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18 Best Justice League Animated Movies, Ranked

18 Best Justice League Animated Movies, Ranked

While the live-action Justice League movie is a pretty divisive film, the animated escapades of DC’s premier hero team have always enjoyed a much more positive reception among both fans and critics. They’re thrilling, bold, fun, and everything that an animated superhero movie should be.

RELATED: 10 Ways The Justice League Changed DC Comics

Over the years, DC Comics has produced a massive library of animated films. Some feature the Justice League in cameos or as part of a larger ensemble, and others throw the heroic team into the spotlight. From fun LEGO adventures and alternate universes to space conflicts and nail-biting thrillers, the Justice League make any animated film feel epic.

Updated on September 16th, 2022, by Casey Lawrence: The DCAU keeps rolling along, particularly with cartoon versions of the Justice League. This isn’t a surprise: Since their introduction in The Brave and the Bold #28 (by Gardner Fox, Mike Sekowsky, Bernard Sachs, Joe Giella, Murphy Anderson, and Gaspar Saladino) this first super team of the Silver Age has set precedents for other animated films.


    18 LEGO DC Comics Super Heroes: Justice League Vs. Bizzaro League

    Runtime: 49 Minutes

    Justice League vs. Bizzaro League is the third movie in the LEGO DC Super Heroes franchise. Its concept — The JLA becoming “Bizzaroed” — is true Silver Age fun. After Superman stops his reverse counterpart, he takes Bizzaro to a cube-shaped planet to live a new life.

    However, Bizzaro League only gets wilder from there. Splitting up to battle Gorilla Grodd and other villains, the Justice League duplicated, producing Bizzaro versions of everyone’s favorite heroes.

    17 LEGO DC Comics Super Heroes: Justice League – Gotham City Breakout

    Runtime: 1 Hour, 18 Minutes

    The fourth Justice League title and the sixth LEGO DC Super Heroes release overall, 2016’s Justice League: Gotham City Breakout brought all the fun people expect from LEGO. Bringing plenty of heart, it also received praise for its action sequences.

    As a surprise birthday gift, Batgirl and Nightwing take Batman back to the dojo where he first trained. To help keep Gotham safe, Superman takes over the reins as the city’s protector. However, he doesn’t anticipate criminals like Joker, Harley Quinn, Poison Ivy, and more to escape from Arkham.

    16 Lego DC Comics Super Heroes: Justice League – Cosmic Clash

    Runtime: 1 Hour, 18 Minutes

    The good thing about the LEGO DC Super Heroes movies is they stick to a good deal of comic book continuity. Following that trend, Justice League: Cosmic Clash includes little easter eggs to intrigue fans of all ages.

    After being thwarted by the League, Brainiac devices a way to make them go away, sending several members to different time periods. Constructing a Cosmic Treadmill, Batman and Flash work to rescue their allies. Along the way, they visit a future where the Resistance — featuring the Legion of Super-Heroes‘ Cosmic Boy, Saturn Girl, and Lightning Lad — battles another version of Brainiac.

    15 Lego DC Super Heroes: Justice League – Attack Of The Legion Of Doom

    Runtime: 1 Hour, 17 Minutes

    While it’s not within the DCAU, Justice League: Attack of the Legion of Doom includes many if its fan-favorite characters. In fact, it’s closer to the animated movies than people think.

    Attack of the Legion of Doom honors the legacy of great Justice League stories through computer animation and a good dose of humor. Some characters have changed, but the core concepts everyone loves about the Justice League still ring true.

    14 The Death And Return Of Superman

    Runtime: 2 Hours, 46 Minutes

    The two-part Death and Return of Superman isn’t a Justice League film per se. However, they’re prominently featured throughout. Mixing two iconic storylines together, the film echoes classic DCAU greatness while syncing up with elements from the New 52 era.

    The League appears the most in the first part of the film, battling Doomsday before Superman intervenes. As the world recovers from the hero’s death, the League becomes part of a presidential escort interrupted by past villains and a quartet of replacements for the Man of Steel.

