Superman Animated Movies in Order: Chronological Guide

animated superman

We know that DC has been active in putting out live-action movies that are based on the DC universe in the comic books. But while that may be true, DC has also been very active in producing and releasing animated movies. Of course, Superman is one of the most popular superheroes in terms of the DC lineup of animated movies, as there are a lot of them compared to most of the other DC characters.

The fact that Superman is one of the most popular DC heroes of all time means that there are plenty of animated films that star this character. There are also plenty of different Superman fans out there that would love to watch all of the animated films. So, with that said, let’s look at all of the different Superman animated movies in chronological order.

How Many Superman Animated Movies Are There?

The fact that Superman has been around for a very long time is what allowed him to become one of the most important and successful superheroes that we have seen on the pages of comic books. Of course, Superman has always been one of the poster boys of DC, and that means that the company would want to produce a lot of animated movies that are based on the character. And the DC animated universe is actually incredibly successful in terms of fan and critical reception.

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For starters, there are a total of 13 Superman animated movies out there. Some of these movies don’t necessarily star Superman alone, as some of them are collaborations with other DC characters. If we were to include all of the other Justice League movies that feature Superman, there would be a lot more movies. But let’s just stick to the animated Superman movies instead of the ones that also include the rest of the Justice League.

Superman Animated Movies In Order (At A Glance)

  • Superman: Brainiac Attacks (2006)
  • Superman: Doomsday (2007)
  • Superman/Batman: Public Enemies (2009)
  • Superman/Shazam!: The Return of Black Adam (2010)
  • Superman/Batman: Apocalypse (2010)
  • All-Star Superman (2011)
  • Superman vs. The Elite (2012)
  • Superman: Unbound (2013)
  • The Death of Superman (2018)
  • Reign of Superman (2019)
  • Superman: Red Son (2020)
  • Superman: Man of Tomorrow (2020)
  • Batman and Superman: Battle of the Super Sons (2022)

Are The Superman Animated Movies Connected?

While there are a lot of Superman animated movies, not all of them are connected to one another. That’s because it depends on whether the movies are part of a greater storyline or series or if the movies are standalone movies. It depends entirely on the movie and whether or not it is a continuation of an already ongoing storyline that involves either the Justice League or just Superman himself.

For example, The Death of Superman and Reign of the Supermen are all part of the DC Animated Movie Universe. And these movies are also connected to the other films that are part of the greater DC Animated Movie Universe continuity.

Do You Need To Watch The Superman Animated Movies In Order?

As mentioned, the Superman animated movies are either standalone films or are part of a greater continuity or storyline. That means that whether or not you need to watch the Superman animated movies in order will depend entirely on the nature of the movie. 

Going back to our earlier example, it is important to watch The Death of Superman first before the Reign of the Supermen. But it is even more important to watch the other DC Animated Movie Universe films, starting with Justice League: War, to understand the storyline of these movies. However, if you are watching a standalone movie, such as Batman and Superman: Battle of the Super Sons, you can watch it without having to watch the other Superman animated movies.

Superman Animated Movies In Order

So, now that you know more about Superman animated and whether or not you have to watch them in order, let’s now look at the chronological order of the films based on the Man of Steel himself.

Superman: Brainiac Attacks (2006)

brainiac

Superman: Brainiac Attacks is a Standalone movie that follows the story of how Lex Luthor decided to form an alliance with the powerful supercomputer villain named Brainiac. As such, Superman is now forced to face two of his greatest rivals, as he needs to find a way to defeat this unholy alliance of powerful enemies that will stop at nothing to see his downfall.

RELATED: Why Does Lex Luthor Hate Superman?

Superman: Doomsday (2007)

doomsday

Superman: Doomsday is a movie that roughly follows the Doomsday storyline that you can read in the comics. Basically, it follows the introduction of the genetically-engineered monster named Doomsday, who was designed to be the perfect killing machine and is every bit as strong as Superman but more ferocious. In that regard, Superman has to take down this monster to keep the people of Metropolis safe. But he has to make the ultimate sacrifice in his effort to defeat this powerful creature.

Superman/Batman: Public Enemies (2009)

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Superman/Batman: Public Enemies is the first of the two movies that form part of the Superman/Batman continuity. This continuity follows both Superman and Batman as the main characters, and that’s why the Man of Steel isn’t the only star of these movies.

Public Enemies follows the story of how Lex Luthor is about to sit in the Oval Office as the new President of the United States. Of course, Superman and Batman stand in the way of the villain’s rise to power. But Lex Luthor forged a plan that would allow him to eliminate these superheroes, as he declared them public enemies of the people.

Superman/Shazam!: The Return of Black Adam (2010)

superman shazam

Superman/Shazam!: The Return of Black Adam is the only movie that co-stars Superman and Shazam. In that regard, it follows the story of the return of the supervillain named Black Adam, who is powerful enough to hurt Superman due to the fact that his powers are magic-based.

As Black Adam may be too powerful for Superman to handle, he needed the help of the world’s mightiest mortal. Of course, we are talking about Shazam, who is actually a kid named Billy Batson but is empowered by the same kind of powers that allow Black Adam to be strong.

