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Top 10 Animated Superhero Movies

VO: Rebecca Brayton
Script written by Craig Butler. Live-action superhero movies are now a Hollywood staple, but there are plenty of animated adventures that are just as impressive. In this video, WatchMojo.com counts down our picks for the top 10 animated superhero movies. For this list, we’re considering animated movies with super-heroes, whether original or adapted from comic books, and whether created as a feature film, direct to DVD or made for TV. Special thanks to our users Scott Frank Neve II, Brian Silva, CaptainSandwich, marioarias and Chris Ashton for submitting the idea on our Suggestions Page at WatchMojo.comsuggest
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Transcript
Script written by Craig Butler.

Top 10 Animated Superhero Movies


Live-action superhero movies are now a Hollywood staple, but there are plenty of animated adventures that are just as impressive. Welcome to WatchMojo.com, and today we’re counting down our picks for the top 10 animated superhero movies.

For this list, we’re considering animated movies with super-heroes, whether original or adapted from comic books, and whether created as a feature film, direct to DVD or made for TV.

#10: “Hellboy: Sword of Storms” (2006)

Dark and grim yet strangely beautiful, “Hellboy: Sword of Storms” perfectly captures the visual style of Mike Mignola’s comic books. The movie’s Hellboy-in-Japan plot allows for plenty of atmosphere, the characters are spot-on and the dialogue has plenty of sly humor. Ron Perlman and the rest of the voice cast, many of whom were featured in the live action movie, couldn’t be better. It all adds up to a winner for Hellboy fans – and even those not familiar with the character.

#9: “Justice League: The New Frontier” (2008)

Darwyn Cooke’s comic book made a thrillingly smooth transition to the screen. Largely set in the 1950s, “Justice League: The New Frontier” is basically a retconned look at how DC’s Silver Age heroes might have both come into existence and come to work with each other. The threat is a familiar one, an alien menace; but it’s handled with great style. Especially impressive is the manner in which Cooke’s unique visual style is faithfully transferred into animation.

#8: “Superman/Batman: Apocalypse” (2010)

The title may emphasize Superman and Batman, but Supergirl is an equal partner in this outing, and that’s all for the good. Serving as an introduction to the Girl of Steel, “Superman/Batman: Apocalypse” also includes one of the most powerful and impressive portrayals of the evil Darkseid on screen. The action sequences, especially those on Apokolips, are nothing short of glorious. But even they pale compared to the final showdown back in Smallville.

#7: “Wonder Woman” (2009)

Critics who think that most portrayals of Wonder Woman lack sufficient power haven’t seen this film. The amazing Amazon is given her due in the action sequences, some of which are quite brutal. The filmmakers excellently balance the character’s innate warrior spirit with her equally strong desire for peace; they also give the representation of the mythological aspects of the character a palpable mysticism. Keri Russell and Nathan Fillion provide superb voice performances, and the chemistry between Diana and Steve is a delight.

#6: “Superman: Doomsday” (2007)

An adaptation of the famous “Death of Superman” story arc, “Superman: Doomsday” features the epic battle between the Man of Steel and the monster known as Doomsday. That alone promises plenty of action, but “Doomsday” also shows what happens after Superman’s death – and that’s what really gives the film its impact and importance. Adam Baldwin voices a marvelous Superman, and James Marsters is an absolutely impeccable Lex Luthor. Superman’s iconic status has rarely been demonstrated to better effect on film.

#5: “Batman: The Dark Knight Returns” (2012-13)

Frank Miller changed comics history with the “Batman: The Dark Knight” graphic novel. The film version therefore has a lot to live up to, and while it is not quite perfect, it still is an amazing accomplishment. Part 1 lags occasionally, largely because of the necessary exposition; but once the film takes off, it’s a rocket that can’t be stopped. Watch out especially for the battle between Batman and Superman and the final confrontation with the Joker; they’re astounding.

#4: “Justice League: Doom” (2012)

Freely adapting the “Tower of Babel” comics storyline into film, “Justice League: Doom” manages to bring together an impressive collection of heroes and villains. Yet it also manages to slyly keep the focus on Batman’s contributions to the Justice League, making it more than just a slugfest. The large array of characters is effectively used, with plenty of key moments for the major players. There’s something here to please fans of all the heroes involved – and that’s no small feat.

#3: “Batman: Under the Red Hood” (2010)

The death of Jason Todd, the second Robin, was a seminal event in the comics world; “Batman: Under the Red Hood” is a sensational adaptation of the later storyline that detailed what happened after Todd’s death. At times harrowing and gripping, “Under the Red Hood” is a Joker story – but with a twist that gives the film its power. John DiMaggio is a fascinating Joker and Bruce Greenwood is splendid as the Caped Crusader. Brandon Vietti’s intense direction imbues the film with decidedly cinematic momentum.

#2: “The Incredibles” (2004)

Brad Bird’s highly original computer-animated film looks at a family of super-powered heroes – who aren’t allowed to use their powers. Forced into living a humdrum everyday life, “The Incredibles” examines what it means to be special – and how expressing one’s unique abilities can impact others, positively and negatively. The Pixar flick includes some of the most stunningly animated action sequences ever put on screen, and it’s a thrill ride – but it’s also an engrossing and amusing story of one very tight-knit family.

Before we reveal our top pick, here are a few honorable mentions:
- “TMNT” (2007)
- “Green Lantern: First Flight” (2009)
- “Hulk Versus” (2009)
- “The Powerpuff Girls Movie” (2002)
- “Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker” (2000)

#1: “Batman: Mask of the Phantasm” (1993)

Although produced way back in 1993, “Batman: Mask of the Phantasm” is still the animated superhero film against which all others are measured. It’s not just that it has a compelling plot – although it certainly has that; it overflows with expertise in practically every area, from the unusual and dramatic shot compositions to the caricatured visual style and the voice cast that couldn’t be bettered. “Batman: Mask of the Phantasm” is clearly the work of inspired creators working at the top of their form.

Do you agree with our choices? What other animated superhero movies deserve to be on this list? For more super top 10s published daily, be sure to subscribe to WatchMojo.com.
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