CartoonsAll Batman Cartoons Ranked: The Ultimate Batman Cartoon List

All Batman Cartoons Ranked: The Ultimate Batman Cartoon List

He is the night, he is vengeance, and he is the Dark Knight.

Batman is the most famous superhero in the world, with a successful and long line of animated shows. 

As such, Batman will be seen in different forms and iterations throughout the years, with the creators’ own takes on how he is depicted. But with so many cartoon shows, where do we start?

This list will feature all the Batman cartoons, movies, and animated shows featuring the Caped Crusader, where to watch them, and recommendations as to what to start with first or what is worth watching. 

How Many Batman Cartoons Are There?

For Batman cartoons, there are a total of 9 animated shows that focus on the Dark Knight and his adventures in crime fighting in Gotham City.

Batman will appear in other DC animated works, such as:

  • Super Friends
  • The Justice League
  • Justice League Unlimited 
  • The Zeta Project (2001)
  • Static Shock
  • Harely Quinn (2019)

This article opts to divide each category of Batman’s appearances, starting with how he is seen working alongside other heroes in other shows, then moving to his own animated movies, and finally, his cartoons.

  • Top 10 Batman Cartoons Featuring the Dark Knight
  • Top 10 Batman Movies Ranked
  • Top 10 Batman Cartoons Ranked

I felt that this would give you a small guide on how to trace the Dark Knight’s history, origins, and acts of heroism that cement his legacy as one of the world’s most popular superheroes.

Top 10 Batman Cartoons Featuring the Dark Knight

Other than his own animated series and comics, Batman has been featured in several other shows and helped contribute to its success.

Can you imagine him out of the Justice League?

Here’s a list of shows where you can find the bat-themed hero at.

10. Super Friends

super friends
  • Directors: Charles Nichols, George Gordon, Ray Patterson
  • Seasons: 1
  • Episodes: 16
  • Where to Watch: HBO Max

The earliest version of the Justice League features Batman as part of the Super Friends, a super team with a bunch of teenagers to help them.

It consists of team members like Superman, Wonderwoman, Aqua Man, and the Flash as the team fights crime and saves innocent people against the Legion of Doom.

Batman serves as a crime-fighting detective along with Robin to face their classic foes and help other members with their line of villains.

9. The Zeta Project

  • Directors: Bob Davies, Curt Geda, Tim Maltby
  • Seasons: 2
  • Episodes: 26
  • Where to Watch: Apple TV+

A spinoff show for Batman Beyond, it largely puts Terry McGinnis’ Batman as the guest star of a story about an assassin droid’s escape with a young girl.

Though the show was made for younger kids, it was the creator’s vision to push adult themes of grief, existential crisis, and loneliness into the show that was at odds with other staff.

It can still make for good viewing when you see it as a separate arc from the rest.

8. Justice League: Gods and Monsters Chronicles (2015-2016)

justice league gods and monsters chronicles
  • Directors: Bruce Timm, Sam Liu
  • Seasons: 1
  • Episodes: 3
  • Where to Watch: HBO Max

This underrated web series pulls off a different take on Batman’s identity and allows him to be a unique character altogether with the rest of the cast.

Batman’s identity in this show is Kirk Langstrom, who in the actual DC universe is Man-bat, who is a scientist and was a villain in the main Batman shows.

When compared to Bruce, Kirk is a whole new character. This makes for a refreshing watch to see an alternate version of Batman or Manbat.

7. Justice League Action

justice league action
  • Director: Jake Castorena
  • Runtime: 1:15
  • Release Date: 2018
  • Watch On: Prime Video

This is one of the iconic crossovers between Batman and Mystery Inc. As both mystery solvers in their respective shows, they make for good viewing.

It features the mystery of the Dark Knight and the Scooby-Doo Gang winding up in Arkham Asylum to interview all the different suspects in Batman’s gallery of rogues.

It’s also a sight to see the members of Mystery Inc. suit up in different Batman costumes and help save the day.

