Here’s how to watch all the Batman animated movies in order

Batman-Mask-Phantasm

When you think of Batman, a series of images probably flash before your eyes. The Dark Knight of the comics, surveying Gotham City through slanting rain from an impossibly high gargoyle. The Caped Crusader of the 1960s TV show, running through Gotham docks with a bomb he just can’t lose. A devilish silhouette leaping across a stylish art deco rooftop in the opening titles of Batman: The Animated Series.

Batman has won a firm place in popular culture by being uncannily adaptable, and there’s no doubt his animated incarnations have played a massive part. Many still regard Kevin Conroy’s portrayal of the Dark Knight in Batman: The Animated Series as the definitive incarnation. Developed by Bruce Timm, Paul Dini, and Mitch Brian, the show is a defining chapter in the Dark Knight’s career. Its continuity has endured through spin-off movies and comics for an impressive three decades. But that brooding, square-jawed Batman isn’t the Gotham’s only animated guardian. 

Animating the Dark Knight

Batman Super Friends
Image via Hanna Barbera

Batman’s animated career began with cameos in Filmation’s Superman series during the late 1960s. He’d take a more significant role in subsequent series, including Hanna-Barbera’s Super Friends and Batman: The Animated Series. It would be the feature spin-off from that latter series that would start his animated career. Oddly for the Dark Knight, but fortunately for us, he hasn’t looked back since.

The result has been a growing collection of animated features over the last three decades. Often these are unconnected, reflecting different eras and styles of the Dark Knight’s diverse career. That means there’s a Dark Knight for all seasons, whether you prefer your Batman Lego or Ninja. 

In 2007, Warner Bros. Pictures established a regular schedule of movies under the banner DC Universe Animated Original Movies. These regular direct-to-video features have proved to be highly successful, although they haven’t attempted to provide a continuity like their live-action counterparts in the DC Extended Universe. 

Batman is by far the most featured character in DC’s animated features, whether taking the lead or as a crucial part of an ensemble. Unsurprisingly, his animated adventures take a varied approach. Among new stories, attempts to bring classic comic story arcs to the screen have received a mixed reception. If you recognize some of the names or have read the original comic arcs, don’t expect the animated movie to head in the same direction as its inspiration. The animated adaptations often take a path, changing the plot to suit the medium, for better or worse. 

Are you looking to catch up? We’ve collected together every animated feature starring Batman in order of release for your viewing pleasure. Although there’s no set continuity, we’ve also collected them in sub-themes if you’d prefer to watch them in groups. 

Every Batman animated film in order

Image via: Warner Bros. Pictures
  • Batman: Mask of the Phantasm (1993)
  • Batman: Subzero (1998)
  • Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker (2000)
  • Batman: Mystery of the Batwoman (2003)
  • The Batman vs. Dracula (2005)
  • Justice League: The New Frontier (2008)
  • Batman: Gotham Knight (2008)
  • Superman/Batman: Public Enemies (2009)
  • Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths (2010)
  • Superman/Batman: Apocalypse (2010)
  • Under the Red Hood (2010)
  • DC Super Friends (2010)
  • Batman: Year One (2011)
  • Justice League: Doom (2012)
  • The Dark Knight Returns – Part 1 (2012)
  • The Dark Knight Returns – Part 2 (2013)
  • Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox (2013)
  • JLA Adventures: Trapped in Time (2014)
  • Justice League: War (2014)
  • Son of Batman (2014)
  • Batman: Assault on Arkham (2014)
  • The Lego Movie (2014)
  • Justice League: Throne of Atlantis (2015)
  • Batman vs. Robin (2015)
  • Justice League: Gods and Monsters (2015)
  • Batman Unlimited: Animal Instincts (2015)
  • Batman Unlimited: Monster Mayhem (2015)
  • Batman Unlimited: Mech vs. Mutants (2016)
  • Batman: Bad Blood (2016)
  • Justice League vs. Teen Titans (2016)
  • Batman: The Killing Joke (2016)
  • Batman: Return of the Caped Crusaders (2016)
  • Justice League Dark (2017)
  • The Lego Batman Movie (2017)
  • Batman and Harley Quinn (2017)
  • Batman vs. Two-Face (2017)
  • Batman: Gotham by Gaslight (2018)
  • Batman Ninja (2018)
  • The Death of Superman (2018)
  • Teen Titans GO! To the Movies (2018)
  • Scooby-Doo! & Batman: The Brave and the Bold (2018)
  • Reign of the Supermen (2019)
  • The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part (2019)
  • Justice League vs. the Fatal Five (2019)
  • Batman vs. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2019)
  • Batman Hush (2019)
  • Superman: Red Son (2020)
  • Justice League Dark: Apokolips War (2020)
  • Batman: Death in the Family (2020)
  • Batman: Soul of the Dragon (2021)
  • Batman: Long Halloween – Part 1 (2021)
  • Batman: Long Halloween – Part 2 (2021)
  • Injustice (2021)

Watching by theme

Batman Hush
Image via Warner Bros. Pictures

As with Batman’s live-action movie career, there’s no direct continuity running between all his animated appearances. However, there are separate continuities where groups of the films benefit from being watched together — a far easier way to break down your Batman viewing.

