DCAU Movies ranked: Top 10 DC movies
The DC Animated Universe (DCAU), has been a strong vertical of Warner Bros. Animation. DCAU movies have always performed well with the fans. And are adored for recreating the feel of reading a comic book, only with more vibrancy and excitement.
DCAU movies 2020
In 2020, the current continuity of the DCAU movies came to an end, in order to start out and build another fresh world with different takes and storylines on the same characters. The first installment of this new timeline is Superman: Man of Tomorrow. Which gave us a somewhat different origin story for Superman and tried to kick off a new universe for DC stories to take place in.
This film will be followed by the upcoming JSA movie. Which takes place in the same world, evident by the exact same animation style used in both movies. Before settling into the new movies though, this article will go over the old ones. A lot of them deserve far more attention and credit than they received. So here is a list of the top ten DCAU movies from the old DC animated continuity.
This list is based on personal opinion. I can’t speak for everyone else but would be curious to know their rankings and how our lists compare against each other.
So the previous continuity contained a total of fifteen movies, not all of which will be mentioned in this list. Mainly because I think they all rank in the same place and in my opinion haven’t been revolutionary enough to break into the top ten. So I’m sorry if films like Suicide Squad: Hell to Pay, Son of Batman, or Justice League: Throne of Atlantis was on your list. Because they haven’t made mine.
DCAU Movies list (Ranked)
Number 10 – Wonder Woman: Bloodlines
This movie acts as a really good teaser, or advertisement to prove just how rich the Wonder Woman part of the DC universe is. It shows audiences how Diana Prince/Wonder Woman has so much potential as a character not only in terms of her personality, powers, etc.
But also as someone with such rich mythology behind her, that can feature really great villains, supporting characters, and a lot of fascinating worldbuilding. Bloodlines take us on a tour of Wonder Woman’s own little corner of the DCAU movies. Giving us brief glimpses of her villains, her abilities, and all the possible places this character could go. And what she could represent if done right.
However, while all the elements are here, they just don’t mesh together to form the kind of amazing movie this could be. The script isn’t as good as it should be and could have done with a better structure. There is also a supposed “surprise” in the third act, but with minimal foreshadowing, it makes very little effect on the viewing experience.
The movie also has a mysterious villain named Doctor Cyber whose identity is never revealed to Diana until the post-credit scene, which is quite a bad place to resolve one of your main storylines. And while comic book fans know the identity of Doctor Cyber. And will be able to keep up with the events taking place. I don’t think anyone who isn’t already a Wonder Woman fan would watch this movie and gain a lot from it, only because it’s inaccessible to the mainstream. Wonder Woman: Bloodlines makes it on the list largely because of its immense potential and exploration of the Wonder Woman mythology.
Number 9 – Batman: Hush
Batman: Hush is a fine movie. But it’s just that, fine. One of the major choices that made a movie based on one of Batman’s iconic storylines fall so low on the list is that the movie chose to change the twist and ending of the iconic storyline. While the movie does a really good job showcasing Batman’s relationship with Catwoman/Selena Kyle and features some really good guest appearances. It doesn’t quite deliver the way it should have.
This movie also suffers from being somewhat inaccessible to mainstream audiences. Only someone largely familiar with Batman and his comic book adventures will be able to keep themselves engaged throughout the movie.
Number 8 – Teen Titans: The Judas Contract
One of the things that the DCAU movies really got right is their version of the Titans. Right from the line-up, the storylines, and recreating that unique dynamic these characters share in the comics. All of those things not only make them a worthy addition to the DCAU but also remind everyone why the Titans are so great, to begin with. This movie serves as a solid watch and quite a good adaptation of the classic comic book storyline.
What doesn’t quite work for the movie is its silliness. Even though some of it may be from the comics, I think that as times change one needs to realize how certain things need to be retconned to suit newer audiences. You’ll know exactly what I mean when you watch the film.
Number 7 – Justice League Dark
Justice League Dark focuses on the magic-based characters of the DCAU movies. This movie does a really good job establishing why there needs to be a special team like this who can deal with threats that the Justice League would not be able to handle. All the characters in the movie are really compelling and audiences will be sure to quickly root for all of them.
The movie also offers stellar visuals. One, in particular, that will be sure to stay with audiences long after they’ve watched it. The story in the movie also delivers in that it is indeed very dark and macabre when compared to other DC stories. The script does falter at times. There are a few things that aren’t set up as well as they should be. That said these characters and the world they’re in is so intriguing that it makes Justice League Dark more than deserving to have a spot on this list.
Number 6 – Batman: Bad Blood
Batman is such an amazing character. That his legacy can actually support a whole host of fully fleshed out supporting characters that have grown to be wildly popular over the years. All these characters have initially ridden the coattails of Batman, but have now come into their own and become themselves iconic.
