Movies

How To Watch DC Animated Movies? Watch Order Guide

The acclaimed DC Animated Universe is a hodgepodge of comic book adaptations. There is undeniably a great deal of DC material to take in, with dozens of films already made.

After over three decades, Warner Bros. has cemented its position as the undisputed leader in the animation industry. DC Comics stories, locales, and characters all appear in and interact with one another, creating a dynamic shared universe.

About every year, the already extensive animated DCU gets a few new members. It’s only reasonable to feel overwhelmed trying to keep up with every film released since 1992. I have compiled a top-notch, A+ recommended viewing order for the DC Universe Animated Original Movies.

1. Release Order

This sequence occurs frequently in nature. You will have the opportunity to view the connected animated universes in the order in which they were assembled, frame by frame.

A. DCAU

DC Animated Universe, or Timmverse, or Universe, premiered in 1992 with Batman: The Animated Series. There are six movies in all, and they all pertain to the DC Animated Universe TV show.

I. Feature Films

  • Batman: Mask of the Phantasm (1993)
  • Batman & Mr. Freeze: SubZero (1998)
  • Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker (2000)
  • Batman: Mystery of the Batwoman (2003)
  • Batman and Harley Quinn (2017)
  • Justice League vs. the Fatal Five (2019)

II. Short Films

  • The Dark Knight’s First Night (1991)
  • Chase Me (2003)
  • Batman Beyond (2014)

B. DCAMU

The tone of the DC Animated Movie Universe is more ominous than that of the rest of the DC Universe, which was presented as a sub-saga in the year 2013. It features graphic and intense violence, mature subject matter, personal scenes, and vulgar language.

I. The New 52

  • Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox (2013)
  • Justice League: War (2014)
  • Son of Batman (2014)
  • Justice League: Throne of Atlantis (2015)
  • Batman vs. Robin (2015)
  • Batman: Bad Blood (2016)
  • Justice League vs. the Teen Titans (2016)
  • Justice League Dark (2017)
  • Teen Titans: The Judas Contract (2017)
  • Suicide Squad: Hell to Pay (2018)
  • The Death of Superman (2018)
  • Constantine: City of Demons – The Movie (2018)
  • Reign of the Supermen (2019)
  • Batman: Hush (2019)
  • Wonder Woman: Bloodlines (2019)
  • Justice League Dark: Apokolips War (2020)

II. Rebirth

  • Superman: Man of Tomorrow (2020)
  • Justice Society: World War II (2021)
  • Batman: The Long Halloween (Parts 1&2) (2021)

III. Short Films

  • Nightwing and Robin (2015)
  • Sgt. Rock (2019)
  • Death (2019)
  • Adam Strange (2020)
  • Kamandi: The Last Boy on Earth! (2021)
  • The Losers (upcoming)

C. JLA

The Justice League of America released a series of comic books between the years 1997 and 2006 in an effort to reassemble the disparate members of the Justice League into a unified squad. It made an effort to bring together the most revered members, such as Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Aquaman, the Flash (Wally West), Green Lantern (Kyle Rayner), and the Martian Manhunter.

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I. Feature Films

  • Wonder Woman (2009)
  • Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths (2010)
  • Justice League: Doom (2012)
  • Superman: Unbound (2013)

II. Short Films

  • The Spectre (2010)

D. Year One/ Dark Knight Returns

The story arcs of Frank Miller’s “Dark Knight Universe” comic books served as inspiration for the film Year One. Even Christopher Nolan drew ideas for his films Batman Begins (2005) and The Dark Knight (2008) from the anthology of short stories known as Year One (2008).

I. Feature Films

  • Batman: Year One (2011)
  • Batman: The Dark Knight Returns Part 1 (2012)
  • Batman: The Dark Knight Returns Part 2 (2013)

II. Short Films

  • Catwoman (2011)

E. Superman/Batman

In the past, Superman and Batman frequently worked together to solve crimes. After the events of Crisis on Infinite Earths, however, the heroes found themselves on opposing sides. These films show the close bond of friendship between Superman and Batman before their mutual distrust evolved.

