An Introduction To DC Animated Movies

An Introduction To DC Animated Movies

            DC movies suck. This statement has solidified itself as fact over the years and most people know it as a common truth. Even as the author writing this article, I honestly do agree with that sentiment. However, I only agree with it in some instances. For example, Batman V. Superman: Dawn Of Justice (2016) was underwhelming at best, and the long-awaited Justice League (2017) was/is a complete mess. Notice though, the movies I mentioned have something in common other than being subpar, they’re live-action movies and a part of the DCEU (DC Extended Universe) .

DC Big Three Superheroes (Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman) (Wikimedia Commons)

            Most of the recent live-action movies, *cough the DCEU cough*, have been widely recognized for the mess that they are. Both non-fans and fans alike seem to have various criticisms of the movies. These range from not being accurate enough according to the original storylines – to being downright stupid, and while I may or may not agree with those statements, I have found a solution to a majority of the complaints against DC movies. Enter DC Animated Movies or DCAM as they’re commonly referred to.

            Okay. So, I know animated movies aren’t everyone’s thing, and that’s totally okay, but hear me out. Let’s start with the basics. What exactly does the acronym “DCAM” pertain to? Well, DCAM is self-explanatory as it refers to all of the animated movies produced by Detective Comics (DC).

DC Bat-Family (Robin, Batwoman, Batman, Batgirl, Nightwing) (Wikimedia Commons)

This ranges from Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox (2013) movie (highly recommend) to even the hellspawn that is the Lego movies (though it’s hardly ever recognized as such). Next question, what’s the difference between live-action movies and animated ones other than the obvious (the latter being animated)? Ok so this is going to sound nerdy, but the animated movies just have a kind of magic to them. They have the unique ability to capture the true essence of the original storyline that live-action movies typically can’t. When it comes to live-action pieces, the watcher’s opinion on the piece heavily relies on the acting ability of the actors in the movie. Additionally, most of the actors involved know little to nothing about the character they’re portraying or the storyline they’re a part of. And this kind of takes away from the overall movie. The animated movies don’t rely on such an unreliable thing; they rely more on lines, animation, and deliverance from the voice actors. And with typically well-seasoned experts (in their respective categories), such issues are not a concern.

DC Batman No.1 Comic Cover (Robin, Batman) (Wikimedia Commons)

What order should I watch them in? This is both a relatively easy and difficult question to answer. So, regarding live-action movies, sometimes there’s a line of continuity in a few of the movies, and other times it’s only a standalone. This is also true for DCAM. Within the DC animated movies, there’s a universe titled “DCAMU”, meaning DC Animated Movie Universe. In layman’s terms, it’s exactly like the DCEU but animated and with different storylines. They’re both a collection of movies that all coexist and (possibly) interact within the same universe. Therefore, you can watch a majority of the movies in whatever order you choose. If you did want to watch the DCAMU, here is a list of all the movies within the collection, in order.

The Flash Illustration (Jay Garrick) (Wikimedia Commons)

          Where can I watch them? While some of them are not, a majority of DC movies, both live-action and animated alike, can all be found on HBO Max. As of relatively recently, HBO Max has made itself a kind of powerhouse for DC movies, competing with the likes of Disney+ for each’s abundance in superhero movies. Both satisfy each fandom for their own respective prices.

            Overall, DCAM is truly a hidden gem that I, and many others, wish more people knew about. Most people are unaware of them because they all usually go to direct releases on DVDs or streaming platforms. While this is unfortunate, it does make sense from a business perspective because DC animated movies have a very niche fanbase that even a lot of regular DC fans, who primarily consume live-action movies, are unaware of. More people should watch/support these movies because they’re honestly way better than the live-action movies that gave DC a bad rap in the first place. And dare I say it, they’re comparable, if not better, than most Marvel pieces, both animated and live-action.

Batman in the Batplane (Wikimedia Commons)