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  • Writer's pictureJustin McConnell

Super-ior Animation

If you love super hero or comic book films, but feel like DC has lacked the quality of Marvel's live action adaptations, you need to check out their animated movies. For years now, they have been producing animated features which adapt their more famous comic story arcs.

While the live action movies are often beholden to the creative direction of producers and studios and other outside factors, the animated features tend to stay closer to the source material. For instance, while elements of Frank Miller's book series The Dark Knight Returns were used in Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice, the animated two-part movie of Miller's story is nearly a shot-for-shot remake of the book.

BvS Director Zack Snyder was obviously a fan of Frank Miller's iconic series.

That's not to say they are perfect straight adaptations. DC has made a few missteps in their animated movies as well, usually just to pad out the story line and increase the running time of the film. Recently and most notably, the sexual relationship between Batman and Batgirl in The Killing Joke. This was never a part of the original graphic novel, but it seems to have been added to build up the relationship between Batman and Batgirl. In this instance though, it comes off as bad fan fiction.

Dear Penthouse Forum...

Surprisingly, these films usually tend to skew more toward adult audiences with their language, violence, and sexual relationships. They definitely aren't for kids. But that's not always a bad thing. The animation in these films is excellent, the voice acting is always top-notch featuring notable talents of actors such as Rosario Dawson, Kevin Conroy, Mark Hamill, Rainn Wilson, Michelle Monaghan, Nathan Fillion, Rebecca Romijn, Jerry O'Connell, John DiMaggio, and hundreds more.

The good news is that you can usually find these movies streaming on services like Hulu, Netflix, Amazon Prime, HBO Now/Go, and on the upcoming DC Universe streaming app.

If you would like something that is a little more kid-friendly (and doesn't have Batgirl and Batman bumping uglies on a rooftop), you can never go wrong with the multiple animated Bruce Timm led television series in the form of Batman: The Animated Series, Superman: The Animated Series, The New Batman Adventures, Batman Beyond, Static Shock, The Zeta Project, Justice League, and Justice League Unlimited. Some of these entire series can be found on Amazon Prime Video. Also, a few of the animated movies even fall into this connected universe, such as the critically acclaimed Batman: Mask of the Phantasm and Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker.

If you like DC comics, I recommend giving all of the animated films a shot. A lot of them are only have a run time of an hour to about 90 minutes and the quality ranges from "ok" to "spectacular". Here's a pretty comprehensive list of films and their descriptions from Wikipedia if you would like to research where to start or what interests you.


If you like movies in general, be sure to check out the Next Level Nerd Movie Podcast where we discuss films that weren't critical or box office successes that we love. Just click one of the links below and send us some feedback in the form of likes and reviews. Spread the word. Spread the Nerd.




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