6. The Batman of Shanghai 

the batman of shanghai
  • Director: Jin Roh
  • Seasons:
  • Episodes: 3
  • Where to Watch:

This is the 1930s re-imagining of Batman in Shanghai in three short episodes. It features Batman, Catwoman, and Bane in alternate costumes that reflect the setting.

Batman himself uses a pair of Escrima sticks, which double as nunchucks. All characters fight with kung-fu and Chinese art styles to render fluid fight scenes and choreography.

While only short, it shares a few similarities with Batman Ninja, and it is something I personally would like to see more of.

5. Static Shock (2000)

static shock
  • Director: Denys Cowan, Victor Dal Chele, James Tucker
  • Seasons: 4
  • Episodes: 52
  • Where to Watch: HBO Max

With Static Shock, viewers get to see Batman in a few episodes where Static meets his future self. Together, they band against Timecode, a villain that could unleash many criminals from different timelines.

This serves to note two important things. One is that Static will become a Justice League member in the near future.

Second, he was able to meet and connect with two timelines: Batman The Animated Series and Batman Beyond, to create nice continuity for all the shows involved.

4. Young Justice (2011-2022)

  • Director: Christopher Berkeley, Vinton Heuck, Melchior Zwyer
  • Seasons: 4
  • Episodes: 98
  • Where to Watch: HBO Max

A modern depiction of the Bat Family and new superheroes, Young Justice allows viewers to view more of Batman’s mentoring of Dick Grayson, who eventually becomes Nightwing.

Batman is a disciplinarian with moral codes that do not stick well with the children, thus prompting them to form their own groups and go on unconventional missions.

The Dark Knight’s current role also reveals his fatherly nature as he prepares the youth for the harsh realities of the real world.

3. Harley Quinn (2019)

harley quinn 2019
  • Directors: Cecilia Aranovich, Juan Jose Meza-Leon, Vinton Heuck
  • Seasons: 3
  • Episodes: 37
  • Where to Watch: HBO Max

This show manages to show Batman in a light-hearted way. When waking up from a coma in season two, Batman realizes how Gotham got so bad.

Jim Gordon looks worse for wear and asks Batman to pay the wages of the police force as total anarchy ensues in Gotham.

The most popular meme sequence is when Scarecrow accidentally unmasks Batman to be Bruce Wayne, to which the Joker rhetorically asks: “Where’s my goddamn electric car, Bruce!?”

2. Justice League Unlimited (2004-2006)

justice league unlimited
  • Directors: Joaquim Dos Santos, Dan Riba
  • Seasons: 3
  • Episodes: 39
  • Where to Watch: HBO Max

As the superheroes form more teams to counter the numerous threats the earth faces, the Justice League becomes a governing body that makes the top decisions.

Batman’s role in this series is as its main representative to mediate growing tensions with world governments.

What is notable aside from Batman’s supportive role is his relationship with Wonder Woman. This forms one of the most romantic pairings and shows that Batman still has room for a happy relationship in his life.

1. Justice League (2001-2004)

justice league tv series
  • Directors: Butch Lukic, Dan Riba
  • Seasons: 2
  • Episodes: 52
  • Where to Watch: HBO Max

Batman is a genius for his role as a Justice League Member and shows him as a star hero.

The Dark Knight joins the ranks of heroes like Superman, Wonder Woman, Green Lantern, The Martian Manhunter, Hawkgirl, and the Flash to counter domestic and intergalactic threats.

His best work is to have countermeasures for each of the members, and himself should unforeseen actions take hold.

Top 10 Batman Movies Ranked

For this list, I’ll rank the 10 best Batman cartoon movies that show Bruce Wayne’s Batman at his best performances.

10. Batman: The Dark Knight Returns

batman the dark knight returns
  • Director: Jay Oliva
  • Runtime: 2:38
  • Release Date: 2013
  • Watch On: HBO Max

This is Frank Miller’s take on Batman as a two-part animated movie. Batman wages war on crime with a new charming Robin sidekick named Carrie Kelly. 

The best thing about the movie is the highly animated action scenes that are bloody enough that Superman has to intervene with Bruce’s sense of justice gone past his limits.

It also shows a grim take on Batman’s legacy as he raises a private army for his take on vigilante justice.

