Once again, I must bite my tongue and begrudgingly admit that DC have done some things right in the past. They’ve pretty much cornered the market on original animated films and while there are some stinkers out there (I’m looking at YOU Justice League: War!), there are still plenty of good stuff to talk about.
So, in the interest of “fairness”, a word that sounds as dirty to me as the most vile of swearwords, here is the top six animated DC movies that they’ve churned out like the factory of mediocrity they are. SORRY! Sorry! Come on, Scott. Be fair! Deep breaths. You can do this.
Disclaimer! The following is my own opinion. If you disagree then you clearly have a mind of your own and don’t agree with everything you read, which is to be congratulated. Conformity is death. Good for you.
6. Batman: Under the Red Hood
Ugh. Batman. Why’d it have to be Batman? Okay, let’s get this over with. Adapted from the “Under the Hood” storyline from the Batman comics, Under the Red Hood sees Batman come to blows with a mysterious and violent vigilante known as the Red Hood who it turns out is… JASON TODD! DUN DUN DUUUUUUUUN!!!
What do you mean “Who’s Jason Todd?”. Even I know who he is and I hate Batman! *Sigh*. For those of you who don’t know, Jason Todd was the second Robin after Dick Grayson. The character was so overwhelmingly unpopular that DC asked the fans to vote whether or not he should be killed by the Joker. Long story short, he was beaten to death. Slowly. But he returns years later because in comics death is like a bad head cold at this point. Featuring some great action and voice acting (especially from Bruce Greenwood as Batman and John DiMaggio as the Joker), this film has a lot going for it, as we see the result of Batman’s greatest failure.
5. Batman: Year One
Another one. This is the problem with DC’s animated films. Yeah, some of them are good but there’s so little variety! Anyway, before he was playing a young Jim Gordon Benjamin McKenzie was voicing a young Bruce Wayne in Batman: Year One. Also adapted from the comics, Year One has a rather enjoyable twist in that the film doesn’t focus that much on Batman. Most of the time, we’re following Gordon (Played by Bryan Cranston) as he deals with the violence and corruption of Gotham as well as struggling with his own personal life, much like in Gotham the tv series.
What I really like about this film is it’s subtlety. It’s a show don’t tell film and there needs to be more of those. It doesn’t patronise you but you can still follow everything, even if you haven’t read the comic Plenty of pathos, great animation and a voice cast to die for, this is one Batman film I’m happy to recommend.
4. Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox
Holy crap this film is brutal. Seriously, uncompromisingly, brutal. I LOVE IT! After the Flash tries to travel back in time to prevent his mother’s murder, he accidentally fractures the fabric of space and time. Don’t you just hate it when that happens? He creates an alternate world in which he has no powers, Superman never landed in Smallville, Bruce Wayne was killed as a boy, prompting his father Thomas Wayne to become Batman, the Justice League never formed and Wonder Woman and Aquaman are engaged in a bloody war with each other. Ouch.
There’s a real sense of maturity in this film. There are no easy solutions presented, no quick way outs. If the characters want to fix things, they’re going to have to go up against impossible odds and fight to the last man. And even if they win, sacrifices will have to be made. It’s a violent, emotional, powerhouse of a film and it’s well worth watching.