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Batman Animated Films - Ranked Worst To Best

Batman's got a celebrated history in animation, but which is his best film?

Midway between the mediums of print comics €“ where Batman began €“ and modern live-action films €“ where Batman has reached the widest audience €“ are the animated films and television series centering around Bruce Wayne and the legend of the Dark Knight. Animation is the logical jumping-off point from the comics, and advances in the field have led to some of the most loved comic books of all time being brought to the screen in awesome fashion. Batman: The Animated Series is generally agreed to be the best of the televised offerings, but the animated films are a bit harder to rank. There have been eight films, so far, that are judged here under the criteria of being a "true" Batman film - some adapt famous comic book arcs and some pit Bruce Wayne against fresh, original adversaries, and all of them attempt to create a vision of Gotham unlike any we've seen before. Obviously, the Dark Knight has appeared in more than eight animated movies. Any Justice League animated films have been excluded, although Batman does appear in several (2012's Justice League: Doom), as well as any team-ups (2010's Superman/Batman: Apocalypse) or the like €“ basically, any film where Batman isn€™t the main character. Gotham Knights (2008), while it does indeed focus on Bruce Wayne, is more of a series of short films than one feature, so that's been excluded as well. The latest animated feature, Son of Batman, is set to be released on May 6, 2014, followed later in the year by Assault on Arkham. Before that €“ and with a mild spoiler alert €“ let€™s run down all of the Batman animated films from worst to best.
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Matt is a writer and musician living in Boston. Read his film reviews at http://motionstatereview.wordpress.com.