9. Batman: Gotham Knight

batman gotham knight
  • Director: Yasuhiro Aoki, Futoshi Higashide, Toshiyuki Kubooka
  • Runtime: 1:15
  • Release Date: 2008
  • Watch On: HBO Max

This Batman movie is a 6-part animated movie series that shows Batman stories. It features episodes with different art styles and different creators.

Some highlights include animation studios 4°C, Production I.G, Bee Train, and Madhouse displaying their animated art styles that blend well to create dark and gritty settings.

While the first few episodes can range in quality of storytelling, they show Kevin Conroy’s range in voicing every story as the dark knight.

8. Batman and Mr. Freeze: Subzero

batman and mr. freeze subzero
  • Director: Boyd Kirkland
  • Runtime: 1:10
  • Release Date: 1998
  • Watch On: HBO Max

This movie continues the Mr. Freeze episode ‘Heart of Ice’ in Batman the Animated Series. It allows fans to watch the heartbreaking tale come to a fitting conclusion.

Upon learning that Mr. Freeze’s wife, Nora, needs an organ donor, only one candidate matches, and that’s Batgirl. She gets kidnapped but is manipulated to go with the operation.

Now Batman and Robin track her down and deal with the incident. Overall, this movie has a good ending.

7. Batman: Year One

batman year one
  • Director: Sam Liu, Lauren Montgomery
  • Runtime: 1:04
  • Release Date: 2011
  • Watch On: HBO Max

Batman origin stories are interesting to look at, and Year One is the best at showing how Bruce Wayne and Jim Gordon rise to their respective roles.

It shows two origin stories, one of Bruce Wayne becoming the eventual Dark Knight and Jim Gordon struggling as he rises through the ranks of the corrupt Gotham police department.

When the two eventually partner up, it’s more impactful to see both sides of the law in a sea of criminals.

6. Batman: Return of the Caped Crusaders

batman return of the caped crusaders
  • Director: Rick Morales
  • Runtime: 1:18
  • Release Date: 2016
  • Watch On: HBO Max

The classic Batman and Robin from the sixties are featured in this animated movie that manages to update its visuals while keeping true to its show roots.

Voice actors Adam West and Burt Ward reprise their roles as the original Caped Crusader and boy wonder. They face off against the Joker, Penguin, Riddler, and Catwoman.

The story shines once more as the super campy and goofy version that old and new fans will enjoy.

5. Batman Ninja

batman ninja
  • Director: Junpei Mizusaki
  • Runtime: 1:25
  • Release Date: 2018
  • Watch On: HBO Max

This movie transports Batman back to feudal Japan, where he has to adapt and rely on his martial arts rather than the gadgets that we see him mostly use.

It also puts a selected cast of rogues like the Joker in a warlord role, dueling Batman in full anime fight sequences. 

This animated movie uses common Japanese anime tropes to showcase its pop-culture influences, such as samurai and ninja costumes, mystical abilities, and giant monkey mechs.

4. Batman: Under the Red Hood

batman under the red hood
  • Director: Brandon Vietti
  • Runtime: 1:15
  • Release Date: 2010
  • Watch On: HBO Max

A number of Batman and Robin cartoons play on the father-son relationship between the two heroes. However, over the years,  this tragic movie would highlight Batman’s greatest failure.

Jason Todd as Robin was iconic to many viewers. But as Red Hood, he challenges Batman’s moral code through extreme measures.

When the duo sees each other, a choice is made between killing the Joker or killing Jason. Both are hard answers that lead to a tragic conclusion.

3. Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker

batman beyond return of the joker
  • Director: Curt Geda
  • Runtime: 1:16
  • Release Date: 2000
  • Watch On: HBO Max

This movie was a mind bomb of a Batman cartoon that resurrected the clown villain as his final legacy. 

Several years into the future, The Joker suddenly returns to cause mayhem and pays his aging bat-friend one last visit, as we get to learn a dark truth.

It manages to tie up story plots from The New Adventures of Batman and Batman Beyond in a neat package that cements Terry McGinnis’s legacy as the new Batman and closes the series on a good note.