Batman: Bad Blood does a brilliant job of showcasing the many ways that Batman’s legacy has affected Gotham and lead to the formation of the Bat-Family. And that’s what makes this movie amazing. The Bat-Family. Seeing Nightwing, Robin, Batwoman, and Batwing team up to investigate Batman’s disappearance is something no Batman fan should miss out on. What Batman: Bad Blood achieves best is fleshing out other members of the Bat-Family. While still treating Batman himself with the utmost respect. This movie reminds me of Detective Comics: Rebirth, so if those stories interested you, this definitely will.
Number 5 –Justice League: Flashpoint
There cannot be a list talking about the DCAU movie’s continuity without including the very movie that leads to its origin. Flashpoint is where it all began and has to have its place on this list. Not only is it one best comic book crossover events, but the movie actually manages to approximately recreate the scope and high stakes that this story has. The story also takes Barry Allen on a deep and emotional journey. And wonderfully handles the themes of grief and loss that plague him.
Flashpoint also works on another level as being a very exciting movie for DCAU movies fans. Where they get to see alternate versions of some of their beloved characters. And how some simple changes have led these characters to be almost unrecognizable in this new timeline.
The movie also does justice in realizing the very famous Thomas Wayne/Batman character, who does just as amazing of a job in the movie as you would expect him to. A lot of people are taking to Elseworld stories, and Flashpoint is one of the most iconic alternate timeline-based stories that there is.
Number 4 – Justice League: War
This is one of the best Justice League stories I’ve ever seen/read. Yeah, I said it. This movie truly gets the Justice League. From the witty banter between Green Lantern and the Flash to the team finally got to meet Superman, everything about Justice League: War is extremely well realized.
The movie also gives the audience a very organic origin story for the Justice League. Making one think that this is actually how all these heroes would most likely come together. What is perhaps pulled off the best is that every single member of the Justice League gets to shine at one moment or the other.
No character is short-changed and everyone gets their spot in the limelight. The movie also creates a great villain for the league to fight, who is not only a great threat. But is also fun to see get beat because the whole team needs to work together to defeat him. Justice League: War is a must-watch for any fans of the characters in this lineup of the team. And also those who’d like a great jumping-off point to get involved in DC stories.
Number 3 – Justice League vs. The Teen Titans
So I know I called the last movie a must-watch. But this one is too. In fact, all the movies from here on out classify as must-watch DC content. Just like Justice League: War does a great job showing one why the Justice League is as amazing as it is. This movie does the same thing for the Titans.
I would highly recommend this movie to anyone who isn’t really familiar with titans. Or doesn’t get why the Titans are considered to be as awesome as they are. Other than pitting the Justice League and the Titans against each other, what this movie also does really well is put a long-needed spotlight on Raven. Finally giving many mainstream audiences her origin story.
I think everyone who watches this movie is sure to be a Raven fan. Or at least see her as the deeply complex, interesting character that she is. While the last Titans movie had a few problems because of its silliness, this one has none. Justice League vs The Teen Titans offers audiences a look into Titans Tower. And is as much a story about comic book heroes and villains as it is about friendship.
Number 2 – Justice League Dark: Apokolips War
This is the last movie in the current DCAU continuity. This movie acts as a love letter to DC fans and celebrates all that the past films have built. As previously mentioned, Justice League Dark stands out for its tone being significantly darker than the other movies.
Well, this Apokolips War is so much darker. That it blows all the other movies out of the water in terms of just how grim the tone is. That is what makes the movie as original as it is though. DC actually subverts what is normally expected from a story like this. And takes the audience on a walk to the dark side.
While the movie achieves its purpose in giving audiences a reason for there to be a new timeline, it does so while giving fans so many amazing moments jam-packed one after the other. That no one can stay mad at the movie for how some of their favorite characters have been treated. This is the last installment in this continuity of the DC universe movies. And while it offers a bitter conclusion, the journey is still worth following.
Number 1 – Death of Superman and Reign of the Supermen
Two movies tied for number one? Yes. Isn’t that cheating? No. I’ve seen countless Marvelites talk of how Infinity War and Endgame are just two pieces of one brilliant story. This is exactly that, but for the DCAU. The live-action Superman adaptations have never really given us a balanced Superman.
What I mean is that Superman is either realized in a really dark manner, like in Zack Snyder’s movies. Or the tone of the movie is almost too bright and colorful, like Christopher Reeve’s adaptation of the character. The two movies here give us some really hopeful and heartfelt victorious Superman moments. But also the really dark and sad ones.
Both Death of Superman and Reign of the Supermen are animated versions of comic book storylines having the same name. While a few changes are made to the source material, it doesn’t take away one bit from the quality of these stories. These movies not only give us the best version of Superman, i.e the authentic one. But also show us a very competent Louis Lane.
After watching these movies, it becomes obvious why even though human, Louis Lane is a true match for Clark Kent. The second movie also introduces the fabulous members of the Superman- Family, namely Steel and Superboy. Both these films watched together serve as the best among all the DCAU movies to date. And I can say that even the new movies will find it plenty difficult to live up to or exceed the quality of these two.
So those are the top ten rankings for DCAU movies so far released. I’m sure all fans have their own rankings. But what we can agree on that these truly were a great set of movies. Let’s hope the same for the new and upcoming ones.
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