It’s a Bird… It’s a Plane… It’s Superman’s Animated Movie Ranked.
Let us dive into the Notalgia Lane; Superman was no less than an idol for any kid growing up. Many say Superman is an overpowered and boring character coming out of the DCEU.
To all the critiques, Superman still flies high above the clouds of relevance. He is more relevant than he ever was. From his ever-loyalty to friendships, true patriotism, a sense of justice, and formidable ideologies, he is and will always stay an iconic character to come out of the DC Universe and stay dear to fans for generations to come.
Now, let us fly through buildings and dive into the list of 15 Best Superman Animated Movies of All Time.
- #15 Superman: Brainiac Attacks
- #14 Superman: Man of Tomorrow
- #13 Superman: Red Son
- #12 Reign of the Supermen
- #11 Superman: Unbound
- #10 Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths
- #9 Superman/Batman: Apocalypse
- #8 Superman: The Last Son Of Krypton
- #7 Superman/Batman: Public Enemies
- #6 Justice League Dark: Apokolips
- #5 All-Star Superman
- #4 Superman vs. The Elite
- #3 The Death of Superman
- #2 Justice League: War
- #1 The Batman Superman Movie: World’s Finest
- Honorable Mentions
#15 Superman: Brainiac Attacks
Release Date: June 20th, 2006
Duration: 76 Minutes
Superman: Brainiac Attacks is not canon to the DCAU or the Superman: The Animated series. Released in 2006, it shows Superman taking on two evil masterminds, Brainiac and Lex Luthor.
Luthor and Brainiac get into an agreement, where Brainiac takes Superman down and leaves the planet. And this process makes Luthor look like the Hero who made the Brainiac flee. However, Brainiac betrays Luthor, leading to an ultimate showdown between the Man of Steel and Brainiac. The movie brings in more romance and humor.
#14 Superman: Man of Tomorrow
Release Date: August 23rd, 2020
Duration: 86 minutes
Superman: Man of Tomorrow is a standalone film that loosely takes inspiration from its counterpart comic book of the same name. Superman: Man of Tomorrow comic book; created to fill in gaps left by five-week-long months, it ran for a short period and was later canceled. The film also marked the start of a new animated universe for years to come.
The movie backdrops on the origins story and the life of Clark Kent, from his entrance to Earth in a ship to being raised by his adopted parents to being Superman; this movie makes a great entry point for newcomers. The star-studded voice actors from Alexandra Daddario as Louis Lane, Darren Criss as Superman, and Brett Dalton as Rudy Jones is a treat for fans.
You get to take a peek into young Clark Kent’s life. Also, when young adult Clark went on to work at the Daily Planet, how he doubts himself during the initial stages of being Superman.
#13 Superman: Red Son
Release Date: February 25th, 2020
Duration: 84 minutes
Superman: Red Son is a film based on a comic book of the same name by Mark Millar. Superman: Red Son is an Elseworld story. A comic fanatic knows that some of Superman’s best comics are from Elseworld stories. And Red Son probably tops that list.
The story unravels the tale of Superman, who landed in the USSR instead of Kansas. Superman: Red Son has it all. Lex Luthor as President, with Wonder Woman as an ally to Russian Superman, Batman goes rogue and opposes Superman. The movie also features historical figures like Joseph Stalin, JFK, and Dwight Eisenhower.
However, the movie fails to reach the success tasted by its comic. The overall film is somewhat rushed, and few plots are changed to suit the movie. If you haven’t read the comic yet nor have no intention of reading it anytime soon, this Elseworld story will keep you entertained for almost 80 minutes.
#12 Reign of the Supermen
Release Date: January 13th, 2019
Duration: 87 Minutes
Reign of the Supermen is a sequel to the Death of Superman movie. The movie takes place after the events and the death of Superman. The evil genius, Lex Luthor, introduces an all-new Superman called Superboy to the world, who is later revealed to be a clone.
It does not stop here; various other super beings try to claim the place where the real Superman once stood. Steel is a sledgehammer-wielding super-being. Cyborg Superman is a cyborg who can control and reanimate into any machine. And finally, Eradicator; is created from the actual DNA template of Superman. All four are hell-bent on filling in the shoes of Superman. Cyborg Superman and Darkseid lead a full-blown invasion of Earth.
The overall movie is somewhat of a humdrum, and the lesser screen time of the Justice League disappointed the fans. However, the film is not bad. It just fails to live up to the expectations set by its prequel.