2. The Lego Batman Movie

the lego batman movie
  • Director: Chris McKay
  • Runtime: 1:44
  • Release Date: 2017
  • Watch On: Peacock, Apple TV+

This spinoff of the popular Lego Movie sees a version of Batman’s movie hilariously played as a parody of itself. 

Batman’s cool and wacky adventures are reflected in his childish and arrogant behavior. He does all manner of wacky stunts in his adventure to find meaning and kin.

The movie is full of funny quips and sincere moments. It never gets too dark and is a great source of entertainment for the whole family.

1. Batman Mask of the Phantasm

batman mask of the phantasm
  • Director: Eric Radomski, Kevin Altieri, Boyd Kirkland
  • Runtime: 1:16
  • Release Date: 1993
  • Watch On: HBO Max

This is by far the best of the Batman cartoon movies that have had a cult following. It features Batman’s animated series origins in flashbacks, all while solving a mystery involving several dead criminals.

Meanwhile, Bruce also has to struggle with his personal life and his reputation as Batman. 

It is a film whose themes of personal matters versus justice will be a focal point for Bruce’s character.

Top 10 Batman Cartoons Ranked

Here’s a list of the best Batman cartoons that can also serve as a guide for new fans if they’re interested in watching these cartoons in a fun order that is easy to understand.

10. The Batman/Superman Hour (1968-1969)

the batman superman hour

This was the first animated show to debut Batman on TV, along with Superman and other heroes, as well as iconic villains such as the Joker, Mr. Freeze, Catwoman, Penguin, and a few others.

It made for animation history that would be packaged at six and a half minutes for both superheroes with over thirty-four episodes.

The show was still limited by its animated sequences, which made for basic action scenes that would be vastly improved as other animated shows would do better.

9. The Adventures of Batman (1968-1969)

the adventures of batman

A follow-up to the Batman/Superman Hour, The Adventures of Batman takes notes from its predecessor with some improvements in animation and how the caped-crusader is depicted with the boy wonder.

While it has aged poorly due to its stale dialogue, it does show the charm of the Batman and Robin cartoons that show how they work together to solve crimes.

It is still a piece of Batman’s animated history due to its campy tones and humor. 

8. The New Adventures of Batman (1977) 

the new adventures of batman
  • Directors: Don Towsley
  • Seasons: 01
  • Episodes: 16
  • Where to Watch: Apple TV+

Batman and Robin take on the Scooby-Doo formula that was prevalent at the time in this show. It can be divisive for fans due to one character named Bat-Mite.

Bat-Mite is a fifth-dimensional character that is part of the DC multiverse. His presence in the show would be as annoying as it is whimsical. 

While it only ran for sixteen episodes, Batman would regain fame in the 90s and further down this list.

7. Beware the Batman (2013-2014) 

beware the batman

This CGI-animated series spins the tale of Batman with a new take on characters like Katana as Batman’s goddaughter and Alfred as a retired MI6 agent. 

Together with the Dark Knight, they take on Gotham’s dark underworld. Deathstroke, Killer Croc, and Ra’s al Ghul stand out as the main villains of the show.

Despite having good episodes, it got canceled with production issues in the mix. But it did show what fans really wanted in terms of a Batman cartoon.

6. Batman Unlimited (2015-2016) 

batman unlimited

If you are ever short on time but still want to watch some Batman cartoons, then Batman Unlimited is my recommendation.

The 3-minute animation shorts show Batman taking on iconic supervillains in different ways. It highlights Batman’s gadgets, the Batmobile, and the supporting cast of heroes like Nightwing, Robin, and Batgirl to deal with the villains in high-energy episodes.

Batman Unlimited manages to showcase everything familiar with the caped crusader and summarize most of the shows in this Batman cartoons list.

5. The New Batman Adventures (1997-1999)

  • Directors: Dan Riba, Curt Geda, Butch Lukic
  • Seasons: 2
  • Episodes: 24
  • Where to Watch: Prime Video

As a sequel to Batman: The Animated Series, everything about the show is similar to the animated series with a few upgrades. 