Superman/Batman: Apocalypse (2010)

apocalypse

Superman/Batman: Apocalypse is the second movie of the Superman/Batman continuity. It doesn’t only star Superman and Batman but also includes other characters, such as Wonder Woman and even Supergirl herself.

The story of Apocalypse follows Batman’s discovery of a Kryptonian girl that is actually related to Superman. Superman and Batman worked together to give this Kryptonian girl a home on Earth, but Darkseid tried to win the girl over to her side.

All-Star Superman (2011)

all star

All-Star Superman is a standalone Superman film that follows the story of how Superman was poisoned by the sun’s rays when he attempted a daring rescue mission near the giant ball of flame.

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Of course, Superman’s powers were also increased exponentially due to his exposure to the sun’s rays. However, he knows that he doesn’t have long to live, and that is why he decided to spend as much time with Lois Lane as possible.

Superman vs. The Elite (2012)

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Superman vs. The Elite is another standalone movie that follows how Superman has to take down a group of superpowered heroes that suddenly appear on the scene. However, these heroes used their powers for mischief when they were willing enough to kill to stop crime, and that was the reason why the Man of Steel needed to take them down and teach them a lesson on how to actually be a good superhero.

Superman: Unbound (2013)

unbound

Superman: Unbound is a standalone movie that features both Superman and Supergirl. This movie also features the return of Brainiac, who we met earlier. In this storyline, Brainiac wreaked havoc all over the galaxy by stealing entire cities and destroying planets. As such, it is now up to Superman and Supergirl to try to stop him as he decides to go to Earth to destroy the planet as well.

The Death of Superman (2018)

the death of superman

The Death of Superman is one of the many movies that form part of the entire DC Animated Movie Universe. This is also the first movie that features Superman in that storyline. Of course, fans should take note that this movie is part one of a two-part Superman storyline.

Superman and the rest of the Justice League are now forced to unite to fight a monster named Doomsday, who is wreaking havoc all over the city. After Doomsday defeated all of the members of the Justice League, except for Superman, the Man of Steel now has to try to take him down on his own. And as the title of the movie suggests, this leads to his “death.”

Reign of the Superman (2019)

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Reign of the Supermen is the second part of the storyline that began with The Death of Superman, and that means that it forms part of the DC Animated Movie Universe. Of course, it takes place right after the events of The Death of Superman.

In the aftermath of the ending of The Death of Superman, new versions of Superman suddenly appear to try to take the place of the Man of Steel. But none of them was the genuine article until Lois Lane thought that the Cyborg Superman was actually the real one. In that regard, four different versions of Superman are in a battle to determine who has the right to wear that S symbol on their chest.

Superman: Red Son (2020)

red son

Superman: Red Son is a standalone Superman animated movie that takes place in a different timeline. In this timeline, the ship that carried Superman to Earth lands in Ukraine instead of Kansas. As such, he became the Red Son Superman, who the USSR relied on as the nation’s ultimate weapon against the United States.

Superman: Man of Tomorrow (2020)

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Superman: Man of Tomorrow is the movie that began a new continuity as it launched the Tomorrowverse storyline, which started due to how the Flash reset the universe again after the superheroes lost a lot of people during the events of Justice League Dark: Apokolips War. Man of Tomorrow reintroduced Superman as a new hero to the world. Of course, as a hero, he now has to face supervillains that are seeking to wreak havoc on the world. And the villain here is Parasite. 

Batman and Superman: Battle of the Super Sons (2022)

sons

Batman and Superman: Battle of the Super Sons is a standalone movie that is historic in its own way because it is the first DC animated movie to be created using CGI. Of course, this is a standalone movie that isn’t connected to the other continuities we have discussed.

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The storyline of Batman and Superman: Battle of the Super Sons actually focuses more on their sons. Damian Wayne is a stuck-up kid that has the mean streak of his grandfather, while Jonathan Kent is a simple farm boy that has just learned that he is the son of Superman and that he has his own powers. In that regard, they have to work together to defeat a villain that ends up taking over the minds of the entire Justice League, including Batman and Superman.

Where To Watch Superman Animated Movies?

The Superman animated movies and the other DC movies are all products of Warner Bros. Home Entertainment. That means that all of the Superman animated movies can be watched in the Warner Bros. streaming service provider, which is HBO Max or HBO Go, whichever of the two applies to your country or location.

Will There Be More Superman Animated Movies?

As of this moment, it is tough to say whether or not there will be more Superman animated movies because none of the upcoming DC animated movies feature Superman as the leading character. However, we do know that the Tomorrowverse is set to become a big continuity like the DC Animated Movie Universe. As such, it is possible that another Superman movie will be released for the Tomorrowverse continuity.

  • Ysmael Delicana

    Ysmael “Eng” Delicana is a writer based in Davao City, Philippines. He earned his bachelor’s degree in economics at Ateneo de Davao University before continuing to teach part-time at the same university. While teaching was a fun gig, being a geek and a writer seemed to be his cal...