2022 has been relatively slow for animated movies, with only six offerings from major studios being released. But as low as the supply has been, there have been a couple of gems, notably DC League of Super-Pets, which not only had a star-studded voice cast but also grossed $193.7 million globally (via Box Office Mojo).
Over the past few years, dozens of other incredible animated movies have been released, with DC churning out the most projects. However, Marvel and other franchises have done their best to keep up, too, contributing to what are considered the best movies in the category, according to Letterboxd.
10/10 Megamind Has A Star-Studded Voice Cast
Letterboxd Score: 3.6
In a space dominated by Marvel and DC, the DreamWorks project is revitalizing. And so is the plot where a villain creates his own new superhero that he can fight to escape boredom.
Megamind is clever, emotional, and fast-paced but what makes it work is the talented voice cast. Chief among them is J.K. Simmons, who happens to be very familiar with the superhero genre. In addition, Will Ferrell, Jonah Hill, and Ben Stiller flex their comedic talents through one-liners that were reportedly improvised, while Brad Pitt doesn’t disappoint either. What results is a movie with a high rewatch value.
9/10 Batman Beyond: Return Of The Joker Brings Bruce Wayne Back Too
Letterboxd Score: 3.6
Terry McGinnis is one of the best versions of Batman, but fans adore Bruce Wayne more. His appearance in the movie, coupled with the re-emergence of a Joker long thought dead, proves to be a perfect formula.
Apart from the plot that involves Bruce Wayne asking Terry to step aside so he can face his old foe, Return Of The Joker pumps up fan elation by relying on the services of two of the best voice actors for the roles of Batman and Joker, respectively: Kevin Conroy and Mark Hamill. But the animated movie isn’t just biased towards the veterans. Terry also remains occupied throughout the proceedings by dealing with the Joker’s new gang known as The Jokerz.
8/10 The Lego Batman Movie Is Full Of Heart And Laughter
Letterboxd Score: 3.7
Proof of The Lego Batman Movie‘s awesomeness lies not just in the score but also in the box office figures. Over the years, few offerings in the category have gotten more love than the Chris McKay project, as it grossed $310 million against a budget of $80 million (via Box Office Mojo).
Overall, the movie has all the perfect ingredients, from well-thought-out callbacks to other Batman movies to gags that drop just about every minute. And even though the movie is overpopulated with members of the Batman Rogues Gallery, it makes good use of all of them.
7/10 Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox Brilliantly Explores The Multiverse
Letterboxd Score: 3.8
The Flash’s efforts to erase an alternate timeline to prevent a war between Atlantis and Themyscira brings all the mayhem. Because of his actions, over 30 villains and heroes appear, making the DCAU installment a fan service fest.
Ordinarily, multiverse storylines rarely fail to thrill. The Arrowverse proved it with “Crisis On Infinite Earths,” while the MCU’s Phase 5 has done it all, from multiple Spider-Men to Doctor Strange battling Scarlet Witch in different worlds. The formula works in Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox, too, thanks to even better storylines that include Bruce Wayne getting killed and Thomas Wayne becoming Batman.
6/10 Batman: Under The Red Hood Is A Great Vengeance Story
Letterboxd Score: 3.8
The comic-accurate storyline in Batman: Under The Red Hood gives fans a clear understanding of the Lazarus Pits and Red Hood’s motivations. This happens because of the resurrection of Robin, who returns as a masked vigilante after being killed by the Joker.
The vengeance plot is made even more awesome when two of the greatest Batman villains, the Joker and Black Mask, team up. Fans witness all forms of mischief, with all the plotting and scheming sounding amazing, thanks to the voice work of Neil Patrick Harris and Jenson Ackles.
5/10 Batman: The Dark Knight Returns, Part 1 Introduces An Aging Batman
Letterboxd Score: 3.8
A 55-year-old Batman, an advanced Batmobile, and a Harvey Dent who has undergone plastic surgery, make Batman: The Dark Knight Returns, Part 1 memorable. So does the introduction of the female Robin, Carrie Kelley.
Watching Batman defy age limitations to beat up baddies is a fun experience for audiences. The movie doesn’t also go the unrealistic route by doing all the work himself. Batman acknowledges that there are things he can’t do, hence the reliance on Carrie and Jim Gordon.
4/10 Batman: The Dark Knight Returns, Part 2 Pits Batman Against Superman
Letterboxd Score: 3.9
The Batman versus Superman story has turned out to be challenging to tell in live-action, but Batman: The Dark Knight Returns, Part 2, makes it unfold effortlessly. As a government agent, the Man of Steel seeks to end The Dark Knight’s vigilantism, but the Gotham hero never backs down.
The rivalry feels like Captain America and Iron Man, especially since Superman is on the government’s side. Still, the second part of the Batman story offers more than age as the distinctive factor. For example, the version of Gotham depicted here is the safest city in America. The portrayal of Superman as a villain tends to be rare on screen, but it works well here.
3/10 Batman: Mask of the Phantasm Introduces An Exciting New Love Interest
Letterboxd Score: 4.0
Instead of picking one of Batman’s well-known love interests from the comics, Batman: Mask of the Phantasm introduces a new one in Andrea Beaumont. Proper character development also sees her turn into a villain.
Action is also sacrificed for a proper story, which is unusual for a Batman movie but works well here. In addition, the director refrains from overusing the Joker, creating room for Beaumont to properly establish herself in the DC landscape. The resulting film is highly regarded among fans.
2/10 The Incredibles (2001)
Letterboxd Score: 4.1
The Incredibles’ high score is hardly surprising since it’s also the only superhero animated blockbuster to win two Oscars. And with a plot about an entire family of superheroes, the movie is relatable to people of all ages.
A couple of other things make the Disney movie stupendous, notably the sound and animation quality. Small details about the human anatomy are focused on, and so are pin drops. Additionally, there’s a perfect blend of action and suburban family life.
1/10 Spider-Man: Into The Spiderverse Has Every Spidey Variant
Letterboxd Score: 4.4
Rarely do all the alternate versions of Spider-Man get to be seen together on screen. Luckily, Spider-Man: Into The Spiderverse blesses fans with such an occurrence. From Spider-Ham to Spider-Man Noir, everyone shows up to help Miles Morales deal with a crisis.
The Sony release is also a welcome break because its events aren’t tied to the MCU. As such, fans see an awesome Spider-man story on the big screen that doesn’t require them to know what the superhero has been up to in several other movies.