DC Comics Animated Films: Ranked
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The last part of the adaptation of Frank Miller's graphic novel is really dark. But oh my, it's damn good. It's quite brutal and bloody stuff, as well. Not really anything for young children. Unless they can find some enjoyment in The Joker going on a real killing spree. And speaking of The Joker, I liked this version of him a lot. Simply because of his brutality. But this last part is honestly all about the confrontation between Batman and Superman. Which is handled perfectly. Note that I haven't read the graphic novel, so I don't know how its been interpreted, but from what I've understood, it follows Miller's vision pretty closely.
I think the lead up to final fight against Superman is build up quite well throughout Batman's fight against The Joker. It's the final confrontation between those two, that leads up to Batman and Superman's final confrontation and it's quite powerful stuff that hits on an emotional scale and on a "holy shit, that's awesome" level.
The LEGO Batman Movie (2017)
Batman were one of the greater parts of the surprisingly excellent The Lego Movie and it's not surprising to see that he got his own film. It's almost a masterpiece. It's spoof comedy done absolutely right. The film is filled with references, but skillfully manages to avoid the trap of having the references being the jokes themselves, but instead the filmmakers have managed to cleverly incorporate the references into jokes that serves the film in a delicate way. It goes without saying that The LEGO Batman Movie is hilarious. It's also spectacularly colorful and heartfelt, and a treat to behold.
I've never read the Frank Miller graphic novel, which is something I seriously should do. So upon seeing this film I had no clue what it was all about, and I couldn't compare it to the graphic novel in any way. Still, it's a film that I enjoyed.
It's a film that succeeds on a emotional level more than anything. The film perfectly captures Bruce Wayne's inner struggle when he is no longer Batman, and there's a whole layer of depression and fear surrounding Gotham and the film itself. Making the moment when Batman returns feel extremely powerful, with his climatic final battle stand out as the rise of Batman. It's done exceptionally well on an emotional level.
I do have some slight issues with it, though. Robin. No matter what, I can't bring myself to like Robin. No matter how important she (it's a female here) is as a character, I've always disliked Robin. I do also think that some of the voice acting is a bit monotonous and the animation in the beginning looked cheap and hastily done. But I thought this was overall quite good.
Batman: Assault on Arkham (2014)
More or less a Suicide Squad film, as the main plot of this film is centred around that gang of criminals, while Batman is only popping up here and then. It's a very mature and adult-themed film, almost pushing the boundaries of its PG-13 rating. It's violent. Heads are exploding and blood is all over the place. Then there's some skin shown, and some language as well. This feels very unusual for a DC animated film, but it's very much a welcome addition.
Besides that, Assault on Arkham is quite entertaining. The different personalities of the Suicide Squad makes for some fun banter and arguing. Not every piece of dialogue manages to hit, but my overall impression is that this was a very good film.
Batman: The Killing Joke (2016)
The Killing Joke is like going to a restaurant with a friend. Your main idea was to just go straight for the main course. The meat and potatoes. But suddenly your friend decides that he wants an appetizer. It's not something you really wanted, but you decide to order one as well. You get it, you eat it and you conclude with that it was decent enough. The main course arrives and it tastes and feels a lot better, though you don't really enjoy as much as you should due to having that "meh" appetizer previously. So while you leave satisfied, you also feel that your vist could have been a lot better.
This is essentially what I feel about The Killing Joke. There's a nearly 30 minutes long prologue in the beginning that is entirely focused around Batgirl until the actual Killing Joke begins. The problem with this is that this prologue is not really good and it is especially weak when compared to the Killing Joke partThe Killing Joke and hearing Mark Hamill voice these iconic Joker lines is just great.
Superman vs. the Elite (2012)
This short Superman vehicle might have some lesser impressive (and possibly too colourful?) animation, but with a well-written script, that boasts a very relevant story with some quite interesting moral questions, this Superman film turned out to be rather good.
With so many live-action failures of the Man of Steel, it's nice to see that there are animated incarnation of him that manages to deliver a fun time, that's still dark and morally complex.
Superman: Doomsday (2007)
Batman: Mask of the Phantasm (1993)
After hearing so many great things about this film, I must say that I'm slightly disappointed. My main issue with the film is how it was structured, as the constant flashbacks kept pulling me out of the film with information that I didn't really feel I needed. It also hurts the film that the Phantasm is a mystery that's not that interesting to solve.
But oh my did I love the Joker here? You bet I did. Mark Hamill as the Joker is the best thing ever, and watching this incarnation of the greatest comic book villain ever was great.
Batman vs. Robin (2015)
Batman vs. Robin has a lot of great thing going for it. The animation is good, the action sequences are great and the whole thing surrounding the Court of Owls is a lot of fun. The problem with this films is all about the characters and the motivation they have, particularly Robin. As well as few things that really doesn't make sense.
The one thing that really pulled me out of the film was how easily Robin managed to go hand-to-hand with both Batman and Nightwing. Robin, while being a skilled fighter, is still just a kid. Batman and Nightwing are grown men who are also extremely skilled fighters, even more so. Yet Robin beats them. I'm also struggling to buy Robin's motivation for the things he ends up doing, and it feels more like it's just there to drive the plot forward. It doesn't feel natural. It's also not necessary. The film didn't need Robin going up against Batman, and the film would be better by simply focusing on the Court of Owls.
Son of Batman (2014)
The problem with Son of Batman is that the story is not particularly interesting. Who really cares about Batman's son? I certainly don't. It doesn't help that he's quite annoying either. The film is also bugged down by being far too predictable.
The animation is decent, if only slightly above average. The voice acting is fine, and I liked how Batman and Talia was represented here. There are solid moments here, but not nearly enough.
Batman: Gotham Knight (2008)
I previously created the list, that was supposed to include every film that was based upon something something DC. I've now decided to separate live action and animation into two different lists.
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list by Bml93
Published 5 years, 9 months ago
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