#11 Superman: Unbound
Release Date: May 7th, 2013
Duration: 75 minutes
Superman: Unbound is a movie more or less based on the comic book arc of The Brainiac written by Geoff Johns. The film features characters ranging from Supergirl, Zoro-El, Thara Ak-Var, and other recurring characters. When a meteor is fast approaching Earth, Superman decides to interrupt it. Upon investigation, he finds that the meteor is a robotic drone controlled by an evil mastermind, Brainiac.
The movie packs nerve-wracking fights and good animations, and it has Supergirl in it, making the duo much more entertaining to watch. It is a fairly decent movie to watch.
#10 Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths
Release Date: February 23rd, 2010
Duration: 75 minutes
Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths is a reworked script from then abandoned Justice League: Worlds Collide. The movie follows the “Crisis on Earth-Three!” arc by Gardner Fox & JLA: Earth 2 by Grant Morrison. The roles reprised by the mainstream DC Universe characters in an alternate universe are reversed.
JLA becomes Crime Syndicate, a super-villainous team comprising of evil JLA counterparts. The first fight between the iconic JLA and the evil Crime Syndicate makes the film a good watch. The animations and action sequences are all the more enjoyable.
#9 Superman/Batman: Apocalypse
Release Date: September 28th, 2010
Duration: 78 Minutes
Man of Steel and the Dark Knight, it can’t get any more exciting than seeing these superheroes share the same screen. Do you need more reasons to watch the movie other than this?
The movie features our beloved villain, Darkseid. Thus, creating hardcore content for fans. The film is the sequel of Superman/Batman: Public Enemies, which we mentioned before in the list. The events take place after the impeachment of Lex Luther. A spaceship crashes into Gotham City Harbor, and after an investigation, the being in the spacecraft is Kara Zoro-el, the first blood cousin of Superman.
Darkseid launches an all-out attack after learning about Kara’s presence and takes Kara under his control through brainwashing. Though the title may be a little misleading, since the story revolves more around Kara Zoro-el/Supergirl, ignoring the title, the movie portrays Supergirl’s journey on Earth and her relationship with his first cousin flawlessly. Superman’s overprotectiveness towards Kara is adorable to watch.
#8 Superman: The Last Son Of Krypton
Release Date: September 6, 1996
Duration: 91 Minutes
Superman: The Last Son of Krypton is the life story of Kal-El and how he grew up to become Clark Kent and his career as the most loved superhero of Metropolis, Superman. It is also one of the earliest animated movies of Superman.
Even though the movie is pretty early in its release year, it does not disappoint. The film does a decent job of summarizing Superman’s origin story in just over an hour.
#7 Superman/Batman: Public Enemies
Release Date: September 29th, 2009
Duration: 67 Minutes
The Warner Bros Studious once again brings us the iconic duo of Man of Steel & Batman, and they do so with a bang. Superman/Batman: Public Enemies is the first part of the Superman/Batman duology, the second one being Superman/Batman: Apocolypse.
The movie is directed based on the comics: Superman/Batman: “The World’s Finest” written by Jeph Loeb. The story backdrops while the American state is going through an economic depression, and the infamous CEO of LexCorp, Lex Luthor, gets elected as the next President of the United States of America.
A Kryptonite meteor; is headed toward Earth, and instead of seeking help from superheroes, the “new president” cooks up a crooked and sly plan of world dominance by letting the meteor collide with Earth. Luthor’s devious plan of framing Superman for the meteor and murder of a supervillain.
The movie features Superheroes; Captain Atom, Starfire, Power Girl, Hawkman, and Shazam, among many other supervillains and side characters. The portrayal of the relationship and friendship between the iconic duos is flawless. The movie, from the first minute to the last, is pure eye-candy for the fans.
#6 Justice League Dark: Apokolips
Release Date: May 5th, 2020
Duration: 90 Minutes
Justice League Dark: Apokolips War is a sequel to Justice League Dark: Doom and is based on the “Darkseid War” from the comic books. With most heroes dying or succumbing to slavery after trying to infiltrate Apokolips, the planet and the story allow less-popular characters to shine.
This movie might have much lesser screen time attributed to Superman than the other films on the list. But it shows how vulnerable the world can be even with the strongest man alongside you. DC does not shy away from showing you the gruesome and gore truths of the world, which alone makes this movie worthwhile.
#5 All-Star Superman
Release Date: February 22nd, 2011
Duration: 76 minutes
All-Star Superman movie is a comic book adaptation with the same name, created by Grant Morrison and Frank Quitely. One of the exploration missions near the sun infects Superman because of the high solar radiation. The radiation makes him stronger. But also, the overdose of the radiation is killing him.
