Top 10 Favorite Animated Superhero Movies

Hello interweb, Nate here.  So DC and Marvel are no strangers to animation.  While I haven’t seen every one of these, I have seen quite a few that I’ve really enjoyed.  So today, I’m counting down the 10 I liked the best and the ones I would recommend to anyone.

To see my other Top 10s (or 5s) click here.

 

Rulez

  • Fully animated superhero movies only
    • While I usually have the “Marvel and DC Only” rule, I’m not going to use that rule for this list
  • My personal favorites
  • Not counting any of the DC Showcases and must be at least an hour long

 

Honorable Mentions

#15 – Planet Hulk: Based on the comic book story arc of the same name, Planet Hulk features Hulk being sent to an outer space planet due to the Avengers fearing his uncontrollable power.  While on said planet, Hulk becomes a gladiator and eventually manages to concur the world.  It was a really cool film and features Hulk, whose one of my favorite Marvel superheroes (barley making it onto my favorite superheroes list).  The only problem I really had for the film is the voice for Hulk as it doesn’t sound like what you’d expect Hulk to sound like.  I also like Hulk best when you see Bruce Banner struggling to keep the monster down but in the end you see him get angry and smash stuff.  Either way, Planet Hulk was still an entertaining movie and I really did enjoy it.

#14 – Ultimate Avengers: Loosely based off of Mark Millar’s The Ultimates, Ultimate Avengers is a retelling of the Avengers forming into a team.  Oddly enough, I liked Hulk better in this movie than in his actual solo movie.  Other than Ant-man, cause he’s just a jerk, I liked the portrayal of all these characters and the movie itself was a fun watch.

#13 – Batman Vs Dracula:  Before there was Batman V Superman, there was Batman Vs Dracula.  Now despite the stupid name, the movie itself was really cool and it brings us exactly what the title would imply.  It’s part of underrated The Batman cartoon series and as such I don’t think a lot of people knows about this movie.  It’s a bit more mature than you’d expect as there’s a lot of blood (although ironically no one bled) but it was an interesting fight and it was nice to see how Batman defeats Dracula (ah c’mon!  Is it really a spoiler if you know it’s gonna happen?)

#12 – Teen Titans: Trouble in Tokyo:  This is the series finally to the 2000s Teen Titans cartoon and it was really fun to watch.  Just like the series, there was a lot of humor but it also took itself seriously.  If you loved the Titans, you’ll love thee movie.

#11 – Wonder Woman:  This is how you make a good Wonder Woman movie, DCCU take Notes!  This movie stared Wonder Woman, obviously, and it gives Wonder Woman’s origin in a nice modern way.  Wonder Woman is an Amazon and as such she grew up on an island of all women, no men.  As a result, the first part of the movie she sees men as mostly pigs and the fact that Steve Trevor, whose the other main character, himself is presented as a womanizer doesn’t help.  But of course in the end, Steve learns to treat woman as people and Wonder Woman learns that not all men are sexist.  Although this movie isn’t just all about feminism and how far it goes as it also shows Wonder Woman’s Amazon warrior side with all her fights throughout the film.  If you know little about Wonder Woman, I would suggest checking out this film.

 

#10 – Superman/Batman: Apocalypse

SupermanBatman Apocolypse

Despite the fact that this focuses on Supergirl than it does on Superman or Batman, it is a really good movie.  However, this is because it’s based off of the Superman/Batman comic book storyline: Superman/Batman: The Supergirl from Krypton.  The story focuses on Supergirl crashing down to Earth and is basically on one of her origin stories from the comics (the comic book history of Supergirl is actually a lot more confusing than it should be, lol).  Now Darkseid want’s Supergirl for himself while Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman (yes, she’s also in this movie) is trying to protect Supergirl.  Really good adaption with a lot of awesome moment.

