We have already covered the Ten Best Live-Action Batman Moments in a previous article that covered all of the most badass moments in Batman’s live action appearances. But some might overlook some of his greatest animated film moments. It was difficult coming up with only ten, considering the vast array of cartoon Batman films there are. But I think we have managed to narrow it down to just ten. This list will only feature moments from animated movies, not any animated series so any moments from Batman: The Animated Series, Justice League, The Batman, or any other cartoons that feature the Dark Knight. We want to be taking a look at not only the moments that have made this iconic character the definitive hero that we all know, but also some of his visually best. The moments that have shaped him in the man who is the World’s Greatest Detective, along with some of the coolest things we have seen him do on screen.
What’s this do? – Justice League: War (2014)
After an encounter with a parademon, Batman and Green Lantern continue to investigate by following it into the Gotham sewers. Lantern begins to try and figure who or possibly what Batman is. He asks if he has super strength, flight, or any powers at all. After the realization that he is just a man in a suit, Batman turns to him and grins. In disbelief, Lantern asks him “What? Nobody asked you to prom so now you dress as a bat and prowl around your parent’s basement?” with a classic Batman move, he responds with “What’s this do?” and holds up Lanterns ring. Hal Jordans suit is retracted, Batman continues with “No buttons. I assume it works off concentration.” Lantern responds with “How’d you do that?” and Batman replies “You weren’t concentrating”. The argument continues when Lantern retracts his ring and angrily says “You won’t do that again” as Batman confidently says “Unless I want to” considering this is one of the first appearances of Batman in the DC Animated Film Universe, it was the perfect way to introduce him and show us just what kind of Batman we had in store.
The Riddler is Mine – Batman: Assault on Arkham (2014)
Taking place in the Batman Arkham universe. Assault on Arkham begins with the Riddler toying with Amanda Waller, who most people know is the leader of the Suicide Squad. He asks his usual riddles, Waller answers them in order to distract him so she could get a location on him. Just then, soldiers burst through the glass ceiling and aim their weapons at Riddler. Just as they are about to apprehend him, the lights shut off, in the pitch black the next thing they hear is Batman saying “The Riddler is Mine” voiced by the always flawless Kevin Conroy. The soldiers turn on their night vision goggles, just to find Batman standing in the middle of them as he begins his massacre of Wallers men. This scene is crafted together so masterfully, as it perfectly blends Batmans strategic tactics and ruthlessness all together in one scene. Taking direct references to how Batman moves and fights from the Arkham games, this entire fight stays true to those roots and showcases incredibly for the opening scene of this film.
My actions don’t require any defense – Justice League: Doom (2012)
Jumping from the beginning of a movie, to the ending of one. The premise of this film is a bit controversial. After Mirror Master breaks into the batcave and steals files from Batmans computer that contain information on how to neutralize each member of the Justice League. These plans are handed off to Vandal Savage who alters them to not just neutralize the League, but to kill them. After each Leaguer come toe to toe with death, they manage to overcome the adversities and reassemble to face Savage and his newly appointed Legion of Doom. The Justice League manage to come out on top, but now face another dilemma that begs the questions “Can we trust Batman? And should he remain on the Justice League?” Just before they vote, Wonder Woman insists that Batman should offer a defense on why he should remain among the League. Batman disagrees, claiming “My actions don’t require any defense. In the same situation, I’d do it again” this scene shows us just how much Batman understands the repercussion of an out-of-control Justice League is. And despite if others trust him or not, he is willing to do what is necessary for the greater good of humanity.
It’s an operating table, and I’m the surgeon – Batman: The Dark Knight Returns Part I (2012)
When a dangerous new gang called the Mutants begin to cause mayhem and terror on the streets of Gotham, Batman comes out of retirement to put a stop to it. In this incredible story, adapted from the mind of Frank Miller we are graced with one of the best Batman stories ever told. After Batman takes a loss to the Mutant Leader, the Dark Knight gathers himself together and attempts to take him on again. This time in a mud pit and in front of the rest of the mutant gang, to make a statement and give the mutant followers a new leader. Batman strategically attacks the leader with precise hits to neutralize him, before finally taking him to the ground and preform a procedure. Batman exclaims “You don’t get it son, this isn’t a mud pit. It’s an operating table, and I’m the surgeon” as he proceeds to break his arm and move onto breaking his other limbs, making the mutant leader completely incapacitated. The gang now see Batman as their new leader and start adopting the bat-persona as the symbol of their new gang, the Sons of Batman.
Forget About Me – Batman: Mask of the Phantasm (1993)
The story that humanized Batman for everyone, this movie gave us an origin story unlike any other we had seen in a Batman movie. Bruce Wayne falls in love with a woman named Andrea Beaumont, he asks her to marry him and she accepts. Bruce starts to believe that despite the trauma he experienced as a child, this might be his only opportunity for a normal life. Unfortunately, when she is supposed to come to Bruces home, Alfred approaches him with a note she left that says she is leaving with her father and they couldn’t be together. At this moment is when Bruce realizes he will never have true happiness and Batman is born. Bruce equips himself in his Batsuit, he looks over at Alfred who hold his mask and takes it from him. When he puts on the mask, Alfred has this shocked looked on his face at the terrifying figure he has become. It’s this scene that gives us a very real and sympathetic look at Bruce Wayne and final straw that caused him to make the transition into Batman.