    13 Justice Society: World War II

    Runtime: 1 Hour, 24 Minutes

    Even though Justice Society: World War II focuses on an entirely different team, the seeds of the Justice League emerge at the end of the film. The rest of it focuses on Flash and his adventures with the Justice Society of America on Earth-2.

    While rescuing Superman from Brainiac, The Flash makes his discovery of the Speed Force and winds up traveling to an alternate Earth. Partnering with the JSA, he helps them defeat the Nazis and prevents them from invading New York. After The Flash returns to Earth-1 and finishes off Brainiac, The Flash suggests to Superman that they form a team to prevent future threats.

    12 Justice League: Throne of Atlantis

    Runtime: 1 Hour, 12 Minutes

    Throne of Atlantis is a film that feels like it should be much grander than it is. Loosely based on the Geoff Johns storyline of the same name, Throne of Atlantis is the origin story of the DC Animated Movie Universe’s version of Aquaman (Matt Lanter).

    While seeing the aquatic hero become the ruler of Atlantis is enjoyable, it comes at the cost of everything around him feeling rushed. The Justice League’s sub-plots are under-developed, and the film’s main antagonist, Ocean Master (Sam Witwer), comes off more like a spoiled brat than a commanding schemer. Despite these missed opportunities, Throne of Atlantis delivers plenty of entertainment.

    11 Justice League Vs. Teen Titans

    Runtime: 1 Hour, 18 Minutes

    One of the issues with the DCAU Justice League movies is that they treat the legendary team as second fiddle, despite being in the title. As with Throne of Atlantis, Justice League vs. Teen Titans has the team taking on supporting roles that don’t do them justice.

    However, the film has some things that work well for it. Seeing the Titans in a slightly more ‘adult’ portrayal than their TV show counterpart is an exciting change of pace. While their battle with the League is fun, it’s the fight against Trigon (Jon Bernthal) that will wow viewers the most.

    10 Justice League: Gods And Monsters

    Runtime: 1 Hour, 16 Minutes

    Very few people talk about Gods and Monsters, but it’s a film fans should check out. Taking place in an alternate universe, the film follows Superman (the son of General Zod), Batman (Kirk Langstrom), and Wonder Woman (Bekka) when they’re framed for a crime they didn’t commit.

    RELATED: Darkseid’s Greatest Humiliations In DC Comics

    While the film spends a lot of time detailing the trio’s origins, it makes up for its shortcomings. Featuring entertaining action, an excellent voice cast, and a sharp script, Gods and Monsters‘ mystery pulls readers into the intriguing world created by animation, legend Bruce Timm.

    9 Justice League Dark

    Runtime: 1 Hour, 15 Minutes

    Justice League Dark focuses on the group of heroes fans don’t see every day. Spending most of its time exploring the mystical side of the DC Universe, characters like John Constantine, Zatanna, Deadman, Jason Blood, and Swamp Thing take center stage.

    While past DC movies have hinted at the more magical side of things, this interpretation gets shown it off to its fullest, thanks to the gothic, R-Rated animation on display. If fans have ever been interested in a haunted house version of DC comics, Justice League Dark is the movie for them.

    8 Justice League: War

    Runtime: 1 Hour, 19 Minutes

    When DC’s greatest heroes can’t beat a villain alone, they work together to take their enemy out. Justice League: War focuses on the League’s collective strength, depicting various members of the League coming together for the first time in the DCAU.

    While the plot is straightforward, Justice League: War is all about the League playing off each other. Fans have likely seen how these heroes work together in past incarnations, but the film includes just enough changes to create a great experience. It also helps that the action on display is top-notch, making this the perfect popcorn flick.

    7 Justice League: The New Frontier

    Runtime: 1 Hour, 15 Minutes

    While the Justice League has been around since the 1960s, the Silver Age versions of these characters rarely took part in real-world events of the time. Based on the late Darwyn Cooke’s award-winning graphic novel, Justice League: The New Frontier sets the iconic heroes in the late 50s and early 60s, during the heat of the Cold War era.