I. Feature Films

  • Superman/Batman: Public Enemies (2009)
  • Superman/Batman: Apocalypse (2010)

II. Short Films

  • Green Arrow (2010)
  • Superman/Shazam!: The Return of Black Adam (2010)

F. Arkhamverse

It is a collection of action-adventure games featuring Batman and was created by Rocksteady Studios. The events of the 2009 video game Arkham: Asylum is previewed in the film of the same name, which is set two years prior.

I. Feature Films

  • Batman: Assault on Arkham (2014)

G. Nolanverse

Kevin Conroy voices Batman in a series of original cartoons titled Batman: Gotham Knight. It’s part of the unofficial canon of Nolan films.

I. Feature Films

  • Batman: Gotham Knight (2008)

H. Standalone Films

The movies listed below can be watched independently of one another and any others.

I. Feature Films

  • Superman: Brainiac Attacks (2006)
  • Superman: Doomsday (2007)
  • Justice League: The New Frontier (2008)
  • Green Lantern: First Flight (2009)
  • Batman: Under the Red Hood (2010)
  • All-Star Superman (2011)
  • Green Lantern: Emerald Knights (2011)
  • Superman vs. The Elite (2012)
  • Justice League: Gods and Monsters (2015)
  • Batman: The Killing Joke (2016)
  • Batman: Gotham by Gaslight (2018)
  • Superman: Red Son (2020)
  • Batman: Soul of the Dragon (2021)

II. Short Films

  • Jonah Hex (2010)
  • The Phantom Stranger (2020)
  • Batman: Death in the Family (2020)

While this might work for some people, it’s not the best approach to seeing all of the DC Animated Movies in one sitting. In case you’re looking for a comprehensive filmography, I’ve produced one for you below.

2. Where To Watch

Watch DCAU on: HBO max

3. Chronological Order

The big picture will finally make sense. Even though all DC Entertainment properties are part of the same umbrella, the continuity of the company’s many superhero periods (DCAU, DCAMU, etc.) has been carefully maintained.

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A. DCAU

Starting with the DCAU, I have rearranged all the featured and short films in a meaningful way that is consistent with the series of DCAU.

  • The Dark Knight’s First Night (1991)
  • Batman: Mask of the Phantasm (1993)
  • Batman & Mr. Freeze: SubZero (1998)
  • Chase Me (2003)
  • Batman: Mystery of the Batwoman (2003)
  • Batman and Harley Quinn (2017)
  • Justice League vs. the Fatal Five (2019)
  • Batman Beyond (2014)
  • Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker (2000)

B. DCAMU

The chronological order here incorporates elements from the New 52 and Rebirth timeline. It is almost similar to Release Order, but I have put the short films in their correct positions.

  • Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox (2013)
  • Justice League: War (2014)
  • Son of Batman (2014)
  • Justice League: Throne of Atlantis (2015)
  • Nightwing and Robin (2015)
  • Batman vs. Robin (2015)
  • Batman: Bad Blood (2016)
  • Justice League vs. the Teen Titans (2016)
  • Justice League Dark (2017)
  • Teen Titans: The Judas Contract (2017)
  • Suicide Squad: Hell to Pay (2018)
  • The Death of Superman (2018)
  • Constantine: City of Demons – The Movie (2018)
  • Reign of the Supermen (2019)
  • Batman: Hush (2019)
  • Sgt. Rock (2019)
  • Wonder Woman: Bloodlines (2019)
  • Death (2019)
  • Justice League Dark: Apokolips War (2020)
  • Adam Strange (2020)
  • Superman: Man of Tomorrow (2020)
  • Justice Society: World War II (2021)
  • Kamandi: The Last Boy on Earth! (2021)
  • Batman: The Long Halloween (Parts 1&2) (2021)
  • The Losers (upcoming)

C. JLA & Superman/Batman

Films of both verses share continuity with each other and are based on JLA storylines published in 2000. So, they have been clubbed together:

