For Part 1 which ranks movies #8 thru #5, CLICK HERE
With the release of BATMAN: THE DARK KNIGHT RETURNS, Part 2 imminent, I got to thinking about previous animated Batman films and decided to put together a list of what I think are the best. Honestly, they’ve all been relatively good, SCOOBY DOO MEETS BATMAN excluded, so it was tough to rank 'em.
Don’t worry BOF’ers, SCOOBY DOO MEETS BATMAN isn't part of the mix -- it didn't meet my critera! Anyway…
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.
So here you go folks, BOF’s list of the top eight animated Batman films of all time! Well, at least the top eight to date…
4) BATMAN: UNDER THE RED HOOD
I didn't like the comic book story that it’s based on, but I did dig the movie on which it's based. In fact, I like the movie WAY better than the comic book. They should’ve left Jason Todd dead dammit!
3) BATMAN: THE DARK KNIGHT RETURNS, Parts 1 & 2
Based on arguably the greatest comic book graphic novel of all-time, the animated film adaptation does not disappoint. Having Peter Weller voice the 50ish Bruce Wayne/Batman was an awesome choice as was Ariel Winter as the Carrie Kelly version of Robin. Seeing that “Tunnel of Love” Batman/Joker showdown brought to life (sorta) was nothing short of awesome.
The only reason that this didn’t make #2 on my list is because it was a straight-up adaptation. Not a big fan of those sort of productions because, well, I know what happens beginning to end. Regardless of my petty criticism, it’s totally the best of the "DCU Animated PG-13 Films.”
2) BATMAN BEYOND: RETURN OF THE JOKER (Uncut)
I was always a fan of BATMAN BEYOND, but this film made me appreciate it even more. Yes, the Batman here is Terry, but it’s also one topnotch Bruce-Batman/Joker story. If they ever get around to making a live-action BATMAN BEYOND trilogy of films, I hope some aspects of this story is used for one of them.
1) BATMAN: MASK OF THE PHANTASM
This film came out in the early 90s and was actually a theatrical release. It didn’t to all that great in terms of box office performance. Here’s the irony: PHANTASM just might be the best Batman film, animated or live-action, that was released that decade -- BATMAN ’89 included. Thus, the best Batman film of the 90s (including 1989) was animated!
So there you have it, BOF’s – and I am BOF, by the way – list of the best animated Batman films of all-time. Agree? Disagree? Regardless, they are all films that Batman fans should be proud to call, well, a “Batman film.” And here’s hoping that we have many more to add to the list in the future!