While the live-action Justice League movie is a pretty divisive film, the animated escapades of DC's premier hero team have always gotten a much more positive reception amongst both fans and critics. They're bright, bold, brash, and everything that an animated superhero movie should be.
So, to celebrate the animated adaptations of the iconic super team, we decided to take a trip down memory lane and list the ten best-animated films that star the Justice League. While many more DC films have featured the League in cameos or as part of a larger ensemble, we're only counting movies that feature them as the main protagonists. Let's dive in!
10 Justice League: Throne of Atlantis
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 was enjoyable, it does come at the cost of everything around him feeling rushed. The Justice League's sub-plots are under-developed, The film's main antagonist, Ocean Master (Sam Witwer), comes off more like a spoiled brat than a Machiavellian schemer, and Black Manta is a throw-away henchman. It's an entertaining watch, nonetheless.
9 Justice League vs. Teen Titans
One of the issues with the DCAMU 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 serving supporting roles that don't do them justice.
Despite this, the film does work by focusing on the latter group. Seeing the Titans in a slightly more 'adult' portrayal than their TV show counterpart is a blast to see. While their battle with the League is fun, it's the fight against Trigun (Jon Bernthal) that will wow you the most about this film.
8 Justice League: Gods and Monsters
Very few people talk about Gods and Monsters, but it's a film that fans should check out. Taking place in an alternate universe, the film follows Superman (the son of General Zod), Batman (Kurt Landstrom) and Wonder Woman (Bekka) as they are framed for a crime that they didn't commit.
While the film does spend too much of its time focusing on the origins of these new versions of the famous DC trio, it does make up for its shortcomings with entertaining action, an excellent voice cast, a sharp script and a mystery that manages to suck you into the world that animation legend Bruce Timm has created.
7 Justice League Dark
Justice League Dark focuses on the group of heroes we don't see every day. It spends much of its time on the mystical side of the DC universe, with characters like John Constantine, Zatana, Deadman, Jason Blood and Swamp Thing taking center stage.
While past DC movies have hinted at the more magical side of its world, this was the one that showed it off to its fullest, thanks to the gothic, R-Rated animation on display. If you ever wanted to see a haunted house version of DC comics, this flick is for you.
6 Justice League: War
When DC's greatest heroes can't beat a villain alone, they have to work together to take them out. Justice League: War is all about the various members of the League coming together for the first time in the DCAMU.
While the plot is straightforward, the film is all about the League playing off each other. Sure, we've seen how these heroes work together in past incarnations, but the film does just enough different to make for a great experience. It also helps that the action on display is top-notch, making this the perfect popcorn flick.
5 Justice League: The New Frontier
While the Justice League have been around since the 1940s, the Gold/Silver age versions of these characters rarely partook 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 60s, during the end of the Cold War era.
Tension is brewing between the heroes and the government, but both forces will have to 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 great script.
4 Justice League vs. The Fatal Five
The most recent film on the list, Justice League vs. The Fatal Five is a welcome return to the DC Animated Universe that 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.
While the film 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 Newborn reprise their roles as the iconic Justice League trio. Here's hoping we finally get that reunion movie that fans have been clamoring for.
3 Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths
The Justice League are no strangers to alternate dimensions. In Crisis on Two Earths, the Justice League are asked by Lex Luthor (Chris Noth) to go against the Crime Syndicate, evil versions of the Justice League who rule the 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 highlight. Crisis on Two Earths features tons of them, and seeing the League beat the snot out of them makes for a good time. The great animation and fun artwork make things all the more enjoyable too.
2 Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox
Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox is one of the darkest films that DC has ever made, period. The film sees the Flash (Justin Chambers) waking up and learning that he has been transported to a different version of Earth. It's one where he 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 bad enough, Aquaman (Carey Elwes) and Wonder Woman are at war with one another, a conflict that threatens to destroy the world.
Like the comic it's based on, Flashpoint is a bleaker version of the DC Universe. It all leads to a final act that will make you wonder how this film got away with a PG-13 rating. It may go a little too far with its violent final battle, but it's still one heck of a flick!
1 Justice League: Doom
This film 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 features the same great dialog and character dynamics that made McDuffie one of the best in the business, but Justice League: Doom also has beautiful animation, great action sequences and a returning cast of DCAU actors reprising their iconic roles. It truly is the best of the best.