 

#9 – Justice League: Flashpoint Paradox

Justice League Flashpoint Paradox

Probably the last good DC Animated Movie (Justice League: War was meh and Justice League: Throne of Atlantis was terrible) but still a good one, and we finally got a Flash movie!  The movie is based off of Geoff John’s Flashpoint comics and quite well actually.  Barry Allen wakes up in an alternate universe and finds that he has lost his super speed.  On top of that several of the characters are different and darker: Batman’s Bruce Wayne’s father and is willing to kill, Wonder Woman and Aquaman are villains and their civilizations are at war, Superman was found by the government rather than the Kents, etc.  The universe they recreated from the comics was really interesting and the story itself was fascinating as we saw how Flash manages to get his powers back and then get back to his universe.  I especially love how they animated Flash’s super speed scenes and Flash himself is a really awesome character to do a movie about.

 

#8 – Green Lantern: First Flight

Green Lantern First Flight

Green Lantern: First Flight focuses on Hal Jordan’s origin story on becoming a Green Lantern and that’s pretty much it.  However they do it so well and this is the kind of Green Lantern movie I hope they do for the upcoming live-action movie a few years down the line.  It has fun with the mythos that the comics have created and the constructs were fun to watch.  I really liked this one scene where Hal creates a metal chair and slams an alien with it.  Hal himself is also really well done here, he’s an inexperience GL as he only recently gained the ring, however he still is fearless and want’s to do the right thing and even has the devil-may-care attitude that most Hal Jordan fans has come to expect from Hal Jordan.  If you love Green Lantern, or you know little about them and want to get into them than I would suggest checking out this film.

 

#7 – The Incredibles

The Incredibles

I have a love-hate relationship for this movie.  It’s a brilliant superhero movie that juggles being a superhero parody and commentator, having a message about embracing what makes you special, and being original.  However, I feel like it’s like Frozen where it’s a really good movie, but it’s so overrated that I kinda don’t like it as much as I used to.  But like I said, it’s a brilliant movie.  The team is similar to the Fantastic Four with Mr. Incredible having super strength like the Thing, Mrs. Incredible having stretching powers like Mr. Fantastic, Violet having Invisible Woman’s power of invisibility, and Dash having Human Torch’s personality but has super speed instead.  The movie has a lot of cool references to superhero comics and the commentary are also fun as it shows that being superheroes isn’t as fun as comics makes it look (although to be fair that sentence would be more accurate if it was that golden age or silver age comics makes being superheroes look fun as modern heroes always makes superheroes seem rather tortured and angsty).  Honestly, my only big complaints are to haw popular this film is (heck, WatchMojo.com even put it at #2…#2!)

 

#6 – World’s Finest

Batman Superman World's Finest

World’s Finest is in the same continuity as the DCAU so this is the same Batman from Batman: TAS and the same Superman from Superman: TAS.  The story focuses on Joker and Harley Quinn getting a statue made of Kryptonite and attempting to get Lex Luthor to pay them to kill Superman.  This leads a team up between Superman and Batman and that turns out exactly as you’d expect.  At first the two hate each other, but than they come to respect each other.  This would eventually lead them to form the Justice League, so this movie is a really awesome watch for fans of both characters.

 

#5 – Ben 10: Secrets of the Omnitrix

Ben 10 Secrets of the Omnitrix

Ben 10: Secrets of the Omnitrix was originally going to be the finally to the original Ben 10 series, but I think I don’t need to tell you guys how that turned out.  You can tell that the creators were putting a lot of effort into making a really good finally to such an awesome series.  The story?  Ben is fighting Dr. Animo (one of Ben’s A-listers) whose machine accidentally starts the Omnitix’s self-destruct mode that is powerful enough to destroy the universe.  Now Tetrax (an alien bounty hunter, friend of Ben’s, whose made and can alter crystals) needs to help Ben find the creator of the Omnitrix to turn off the self-destruct mode.  On top of that, every time Ben turns into one of his aliens, he accelerates the countdown.  So this becomes a race against time to power off the watch.  The movie itself is brilliantly done and all the characters are portrayed very nicely and if this did end the franchise, I honestly would have been satisfied.

