The tears from Tom Holland’s untimely death have finally dried (for the time being) thanks to Sony’s fantastic work bringing Spider-Man and several other Spider-people to life with the animated film Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse. Although it’s not within the MCU, Spider-Verse broke box-office records and received universal acclaim, making it a certified Marvel hit in its own right. With all the spectacle revolving around recent MCU films, sometimes we forget that in addition to great live-action movies, there are several great animated films, too. Here are just a few other animated superhero films from both DC and Marvel, in case you’re looking to get another fix after watching Into the Spider-Verse for the third or fourth time.
The Death of Superman
The storyline revolving around the death of Superman is one that has been told many times. 2018’s Death of Superman, however, delves deeper into the backstory and character development than ever before. Justice League fans get the epic team up against the villain Doomsday that was briefly touched upon in 2016’s live-action Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice and 2007’s animated Superman: Doomsday. Another plus to this adaptation is the direct set-up for the sequel, 2019’s Reign of the Superman. Now, if only the live-action department could get this right…
Big Hero 6
First released as a comicbook series in 1998, Big Hero 6 is one of the few animated greats based on Marvel material, although it’s still a loose adaptation of the original story. The 2014 Disney film managed to create the immersive world of San Fransokyo which housed the unique and unforgettable group of heroes, especially the pair that started it all, Hiro Hamada and Baymax. If Disney continues to venture into live-action adaptations of animated films, Big Hero 6 could be a surefire sensation all over again.
Batman Beyond: Return of The Joker
What DC Comics may lack in live-action hits, they make up for in animated films tenfold. Batman Beyond, which was released back in 2000, showed us a retired Bruce Wayne who was succeeded by young Terry McGinnis as the Caped Crusader. The film also gave fans of Robin a big storyline for one of the lesser-known iterations, Tim Drake. Plus, any animated movie involving the Joker means that Mark Hamill might bring his distinctively haunting voice to Gotham once more, as he did here.
Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox
As one of the most memorable stories in DC Comics history, it has always been the hope that an on-screen adaptation of the Flashpoint Paradox would remain as close to the source as possible. Luckily for DC fans, this 2013 animated film does just that. Barry Allen’s rescue of his mother sets off a series of events that drastically change history and the Justice League, making for some very bizarre parallels and differences. The story has been adapted multiple times, usually with a loose similarity and an underlying concept of timeline alteration, but this one is regarded as the best retelling of the Flashpoint Paradox story so far. If anymore versions are to come, let’s hope they follow this model.
The Lego Batman Movie
Although this 2017 film was billed as a spoof of all previous (and serious) Batman story arcs, the movie featured an all-star voice cast and provided some great comedy. A Lego film may not exactly tug at the heartstrings the way other Batman adaptations do, but it was still a tightly crafted creation that equally paid tribute to and made light of many of the iconic Gotham-based characters and stories that inspired it.
Batman: Mask of the Phantasm
Besides universally positive reviews, 1993’s Mask of the Phantasm is recognized as one of the first feature-length animated comicbook films. The movie came immediately after the very successful Batman: The Animated Series television run and was also a commercial success at the time. However, the most memorable part of the film had to be the voice acting combo of Kevin Conroy and Mark Hamill as Batman and the Joker, respectively. The definitive performances of these great actors set the high bar for all animated versions of Gotham City and its greatest hero and villain ever since.
Batman: Under the Red Hood
Besides boasting another all-star voice cast, 2010’s Under the Red Hood is one of the few animated comicbook films to receive a 100% on Rotten Tomatoes. In this adaptation of the Batman comicbook series arcs “Under the Hood” and “A Death in the Family,” the movie’s spotlight is on Jason Todd, the least popular of all Robin iterations. However, the filmmakers not only give the character a backstory that turned him into a hardened and enigmatic anti-hero, but it is also hailed as one of the most “personal” Batman stories to date.