The Ultimate Guide to DC Animated Films Chronology
If you are a fan of DC comics and superheroes, you might be wondering how to watch the DC animated films in chronological order. There are dozens of movies based on the DC universe, spanning different timelines, universes, and continuities. Some of them are standalone stories, while others are part of a larger shared universe. How can you make sense of it all?
In this article, we will provide you with a comprehensive guide to the DC animated films chronology, covering all the major releases from 1993 to 2023. We will also explain the different categories and labels that DC uses to distinguish its animated films, such as DC Universe Animated Original Movies, DC Animated Movie Universe, and DC Showcase. Whether you want to watch them in release order, chronological order, or thematic order, we have you covered.
What are the DC animated films?
The DC animated films are movies based on the characters and stories from DC comics, one of the most popular and influential comic book publishers in the world. DC comics is home to iconic superheroes such as Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Flash, Green Lantern, Aquaman, and many more. The DC animated films are produced by various studios and distributors, such as Warner Bros. Animation, Warner Bros. Home Entertainment, Warner Premiere, and DC Entertainment.
The DC animated films are not to be confused with the DC Extended Universe (DCEU), which is the live-action film franchise that started with Man of Steel in 2013. The DCEU has its own continuity and timeline, separate from the animated films. However, some of the animated films are inspired by or adapted from the DCEU, such as Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016), Suicide Squad (2016), Justice League (2017), and Zack Snyder's Justice League (2021).
How many DC animated films are there?
As of 2023, there are 67 DC animated films released or announced. The first one was Batman: Mask of the Phantasm (1993), which was a spin-off from the acclaimed Batman: The Animated Series. The most recent one was Justice League: Endgame (2023), which was the finale of the DC Animated Movie Universe (DCAMU), a shared continuity that started with Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox (2013).
The DC animated films can be divided into several categories and labels, depending on their source material, continuity, style, and target audience. Here are some of the most common ones:
DC Universe Animated Original Movies (DCUAOM): These are standalone or loosely connected movies that are based on or inspired by famous DC comic book stories or characters. They usually have a PG-13 or R rating and are aimed at mature audiences. Some examples are Superman: Doomsday (2007), Batman: Under the Red Hood (2010), Wonder Woman: Bloodlines (2019), and Superman: Red Son (2020).
DC Animated Movie Universe (DCAMU): These are movies that share a common continuity and storyline, influenced by The New 52 comic book reboot in 2011. They usually feature the Justice League or its members as the main protagonists. They also have a PG-13 or R rating and are aimed at mature audiences. Some examples are Justice League: War (2014), Batman: Bad Blood (2016), Teen Titans: The Judas Contract (2017), and Reign of the Supermen (2019).
DC Showcase: These are short films that focus on lesser-known or obscure DC characters or concepts. They usually accompany a main feature film as a bonus or extra content. They can have various ratings and styles depending on the subject matter. Some examples are The Spectre (2010), Jonah Hex (2010), Death (2019), and Adam Strange (2020).
LEGO DC Comics Super Heroes: These are movies that use LEGO animation and humor to depict the adventures of the DC superheroes and villains. They usually have a G or PG rating and are aimed at younger audiences. Some examples are LEGO Batman: The Movie â DC Super Heroes Unite (2013), LEGO DC Comics Super Heroes: Justice League â Cosmic Clash (2016), LEGO DC Super Hero Girls: aa16f39245