 

#4 – Turtles Forever

Turtles Forever

I love the Ninja Turtles and while many would say that the 80s cartoon was the best incarnation, my favorite is the 2003 grittier reboot version.  That may mostly be due to it being the version I grew up with, but I honestly love it the best…at least before they went into the future that is, the show went downhill from there.  Turtles Forever has the original 80s turtles get teleported to the universe of the 2003 turtles along with the 80s Shredder and Krang.  All the jokes you can imagine are in here and it’s really cool and funny to see the 80s turtles, who are mostly light hearted and can’t take anything seriously, interact with the 2003 versions who are a bit darker and grittier.  I also really liked the interactions between the 80s whiny Shredder and the 2003’s sinister Shredder.  The plot has the 80s Shredder revive the 2003’s Shredder (I haven’t seen the series in a long time, I have no idea why he was missing nor why he is some weird alien-head thing) and the 2003’s Shredder discovers that there’s an entire Turtles multiverse with the main universe being Turtle Prime.  Turtle Prime is hilariously the original Mirage Comics universe where they’re even grittier and darker than the 2003’s version.  If your a fan of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and want to see a movie not produced or directed by Michael Bay, than I suggest this one (seriously, the new movie sucks).

 

#3 – Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths

Justice League Crisis on Two  Earths

If you know anything has the word “crisis” in its title, it’s going to be some type of story that deals with the multiverse.  Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths is based off of Grant Morrison’s JLA: Earth 2 graphic novel where the Justice League faces off against their evil counterpart from an alter dimension.  Instead of Superman they have Ultraman, our Wonder Woman is their Super Woman, instead of Flash they have Johnny Quick, etc.  On top of that, their Lex Luthor and Joker are superheroes.  Similarly with Turtles Forever, the plot to this story is that Owlamn, Earth 2’s evil Batman, wants to destroy the DC multiverse by destroying Earth Prime.  This obviously doesn’t bode well with the Justice League, and the go cross-dimensions to save the multiverse and everyone in it.  There are a lot of cool cameos, Earth 2 is interesting to look at, and the movie as a whole is fun to watch.  Also, Deathstroke is president of the USA!  Just pointing that out there.

 

#2 – Batman: Under the Red Hood

Batman Under the Red Hood

This movie was awesome.  And awesome is the wrong word to use here, it was that good.  The movie starts out as an adaption of Death in the Family where Joker’s killing Jason Todd (Hey, I did a bio on that guy 🙂 ). Then a mysterious vigilante comes around calling himself the Red Hood whose goals are to not stop crime, but control it.  For example, he tells a bunch of drug dealers that he’ll allow them to continue selling drugs and he’ll even give them more protection, but under the condition that they stay away from kids (something like that, I don’t remember the exact details).  Of course Batman doesn’t like this and goes after the Red Hood. The movie faithfully adapted the storyline from the comics and raised quite a few questions (granted, those questions where raised first in the comics).  Very mature, was a bit more realistic than most films, and it was very well done.

 

#1 – Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker

Batman_Beyond Return of the Joker

Just like World’s Finest, Return of the Joker takes place in the DCAU timeline but in the future.  Batman Beyond takes place about 20 years after the rest of the DCAU takes place where Bruce Wayne is too old to continue being Batman and allows a teenager named Terry McGinnis to be the new and im…uh…the new Batman.  However, the Joker returns and he’s just as young as he was 20 years ago.  How could this be?  How is Joker still alive?  How is he still that young?  These questions float around throughout the film and since Batman Beyond was created specifically for the DCAU and isn’t an adaptation of a comic, not even people who reads comics could figure out how this is.  Of course I dare not spoil the ending for you, but the ending is done quite nicely and it doesn’t feel like a cop out or too convoluted.  I also really liked how they gave some stories about the older days of Batman where Bruce Wayne was the Dark Knight.  Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker is my absolute favorite superhero film, and I suggest anybody should check it out.