Work through your pain – Batman: Gotham Knight (2008)
An exploration of Bruce Waynes early years and his development into Batman. When Bruce travels to India in search of a way to deal with pain, he is denied. He manages to find a woman named Cassandra who agrees to teach him this. Bruce goes though Cassandras teachings and learns to manage his pain. One night, they are braided by a group of men and instead of following Cassandras word and not pursue them Bruce decides to make a stand and stop the men. They try to attack Bruce, but with every hit they land on him it doesn’t faze him. He manages to defeat them, but Cassandra sends Bruce away. However, despite him learning how to manage his physical pain he still hasn’t learned how to manage his true pain. Any story that explores Bruces journey is always one to behold, as this one explores just how much pain he is capable of taking. Where he learned how to manage it and the way it has shaped and formed him into a hero.
You Blinked – Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths (2010)
The Justice League take on an opposite version of themselves from an alternate world known as the Crime Syndicate. After an epic showdown between the Syndicate and the League, they all realize that there is something much more sinister going on. As Owlman has made plans to take a nuclear bomb through the multiverse to Earth Prime, the original Earth and destroy it. Destroying Earth Prime would also destroy every version of Earth that came from it, and eradicate the Multiverse. Batman follows Owlman to Earth Prime, where a battle ensues between the two. However, they are so similar in style that they fight is somewhat even. The difference is Owlmans unwilling to hold back, but Batman manages to gain an upper hand and attach Owlman to the bomb and send them both to another uninhabited Earth. The monologue Batman gives is superb, as during the battle he tells Owlman “There is a difference between you and me. We both looked into the abyss. But when it looked back at us. You blinked” referring to the line Batman isn’t willing to cross, and the unbreakable psychological toughness Batman has.
The one man who beat you – Batman: Dark Knight Returns – Part II (2013)
The finale to the epic two part movie, the ultimate showdown between The Dark Knight and The Man of Steel. When the President orders Superman to put an end to Batmans vigilantism, Superman travels to Gotham to find an armored Batman waiting for him. With every piece of technology Batman has to take on Superman, the two battle it out in a colossal battle. As the battle concludes, Batman calls upon the help of Green Arrow to fire a specially made Kryptonite arrow. The arrow is shot at Superman but when he catches it, it expels a kryptonite gas that enters his lungs and weakens him. As Batman stands above Superman in victory, Superman notices that Bruces heart isn’t pumping correctly and he is in risk of a heart attack. Regardless though, Batman grabs Superman tells him “I didn’t have to go easy on you. A different binding agent, a stronger mix… I want you to remember that. I wanted to remind you to stay out of my way. In all the years to come, in your most private moments, I want you to remember the one man who beat you!” Which finally answers the question of who would win a fight between the two. Revealing that no matter how powerful Superman might be, the will of Batman will always be greater and that’s what will always give him the advantage of The Man of Steel.
Omega Lambda 7-X-L-9 – Superman/Batman: Apocalypse (2010)
After Darkseid kidnaps Kara (Supergirl) and takes her to Apokolips to make her the new leader of his honor guard, The Furies. Superman, Batman, Barda and Wonder Woman travel to the hellish planet to save Kara and bring her home. While Barda and Wonder Woman face off against the Furies and Superman against his cousin. Batman sets out on a mission to find hellspores Darkseid has stored away, and a way to activate them as leverage in exchange for Kara. One Hellspore is capable of turning a planet into a fire pit, imagine what 500 is capable of. When Batman approaches Darkseid, he explains to him that they have been activated and he has reprogrammed them. Darkseid doesn’t believe Batman, calling his bluff since the spores are encrypted with a specific code. Until Batman recites the code “Omega Lambda 7-X-L-9” Darkseid loses composure and attacks Batman. He threatens Batman to destroy him with a zap of his omega beam, but if he did that the Hellspores would still go off. This moment shows us just how daring Batman is willing to be, to go up against a god and bend him to his will. No matter how big or powerful someone might be, Batman can always find a way to beat them.
I’ll never come back – Batman: Under the Red Hood (2010)
After Batman discovers the lethal Red Hood is his old sidekick Jason Todd. The two finally come to blows, as Jason leads Batman to an abandoned building. In one of the rooms, Jason has the Joker tied up and threatens to finally end the Jokers madness. Jason asks Batman why he has never killed Joker, Batman explains “It’d be too damned easy. All I’ve ever wanted to do is kill him. A day doesn’t go by that I don’t think about subjecting him to every horrendous torture he’s dealt out to others, and then… end him. But if I do that, if I allow myself to go down into that place… I’ll never come back.” This entire monologue, explains who Batman is and what he represents. How Batman rides a line between wanting to kill Joker and what would happen if he did. Batman understands the kind of hero he would be to Gotham if he chose to kill his enemies. Which answers the question many might ask “Why has Batman never just killed the Joker?”
A beautiful blend of Batmans most meaningful moments with his most pulse pounding moments. The scenes and moments that make Batman the legend that he is today. Moments that have given him the reason to be one of the most recognizable characters in the world.