One notable change is Batman’s role from a lone wolf to a team leader as he takes on new allies like Tim Drake’s Robin, Dick Grayson’s Nightwing, and Batgirl.

It did not last longer than twenty-four episodes but still left its mark as part of the animated Batman’s canon history, one that would be integrated with another show called Batman Beyond.

4. The Batman (2004)

the batman 2004
  • Directors: Brandon Vietti, Seung Eun Kim, Christopher Berkeley
  • Seasons: 5
  • Episodes:  65
  • Where to Watch: Apple TV+

This show highlights Bruce’s younger and earlier career as Batman. The series starts with two officers of the Gotham City Police Department tasked with taking down Batman. 

We get to learn about Batman through the point-of-view of these detectives, as well as get a good look at the Dark Knight’s methods of fighting crime.

While it was able to receive multiple awards, it took liberties with the Batman mythology and had a different take on its character designs.

3. Batman: The Brave And The Bold (2008)

batman the brave and the bold
  • Directors: Ben Jones, Michael Chang, Michael Goguen
  • Seasons: 3
  • Episodes: 65
  • Where to Watch: HBO Max

While many Batman shows are serious and dark in tone, Batman The Brave and the Bold is a celebration of all that is DC, with Batman as the lead. Primarily aimed at kids, it can still make for great family entertainment.

Batman stars with several guest heroes in episodes that can range from something serious to funny musicals.

Some featured guests come from other Warner Brothers’ character properties, like Scooby-Doo, as they help the Bat solve mysteries and face familiar villains.

2. Batman Beyond (1999)

batman beyond

This cult classic paints Batman in an edgier tone. Batman Beyond answers the question, “What if Bruce Wayne got too old for the job?” and “What happened to the rest of the Bat Family?”

Fans finally get to find the answer through Terry McGinnis, a man mentored by an older Bruce Wayne.

It’s the relationship that stands out with Bruce and Terry as finding meaning in what Batman’s legacy should be.

Which Batman Cartoon Should I Watch First?

Batman: The Animated Series  (1992-1995)

batman the animated series
  • Directors: Kevin Altieri, Boyd Kirkland, Frank Paur
  • Seasons: 2
  • Episodes: 85
  • Where to Watch: HBO Max

The best series to start getting to know the Dark Knight will be this animated cartoon, which ran for about three years, from 1992-1995, with 85 episodes. This is considered to be the best Batman cartoon that fans can jump into.

Bruce Wayne’s personal life is also shown through his business dealings by day and his crime-fighting by night. It also has iconic villains like the Joker and explores their origins, motivations, and reflections on Batman’s weaknesses.

From Bruce’s daily dealings at Wayne Corp to Batman’s detective work, the common story themes that represent Bruce and Batman are best represented by the villains, which make for great storytelling.

This show has also become a highlight for new and old fans alike as a masterpiece of Batman’s animated show. I can personally recommend this for great viewing.

What Is The Oldest Batman Cartoon?

The Batman/Superman Hour (1968-1969)

the batman superman hour

As mentioned on the list, The Batman/Superman Hour was the first cartoon to feature Batman, and it even has Superman! This paved the way for Batman’s animated history by proving that the bat hero is popular among kids and adults alike.

What Is The Newest Batman Cartoon?

Batman: Caped Crusader

batman caped crusader

Batman made his last appearance as a main character in Batman Unlimited (2015). These were a series of web shorts centered on Batman’s crime-fighting adventures. 

The rest of Batman’s recent appearances were in movies like Batman and Superman: Battle of the Super Sons (2022) and the animated show Young Justice Outsiders (2018).

However, a new upcoming series named Batman: Caped Crusader is in production and is set to entertain audiences and renew interest in The Dark Knight later this 2023.

Now that rounds up everything on this list of the best Batman cartoons. Hopefully, this will serve as a guide for people looking for a Batman cartoons list to keep track of and watch. 

Batman remains famous around the world as a caped crusader that people can look up to. 

The bat-themed hero still remains a beacon of justice for those who serve the law, even if it isn’t easy. He makes sure to do the right thing, to keep a moral code despite the darkness of the world.

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