    Tension is brewing between the heroes and the government, but both forces must work together when an alien force threatens to destroy the world. The movie perfectly captures the art and spirit of Cooke’s work, while also managing to stand on its own, thanks to a great cast of actors and a fantastic script.

    6 Justice League Vs. The Fatal Five

    Runtime: 1 Hour, 17 Minutes

    Justice League vs. The Fatal Five is a welcome return to the DC Animated Universe Bruce Timm created. Taking place after Justice League Unlimited, the film has Batman, Superman, and Wonder Woman teaming up with Mr. Terrific, Ms. Martian (Daniela Bobadilla), and Jessica Cruz (Diane Guerrero) to help Starboy (Elyes Gabel) defeat the titular group of antagonists.

    RELATED: 10 Things You Should Know Before Joining The Justice League

    While Justice League vs. The Fatal Five is straightforward, seeing the return to the storytelling, action, and visual style of the DCAU makes for a joyful nostalgia trip. It also helps to hear Kevin Conroy, Susan Eisenberg, and George Newbern reprise their roles as the iconic Justice League trio.

    5 Justice League: Crisis On Two Earths

    Runtime: 1 Hour, 15 Minutes

    The Justice League’s heroes are no strangers to alternate dimensions. In Crisis on Two Earths, Lex Luthor (Chris Noth) asks the Justice League to take on the Crime Syndicate, evil versions of the League who rule their earth with an iron fist.

    The Syndicate is an intimidating force that will stop at nothing for complete control, and seeing the evil versions of these iconic characters interact with each other is a treat. Pitting the League against formidable doppelgangers who don’t share their morals, Crisis on Two Earths features fantastic animation that makes every moment more impactful.

    4 Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox

    Runtime: 1 Hour, 15 Minutes

    Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox is one of the darkest films DC has ever made. The film portrays the Flash (Justin Chambers) waking up and learning that he’s been transported to a different version of Earth. In this world, he’s never had any powers, his mother is alive, Thomas Wayne (Kevin McKidd) is Batman, and Superman (Sam Daly) is a government experiment.

    If that’s not wild enough, Aquaman (Cary Elwes) and Wonder Woman (Vanessa Marshall) are at war with one another, and their conflict threatens to destroy the world. Like the comic it’s based on, Flashpoint presents a bleaker version of the DC Universe, but its jaw-dropping ultimate confrontation goes down in history for its intense visuals.

    3 Justice League: Secret Origins

    Runtime: 1 Hour, 6 Minutes

    The next generation of animated Justice League shows started with the October 2001 premiere of Justice League on Cartoon Network. However, it didn’t kick off with a standard 30-minute episode. Frankly, that wasn’t enough time to reveal the team’s origins.

    Instead, creators went with the 60-minute “Secret Origins” telefilm, which detailed how the team first joined forces to face an intergalactic threat. Besides its interesting story, viewers got to see the start of some iconic pairings that would last through this series, Justice League Unlimited, and the movies.

    2 Justice League: Doom

    Runtime: 1 Hour, 15 Minutes

    Justice League: Doom shows just how far Batman is willing to go to protect the planet. When the Legion of Doom gets their hands on plans Batman has created to neutralize the Justice League, The Dark Knight must work fast to save his friends.

    Doom was one of the last projects Dwayne McDuffie worked on before his tragic passing, and it was one of his best. The film featured the same great dialog and character dynamics that made McDuffie one of the best in the business, but Justice League: Doom also had beautiful animation, great action sequences, and a returning cast of DCAU actors reprising their iconic roles.

    1 Justice League Dark: Apokolips War

    Runtime: 1 Hour, 30 Minutes

    Apokolips War is the perfect Justice League movie to end the New 52 era of stories. It’s certainly a dark narrative with a level of violence some viewers might be uncomfortable with. Nevertheless, it did one important thing.

    Apokolips War proved there’s always something to hope for. Despite the people lost and the fate of the Earth, there was a way to reset it all. Closing the New 52 era of stories on an epically climatic note, War prepared the animated franchise and the viewers for the next generation of stories.

    NEXT:10 Ways The Justice League Has Changed Over The Years (For Better Or Worse)