 

End Poll

So my Comixplanations are still a fairly new segment of mine that I created so I can talk about things in the world of comics that my other segments wouldn’t allow me to.  So there’s a few things I want to talk about for Comixplanations and I’m wondering if you guys have anything you want me to talk about.  Maybe their something that you heard before that you want to understand better?  Or maybe there’s an event that you want to learn about but not actually go searching for and read.  I have a few suggestions below but if you have one than please don’t hesitate to comment below, on my Facebook page, or email me at sablikid626@gmail.com.

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31 comments

  1. You definitely have some heavy hitters in there! I’m happy to say that I’ve seen 9/10 of them at this point with Ben 10 being the only one that I haven’t gotten around to yet. For my top 10, off the top of my head I’d say-

    10. This is a real tough one. It’s between Green Lantern First Flight, Wonder Woman, and Dr Strange. I’m going to give First Flight the edge here, but from the three films, it’s been the longest since I’ve seen that one. I definitely need to give it a revisit.

    9. Justice League Doom. It has less action than I had been expecting to be honest, but in retrospect it was still a fun JL film.

    8. Ultimate Avengers. At least one Marvel film deserved to make the list and this one took the cake for me. I’ve seen this film almost a dozen times and it really helped establish Marvel as a legitimate contender to DC for me. The live action film even took some elements from this one.

    7. Batman/Superman Apocalypse- The final fight is still the greatest American battle of all time for me. It simply can’t be topped and shows how powerful Superman and Supergirl are.

    6. Superman Doomsday- A real heavy hitter and the battle between Superman and Doomsday was brilliant. It’s a really fun film to see.

    5. Batman/Superman Public Enemies. This film is just so much fun and it really had a lot of nonstop action.

    4. World’s Finest. When counted as a film, I certainly put it up here. The DCAU was the definitive version of ever League member and this event was a lot of fun.

    3. Justice League Secret Origins- The origin of the League as never told before. This was certainly a must have and I always like to see how a team forms.

    2. Justice League Starcrossed. It was an epic way to end the JL era and the heroes really had to dig in deep to get out of this crisis!

    1. Justice League Crisis on Two Earths. It was brilliant and I’ve seen it at least 4-5 times at this point. It embodies everything that I had wanted in a JL film.

    It is sad how the films have really started to drop lately. The last really good DC film for me was Doom and for Marvel it was Hulk Vs or Dr Strange. Technovore had some great action scenes, but the rest of it fell flat. I haven’t seen Batman vs Robin or Avengers Confidential yet though so that could change. My top 10 is really all DC with a single Marvel at this point, but there’s always time for one of the companies to throw out another great film that blows away the competition. This is really Marvel’s big chance since I’m not looking forward to the upcoming JL Gods and Monsters film.

    1. Pretty nice list, although I don’t think I’ve ever heard of Justice League Starcrossed. A few you mentioned I have heard but haven’t seen (Batman/Superman Public Enemies and Justice League Secret Origins). Personally, I feel like Justice League Flashpoint Paradox was the last good movie but i can see why some people might not like it.

      1. Starcrossed is similar to World’s Finest in that it isn’t technically a movie per say. It’s also a three part episode saga that was turned into a movie or vice versa. That being said, I highly recommend it!

        I also recommend watching Secret Origins a lot, which is another 3 episodes merged into a film. On that note, I’d actually just advise watching the complete Justice League TV show. It brings the two Justice League movies with it and I do consider it to be the best Western animated series of all time.

        Yeah, for Flashpoint, I’ve just never been a fan of alternate timelines very much. I dislike it for many of the reasons why you don’t really like the New 52. I thought that they wrecked this version’s Superman and most of the other League members weren’t that good for me. Toning down the violence would have helped as well though.

      2. Ah, I see. I looked the two up and I realized that I did see saw Starcrossed and Secret Origins but I guess for some reason I never saw it as a movie. Although if World’s Finest is a movie, there’s no reason those two shouldn’t be considered ones either. I could be wrong, but I think I’ve seen every episode of the DCAU by now with the exception of the animated movie Batman: Mask of the Phantasm that spawned from the Batman TAS.

