How To Watch Every DC Animated Movie? Easy Watch Order Guide

How To Watch Every DC Animated Movie? Easy Watch Order Guide

An eclectic mix of comic book adaptations embody the celebrated DC Animated Universe. There’s unquestionably a lot of DC content to absorb, with dozens of movies having been released till now.

Warner Bros. has been dominating this Animation game for almost three decades now. The shared universe is ever expanding by continuously crossing over plot elements, settings, and characters from DC Comics.

Roughly every year, there are some new additions to the existing animated DCU. So, getting flustered keeping track of every movie since 1992 is only natural. I have come up with a tip-top, A1 viewing order for all the DC Universe Animated Original Movies.

1. Release Order

This order is typical in nature. You will get to see the interconnected animated universes in the way they were composed, one by one.

A. DCAU

Also referred to as Timmverse or Diniverse, the DC Animated Universe kicked off with Batman: The Animated Series in 1992. It consists of six films, which are closely related to DCAU TV series.

I. Feature Films

How To Watch Every DC Animated Movie?
Batman: Mystery of the Batwoman | Source: IMDb
  • 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 DC Animated Movie Universe, a sub saga introduced in 2013, is set in a darker tone than the rest of the DC Universe. It contains strong violence, mature themes, intimate scenes, and crude language.

I. The New 52

How To Watch Every DC Animated Movie?
Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox | Source: IMDb
  • 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

Justice League of America published a series of comic books from 1997 to 2006, in order to reorganize the dispersed Justice League into a single team. It attempted to assemble the most revered members: Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Aquaman, the Flash (Wally West), Green Lantern (Kyle Rayner), and the Martian Manhunter.

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)
How To Watch Every DC Animated Movie?
The Spectre | Source: Fandom

D. Year One/ Dark Knight Returns

Year One is based on the Frank Miller comic book arcs of “Dark Knight Universe”. Even Christopher Nolan drew inspiration from Year One stories for his movie Batman Begins (2005) and The Dark Knight (2008).

I. Feature Films

How To Watch Every DC Animated Movie?
Batman: Year One | Source: Amazon
  • 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

There was a time when Superman and Batman regularly joined forces to fight injustice. But, after Crisis on Infinite Earths, both heroes developed repulsive viewpoints, which often led to clashes. These movies depict the friendship bond between them before Superman and Batman grew wary of each other.

I. Feature Films

  • Superman/Batman: Public Enemies (2009)
  • Superman/Batman: Apocalypse (2010)
How To Watch Every DC Animated Movie?
Superman/Batman: Apocalypse | Source: HBO Max

II. Short Films

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

F. Arkhamverse

Developed by Rocksteady Studios, It includes a series of action-adventure video games, with Batman as the main protagonist. The titular film takes place two years before the events of Arkham: Asylum, the 2009 game.

I. Feature Films

  • Batman: Assault on Arkham (2014)

G. Nolanverse

Batman: Gotham Knight is a collection of original shorts with Kevin Conroy voicing Batman. It is considered a part of the unofficial Nolanverse.

I. Feature Films

  • Batman: Gotham Knight (2008)

H. Standalone Films

Following films are standalone, and do not share plot with each other or other films.

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)
How To Watch Every DC Animated Movie?
Batman: Soul of the Dragon | Source: Fandom

II. Short Films

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

This order might be suitable for some, but for rest, this is not the optimum way to binge DC Animated Movies. If you want every film to be laid down in a progressive manner, check out the list I’ve compiled below.

2. Where To Watch

Watch DCAU on:

3. Chronological Order

Yes, the overarching story will make a lot of sense now. Though it’s all DC Entertainment, the different eras of superheroes (DCAU, DCAMU, etc.) have still been kept separate to avoid any chaos.

A. DCAU

Starting with the DCAU, I have rearranged all the featured and short films in a meaningful way which 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)
How To Watch Every DC Animated Movie?
Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker | Source: HBO Max

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 the 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)
How To Watch Every DC Animated Movie?
Superman Unbound | Source: DC Comics

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

These films do not need to be watched in a certain order. Watch them as you please. The three shorts have been put with their respective films (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)
How To Watch Every DC Animated Movie?
Kal-El in Superman vs The Elite | Source: Fandom

4. Conclusion

Okay, but where should I start? Should I start with the cult classics in DCAU or indulge directly in the fan favorites like The Flashpoint Paradox in DCAMU?

If that’s the question perturbing you, I will suggest a solution. But beware, these are my personal viewpoints.

You can start with the movies of Year One. Year One has the most resemblance to what one could call the inception of the DC Universe as a whole.

Next, proceed with the JLA & Superman/Batman timeline. This era can be termed as the dawn of Justice League. Then watch the installments in DCAU. These movies may be considered part of pre-New 52 continuity.

Things started getting intense in The Flashpoint Paradox (2013) when The Flash travelled back in time to save his mother. His actions caused some ripple effects, and as a result, disrupted the whole timeline. The New 52 continuity was thus born. Watch the movies of DCAMU here, including the Rebirth timeline.

The downfall of Justice League can be observed post the Flashpoint Saga in the films like Gods and Monsters, Green Lantern: Emerald Knights, Superman vs The Elite, etc.

How To Watch Every DC Animated Movie?
Justics League: Gods and Monsters | Source: DC Comics

But that said, these standalone movies are not necessarily part of any designated timeframe. They have no impact on the viewing order. You can just regard them as events taking place in alternate universes because of the consequences of Flashpoint. 

5. How Much Time Will It Take To Watch

By doing the wildest calculations, I found out that it will take you around 2 days and 17 hours to watch all the movies I’ve mentioned above.

If you are an overzealous fan of DC superheroes like I am, it should not take you more than two weekends to catch up.

Note: These are approximate values of the runtimes.

6. About DCAU

The DC Animated Universe (DCAU; also referred to as the Timmverse or Diniverse by fans) is a shared universe of superhero-based animated television series, produced by Warner Bros. Animation and based on characters that appear in American comic books published by DC Comics. The shared universe, much like the original DC Universe in comic books, was established by crossing over common plot elements, settings, cast, and characters.

The first TV series set in the DCAU was Batman: The Animated Series, which premiered in 1992; the last TV series was Justice League Unlimited, which ended its run in 2006. The associated media franchise also includes direct-to-video feature films and shorts, comic books, video games and other multimedia adaptations set in the same continuity.