The Top 10 Animated Superhero Movies

Photo Credit: Warner Home Video
May 1st, 2014

Some may try to dismiss animated superhero movies as being only for kids, but a well-made animated movie packs as much excitement and plot as a live-action superhero movie. Use this list of the top ten animated superhero movies to learn about the best movies in the genre.


green-lantern.pngPhoto Credit: Warner Home Video

10. "Green Lantern: First Flight"
This 2010 film released on Cartoon Network centers on the first human Green Lantern, Hal Jordan. The 75-minute movie gives viewers an in-depth look at the Guardians of the Universe, the first existing beings of the universe. In the present time, the Green Lanterns recruit human test pilot Hal Jordan to assist them with their nemesis Sinestro. This origin story was met with positive reviews, and a roller coaster at Six Flags Magic Mountain with its namesake was opened in July 2011.



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9. "Superman/Batman: Apocalypse"
"Superman/Batman: Apocalypse" was released directly to video in 2010 as a sequel to "Superman/Batman: Public Enemies." Although Batman is featured in the title, the movie focuses mainly on Superman's familial relationship with Supergirl. Batman does play a key part in resolving the overall conflict between Superman and his nemesis Darkseid, and Wonder Woman joins in to assist. Reviews of this movie were mixed; some critics loved it, while others were slightly unhappy with the focus on Supergirl.



wonderwoman.jpgPhoto Credit: Warner Home Video

8. "Wonder Woman" (2009)
This action-packed movie was released directly to DVD in 2010. Interestingly, the movie's intense action scenes gave it an "R" rating before editing. The film centers on Wonder Woman's revamped 1987 character, voiced by Keri Russell. Wonder Woman and her sisters of Amazon battle Ares, the god of war, while the title character also falls in love with human USAF Colonel Steve Trevor. Due to the reclusive nature of the Amazon sister's all-woman island, this becomes an additional plot conflict. There were positive reviews for the movie, along with additional discussions of feminism issues found in the movie. The movie ranked number five in DVD sales when it was released in 2011.



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7. "Justice League: Doom"
This 2012 film is loosely based on Mark Waid's "JLA: Tower of Babel." It centers on the collective efforts of the villainous clan Vandal Savage's attempts to destroy most humans and start the world over to their own liking. Using various techniques found by hacking into Batman's emergency files, Vandal Savage soon immobilizes the Justice League. Although there were a few complaints, the film was received with highly positive reactions, with IGN giving it a 7 out of 10 ranking.



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6."Batman: The Dark Knight Returns"
The first part of "Batman: The Dark Knight Returns" was released on September 25, 2012, and the second part was released January 29, 2013. The film is an adaption of Frank Miller's "The Dark Knight Returns" comic book. The first part covers Batman leaving his retirement to fight The Mutants and Two-Face, with help from an adolescent girl named Carrie. Part two features the Joker reviving from his catatonic state, Batman dealing with opposition from the national authorities and an intense fight with the Joker. Superman also makes a guest appearance. "Batman: The Dark Knight Returns" was graciously received and was award-nominated. Conan O'Brien appears in the film as the voice of the character David Endochrine.



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5. "Superman: Doomsday"
"Superman: Doomsday" is the first DC Universe Animated Original Movie released by Warner Brothers. Released on 2007, it premiered at the 2007 San Diego Comic-Con. The movie centers on Superman succumbing to the Lex Luthor-released monster Doomsday, superman's clone, the real Superman's resurrection and the inevitable battle between the two. The film was met with generally positive reviews, but high amounts of editing were used to reduce the violent scenes for future television airings.



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4. "Ultimate Avengers" 
The Avengers, composed of Captain America, Black Widow, Thor, Iron Man, Wasp and Giant Man, fight the alien force responsible for the Nazis in this 2006 direct-to-DVD film. Ant Man also makes a brief appearance as a potential member of the Avengers. This film was met with positive review, but some critics felt that it was too violent for younger members.



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3. "Batman: Under the Red Hood"
Batman joins forces with NightWing to combat the Joker and Ra's al Ghul in this exciting movie. A new nemesis appears in Red Hood, a masked criminal heading Gotham City's drug trade. Robin suffers due to the Joker's schemes, which causes him to turn on Batman, while the Joker receives a few lashes of his own from the hands of a drug lord named Black Mask. This film references important past incidents, such as the origin of the Joker.



incredibles.jpgPhoto Credit: Buena Vista Pictures

2. "The Incredibles"
This 2004 computer-animated film by Pixar is about a family of superheroes who have hidden their powers in order to live a normal life. The family is recruited to stop a robot that threatens to destroy their town. The movie was met with rave reviews, topping box office sales and winning two American Academy awards. As of 2014, there is a sequel in the works.



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1."Batman: Mask of the Phantasm"
This 1993 animated mystery film is based on the  "Batman: The Animated Series" of the 1990s. Although statistically a box office disappointment due to promotional mishaps, the acting, animation and script were critically acclaimed. The movie became a hit on video and has developed a strong cult-following.

These movies all feature exciting graphics and storylines. Although animated superhero movies often go straight to video, they still gross millions of dollars. The appeal of animated superhero movies is that they have the ability to entertain children and adults at the same time.