely need to pick it up. Talk about one dark version of The Joker…yikes!
5) BATMAN: YEAR ONE
BATMAN: YEAR ONE -- the graphic novel – is probably my favorite Batman comic book story of all time. The animated film version is good and very well done, but being a straight-up adaptation of the source material took away much of the “Wow!” factor.
So there you have it, #8 thru #5 of my list. In part 2, I rank 'em #4 up to #1. >>> CLICK HERE FOR PART 2!