Superman/Batman

Superman Batman Apocalypse
Image via Warner Bros. Pictures

Features inspired by DC’s Superman/Batman title.

  • Superman/Batman: Public Enemies (2009)
  • Superman/Batman: Apocalypse (2010)

Justice League

Justice League Doom
Image via Warner Bros. Pictures

This continuity is mainly based on JLA storylines written by Grant Morrison and Mark Waid in 2000.

  • Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths (2010)
  • Justice League: Doom (2012)

The ‘Dark Knight Returns’ Universe

Image via: Warner Bros. Pictures

A darker continuity based on Frank Miller’s definitive Batman story arcs 

  • Batman: Year One (2011)
  • Batman: The Dark Knight Returns Pt. 1 (2012)
  • Batman: The Dark Knight Returns Pt. 2 (2013)

DC Animated Original Movie Universe

Image via: Warner Bros. Pictures

The core shared universe of DC animated movies. This continuity started in the wake of DC’s New 52 reboot and is strongly influenced by that era.

  • Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox (2013)
  • Justice League: War (2014)
  • Son of Batman (2014)
  • Justice League: Throne of Atlantis (2015)
  • Batman vs. Robin (2015)
  • Batman: Bad Blood (2016)
  • Justice League vs. Teen Titans (2016)
  • Justice League Dark (2017)
  • Constantine: City of Demons (web series later compiled into a film) (2018)
  • Teen Titans: The Judas Contract (2017)
  • Suicide Squad: Hell to Pay (2018)
  • The Death of Superman (2018)
  • Reign of the Supermen (2019)
  • Batman: Hush (2019)
  • Wonder Woman: Bloodlines (2019)
  • Justice League Dark: Apokolips War (2020)

The Tomorrowverse

Batman-The-Long-Halloween
Image via: Warner Bros. Pictures

Named after the first film in the series, inspired by one of Superman’s nicknames, this smaller shared universe revolves around the early years of DC’s greatest heroes.

  • Superman: Man of Tomorrow (2020)
  • Justice Society: World War II (2021)
  • Batman: The Long Halloween Part One (2021)
  • Batman: The Long Halloween Part Two (2021)
  • Green Lantern: Beware My Power (2022)

DC Animated Universe

Image via: Warner Bros. Pictures

Confusingly named, this is the continuity that started with Batman: The Animated Series and continued with Batman Beyond

  • Batman: Mask of the Phantasm (1993)
  • Batman & Mr. Freeze: SubZero (1998)
  • Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker (2000) 
  • Batman: Mystery of the Batwoman (2003)
  • Batman and Harley Quinn (2017)
  • Justice League vs. the Fatal Five (2019)

The Batman universe

The Batman vs Dracula
Image via Warner Bros. Pictures

Not to be confused with the Dark Knight’s latest movie incarnation, Batman’s second most successful animated series spawned one spin-off feature.

  • The Batman vs. Dracula (2005)

Return of the Caped Crusader universe

Image via: Warner Bros. Pictures

This continuity was a belated continuation of the 1960s Batman TV series.

  • Batman: Return of the Caped Crusaders (2016)
  • Batman vs. Two-Face (2017)

Other Batman universes

Batman Gotham Knight
Image via: Warner Bros. Pictures

These films and anthologies are spin-offs from larger media universes.

  • Batman: Gotham Knight (2008) — set between Batman Begins and The Dark Knight in the Nolan film universe 
  • Batman: Assault on Arkham (2014) — set in the Arkham videogame universe (2014)
  • Injustice (2021) — a retelling of the Injustice videogame universe
  • The Lego Movie (2014)
  • The Lego Batman Movie (2017)
  • The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part (2019)

Standalone features

Image via: Warner Bros. Pictures

After the above-mentioned films, we are left with a bunch of standalone movies to watch for the complete animated Batman viewing experience.

  • Justice League: The New Frontier (2008)
  • Under the Red Hood (2010)
  • DC Super Friends (2010)
  • JLA Adventures: Trapped in Time (2014)
  • Justice League: Gods and Monsters (2015)
  • Batman Unlimited: Animal Instincts (2015)
  • Batman Unlimited: Monster Mayhem (2015)
  • Batman Unlimited: Mech vs. Mutants (2016)
  • Batman: The Killing Joke (2016)
  • Batman: Gotham by Gaslight (2018)
  • Batman Ninja (2018)
  • Teen Titans GO! To the Movies (2018)
  • Scooby-Doo! & Batman: The Brave and the Bold (2018)
  • Batman vs. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2019)
  • Superman: Red Son (2020)
  • Batman: Death in the Family (2020)
  • Batman: Soul of the Dragon (2021)

Coming Soon

Image via: DC Comics

Few details have been revealed about DC’s next set of animated movies. While it’s likely that Gotham will feature in Battle of The Super Sons, due Fall 2022, it looks like the baton will mainly rest with the next generation for the remainder of 2022. However, with an animated trilogy adaptation of the epic Crisis on Infinite Earths rumored, it’s not going to be long before the Dark Knight is animated once again!