Keeping his impending death a secret from the public world, he writes up a will to do during his final days on Earth. After revealing the true identity of Clark Kent to Louis Lane, with the help of a serum, Louis becomes Superwoman, only for a little while.
The movie unfolds as he spends his last days spending as much time as he can with his loved ones, fighting alongside Superwoman, and also the ultimate fight with his archenemy, Lex Luthor.
#4 Superman vs. The Elite
Release Date: June 12th, 2012
Duration: 76 Minutes
Superman vs. The Elite is a movie based on the comic book, “What’s So Funny About Truth, Justice & the American Way?” written by Joe Kelly, who even penned the story for the movie.
Superman is the flag-bearer of Truth, Justice, the Greater Good & the American Way, and on the other hand, we have The Elite. They are the polar opposite of Superman and his ideologies.
The Elite comprises four super-beings; Manchester Black, Coldcast, Menagerie, and Hat. The Elite are adverse advocates dealing with villains lethally, thereby making Superman concerned. The tensions reach the threshold between Superman and the Elite, and Superman challenges an ultimate face-off.
The movie is a perfect embodiment of Superman and the values he stands for. It shows Superman’s ability to protect those values and the planet he adores. All in all, the movie is about a true-blue American Superhero.
#3 The Death of Superman
Release Date: July 20th, 2018
Duration: 81 Minutes
The name of the movie is enough to catch anyone’s attention. The Death of Superman is the first part of the movie series. The second part is the Reign of Superman. The extended version, titled The Death and Return of Superman, hit the screens as a two-parter the following year.
Death of Superman is a crossover event based on a comic book of the same name. The movie does complete justice to the original arc and the comic book.
After an unknown being fallen to Earth, the being goes on a rampage wrecking chaos along his path. The being in the containment suit, dubbed Doomsday, heads towards Metropolis, the city of Superman. The Justice League members try to tame the monster but utterly fail.
Doomsday proves too strong for the JLA. If Superman had not entered the battle, Doomsday would have killed Wonder Woman. Alas, Superman dies after hurling himself at Doomsday and snapping the villain’s neck.
The movie explores a deeper relationship between Lois Lane and Superman. The relationship between Lois and Clark Kent’s family adds more emotion for fans after the death of Superman. Making it a must-watch for everyone.
#2 Justice League: War
Release Date: February 4th, 2014
Duration: 79 Minutes
One cannot complete this list without adding a few Justice League movies. So, Justice League: War is the first JLA movie that makes it to the list. Justice League: War is an adapted version of the story; Justice League: Origin, written by Geoff Johns. As the name indicates, the movie is about the origin story of the Justice League.
The plot is straightforward, heroes coming together to take down a villain, who is none other than Darkseid. This movie also marks the first appearance of the New 52. With Superman and Batman no longer wearing underwear on the outside.
The fights between the heroes and the villains are decent. The banter between Green Lantern and Batman, and the Superman and Wonderwoman duo, is one to watch. The overall film brings in a new experience making it worthwhile for you as you munch on your popcorn.
#1 The Batman Superman Movie: World’s Finest
Release Date: October 4th, 1997
Duration: 64 Minutes
The Batman Superman Movie: World’s Finest is a movie made out of combined episodes of Superman: The Animated Series episodes, 216, 217, and 218. Released in 1997, it still is one of the highly regarded animated movies. And it has all the reasons to be!
The film starts with Superman & Batman teaming up to take down Joker, who wants to kill the Man of Steel. Joker’s sudden intention to kill was not by fate. Lex Luthor hires him to take Superman down.
Tim Daly as Superman, and Kevin Conroy as Batman, are no less than a treat for hardcore fans. But the icing on the cake is; Mark Hamill as Joker. With such a star-studded cast, the story, and animation, it does not feel like the movie came out in ’97.
That brings an end to our countdown of the best superman animated movies. Here are a few noteworthy films that you should keep an eye on.
- Justice League: Doom
- Superman: Doomsday
- Justice League: Gods and Monsters
- Justice League: The New Frontier
- Justice League vs. Teen Titans
Which is The Best Superman Cartoon?
Superman: The Animated Series, which ran from 1996 to 2000, is probably the best Superman cartoon. The series is a class of its own and not aged a single day.
Who Played Superman Best?
It is different for every kid and person. Each actor put their heart and soul into bringing the iconic character to life. For the ’70s to 80’s kids, it probably is Christopher Reeve. For Gen Z, it might be Henry Cavill. From George Reeves to Cavill, every one of them was the best Superman in their way.
So, That’s it from us! Hope your favorite movie made it to the list. Which one of the Superman Movies is your Favourite?
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