        With alternate universes, I have a love-hate relationship with them, especially DC’s. The thing is, DC has a habit of rebooting their universe whenever they don’t like their main continuity (cases in point: Convergence,Flashpoint, Crisis on Infinite Earths,etc. ) and as such they have different versions of the same characters and some of those versions have been considered the “main” version at one point in time, while Marvel is just restarting their multiverse with secret Wars. For example, the Superman from the Golden Age and the New 52 Superman (if you could call him Superman) are two different versions of the same character. However, the Golden Age Captain America and the current Captain America (and by “current” I mean before Falcon took the mantle) is the same guy. However, Flashpoint wasn’t suppose to be a “main” DC universe and as such I’m fine with it and even interested. If the main Batman started using guns and killing, I would be ticked (understatement), but this was an experimental “what if” universe and as such I was fine with it.

      3. Yeah, that’s why I wasn’t sure if I should count those two JL events as movies either, but with World’s Finest on the list I figured that I should take the plunge. Glad to hear that you’ve already watched the DCAU, it’s so awesome that I like to revisit it every year.

        It’s true that Flashpoint will stay as a What If, but for me that’s part of the reason why I can’t get into it. I know that they’ll never fully explore the universe so it keeps me from getting attached to the characters. The Captain America example is a little iffy though. In recent plot twists, they actually changed a lot of things about the old cap. The Captain America who fought in World War 2 for a while was an alternate Cap I believe and another one from a different war was actually not Steve Rogers, but a pretender to the throne. I certainly wasn’t pleased with that.

        I would still say that DC and Marvel are more or less the same with their reboots though. I would argue that the New 52 is the main Superman until the convergance event and likewise with Cap. Modern plot twists and multiverses have shown that each reboot is its own thing, but until that point, we’re always supposed to assume that the new versions of the characters are really the same ones, just radically changed or subtlety I suppose.

      4. Sorry, ment to put this in the last comment bUt accidentally hit the send button.. what is your opinion on the New 52 Superman? Love him? Hate him? He’s your favorite superhero so I’m just curious

      5. I think the New 52 Superman is decent. I wouldn’t call him a bad character, but he’s considerably worse than DCAU Superman or really just about any of the old versions of the character. The problem is that I haven’t read a whole lot of New 52 Superman. Unchained is not canon so I don’t think that is really New 52 Superman as he even acts like Pre Crisis. For New 52, I’ve just read a couple of Action Comics stories and one volume in Superman. I think the authors went a little far with how “eager for a fight” personality went for him, but then he started to mellow out. He has shown glimpses of acting like the real Superman now and again. I don’t support the romance between him and Wonder Woman though.

        In short, I thought it was pretty fun to see a Superman who was rather quick to fight for a change. It reminded me of Medaka Kurokami from Medaka’s Box. For the first half of the series, she was reserved and basically perfect like the classic Superman. Then, after a life changing event, she became more reckless, and trigger happy like New 52 Superman. I liked both versions of her a lot and it can be difficult to say which version I prefer. For Superman, I definitely prefer his old personality, but I’ve actually grown to like his New 52 one as well.

        From the Superman continuities that I can remember, I’d rank them as DCAU Superman>>>>Golden/Silver Age Superman>>>Pre Crisis/Post Crisis Superman>>>New 52 Superman>>Injustice Superman>>>>Dark Knight Returns Superman>>>>Flashpoint Superman>>>>Gods and Monsters Superman>>All of the many other evil Supermen

      6. Alright, at least we can agree that the classic Superman is better than the New 52 version. Why exactly is the DCAU version ranked the highest? Also, where would you put Man of Steel Superman in those ranks?

      7. I meant to add in MoS Superman, but I forgot him at the last minute. I’d put him before Injustice Superman, but if he actually does become a big villain in BVS, then he will likely move down a pair of slots. Lord Superman would likely be right above MoS Superman as well.