  • Superman/Batman: Public Enemies (2009)
  • Wonder Woman (2009)
  • Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths (2010)
    • The Spectre (2010)
  • Superman/Batman: Apocalypse (2010)
    • Green Arrow (2010)
  • Superman/Shazam!: The Return of Black Adam (2010)
  • Justice League: Doom (2012)
  • Superman: Unbound (2013)

D. Year One/ Dark Knight Returns

  • Batman: Year One (2011)Catwoman (2011)
  • Batman: The Dark Knight Returns Part 1 (2012)
  • Batman: The Dark Knight Returns Part 2 (2013)

E. Arkhamverse

  • Batman: Assault on Arkham (2014)

F. Nolanverse

  • Batman: Gotham Knight (2008)

G. Standalone Films

The order in which you view these movies is not particularly important. You can watch them however you choose. The three shorts have been paired with the feature films that they correspond to (with which their scenes would make sense).

  • Superman: Brainiac Attacks (2006)
  • Superman: Doomsday (2007)
  • Justice League: The New Frontier (2008)
  • Green Lantern: First Flight (2009)
  • Batman: Under the Red Hood (2010)
    • Batman: Death in the Family (2020) (This one is actually a prequel to Batman: Under the Red Hood, so watch it first)
    • Jonah Hex (2010)
  • All-Star Superman (2011)
  • Green Lantern: Emerald Knights (2011)
  • Superman vs. The Elite (2012)
  • Justice League: Gods and Monsters (2015)
  • Batman: The Killing Joke (2016)
  • Batman: Gotham by Gaslight (2018)
  • Superman: Red Son (2020)
    • The Phantom Stranger (2020)
  • Batman: Soul of the Dragon (2021)

4. Conclusion

So, where do I even begin? Which should I watch first, the cult masterpieces in DCAU or DCAMU’s fan favorites like The Flashpoint Paradox?

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If that is indeed the question bothering you, allow me to offer a possible answer. However, keep in mind that these are just my opinions.

You can begin with the films from the first year. The DC Universe as a whole might be said to have begun in Year One, which is the most similar to the DC Comics canon.

It is now time to move forward with the JLA and Superman/Batman continuity. This time period might be seen as the beginning of the Justice League. Then check out the DCAU episodes. It’s possible that these films exist in a timeline before the events of the New 52.

In The Flashpoint Paradox (2013), the stakes were raised as Barry Allen traveled across time to save his mother. His actions had far-reaching consequences and ultimately altered entire history. In this way, the New 52 continuity was born. Check out DCAMU’s video library, which includes the Rebirth era’s films.

After the Flashpoint Saga, movies like Gods and Monsters, Green Lantern: Emerald Knights, Superman vs. The Elite, etc. show the Justice League’s decline.

However, it should be noted that these movies stand alone and are not necessarily set in any particular era. The order in which they are viewed is unaffected by this. Because of Flashpoint’s repercussions, you can ignore them and pretend they never happened.

5. How Much Time Will It Takes To Watch

It would take you around 2 days and 17 hours to see all the movies I listed above, according to the most fanciful of my estimations.

If you are a rabid lover of DC Comics superheroes like I am, it shouldn’t take you more than two weekends to catch up.

6. About DCAU

Produced by Warner Bros. Animation and based on characters appearing in American comic books published by DC Comics, the DC Animated Universe (DCAU; often known as the Timmverse or Diniverse by fans) is a shared universe of animated television programs centered on superheroes. Similar to the original DC Universe in comic books, the shared universe was developed through the use of canon crossovers.

Batman: The Animated Series debuted in 1992 as the first TV series in the DCAU, and Justice League Unlimited concluded its run in 2006. Direct-to-video features and shorts, comic books, video games, and other multimedia adaptations all share the same continuity as the main series and are part of the linked media franchise.

About author

Hi, this is Ekta, I find joy in writing about Drama, Flims, Performance art, true stories and famous people and doing it in right way. Goal: keeping it as simple as possible for readers.
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