If you’re looking for a consistent way to watch the superheroic adventures of DC’s premier superteam as they take on a multiverse of evil, animation is the way to go.
The missteps and confusion of DC’s live-action universe have stolen a lot of the thunder — and that’s not just Shazam! and Black Adam. On the animated side, DC’s superheroes have enjoyed much more consistency. Over more than a decade, a string of entertaining movies has been released, mostly offering variety, stunning soundtracks, compelling animation, and superb voice casts.
The DC Animated Universe (DCAU) is where you find most of them, featuring many incredible adaptations and twists on DC’s greatest comic book arcs. Of course, the Justice League is at the top of the pile of heroes and villains.
Drawing on the legend
DC has built an impressive chain of high-quality animated movies inspired by the definitive classic of Batman: The Animated Series. In 2007, the DCAU began in earnest, mixing continuities and focusing on different characters over three or four animated movies each year. While it officially kicked off with Superman: Doomsday, inspired by 1993’s The Death of Superman arc, Big Blue didn’t take long to recover and join the League. The second DCAU movie Justice League: The New Frontier (2008), drew on Darwyn Cooke’s DC: The New Frontier, kicking off a new era for the superteam in animation.
Not every animated feature featuring the Justice League is part of the DCAU, but it forms the bulk of our complete watch list. The league continuity that developed in the DCAU stretched for an impressive 15 movies, and it’s worth catching them in order to enjoy the surprising, emotional, and action-packed places the story goes.
Here’s how to watch every feature-length animated adventure of the Justice League in order.
Justice League: The New Frontier (2008)
It all begins with this origin story, where the Earth’s mightiest heroes form a superteam to defeat a terrifying entity intent on destroying humanity. For some Silver Age heroes like Green Lantern, who join ranks with Golden Age icons like Superman and Wonder Woman, this was their animated feature debut.
Justice League: Crisis On Two Earths (2010)
It didn’t take long for a crisis to appear. This movie pitted the League against the parallel universe threat of the Crime Syndicate, taking its inspiration from Crisis on Earth-Three! in the pages of the Justice League of America and the JLA: Earth 2 graphic novel. It was initially developed as a feature-length spin-off from the successful Justice League animated series.
Justice League: Doom (2010)
A follow-up to Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths, this was the DCAU’s first sequel. As the League recovers from their universe-crossing fight, immortal Vandal Savage unites key villains to destroy them. It’s a reworking of Mark Waid’s brilliant comic arc, JLA: Tower of Babel.
Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox (2013)
Adapting the universe-changing Flashpoint event, this feature relives the reality-altering consequences of Barry Allen’s attempt to change history to save his mother. Contrary to the title, the new timeline Allen accidentally creates resets the powers, abilities, and friendships of the one-time Justice Leaguers in a universe where the superteam never formed. Like the comic arc, this kicked off a new animated continuity for the Justice League, called the DC Animated Movie Universe (DCAMU).
Justice League: War (2014)
An immediate follow-up in the DCAMU, War doesn’t mess around as the League faces off an invasion by Darkseid and the forces of Apokolips. The tyrant hits on the brilliant idea of abducting and brainwashing Superman but counts against Batman staging a one-man rescue mission.
Justice League: Throne of Atlantis (2015)
This standalone sequel to War concentrates on Aquaman, providing an origin and quite a few similarities to the live-action feature Aquaman that would smash through box office three years later.
Justice League: Gods And Monsters (2015)
A standalone Elseworlds adventure that concentrates on the trinity of familiar icons but with unfamiliar new origins in a parallel reality. This twisty movie inspired three one-shot comics delving into the past of the three main heroes.
Justice League Vs. Teen Titans (2016)
The Teen Titans debut was in this scrap with the Justice League, a scenario only made possible when the older superteam is possessed by the dark forces of the demon king Trigon. Damian Wayne is at the heart of the feature, having been introduced to DCAMU continuity in the Son of Batman film.
Justice League Dark (2016)
It sounds like a bit of a cheat, but the magical and supernatural equivalent of the Justice League joins forces with definitive League member Batman in this movie. Once again, the main superteam is mostly out of the picture, leaving the Dark League, including John Constantine, Deadman, and Zantanna, to shine.
The Death Of Superman (2018)
The DCAU kicked off with one adaptation of the last Son of Kryton’s famous death, but returned 11 years later to do it properly. Superman’s fatal battle with Doomsday is only half the story, as the rest of the League is left to deal with the consequences of the death of their leader and talisman.
Reign Of The Supermen (2019)
Just like the comics, the Death of Superman was followed by a unique whodunit where several contenders appear claiming to be Superman reborn. Completing the epic early 90s story arc, it’s an excellent gateway for other lesser-known superheroes of the DC universe to join the Justice League.
Justice League Vs. The Fatal Five (2019)
This step away from the usual continuity returned to the original Justice League series timeline, acting as a continuation of Justice League Unlimited. It’s a time-twisting tale, as the superheroes contend with villains from the far future intent on undoing the timeline.
Justice League Dark: Apokolips War (2020)
Darkseid returns in this epic conclusion to DCAMU continuity. Picking up elements from event comic arcs Darkseid War, Final Crisis, and Futures End, it finds the remnants of the Justice League taking a final stand against the seemingly unstoppable forces of Apokolips. After their more family-friendly battle against the Fatal Five, this may be the Justice League’s darkest hour in animation.
DC League of Super-Pets (2022)
Away from the DCAU, and currently the Justice Leagues’ last appearance on the big screen, this is more about the pets. This computer-animated movie sees the super-powered companions of League members coming to the aid of their better-known humans when the League is, you guessed it, captured once again.