        The DCAU Superman pretty much embodies why I love the character so much. He’s heroic to a fault, but he’ll still do anything for his friends. A good example of this is when he broke the law as he barged into Cadmus’ base to rescue the Question. He is always a law abiding citizen, but Cadmus was abusing the law so he had to step around it as well. He still wouldn’t make a habit of it though and he never lost control and harmed an innocent. Certainly no infamous neck snapping scene to be found. I’m currently in the middle of watching the full Superman series from start to finish so that I can write a review on it and Superman’s portrayal really is perfect for me. It would be literally impossible for another Superman to surpass him as the definitive Superman in my eyes. Which version if your favorite? I suppose the classic one, but from Pre Crisis-Post Crisis, Golden, or Silver?

      8. Which one is my favorite is kinda complicated. I would like to say Silver Age but his comics would get a little boring as he’s not allowed to make any mistakes as DC kinda made him to be the perfect person. The DCAU is also one of my favorites for the same reasons you stated even if he did seem a tad weaker than normal (although to be fair it did make him easier to write).

      9. Yeah, he was definitely weaker than usual there, but it was exaggerated to the point where it was funny at times. A human with shock gloves was actually giving him a fight in one of the older episodes. It was a blast and a half! The Silver Age was definitely a very good era for him. Since the villains weren’t a threat, I typically loved the comics for Superman’s witty dialogue. He really didn’t mind making a good pun when the timing was right.

      10. Yes, Aresia, or something like that. Yes, she certainly made him look pretty bad there for sure, and after he had been bragging so much. I love to poke fun at Superman so the DCAU is comedy gold for me with him. I always just like to think that he’s been holding back for so long that he sometimes forgets how strong he is and just allows people to mess with him.

      11. That was one of the greatest moments of the series! To this day, it easily ranks as one of the best punches of all time. I think that also pleased a lot of Superman fans who didn’t like how underpowered he was. It does make sense that he has to hold back a lot because if he ever struck out with full force and a punch hit someone who wasn’t at the level of Darkseid..it would be over. So, I think he has to totally ingrain this into his psyche as he can never react fully even to a surprise attack or he could hurt someone. It may make him appear to be a little weaker, but that’s just how heroic the Man of Steel is!

      12. That was certainly awesome! Flash didn’t get a big role in Unlimited so it was really good to see him get a good fight there. His speed is truly amazing and that was easily his best showing. I really liked that two part episode as it felt like we were back in the classic days of Justice League.

      13. Agreed, that’s why I love to watch it on an annual basis. I really don’t think that we will ever see another series that is quite as legendary as that one. Young Justice gave it a fair try, but without the actual Justice League as the main cast, there was never any doubt as to which show would win. The DCAU essentially created Amazo as I’ve always seen him as the definitive version. He was great!

      14. The DCAU also invented Harley Quinn and Batman Beyond and basically reinvented Mr. Freeze (they also created Live Wire but I don’t think she ever made it to the comics). It’s also thanks to the DCAU that we still have Static Shock…even ID his latest comic was a major disapointment.

      15. The DCAU definitely made some great characters! I believe that they were originally unable to use a lot of the big characters, which is why they had to make so many up, but that ultimately worked out very well for us. The DCAU was certainly incredible.

      16. Huh, interesting. I always thought they tossed in John Stewart to add racial diversity, hawk girl for gender diversity (so Wonder Woman wouldn’t be the only woman on the team) and Wally West because Barry was dead in the comics (although I personally prefer Wally so I was fine with that)

      17. Well, that would certainly make sense. It’s similar to the current Avengers roster coming up, which people have dubbed the PC (Politically Correct) Avengers. Still, I was so sure that I read about some kind of character embargo, but I couldn’t find anything about it now. Perhaps I was simply off the mark, but I’ll do some more digging on it later

      18. Yes, not counting some of the movies. I believe that I reviewed Sub Zero and Mask of the Phantasm already. That being said, I’m also watching the Batman series simultaneously so it’s actually going to be close between the two as to which series I review first.

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